The world is screaming “yaaaas Beyoncé” as they collectively fawn over the photos and Bey’s own words featured in the September issue of Vogue. Now it’s time to meet the young photographer, Tyler Mitchell who made history by being the first black photographer to shoot a cover in the magazine’s 126-year history.
Make no mistake Vogue has taken entirely too long in doing so, but there is no better way to make history. Beyoncé clearly knew this and stated in her own words in the cover story written by Clover Hope:
“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.”
Though Bey’s words, in fact, suggest she wanted to work with Mitchell, according to Anna Wintour the decision to hire the talented photog was “entirely Vogue’s” specifically Condé Nast creative director Raul Martinez, Wintour revealed in an exclusive interview with Business of Fashion. Bey put the final stamp on the move immediately approving Mitchell knowing its historical implications according to Business of Fashion’s report.
The Atlanta native may be young but don’t let his age fool you, he already has a portfolio most photographers and videographers would dream of having. Back in 2015, his self-published book featuring photos of Cuban architecture and skate culture as part of the put him on the radar. Since graduating with a B.F.A in film and television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2017, he has had numerous jobs with Condé Nast already and has history working with the Knowles family.
Mitchell has shot Spike Lee for Office’s cover, Lil Uzi Vert for Fader, Atlanta star Zazie Beetz for Vogue’s May 2018 issue, Solange’s performance-art piece at the Hammer Museum where he was first noticed by Martinez as well as campaigns for Converse, Givenchy, American Eagle and Marc Jacobs.
Mitchell’s young career is blooming rapidly, and he is on a mission to change how black people are viewed in mainstream media. In an interview published Monday for Vogue he added:
“For so long, black people have been considered things. We’ve been thingified physically, sexually, emotionally. With my work, I’m looking to revitalize and elevate the black body.”
Mitchell totally gets it, and the world will be looking forward to seeing more spot on representations of black men and women from the photographer.
Photo: Tyler Mitchell/Instagram