In the Masterclass series, people who are maestros in their chosen fields are tapped to explain their genius to the rest of the world—in the hopes of imparting some of their wisdom. Past Masterclass teachers have included writers such as James Patterson and film directors like Marty Scorsese. In other words, only the best of the best in their respective fields are asked to teach these classes. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise, then, that famed photographer Annie Leibovitz has recently joined the esteemed ranks of these artists.
Known for her artistry behind the lens, Annie Leibovitz has shot some of the most iconic celebrity portraits of our times. However, some would be shocked to learn that her approach to this very technical field is exceedingly non-technical. In the Masterclass preview, Leibovitz is seen advising students that focusing on technical aspects too much will cause budding photographers to not take the right kind of photographs. She also rails against the prevailing wisdom that portraiture subjects should be “comfortable” when they are having their photos taken. Instead, Leibovitz posits that perhaps part of the reason why she turns out such distinctive photos is that her subjects are often a bit uncomfortable.
Leibovitz also suggests that students become accustomed to one lens before switching it up and experimenting with others. All in all, it seems as if the advice she offers is extremely practical for those who are just getting started in photography. It’s easy to see why Leibovitz was selected as a teacher for this project; not only is she incredibly gifted, but she’s also extremely passionate about what she teaches. Although the class may cost a whopping $90, many aspiring photographers could probably benefit from the advice and experience of Leibovitz.