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Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review 2024 : Is it Worth Your Money?

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Annie Leibovitz Masterclass


I really enjoyed Annie Leibovitz's Masterclass. She taught me a lot about taking good photos. Her stories and tips were very helpful and interesting. The class had fun activities, and I got great advice on my work. It made me a better photographer and I learned a lot.

Out of 10


  • Expert Techniques
  • Creative Insights
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Technical Skills
  • Personalized Feedback


  • A Bit Expensive


Price: $ 180

Have you ever dreamed of learning photography from a pro? That’s what I felt when I signed up for Annie Leibovitz’s Masterclass.

It’s like sitting down with an old friend who happens to be a world-famous photographer! Annie doesn’t just show you how to take pictures; she takes you on a journey, sharing stories behind her iconic photos.

Her lessons are easy to follow, even if you’re new to photography. She talks about everything from working with light to capturing emotions.

And the best part? You can learn at your own pace, right from home. Whether you’re a beginner or have been snapping photos for years, Annie’s class is like a special workshop just for you. Let me tell you more about why this class is so great for anyone who likes photography!

annie leibovitz masterclass review

Bottom Line Upfront:

I’ve taken Annie Leibovitz’s Masterclass, and I must say, it’s a game-changer for anyone interested in photography.

Right away, you’re drawn into her world of storytelling through images. Annie makes complex ideas simple and fun to learn.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass

Whether you’re a beginner or a person who has been taking photos for a while. This class is a treasure. The way she teaches about light, emotion, and capturing moments is incredible.

It’s like having a personal mentor. I highly recommend Annie Leibovitz’s Masterclass for its insightful, easy-to-follow lessons that truly inspire your photography journey.

If you’re interested in photography then you should enroll in Annie Leibovitz Masterclass.

Try Out Annie Leibovitz Now.

Table of Contents

Annie Leibovitz MasterClass Summary

Attribute Details
🎓 Course Name Annie Leibovitz MasterClass
👩‍🏫 Instructor(s) Annie Leibovitz
⏱️ Class Length 15 video lessons (3 hours 4 minutes)
🎨 Category Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style
🎯 Who is this Course for The course is suitable for individuals interested in photography, particularly in portrait photography. It offers insights into Annie Leibovitz’s creative process, making it ideal for both fans of her work and aspiring photographers.
🕒 Time Duration 3 hours 4 minutes
🌟 Rating 8.5 out of 10
💰 Pricing $180
📝 Overall Experience The course provides a comprehensive look into the art of photography, focusing on storytelling through images. It includes practical advice and insights from Annie Leibovitz’s extensive experience, making it a valuable resource for photographers at various skill levels.

About Annie Leibovitz

Before we dive into the course, let me take some time to introduce the class tutor, Annie Leibovitz.

Annie Leibovitz is a celebrated American photographer best known for her engaging and dramatic celebrity portraits.

Her iconic photographs have appeared in museums, books, and several magazines, from Vanity Fair to Rolling Stone.

Leibovitz’s Polaroid of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taken five hours before Lennon’s murder, is considered Rolling Stone magazine’s most famous cover photograph.

She is also the first woman to have a feature exhibition at the Washington National Portrait Gallery. 

Annie MasterClass Overview

Leibovitz would work in a variety of occupations over the subsequent several years, which allowed her to improve her talents as a photographer.

The works of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson were her primary source of creativity and motivation. In 1969, she went to Israel and worked on a kibbutz there for a while.

After moving back to the United States in 1970, Annie Leibovitz began her career in photography by landing a job as a staff photographer for the publication Rolling Stone.

By 1973, she had already been given the position of principal photographer at the magazine. This position would be held by Leibovitz for a decade, and the images she took of a variety of celebrities would contribute to the appearance and feel of Rolling Stone magazine.

Leibovitz was known for taking photographs of a large number of the most famous rock stars in the world. She worked with The Rolling Stones in San Francisco in 1971 and 1972, and she also photographed the band while they were on their Tour of the Americas in 1975. Both of these experiences took place in 1975.

