For the first time ever, Tyler Mitchell is the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover, thanks to Beyonce
By Susan Johnes
Beyoncé knows better that she is a Queen in making. As a result, she has always used her power and influence on champion Black excellence and prosperity.
According to the Huffington Post, when Beyoncé agreed to cover American Vogue’s September issue, she was contractually given “unprecedented control” over her images and captions by Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Thus, Beyoncé approved Tyler Mitchell to shoot her appearance of the issue, making Mitchell the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history.
The reason the 23-year-old Black photographer is photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue is that Beyoncé used her power and influence to get him that assignment, the same outlet reports.
Mitchell, a New York University graduate, first gained attention in 2015 with his self-published book of photos, El Paquete, which focused on Cuban skate culture and architecture.
Soon after that, he became a recognized name in the art world through his work in Cuba and his featured work on his Instagram profile which contains more than 40,000 Instagram followers including celebrities like Rose McGowan and Naomi Campbell.
Furthermore, the New York Times’ “Up Next” series featured Mitchell in December where he said he depicts black people and people of color in a real and pure way. “There is an honest gaze to my photos,” he said.
Mitchell’s work has also appeared in other notable magazines, such as Teen Vogue’s March for Our Lives feature.
He photographed Parkland shooting survivors including Sarah Chadwick, Nza-Ari Khepra and Jaclyn Corin for Teen Vogue’s piece on the #NeverAgain gun control movement.
In his already impressive resume, Mitchell has also directed film projects for clients such as Marc Jacobs and Ray-Ban.
In addition to be the first Black photographer, Tyler Mitchell may also be the youngest to shoot a Vogue cover.
At only 23, the photographer and filmmaker has already become well respected for depicting his predominantly Black subjects with what he calls “an honest gaze.”
“I do look at myself as a Black American and equally as a symbol at the centre of this country. I had never considered myself an American Eagle model, but what made it interesting was to twist the cultural conversation about what the brand stands for and turn it on its head,” he told the Times back then.
The September’s issue is the most anticipated Vogue’s cover and it is likely to increase Mitchell’s undisturbed upward trajectory.