Fashion lovers and the Hive alike hit nirvana in 2018, as Tyler Mitchell became the first Black photographer to shoot a cover of American Vogue, immortalizing the already iconic Beyoncé in a series of portraits which marked the next evolution of the homespun elegance she’d evoked in 2016's Lemonade. One of his portraits of the star was acquired by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery for its permanent collection in 2019, and Mitchell was subsequently awarded the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship in 2020, an honor “which supports projects that reflect and draw inspiration from Parks’ central themes of representation and social justice,” according to a press release provided to The Root. His second book, I Can Make You Feel Good, was released earlier in 2021 as “a celebration of his distinctive vision of a Black utopia.”
Now, the 2019 The Root Young Futurist—who has since collaborated with H&M, Calvin Klein, Prada, Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy and Nike and the Wall Street Journal, among others, is bringing his skill and wunderkind insight to MasterClass, to “teach a class on storytelling through portrait photography.”
More from the press release:
In his MasterClass, Mitchell will share an intimate look at his creative process, teaching members the basics of creating inspiring portraits using their unique personal perspectives and any camera available.
For members shooting with a film camera for the first time or the smartphone in their pocket, Mitchell’s MasterClass will offer a behind-the-scenes look at his artistic approach, sharing the basics of creating inspiring portraits that tell a story. Demonstrating how to shoot both indoors and outdoors, Mitchell will teach members the fundamentals of lighting and how to shape and control natural light to create strong frames. He will also take members into the studio to offer a firsthand look at his editing process and the steps he takes to achieve the best possible photos. Members will learn not only basic photography skills such as lighting and composition, but also will develop an eye for finding the right camera, art directing, discovering a creative community online and working with models to create inspired, professional-looking images. Mitchell will also share how he translates important themes into concrete images, while inviting members to find their own story and unique voice. Members will leave the class empowered to take better photos and create poignant portraits of their own.
“My work is inspired by wanting to make images that reflect my experiences,” Mitchell said in a statement. “As a young artist myself, it’s always been important to me to share and to make accessible the information I’ve learned on my journey. I hope that my MasterClass will help members take these lessons and apply them to their own lives and experiences behind the lens.”
“As one of the best photographers in the world, Tyler is reshaping the lens through which we see culture today,” said founder and CEO of MasterClass, David Rogier. “In his MasterClass, he not only shares his process but shows members that they are already equipped with everything they need to take meaningful pictures—an eye, a personal story and any camera.”
Mitchell’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 100+ instructors with an annual membership.