Kennedi Carter has become the youngest photographer to ever shoot for British Vogue. She had the highest honor of shooting Beyoncé for three covers of the magazine.
She is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in African American studies.
Carter was handpicked by British Vogue Editor, Edward Enninful after Beyoncé specifically requested a woman of color to be her photographer.
Carter expresses how it felt to shoot the iconic, American singer, Beyoncé.
“It felt like it dropped out of the sky. I’m 21… I haven’t really had many opportunities like this.”
She also talked to British Vogue about how she kept her nerves at bay and just fully enjoyed the experience. She made sure to thoroughly research Beyoncé and was astonished by how much control she was given on the shoot.
“I had underestimated how much she’s willing to submit herself to a vision and truly become someone else’s muse,” Carter said.
The Vogue cover was done back in August and lasted two days. The styling was done by Enniful and the creative director, Kwasi Fordjour.
Carter noticed Beyoncé had good energy throughout the entire shoot. During the shoot, the singer would always make sure that Carter felt comfortable.
“I was just going with the flow,” Carter explained. “She was just so, so nice…Plus she’s from Texas. So she has that energy.”
The UNCG student has a lot of respect for Beyoncé because she has been able to control her own narrative from such a young age.
“It’s really amazing that she’s using her influence to be able to give young artists this experience and allowing their voices to be heard. She’s opening the door for others,” said Carter.
The Durham native is still in shock that she has had so many opportunities, in just a few years, at such a young age. Carter knew that photography was going to be her main career, but she didn’t expect to find success this soon.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to do something at this level unless I was older, with many years in the game. This is for people at the pinnacle of their careers.”
At age 21, Carter has had a self-portrait featured in the New York Times, shot portraits of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace for GQ, and was honored on the British Journal of Photography’s 2020 “Ones to Watch list.”
On her website, Carter explains her work as “the aesthetics & sociopolitical aspects of Black life as well as the overlooked beauties of the Black experience: skin, texture, trauma, peace, love, and community.” Her photos show Black people in simple settings but shot sophisticatedly.
Although she is still young, Carter seems to have an amazing ability to keep her composure in the wake of her growing success. When asked by Vogue what did she do after the shoot, she said “I just got home, got into bed, and went to sleep.”