Take a moment to stop and think about what you were up to at the age of 21. I know personally, I was somewhere down in Alabama, hanging on to graduating from college, and just content with finally being able to (legally) buy my own cheap vodka. Not that I was striving for the bare minimum, I was just clueless about the power of manifestation. Sure, aspirations and journeys happen for each of us at our own pace, but at that time, chiiiiiiile, somethings just weren't even on the menu for me.
But as for some 21-year-olds, some absolutely know the power of their own mind. Kennedi Carter, is a walking testimony to that because Carter, at the mere age of 21, is the youngest, and second black person ever, to photograph for Vogue.
And in case this isn't impressive enough for you, she shot, not one. Not two. But three covers...of Beyonce. Let that sink in.
Of the shoot, Carter said:
"It didn't feel like it was real. Some days it still doesn't feel like it actually happened. We're holding a door open currently because it's not going to be just me or [Mitchell] taking images and doing covers; it's going to be more of us."
Mitchell, being Tyler Mitchell, who was the first person who shot for Vogue in its 125-year history, and who also was chosen by Beyonce.
"I was just going with the flow. I had done a lot of research into how she works, and I had underestimated how much she's willing to submit herself to a vision and truly become someone else's muse."
A follow-up assignment for Carter consisted of sis nagging a Rolling Stone cover, featuring Summer Walker and Erykah Badu. The image donned colorful imagery of the two crooners, for a feature interview.
"We shot it in Erykah's house. It was everything I thought it would have been when you're thinking about Erykah Badu."
Did sis just refer to Queen Badu on a first name basis? I stan.
Anyway, Carter, a Dallas transplant and college student at the University of North Carolina--Greensboro, has gone from taking pictures of fine art and all things black af, to literally shooting with some of the highest-profiled celebrities and publications in the world. It's mind-boggling and ultra-impressive how she has managed to pivot to her massive portfolio.
But how did Carter even get the opportunity to shoot for British Vogue? Well, luckily for her, she comes from a generation that believes in thinking big, shooting their shot, and putting themselves out there.
Beyoncé specifically requested a black woman for the shoot, and together with British Vogue's editor-in-chief, she found Kennedi, a young, ambitious, fine arts enthusiast who frequently gravitated toward "overlooked beauties of the Black experience." But it wasn't luck, sis was placing herself in rooms, manifesting the correct energies to be seen.
Another 20-something-year-old recently did the same when he promoted his work on Twitter, just for the one and only, Oprah Winfrey to notice. She went on to offer him a job at the relaunch of O Magazine, a monumental opportunity that would have never come his way had he not taken the time to believe in himself.
Today, Kennedi is taking in the aftermath of her historic shoots, living her best creative life and representing herself for the next opportunity that arises. But for now, she says her focus is to 'create timeless work that "echo[es] the South'.
"Working from the South, there are so many people that feel like they have to move to get a good opportunity or to get put on the radar. There are stories down here that are worth hearing."
"I want people to look back on [my work] in 20 or 30 years and feel like there's some type of accurate depiction of what the mid-2000s was like."
We can't wait to see her journey take flight from here!
Feature image via Kennedi Carter/Instagram