The photograph that Leibovitz took of former Beatle John Lennon on December 8, 1980, is considered to be one of her most famous works.

Later on the same day in New York City, John Lennon was murdered and died, but the photograph that Annie Leibovitz took of him and his partner Yoko Ono would appear on the cover of Rolling Stone and become an iconic image of the duo.

About Masterclass

Then, what exactly is a MasterClass? The goal of the online learning platform known as MasterClass may be summed up in just one sentence:


To give you the opportunity to gain knowledge from the very finest in the world. On the website, you may sign up for lessons taught by renowned figures such as Samuel L. Jackson, Serena Williams, and Gordon Ramsay, amongst many others.

There are over 150 different classes that can be taken on the platform, and if you have an all-access pass, you will be able to do so without restriction.

Annie MasterClass Overview

One of the things that may come as a surprise to you is the fact that Annie does not give a lot of information regarding the real skills of shooting.

She is considerably more forthcoming with her views, feelings, and personal philosophy that guide her life.

However, there is a lot that you can take away from this class, like learning how to grow your abilities and getting a different viewpoint from a photographer who has already achieved success in their industry.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review

Anyone interested in breaking into the industry will find that the course provides a wealth of material that can be useful and is, on the whole, motivating.

Your imagination will be nourished, and you will be inspired to attempt new things if you take advantage of the MasterClass all-access pass, which is a fantastic way to enjoy this class as well as others.

Everyone who enjoys photography is a fan of Annie, or just wants to learn something new will love this course, and they will walk away with a ton of new ideas and the desire to begin creating portrait masterpieces that will be treasured from this point forward.

Course Introduction

In this course, Annie Leibovitz brings us into her studio and onto her shoots to teach us everything she knows about portraiture and telling stories through images.

Annie takes us behind the scenes of her favorite and most famous portraits of all time and explains to us the story behind these pictures and what they mean.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review - Lesson Plan

In her first online class ever, she breaks down her creative process.

This masterclass also includes an on-set case study featuring Chef Alice Waters.

She also shows us the process of post-production in her studio.

We will also be learning about storytelling, research, observation, lighting, photo concepts, working with our subject, and portraiture.

Course Description

The course has 2 sections – A Photographer’s Life and Photography Techniques.

The two sections combined have a watch time of 3 hours with 14 videos in total.

Each video is around 10 to 20 minutes long.

Portrait Photography

The course mainly focuses on portrait photography, inspiration, influencers, concepts, and the meaning of creating a body of work.

She also talks about her process and how she approaches photoshoots with a follow-through photoshoot with Alice Walters for Vogue.

Each video also ends with an interesting assignment related to what she just talked about. (Snippet 4)

A Photographer’s Life – Section

This is the first section of the masterclass.

It has a watch time of 1 hour and 26 minutes with 6 videos.

In this section, Annie will discuss her thoughts about portraiture, her influencers, and the meaning of creating a body of work with us.

Portrait Photography

The first video under this section is called Portrait Photography.


Annie discusses portraiture and photojournalism and what makes portrait photography so compelling for her as a medium.

We learn why Annie loves the photo series and why a single image cannot truly “capture” a person. This video has 4 subchapters. Let’s go through them.

Objectivity: Where is the line?

In the first subchapter, ‘Objectivity: Where is the line?’, we see Annie sitting with 10 students and sharing their opinions on photography and photojournalism. 

Historical Context

The next subchapter is called Historical Context, where she tells us stories from her projects with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Caitlyn Jenner.

“Capturing” the Person

“Capturing” the Person

In this subchapter, she tells us more stories about several of her other portrait photoshoots and how she developed the series.

She mentions her experience in Las Vegas and how she discovered that you require a series of photographs to truly be able to tell a person’s story.

What Makes a Great Photograph?

