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.
Annie Leibovitz’s iconic photographs have appeared in museums, books, and magazines from Vanity Fair to Rolling Stone—and now she’s your instructor. In introducing her class, Annie reflects on her career and the power of telling stories with photography.*
02 Portrait Photography
Annie discusses portraiture and photojournalism, and what makes portrait photography so compelling for her as a medium. Learn why Annie loves the photo series and why a single image cannot truly “capture” a person.*
03 Creating Concepts
Annie breaks down her process for developing imaginative and creative concepts for her photo shoots, sharing examples from Tess Gallagher, Amy Schumer, Keith Haring, Whoopi Goldberg, and more.*
04 Working With Light
Annie discusses her philosophy around photography equipment, working with natural light, and the value of keeping your lighting kit small.
05 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.
06 Working With Your Subject
Annie shares how she approaches working with a subject for a photoshoot, including refuting the popular notion that it’s a photographer’s responsibility to put a subject at ease.
07 Case Study: Angels in America Photoshoot for Vogue Magazine
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Annie’s photoshoot for Vogue magazine, where she captures the cast of Angels in America. Watch her and her team set up the photoshoot, effect her concept, and show the way she works with her subjects.
08 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.
09 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.*
10 The Technical Side of 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.
11 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 core principles of photography.
12 Case Study Part 1: Photographing Alice Waters
Annie brings you inside a photoshoot with the renowned chef Alice Waters. Learn how Annie built the concept for the photos, conducted research, and prepared for the shoot.
13 Case Study Part 2: Digital Post-Production
Annie gives you an exclusive look into her digital post-production process and shares her thoughts about what it means to be a photographer and creative artist.
14 Photographic Influences
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Alfred Stieglitz, and Richard Avedon—Annie introduces us to the photographers who have inspired her, sharing the personal lessons she has derived from their work.*
15 The Evolution of a Photographer
Learn how Annie’s artistic journey impacted her evolution as a photographer—from the inspiration of family photos to the San Francisco Art Institute and Rolling Stone. *Lessons marked with an asterisk contain images with nudity.