Profile: Raven B. Varona (1990-)

Raven B. Varona is an American photographer. She is best known for serving as the official photographer for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 2018 On the Run II Tour, for which she was nominated an iHeartRadio award.

Life and career

Varona was born and raised in the Bronx. She is of Black and Italian descent. Varona received her bachelor’s degree from New York University.

She took a photography class in high school, and continued to shoot as a hobby during college.

After college Varona began working full-time as a receptionist at a real estate agency, while taking photography jobs on the side. In 2015 she quit her job to pursue a full-time career in photography. Later that year, she met Future through a professional connection and was hired to be his lifestyle photographer. She shot his Purple Reign tour. Varona has since photographed rappers such as Kanye West, Drake, Rick Ross, Cardi B, and Migos.  She has also worked with Bombay Sapphire.

In 2019, Varona rose to wider prominence when she became the official photographer for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run II Tour. After sending a Tweet to Jay-Z asking to photograph him, one of Jay-Z’s producers contacted her, which led to her being hired for OTRII.

She is planning to exhibit her first solo show in 2020.

Artistry

Varona stated in an interview that she pulls inspiration from film. Of her artistry, she seeks to “celebrate the borough she’s from and the people and places that shaped her” through her work.

Varona has spoken about the scarcity of Black women photographers and her desire to serve as a role model.

Personal life

Varona resides in the Bronx.

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