In our latest First Take series, TIME speaks with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas about what makes a great photograph.
“Whoever is holding the frame is actually creating the story,” he says. “What makes a great photographer is their ability to actually find that thing again and again.”
Thomas’s life work focuses on identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His advertising mockups, which often incorporate recognizable icons into his work from well-known brands, question generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity.