Tyler Mitchell — He’s the 23-year-old photographer you’ve been hearing so much about. Yes, he’s the first African-American to shoot the cover of Vogue. And yes, that historic cover was with the one and only Beyoncé. But the rest of the story you probably got all wrong.
Once it was revealed that Queen Bey would grace the cover of Vogue’s coveted September issue, and that a young twenty-something named Tyler would shoot it, the rumor mill went crazy about how this all came to be. And while Bey was definitely instrumental in getting Mitchell booked, she was not the sole reason he was consider — actually, ‘Yonce wasn’t even the reason his name was brought up! Here are a few fast facts you should know:
1) Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and Condé Nast creative director Raul Martinez, still called the shots … even though everyone thought Beyoncé had full creative control of her shoot. Luckily, Tyler cleared all that up with one tweet…
2) Now, just because Bey didn’t pitch Tyler, doesn’t mean she wasn’t familiar with his work. Mitchell actually photographed Beyoncé’s baby sis, Solange.
3) Tyler, who is originally from Atlanta but now lives in NY, got his start making skate videos and taking pictures of culture around him in the ATL. “I depict black people and people of color in a really real and pure way,” he told the NY Times in 2017. “There is an honest gaze to my photos.”
4) Mitchell, who just graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University last year, currently has a dope show at Red Hook Lab in Brooklyn. Here are a few of the photos on exhibit…
5) Lastly, Tyler is absolutely self-made!
According to the NY Times, the young phenom got his “big break” when he “spent six weeks in Cuba as part of a documentary photography program, where he captured Havana’s vibrant skateboard scene and crumbling architecture. He self-published the resulting photos in a 108-page book, “El Paquete,” which drew notice from Dazed Digital and i-D magazine, and sold out its run at Dashwood Books.”
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