Apple spotlights Vogue‘s first Black cover photographer in brilliant Mac ad

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Tyler Mitchell Mac ad
New ad shines a spotlight on talented up-and-coming photographer.
Photo: Apple

When I think back to the Mac ads that have been my favorite over the years, it’s the ones that show everyday users (albeit frequently exceptionally talented ones) using Apple products that really stand out.

A celebrity-filled ad that makes you laugh is all well and great, but the ads that demonstrate how Apple products can help to create art or empower ordinary people are some of the most powerful ones. Which is why the latest “Behind the Mac” ad is my favorite 2020 commercial so far.

Check it out.

As noted, when I write “everyday users” I’m still talking about exceptionally talented individuals. The star of this ad is photographer Tyler Mitchell. Brooklyn-based Mitchell is most famous for shooting the Vogue cover image of Beyoncé at the age of 23. But despite this star-studded resume, Mitchell’s ad is all about how photographic technology has been democratized. He was born in 1995, just as digital cameras were a few years from really taking off.

(This isn’t Mitchell’s first time working with Apple. He was a judge in an Apple photography contest earlier this year picking the best night-based photographs.)

The only Apple product shown in the ad is his MacBook Pro. The results, shot in gorgeous black and white in his apartment, feel far more honest than the majority of commercials depicting people using gadgets. Most of us will never be one-hundredth as good a photographer as Mitchell. But we still get to try — and that’s something that wasn’t possible for everyone in the days before Photoshop, digital cameras, and the like.

Great work, Apple!