Annie tries to answer the question “What makes a great photograph?” in this next subchapter while giving us more examples of her work. 

Photographing People Who Are Close To You

Annie discusses why your family and loved ones may be your best photography subjects and what opportunities come from photographing subjects who are close to you.

Photographing People Who Are Close To You

She suggests that as a beginner, you can start off by photographing your loved ones to understand the technicals of photography and concept curating.

Annie is once again sharing her personal stories with us, and she shows us the pictures she took of her family. 

A Photographer’s Life

Annie talks about her book A Photographer’s Life in this subchapter. She talks about how she picked the photographs for her book.

If the Camera Is Not There

In this subchapter, we are back in the classroom.

She discusses her work from A Photographer’s Life further.

She opens up more about how she deals with photographing memories and important people.

Photographic Influences

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Alfred Stieglitz, Richard Avedon, and more – Annie introduces us to the photographers who have inspired her, sharing the personal lessons she has derived from their work.

She talks about how personal photography is to her and how much she loves it. She also tells us about her favorite photography books. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

In the first subchapter, titled Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie talks about him and his works of photography and how she got inspired by them. She shows multiple examples of how I’m at work and takes time to explain each one of them.

Robert Frank

Annie shows us works by Robert Frank and mentions how they are different from Henri’s. She tells us how she could relate to his photographs and the many ways they inspired her.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review - Robert Frank

Richard Avedon

Annie mentions how spellbound she was with Richard Avedon in this subchapter and how she admired his ability to psychologically create a portrait out of basically nothing.

She also discusses his photography technique and the reasons why she admires him and his work so much.

Jacques Henri Lartigue

In this subchapter, Annie discusses the first and the last photographs of his parents taken by Jacques.

She comments on his charming imagery from a man’s life.

She shows us more pictures from various photo series that he did and how extraordinary she thinks they are.

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

In this subchapter, Annie talks about how Diane Arbus used Central Park as a place to take pictures.

She shares with us how the book of her magazine work was so important to Annie and how she would look at them over and over again.

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe

Annie, in this subchapter, talks about how she keeps going back to and referring to images that Steiglitz took of Geroge O’Keeffe.

She also talks about how their relationship with each other plays an important role in the mood set by the photographs.

Sally Mann

Annie shows pictures of Sally Mann’s children that Sally took and how it is an intimate experience with her children.

Annie also comments on how brave Sally is to share these intimate moments with everyone.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review -Photography

David Hockney on Photography

Annie jokes about how, after a certain point, the camera just doesn’t work anymore and how Hockney’s work reflected exactly that.

Student Sessions

Annie sits down with students from her alma mater, the San Francisco Art Institute, to critique their work and share her own approach to the core principles of photography. 

Student Session

Photographing Family and Friends

Annie is seen discussing the students’ work, where they had to take pictures of their friends and family. A student shares their stories behind their pictures.

Learning How to See

Annie discusses the technicalities of taking a photograph.

She discusses what kind of cameras and lenses work for her and what works for the students. She also talks about composition and how you can make it work for your different projects.

technicalities of taking a photograph.

They also discuss their college days and the feeling of being able to sit in rooms with other photographers and having a sense of camaraderie, looking at work together and being pushed on to learn more from each other.

She tells us how she learned to see and observe and how proud she is of how far and diverse photography has grown to be.

Being a Director

In this subchapter, they discuss how you can direct your subject to bring out a truly one-of-a-kind photograph and how changing what stays in focus and what doesn’t brings out the curiosity in people about your photographs.

Storytelling In A Series

The next subchapter is about how you can tell a story through your photo series.

Storytelling In A Series

A student discussed his concept of a photo series with Annie, and he was having problems directing it.

Annie gives her tips and helps him find a path to do it, which might make him and his subject feel more comfortable while photographing the story.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back

One of the students and Annie discuss how it is different to shoot people who are comfortable in front of the camera and people who aren’t.

