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Get to know Tyler Mitchell, the photographer Beyoncé hired for Vogue

The 23-year-old Atlanta native will be the first black photographer to shoot the magazine’s cover in 126 years

12:57 PMWho knew Beyoncé was as good a photo editor as she is an entertainer? When she was given creative control over Vogue magazine’s all-important September issue this fall, she did something that several magazines still do not: She hired a black photographer to shoot the cover image. This marks the first time in the magazine’s 126-year history that an image created by a black person will grace its cover. Take a minute to marinate on that.

And Beyoncé chose well. Tyler Mitchell is a highly creative and ambitious photographer from Atlanta who now resides in Brooklyn. Despite his young age, he has already photographed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors for Teen Vogue, Lil Uzi Vert for The FADER, curator Kimberly Drew for i-D, Ashton Sanders for Office magazine and Vince Staples for Dazed.

The historical significance of this moment cannot be overstated. While print and digital publications have made it more of a priority to hire black writers (although progress in this arena has also been slow going), too often, the people shaping visual narratives are white, cisgender men, while the unique perspectives and talent of people of color are often pushed to the side and ignored.

Here is hoping that more celebrities will use their clout and platforms to encourage magazines to hire photographers of color to shoot their covers. And, more importantly, here is hoping that more photo editors follow Beyoncé’s lead in their hiring practices.

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12:57 PMWho knew Beyoncé was as good a photo editor as she is an entertainer? When she was given creative control over Vogue magazine’s all-important September issue this fall, she did something that several magazines still do not: She hired a black photographer to shoot the cover image. This marks the first time in the magazine’s 126-year history that an image created by a black person will grace its cover. Take a minute to marinate on that.

And Beyoncé chose well. Tyler Mitchell is a highly creative and ambitious photographer from Atlanta who now resides in Brooklyn. Despite his young age, he has already photographed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors for Teen Vogue, Lil Uzi Vert for The FADER, curator Kimberly Drew for i-D, Ashton Sanders for Office magazine and Vince Staples for Dazed.

The historical significance of this moment cannot be overstated. While print and digital publications have made it more of a priority to hire black writers (although progress in this arena has also been slow going), too often, the people shaping visual narratives are white, cisgender men, while the unique perspectives and talent of people of color are often pushed to the side and ignored.

Here is hoping that more celebrities will use their clout and platforms to encourage magazines to hire photographers of color to shoot their covers. And, more importantly, here is hoping that more photo editors follow Beyoncé’s lead in their hiring practices.

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12:57 PMWho knew Beyoncé was as good a photo editor as she is an entertainer? When she was given creative control over Vogue magazine’s all-important September issue this fall, she did something that several magazines still do not: She hired a black photographer to shoot the cover image. This marks the first time in the magazine’s 126-year history that an image created by a black person will grace its cover. Take a minute to marinate on that.

And Beyoncé chose well. Tyler Mitchell is a highly creative and ambitious photographer from Atlanta who now resides in Brooklyn. Despite his young age, he has already photographed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors for Teen Vogue, Lil Uzi Vert for The FADER, curator Kimberly Drew for i-D, Ashton Sanders for Office magazine and Vince Staples for Dazed.

The historical significance of this moment cannot be overstated. While print and digital publications have made it more of a priority to hire black writers (although progress in this arena has also been slow going), too often, the people shaping visual narratives are white, cisgender men, while the unique perspectives and talent of people of color are often pushed to the side and ignored.

Here is hoping that more celebrities will use their clout and platforms to encourage magazines to hire photographers of color to shoot their covers. And, more importantly, here is hoping that more photo editors follow Beyoncé’s lead in their hiring practices.