Design, Photography, & Fashion

Working With Your Subject

Annie Leibovitz

Lesson time 8:24 min

Annie shares how she approaches working with a subject for a photo shoot, including refuting the popular notion that it's a photographer's responsibility to put a subject at ease.

Annie Leibovitz
Teaches Photography
Annie brings you into her studio and onto her shoots to teach you everything she knows about portraiture and telling stories through images.
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The Art Of The Photo

Annie Leibovitz was the first woman to be named chief photographer at Rolling Stone and the last person to take a portrait of John Lennon. In her first online photography class, Annie shows us that what makes a picture stunning isn’t the gear or technology—it’s the story. Annie teaches you her philosophy: how to develop concepts, work with subjects, shoot with natural light, and bring images to life in post-production. See the world through her eyes.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

During this past month I have isolated myself from the world due to illness, this course has given me ideas and assignments that I will pursue when I am able.

Annie teaches open mind ..the rest is in the practice ...

Wonderful to be able to "hang out" with Annie Leibovitz for a while.

i wanted to see more of your work (the extravaganza part) but i loved your class and loved you;;;THANKS FOR SHARING.....i'm 80 been in the music business all my life and just started to make pictures; I'm so sorry i didn't shoot al lot of people i've met...will do in my second life will start demain matin...a kiss from Paris


lucia G.

Why it doesn't work? :( I can't watch the video it says: Could not download the video Error Code: PLAYER_ERR_TIMEOUT I've been trying during all the day. Hope you can help me thank you

A fellow student

I was wondering if women have an advantage over men taking photos? I know it sexist but I thought I would ask !

Lina lyn M.

i take this photo way back april 2014.. its sunday night and we just sat down in IFC mall in hong kong sometimes i like to shoot a person that not knowing i taking photo.. thank you miss annie

Andrea P.

I feel that most people get uncomfortable in front of the camera because it forces them to be vulnerable. I've met only a few people who like their photograph taken. I find it extremely difficult to talk to people when photographing them, I prefer to capture them when they're not aware that their photo is being taken. However, if you are creating a concept around a subject, Annie's advice is really useful. In my experience, the first few images don't really count.

Lana G.

I love your honest vulnerability talking to these kids in the class. I admire that authenticity.

William P.

Annie said she tries to make it as painless as possible for her subjects, and she doesn't see it as her responsibility to put people at ease. I realize if you're going to get into more product-oriented photography - you've got to stretch yourself past your comfort zone (and doing shoots of celebrities is one of those areas). You have to plan to be more directive. I thought the shot she showed at the end was incredible for those actors. I didn't see it coming. I would want to go see a play that showed a vision like that. It's compelling.

Reward E.

I guess we are hunting for the right moment. For technique and instinct to meet that moment.

Tim W.

I went on a trip for several days and left my cat with food and water. When I got back she was angry with me, but I was very happy to see her. I had just gotten another camera, and was able to get these of her. I may read more into these picture than are there, but I think it helps and comforts me. She was also happy to see me it seems, after she calmed down.

A fellow student

I think I stay a little longer with my subject that he forgets I have a camera and that’s the time to shoot

Dulce L.

Wonderful Lessons! Ha Ha; I had to figure out where to shoot her" When talking about your experience in photographing the Queen. Made me laugh..Thank you so much for this class and for your time.