She shares how it is normal to go back to someone, to someplace, if you don’t like what you photographed.

Connecting With the World Through Photography

In this subchapter, a student talks about visiting her home country and photographing people from her community.

Annie appreciates her art and shares her views about connecting with people you may or may not know.

Looking Back at Your Work

Annie discusses the importance of self-reflection and explains why it’s so important for every photographer to look back at their work.

She talks about how important editing is and how important it is to know how to edit your work to make it look how you really envision it.

Annie-Leibovitz-Teaches-Photography-MasterClass -Stup

She talks about how she learned to edit and how it changed the way her photographs came out and the way people reacted to them.

She explains how looking back at your work is also equally important. To stop every now and then, see what you have, and edit that. 

The Early Years, 1970-1983: An Installation for the LUMA Foundation in Arles, France

In this subchapter, I see Annie in her studio talking about the selection process and how personal it is. She also justifies why it is so important to stop, look back, and reflect on your work.

The Evolution Of A Photographer

In the final video of this section, Annie shows how her artistic journey impacted her evolution as a photographer – from the inspiration of family photos to the San Francisco Art Institute and Rolling Stone.

She discusses what they did at their art school. How they did their assignments.

She also talks about the first time she heard of Rolling Stone and being inspired to work there.

Annie also shares the story of how she started working for Rolling Stones.

She explains how she carried forth the idea of still looking for something that interests her when she walks into each world, still thinking about what interests her and what is compelling to her as an image.

And that was an important idea to translate from school to her work. To learn to trust what you see and find a way to tell a story. 

Photography Techniques – Section 2

In this section, we will learn about Annie’s process as she approaches photoshoots for Alice Waters and Vogue magazine.

This section has a watch time of an hour and 33 minutes with a total of 8 videos.

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography Masterclass Shooting

Creating Concepts

Annie breaks down her process for developing imaginative and creative concepts for her photoshoots, sharing examples from Tess Gallagher, Amy Schumer, Keith Haring, Whoopi Goldberg, and more. 

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review -Tips


Annie talks about how important it is to research the subject of your project in this subchapter.

She says it is mainly important to look into what your subject has done before what they are comfortable with, and what you can try for your upcoming projects.

She explains how you can see an apparent disconnect when you don’t research your subject.


Annie mentions that the biggest breakthrough and the conceptual work for the covers was not from Rolling Stone magazine but from Life magazine. She shares her amazing experiences while working for Life.

She elaborates on how she would conceptualize shoots for these magazines.

Having A Role To Play

Having A Role To Play

In this subchapter, Annie talks about her shoot with Meryl Streep.

She explains how identifying the role of the subject for the shoot might be relieving and help the shoot and the subject enjoy it.

Case Study: The Pirelli Calendar

Annie opens up about her experience with Amy Schumer when she had to shoot for the Pirelli Calendar in 2016. She shares her conversations and experiences with Amy.

Case Study: Keith Haring

She shares another such experience she had with Keith Haring in this episode, where she shot him for a personal shoot. She shared how this shoot was different from all the other shoots and how they came about it.

Working With Light

In this chapter, we see Annie talking about her philosophy around photography equipment, working with natural light, and the value of keeping your lighting kit small. 

Don’t Focus on Equipment

In the first chapter of this video, Annie wants to emphasize how equipment and lighting are not essential for taking good photographs.

With Annie having worked with natural light only for many of her initial years as a professional photographer, she discusses how important it is to understand how to shoot in natural lighting and study the behaviors of a camera with respect to that.


She also reminisces about the darkroom days when they couldn’t see how their pictures came out till they saw them appear on the trays. She compares that feeling to magic.

Using Natural Light As Your Teacher

Annie goes into further detail about why and how natural lighting is important for photography and how you can use it to your advantage in this subchapter. She shares how she is constantly learning from natural lighting.

She mentions how she uses artificial light to mimic the ambiance of natural light as well.

