When Beyoncé served on the cover of the September issue of Vogue, all the black girls and boys out there felt a moment of being seen. However, this moment was different, because it wasn't just Beyoncé on the cover, it was the first issue of Vogue that a Black photographer had shot in the entire 126-year history of the publication. Yep, you read the right.
Had Beyoncé not used her influence by insisting that Tyler Mitchell, 23, photograph her for the cover, who knows how long the publication would have gone before ever giving thought to hiring a Black photographer for a shoot. While triumphant in the end, it begged the question, What the heck is up with that? 126 years?
And yes, while there have been slow and subtle (and not so subtle) changes to the changing landscape, it's extremely frustrating to think for a second that there would be no Black photographers "qualified" enough for a Vogue cover. To prove our point, here are black photographers that you should know, like, now:
Jarrod is a photographer whose work you've definitely seen before. Based in NYC, Jarrod's work plays up lifestyle and portrait photography that definitely belongs in a museum (or a magazine).
Anunaka plays up on analog and digital photography, featuring photos, video, and audio segments on her Instagram.
Lisa Marie is a lifestyle and portrait photographer who literally embodies all things Black and Black girl magic in her work.
Porsha Antalan's work isn't new to many, mostly because the founder and contributor to Brwn Stock Imaging has worked to ensure that stock photography isn't so white-washed. She's Atlanta-based, and specializes in fashion and commercial work.
Serrandon is a Los Angeles-based photographer, videographer, and director whose work honestly speaks for and of itself. There's color, there's art, there's visuals, it's just something you have to see to believe.
With the goal of "captur[ing] beauty to inspire," Lyra is certainly here and slayin' for the aesthetics. Her various works show the beauty of naturalness, but also the definition of high editorial impact and how black is, by nature's own divine way, art in itself.
Spencer Charles is no stranger to capturing black women in their most vulnerable forms. Nudity becomes the art that it was meant to be underneath his watchful eye. He dabbles in all sorts of visual art, but his strength is the delicate balance he strikes between sensual and sexual.
Paige Ricks is based out in the Oakland/Los Angeles region, and to call her work art is such an understatement. Scroll through her IG feed and you will see all things black, vibrant, and colorful.
Jasmine, known as Jassieuo on IG, has a colorful feed that highlights her unique eye and perspective for the lense. Honestly, it's black girl magic overload, so just beware when you head in — you may never want to leave.
Victor is a Nigerian photographer whose work centers around Blackness and the Black experience. Scroll through his IG feed to see various examples of melanated magic, but also the rich and multi-faceted variations of what it means to be 'Black'.
Erika is a DMV based photographer who considers herself to be an artist first and foremost. Her thoughtful captures, documenting life in its many forms, carry an intimacy that is bound to make you connected to what she sees.
Who are some photographers on the scene that you think we should be on the watch for? Share their links below!
Featured image by Erika Layne Photo