5 Things to know about Tyler Mitchell, the 23-year-old photog Beyoncé reportedly hired for the September Vogue cover

Tyler Mitchell thegrio.com
Tyler Mitchell | Instagram

The internet has been buzzing the past few days with reports that Beyoncé will be taking the reigns for Vogue’s iconic September issue. Not only that, but sources say she’s bringing on Tyler Mitchell to shoot the cover, which would make him the first Black photographer in the magazine’s 126-year history to shoot the cover.

To put that in context, in 1892, Benjamin Harris was president, Henry Ford wouldn’t revolutionize the auto industry with the Model-T for another 16 years, New York City didn’t have a subway yet, and Frederick Douglass was still alive.

There have been a few changes in the world since then, but somehow getting a Black photographer for a cover shoot hasn’t happened at Vogue in the past 45,990 days. Beyoncé has allegedly fixed that for them with this Tyler Mitchell hire.

Here are 5 things to know about the history-making young man:

1. Famous Fans on Instagram

Mitchell has 70,000 followers on Instagram and you’ve definitely heard of a few of the people who follow him. Solange, Naomi Campbell, and Rose McGowan have all clicked the “follow” button on Mitchell’s account.

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2. NYU Grad

The Atlanta native is only 23 years old, so it is no surprise that he just graduated from college last year. Mitchell earned his degree from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University last September.

3. New York Times Approved

The New York Times highlighted Mitchell in its “Up Next” feature this past December. The story noted that Mitchell’s big break came in 2015 when self-published a 108-page photo book called El Paquete after he spent six-weeks in Cuba for a documentary program. The book caught the eye of big publications like i-D magazine.

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4. Not New to the Vogue Family

Though Mitchell is making history with this reported upcoming Vogue cover shoot, he is not new to the Vogue family. Earlier this year he shot Teen Vogue‘s March for Our Lives feature.

5. Race Conscious

Lest anyone think, Mitchell was chosen as some kind of “safe” choice for a mainstream publication, he does not shy away from issues of race–in fact he keeps that front and center in his work. “I depict black people and people of color in a really real and pure way,” There is an honest gaze to my photos,” he told the New York Times. He is also currently editing a film he shot about race and adolescence.