In 2018, Tyler Mitchell photographed Beyoncé in a provocative pose while she leaned on a white pillar, her shapely booty sticking on in the air. The photographer was only 23 at the time.
Now that image, which landed inside Vogue last September, will hang in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. However, even before the image found a new home, Mitchell was in awe about creating the photograph. He talked to Vogue last fall about his experience with the superstar.
“When she sat down for me there was immediately the kind of comfort level you’d have with a friend, which was quite unexpected. You’d imagine someone as famous as Beyoncé to be protective of her image, but she was really an open book—and that’s exactly what you want as a photographer.”
Apparently, that good feeling made Beyoncé shine even more than usual. On his August 6 Instagram update, Mitchell mentioned her with regard to the photograph’s new move to the revered gallery in Washington, D.C.
In the soon-to-be internationally famous portrait, Bey is wearing a super-wild hat probably made of metal that resembles a delicate mid-century wall clock that has missing parts. The headpiece also looks a bit like a crown in the picture in which Queen Bey has had her long golden hair braided.
As she leans her hands on her chin, Beyoncé’s famous face rocks subtle makeup, including a swipe of nude lipstick. She wears a sleeveless gold lamé dress, its rough metallic fibers creating a rippling effect. Her fit right arm shows strength as she leans on the white pillar, which has been dressed in an array of artificial flowers.
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A year ago today we broke the flood gates open. Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down. And now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection
Mitchell made history last year as the first African American photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue with Bey. He also made the magazine’s cover again when he shot Zendaya’s portrait for this year’s May issue.
During her Vogue issue photoshoot, Beyoncé was surrounded by her three children on set.
Meanwhile, Bey talked about her life in her 2018 Vogue article that also explored her body and her heritage. The piece was examined by Entertainment Tonight in the video above.
Beyoncé admitted she had significant issues while pregnant with her twins, including weighing in at 218 pounds and also being put on bed rest. Sir and Rumi were delivered via emergency C-section in June 2017 due to complications, after which time the babies spent many weeks in the NICU.
Bey also talked about wanting to include “a more inclusive culture for her kids.”
She especially wants her daughters to see themselves “in books, in movies and on runways.”
All this is coming true as diversity hits every aspect of life, including in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery where Beyonce’s image will live on as part of the permanent collection in those hallowed halls.