Name: Tyler Mitchell
Location: New York
How We Know Him: Five words. He.Shot.Beyonce.For.Vogue.
Why We Chose Him: Tyler is committed to shining a dope light on Black folks.
What’s Next: He’s making room for other young, brown-hued photographers so they too can get to the money.
Taking this generation’s stories into his own hands, we know Tyler Mitchell best as the photographer who shot Beyoncé’s iconic 2018 September Vogue issue. But, the truth is, Tyler has always been about documenting community, culture, and the extreme conditions faced by Black men throughout society. A Brooklyn transplant by way of ATL and a NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate, Tyler is calmly making and creating history, turning his camera on our generation’s most riveting stories to ensure we are remembered years after we’re long gone.
In an interview about his first-ever solo exhibition, I Can Make You Feel Good, he told the NY Times: “For me, it’s an affirmation of certain autobiographical aspects of my blackness, but if other people enjoy that, too, I think that’s great. I think, ultimately, I would simply like people to walk away understanding the power of images to rewrite history.”
He also expressed that he enjoys playing with gender, visual identity, and what the world views as beautiful. One of his portraits, ‘Boys of Walthamstow,’ is a powerful depiction of liberation. “My take on men can get specific,” he said of the image, adding of his motivation: “I’m usually always with groups, especially Black men. I’m trying to unlock some sort of freedom with them in certain portrait sessions.”
Historically, our stories have been skewed because (as Tyler will tell you) photography was originally a white, rich man’s art. But now, we’re blessed to be able to say we’ve got some table-shaking young folks who are set on telling our truth.
“Check out the other honorees on iOne Digital’s The Creative Class.”