Meet The Collective Fueling NYC's Rising Black Creatives

Meet The Collective Fueling NYC's Rising Black Creatives


Meet The Collective Fueling NYC's Rising Black Creatives

The Black-owned creative agency on the birth of their studio in Brooklyn, providing a space for black artists and creatives to exist, and what the future holds for BLANC STUDIOS NY.

The Black-owned creative agency on the birth of their studio in Brooklyn, providing a space for black artists and creatives to exist, and what the future holds for BLANC STUDIOS NY.

Text: Kala Herh

Brooklyn just got a whole lot cooler. Earlier this summer, a new photography studio space opened in Williamsburg. Sydney Shaw, Tyre Thwaites and Jeremy Mitchell are the creatives behind Blanc Studios, a Black-owned collective and photography studio that offers a space for creatives to flourish and execute their imagery. 

“Our goal as a studio and agency is to help other people create their vision and bring that vision to life,” said Mitchell as Shaw and Thwaites sat by his side. Natural light fills their 825-square ft studio space at all times of the day. Not to mention, Blanc Studios, just as their name suggests, is completely white – from the walls to the floors. The all-white interior only serves to brighten and enhance the room’s sophistication even more. Just a couple of minutes off the L, Shaw shared the space is perfect for not only photo and video shoots, but also small events such as art gallery setups, event mixers and brand pop-ups. Since their inception in December, several notable photographers, such as Noémie Marguerite and Tyler Henry, and their respective celebrity muses (Nick Creegan and Emmie Nielsen) have graced the studio   

When we asked them about the meaning behind their name, the trio laughed and said that it was one of their biggest obstacles. After a couple of weeks going back and forth, they ultimately decided Blanc for its pure and clean slate connotations. “Blanc means white in French,” shared Shaw. “And our space is a white blank canvas – a blank canvas for you to come in and create what you want to create.” 

We sat down with the team to learn about their inspirations and aspirations for Blanc – which you can read below. 

V MAGAZINE: I would love to know the origins of Blanc Studios. What is your background? 

JEREMY MITCHELL: My background is my creative background is photography. I'm a full time photographer, part time influencer. I've been doing this for about 10 years. I started around 2010. 10 years later, I open up a studio with my friends (Sydney and Ty) and pretty much taking what I do for myself and just doing it in a broader landscape with these guys.

TYRE THWAITES: So I've been on photography for the last like three years. Just working with Jeremy, learning from him, learning from other creatives, practicing my craft, getting better and working, like I said, with different creatives. And before you know it, launched Blanc studios. 

SYDNEY SHAW: I guess I'm the newest photographer out of the three of us. I started about a year and a half ago, and I started with film. And I gradually came into digital. And like these two said, I'm learning from them, they're more seasoned. And, you know, just trying to find my niche in photography. I feel like they are both already know their niche and I'm still finding mine. But I also manage this space in terms of the business and clientele and bookings. 

JM: We would be a mess without her. 

SS: [laughs] So yeah, that's my other role here. But we all bring our different strengths to this team.

VM: So how did you guys connect and ultimately decide to found a studio? 

SS: It was a very quick decision and quick process, we kind of were just shooting in a studio one day, and putting out money to shoot in various studios across the city and just thought about it, like, "Why don't we open our own? Instead of paying everyone else to do it? Why don't we just open our own." And we were all down for it. I looked up some spaces. And honestly, the first space we saw is what we went for. And from there, it worked out like just way, way easier than we thought it would, in terms of clients coming in and, you know, spending money to work here. We've been able to maintain it through that. So it's been good. 

VM: And can you briefly describe your mission statement and what you hope to achieve with this space you’re providing creatives? 

TT: One of our missions, is to start an agency. You know, just by having a studio by itself, we see and meet so many people. So as far as projects, we can bring people together and create projects. That's one of the goals for Blanc Studios. 

JM: I'm just trying to just do a lot of creative direction, art direction, anything involved in the creative field for other people, for brands. Our goal as a studio and agency is to help other people create their vision, bring the vision to life as a collective.

VM: Cool - and the meaning behind naming it Blanc Studios? 

SS: [laughs] That’s what took us a long time to figure out. 

JM: It took us like a whole two weeks to figure out. 

SS: That’s not even a very long time compared to some other people. But for the pace at which we wanted to open it, it felt like forever. And we needed the name in order to get all the business paperwork in order. But Blanc means white in French. And our space is a white blank canvas; a blank canvas for you to come in and create what you want to create. So that's kind of the backstory behind that.

V: That’s beautiful. And how did you guys decide on East Williamsburg? 

JM: The amount of creative people that surround us, like the moment you step outside the studio. Even within this building alone, everyone has their own form of creativity. You have music artists, you have actual artists, painting, videographers, film photographers. And once you step outside the studio -- everything you want in terms of culture, diversity, restaurants, shopping. In terms of the studio space, this place -- the lighting in here is immaculate. You can't beat that lighting. Like the way the sun hits the windows. 

V: And Sydney was there anything that drew your attention immediately? 

SS: Well, we had shot in this building before at another studio. That's kind of what made me look into it. And I did not see the space beforehand, we kind of all came in and the super kind of just showed us whatever was available. And like Jeremy said, the lighting is the first thing that caught our attention, like the sun hits so beautifully in here. It's west facing. So you know, when the sun sets, it's like golden hour, sunsets are beautiful. It's not humongous, but it's like sufficient for everyone. I feel like everyone that walks in, is surprised by the size as well. So that's kind of what made us fall in love with it.

V: What are your future plans for the studio? Immediate and longterm? 

SS: Movie studios. We want humongous studio spaces where people can create. 

JM: Like Sydney said earlier this is moderate, good size. But we want to be able to allow other creatives to fully flourish into creative ideas. The smallest size can't really do much with a small -- I mean, this is not small at all, but you're limited. So the bigger the space, the more options you have.

For more on Blanc Studios NY, click here 



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