Keeping Your Kit Small

In this subchapter, Annie shares what she carries in her kit and why it is important to keep your kit as small as possible. She explains the cons of having a larger kit here.

Mixing Natural Light With a Strobe

In this subchapter, you will see how Annie struggled with having to use artificial lighting and variety when she saw how monotonous her shoots got with using the same lighting techniques she loved and trusted.

She talks about balancing natural light with a strobe but still using as much natural lighting as possible to give the essence of lighting that the natural eye sees.

She also shares how she enjoys an overcast day over a brighter day and her reasons for that.

Studio vs Location

Annie talks about her approach to studio photography, her strong preference for shooting on location, and the role of the environment in her portraiture. 

The Studio

She shares her stories from pictures she has taken at her studio and why they are so different from the pictures she takes on location.

She also mentions how she feels constrained in terms of story-telling when she is in a studio as opposed to outside in the open world.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review-Studio

Simple Spaces & Compositions

Annie opens up about how she never felt comfortable as a studio photographer but was impressed by other photographers’ studio portraits at the same time.

She tells us how she challenged herself to love and be comfortable with the floor and the walls of her studio and step out of her comfort zone.

She shows us 4 of her favorite photographs she took in her studio and explains their composition in detail.

On Location

In this subchapter, Annie shares what she learned about being on location. She shares a story from one of her favorite photographs.

Case Study: Gloria Steinem

We dive into a case study of writer Gloria Steinem and how Annie managed to photograph Gloria as much more than just a writer. She also emphasizes the importance of location and how it impacts the final photograph.

Working With Your Subject

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. 

Checking the Picture on a Shoot

Checking the Picture on a Shoot

Annie shares her thoughts on looking at pictures during a shoot and why she doesn’t recommend it and finds it disrespectful to the subject.

When Is a Shoot Over?

In this subchapter, Annie opens about her struggle with not knowing when a shoot was over or when to determine if you got what you’re looking for and how she figured it all out.

Being There

We see Annie back with the students from the San Francisco Art Institute, discussing her work backstage with Bruce Springsteen. And how she struggled with being present when it was required and disappearing when called for.

Playing With The Subject

In this subchapter, Annie shares her experience at The Ben Stiller Couture shoot they had in Paris.

Case Study: Angels in America Photoshoot for Vogue Magazine

Angels in America Photoshoot for Vogue Magazine

Annie takes us behind the scenes at a photo shoot for Vogue magazine, where she captures the cast of Angels in America. We get to watch her and her team set up the photoshoot, affect her concept, and show the way she works with her subjects. 

The Technical Side of Digital Photography

In this chapter, Annie shares how she approached transitioning from film to digital and what starting out in the darkroom can teach you.

Annie also shares her perspective on focus and sharpness – and how, above all else, it’s the content that matters. 

Transitioning into Digital

Annie is back with her students, sharing how shooting in film and working in darkrooms gave her the perspective of lighting and composition that helped her in the new age of digital photography.

She also shared her struggle with transitioning and letting go of the film cameras and Polaroids she loved so much.

Using Digital Tools to Enhance Traditional Photography

Using Digital Tools to Enhance Traditional Photography

Annie explains the difference between a conceptual artist and a photographer in this subchapter.

Focus and Sharpness

In this subchapter, we see Annie explaining how focus and sharpness play an important role in how the audience reacts to the pictures.

Case Study: Monument Valley

Annie shares how she took pictures in Monument Valley and how the blur in the photographs told a story. She explains how if the content is important, you have to let go if the picture isn’t sharp or in focus.

Case Study Part 1: Photographing Alice Waters

Photographing Alice Waters

Annie brings you inside a photo shoot with the renowned chef Alice Waters.

We learn how Annie built the concept for the photos, conducted research, and prepared for the shoot.

Annie also shares her experience of working with Alice prior to this shoot. 

Building the Concept

Annie talks about how she came about building the concept for this photoshoot with the help of her friends and family. She tells us how Alice is responsible for the food movement and how America eats today.


