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FunTimes Magazine

Up-and-coming African American photographers

Jun 11, 2023 02:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

Image: Photographers Tyler Mitchell (Wikimedia Commons) and Joshua Kissi (Wikimedia Commons)

Photography has always been a potent tool for self-expression and narrative. It can capture moments, evoke emotions, and challenge societal standards. 

Photographers from all backgrounds have contributed to the profession, bringing distinct insights and storylines. 

A new generation of great African American photographers has arisen in recent years, making tremendous gains and achieving recognition for their remarkable work.

The world of photography has seen an enormous boom in talent and originality in recent years, with African American photographers taking center stage. 

These extraordinary artists are transforming the visual environment by presenting fresh viewpoints, celebrating diversity, defying stereotypes, and capturing the essence of the African American experience. 

This article will spotlight a group of emerging African American photographers establishing a name for themselves in the art world, showcasing their distinct techniques, strong storylines, and contributions to the business.

Tyler Mitchell:

Tyler Mitchell is one of the most well-known names on our list, and his ability was recognized internationally when he became the first African American photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue magazine in 2018. Mitchell's art frequently addresses issues of identity, ethnicity, and youth culture, reflecting the beauty and resilience of the African diaspora. Vivid colors, intimate settings, and youthful enthusiasm distinguish his images. Mitchell's photography defies conventional beauty standards and pushes the boundaries of depiction.

Image: Adidas x Wale Bonner by Tyler Mitchell. Source:

Ronan Mckenzie:

Ronan Mckenzie is an emerging artist whose work highlights the beauty of blackness, femininity, and community. Her images frequently depict private moments and unashamed displays of self, emphasizing the stories of black women. Mckenzie's unusual style blends fashion, portraiture, and documentary photography, capturing the soul of her subjects in a raw and honest manner. Her work has appeared in prestigious publications such as Vogue and The New Yorker.

Image: Photography by Ronan Mckenzie. Source:

Joshua Kissi:

Joshua Kissi is a photographer based in New York and the co-founder of the creative agency TONL. Kissi's work focuses on chronicling people of color's tales and experiences, showing their strength, joy, and ordinary moments. He has worked with well-known businesses such as Apple, Google, and Adidas and has used his position to advocate for better inclusion and diversity in the industry. Kissi's photographs are distinguished by their spectacular compositions, vibrant hues, and a real connection with his subjects.

Image: Portrait of Lynn Nottage by Joshua Kissi. Source:

Adrienne Raquel:

Adrienne Raquel is a multidisciplinary artist whose photography straddles fashion, fine art, and still life. Her photographs are vivid and aesthetically rich, with solid colors, amusing settings, and a hint of surrealism. Raquel's art is noted for highlighting the beauty of black women, questioning social norms, and redefining beauty standards. Her engaging portfolio has piqued clients' interest, such as Nike, Gucci, and Refinery29, allowing her distinct perspective to reach a larger audience.

Image: Photography by Adrienne Raquel. Source:

These are just a handful of the great young African American photographers revolutionizing the profession and challenging the status quo. 

Their work emphasizes the value of varied voices and narratives in photography, providing a new perspective on African American culture, identity, and experiences. 

As these photographers' reputations and portfolios grow, they encourage future generations to pursue their artistic passions and tear down boundaries. 

These photographers' efforts improve the art form and pave the way for a more inclusive and representative business.

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 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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