South Philadelphia native makes history for Vanity Fair

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A South Philadelphia native is sharing the spotlight with a famous face on the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Quil Lemons, 23, made history this month becoming the youngest photographer to shoot Vanity Fair's lead image.

Yes, he's the man behind the lens of the magazine's March issue, which hit stands last week. The cover girl is Billie Eilish.

He says he looked at all of Eilish's previous covers so that he could make his art for the issue stand out.

It's something he says he learned while a student at Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Center City Philadelphia.

"This has been the one thing that I've wanted to do since I was 15," he said. "When I was in C.H.A.D, me and my friends would go to the Barnes & Noble every day and pick up a different magazine. So now it's like, I've been crossing off all the magazines I've been picking up."

Lemons' work includes photographing stars like Spike Lee, and has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, and Allure. His work has even been displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

While he says this is just the beginning, he admits his biggest accomplishment will be how he can open the door for those who follow.

"I'm just being myself and I think that's the one thing that I really want to drill down to anyone who is looking up to me, just be authentic," he said. "You can really just do what you want, and not a lot of young black kids get to hear that. Just do it!"
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.