Tyler Mitchell (photographer)

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Tyler Mitchell
Born (1995-04-12) April 12, 1995 (age 25)
Alma materNew York University
Years active2014–present

Tyler Mitchell (born April 12, 1995)[1][2][3] is an American photographer. He is based in Brooklyn, New York and is best known for his cover photo of Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue.[4]

Early life[edit]

Mitchell grew up in Marietta, Georgia. In ninth grade, he purchased a Canon camera and taught himself how to make skateboarding videos.[4] He was inspired by Spike Jonze to learn how to make videos and taught himself how to edit through YouTube tutorials.[4]

In 2015, Mitchell created and published his first book at the age of 20 after visiting Havana, Cuba on a six-week photography program.[5] While he was there he documented skateboarding life and the architecture in Havana and turned it into a 108 page book called "El Paquete".[6][5]

He went on to attend New York University Tisch School of the Arts[6], where he studied cinematography in film and television.[7] While at Tisch, he studied with Deborah Willis[8] and graduated in 2017.[5]


Before photographing Beyoncé for the cover of American Vogue's September 2018 issue at the age of 23, he got a lot of experience making and editing short films at home and also shot music videos for rapper Kevin Abstract during his freshman year of college[4] Additionally, before the Vogue cover, Mitchell worked with Teen Vogue to document and photograph teen gun control activists for the magazine's digital issue.[1] A couple months later when Mitchell shot for the cover of Vogue, he became the first African-American to photograph for the cover and also one of the youngest photographers to do so ever.[4][9] In 2019, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery acquired one of the portraits of Beyoncé by Mitchell for their permanent collection.[10]

Mitchell has also shot for companies like Marc Jacobs, JW Anderson, Converse, Nike, and Givenchy.[6][1][7] His work includes fashion photography, artistic photography, and film projects,[11] which include autobiographical topics and themes of identity.[8]

In 2019, Mitchell had his first solo exhibition at the Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam from April 19 to June 5 called I Can Make You Feel Good which included video works, photographs, and installations. The exhibition traveled to the International Center of Photography in New York and will be shown there until May 2020.[12][failed verification][7]

Legacy & style[edit]

Mitchell has been praised for documenting nuanced expressions of black life, which he has referred to as a "Black utopic vision".[7] His exhibition, I Can Make You Feel Good, features photographs of black people enjoying daily life, predominantly outdoors, which the New York Times asserts "challenges the art historical renderings of leisure time as the purview of the white gentry." He explores cultural reclamation in his professional work as fashion photographer.[7]

Mitchell cites Ryan McGinley and Larry Clark as early influences. His work has also been contextualized in reference to artists Kehinde Wiley, Jamel Shabazz, Nadine Ijewere, Dana Scruggs, and Campbell Addy.[7]



  • I Can Make You Feel Good. 2020. ISBN 9783791386089



  1. ^ a b c "The BoF Podcast: Tyler Mitchell's Journey From Skateboarding to Photographing Beyoncé". The Business of Fashion. July 26, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2019. Born in 1995
  2. ^ "Tyler Mitchell – Can Make You Feel Good". www.fontanelmagazine.com. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "Reimagining the Image: Tyler Mitchell". International Center of Photography. August 27, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Nnadi, Chioma. "Meet Tyler Mitchell, the Photographer Who Shot Beyoncé For Vogue's September Issue". Vogue. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Gibson, Kelsie (August 6, 2018). "He Published a Book". POPSUGAR Celebrity. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "Tyler Mitchell". Forbes.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Lakin, Max (July 24, 2020). "Tyler Mitchell: 'Black Beauty Is an Act of Justice'". New York Times.
  8. ^ a b Louis, Pierre-Antoine. "Tyler Mitchell Wants to Make You Feel Good". The New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Lewiis, Sophie (August 6, 2019). "Historic Beyoncé Vogue portrait will be displayed at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery". CBS News. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Prisco, Jacopo (August 6, 2019). "Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery acquires Tyler Mitchell's Beyoncé photo". CNN Style. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "The Artsy Vanguard Breakout Talents". Artsy. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  12. ^ "Tyler Mitchell". Art Partner. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "Meet 23-year Old Tyler Mitchell, 1st Black Photographer to Shoot an American Vogue Cover in 125 years!". Glazia. August 6, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  14. ^ "Labs New Artists II | Red Hook Labs". Red Hook Labs. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "2018 Aperture Summer Open: The Way We Live Now". Aperture. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  16. ^ "Tyler Mitchell - I Can Make You Feel Good | Past exhibition - Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam". Foam. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good". International Center of Photography. December 17, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  18. ^ Newbold, Alice. "Lil Miquela, Tyler Mitchell And Aquaria Join The BFC's New Wave Creatives". Vogue. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Todd, Monique. "Tyler Mitchell | Dazed". Dazed. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  20. ^ "BET DIGITAL CELEBRATES BLACK EXCELLENCE WITH NEW ORIGINAL EDITORIAL SERIES". Chicago Defender. February 7, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2020.

External links[edit]