In this subchapter, Annie goes back to her favorite books, looking for inspiration for pose and lighting for her shoot. She shows her reference and explains how the image inspired her for her project.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review


We see Annie on location with the subject, Alice Waters, and what kind of props she used on the shoot. She also explains why she used the props she used and the importance of symbolism.


In this subchapter, Alice talks about how she finds music a funny thing.

She shares how she enjoys playing music on shoots and how she curates a different playlist for each shoot.

She also shares an instance from her shoot with Alice and how the music they played influenced the mood of the subject and, ultimately, the photographs.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass - Lessons


As mentioned earlier, Annie does not enjoy sunny days. Unfortunately, on the day of Alice’s shoot, Annie could not spot a cloud in the sky, and she immediately knew it was going to be a difficult day for her. She talks about how she overcame that problem in this subchapter.

Case Study Part 2: Digital Post-Production

Annie gives us an exclusive look into her digital post-production process and shares her thoughts about what it means to be a photographer and creative artist. 

After the Shoot

We see Annie sit with her editor and go through the process of editing the pictures, showing us the before and after of the pictures.

The Screen vs. a Print

Annie explains how what you see on a screen may not necessarily be what you can print. She shows us how tweaking pictures is different for viewing on-screen and printing.

Color Temperature

In the final part of the masterclass, she shows the process of color-correcting the lighting and shadows in a photograph.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass: Pricing Plan

There are two ways by which you can purchase a MasterClass, a single MasterClass, and an All-Access Pass for any of the gurus on the platform.

  • Single MasterClass: $90
  • All-Access Pass: $180 per year

The All-Access Pass comes in real handy when you wish to take more than one MasterClass, so this means that there is no limit on the number of MasterClasses on the All-Access Pass.

masterclass pricing

A 30-day money-back guarantee is also available for any of the packages you purchase, and you will get a complete refund of the amount in case you are not satisfied with their services. To get a Masterclass All-Access pass at a discounted rate, use the Masterclass promo code.

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review Testimonials

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review- Testimonials

Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Reddit

byu/AlexAndertheAble from discussion

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FAQs | Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review

🤳 Who is Annie Leibovitz ?

Annie Leibovitz was named chief photographer at Rolling Stone, and she was the last person who took a portrait of John Lennon.

🤷‍♀️ What does coursebook provide?

The coursebook provided with the course includes an overview of all chapters and their subchapters along with the photo index of all the pictures included in the masterclass.

🎥 For who is this MasterClass?

I would suggest this masterclass to anyone who is even slightly interested in portrait photography. If you’re someone looking for helpful insight into the world of portraiture and photojournalism, I would recommend it for you!

🙎‍♂️ What is MasterClass?

MasterClass is the streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to watch or listen to hundreds of video lessons taught by 100+ of the world’s best.

📺 Where can I watch?

With MasterClass, you can learn and be inspired anytime, anywhere, including your smartphone, personal computer, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku streaming media players. You can even download your favorite lessons and watch on the plane or listen during your commute in audio-only mode.

Conclusion: Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review 2024

I personally found this MasterClass very insightful, even though I am still only a beginner at photography.

It has inspired me to explore my style and not worry about technicalities.

This course is especially useful because the teacher, Annie Leibovitz, pushes you to explore your creativity even though you might not have the best equipment, lighting, studio, or anything that a professional photographer might say you need.

She focuses on how having fancy equipment does not always promise good photographs.

With that being said, I would like to conclude this article by mentioning the amazing team of MasterClass for putting together this amazing class.

Aishwar Babber

Aishwar Babber is a passionate blogger and a digital marketer. He loves to talk and blog about the latest tech and gadgets, which motivates him to run GizmoBase. He is currently practicing his digital marketing, SEO, and SMO expertise as a full-time marketer on various projects. He is an active investor in AffiliateBay. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

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