- The Artist
THIS IS HIS STORY.
Introducing, a artist. a lover of people. a visual creator. a man who inspires.
1. What is your name and where are you from?
J - My name is Jelani Thompson, but my artist name is Noah Bility. I've always been an uptown kid. Started in Harlem and then moved to the Bronx where I now reside.
2. When did you realize that you had a passion for photography ?
J - It started with Instagram. I didn't feel as though I was good at it. I enjoyed taking photos of things that I thought were cool and interesting. Over time, I realized that I had a love for taking portraits. That is when I realized my love for photography. I would charge next to nothing for shoots because it was something that I loved doing.
3. What inspires you to create ? What is your creative process like?
J - Life does. Human interaction. It's why I gravitate towards portrait photography more than anything. People and animals are very expressive and full of life. It just makes too much sense.
The creative process with my photography is pretty simple. I build with the subject for a while, we walk around for a bit, talk about whatever comes to mind, and we capture images along the way. After that's wrapped up, the urge to run home and edit hits me. Editing has to be the other aspect that I really love. It's the time where you really get to sculpt an image. My goal is never to change the integrity of the image, but to enhance what's already there. The magic is is all in the initial shot. So when I'm home hunched over my Macbook, I'm just trying to bring things out a bit more. It's pretty simple.
4. What do you hope to accomplish as a photographer this year or in the future ?
J - The future is something I try not to stress too much because I just don't know what will happen. What I can do is take the best photos that I can take right now. I'll continue to experiment with my editing style, and hopefully more doors will open. If I can say one thing, though. I'd love to have a gallery showing some time soon, but, again, I have no idea when that will be.
5. How has photography influenced your journey as a man ?
J - Heavy question. I've been told that I can capture people's soul in a photo. Not in a strange dark magic kind of way. More so in an expressive and honest way. I feel that photography has taught me to look further into people's energy. That's so important. We come across people everyday. Even the ones we may share public transportation with for short bursts at a time. It's all energy that we encounter. They may influence us and vice versa. For me, the interest of capturing people in their element, or at their most honest, is something that definitely stems from photography. I thank God for blessing me with vision.
6. What do you want others to gather from your visuals ? What is the message that you hope to send ?
J - I've never really thought about that. Mainly because I'm still relatively new to this. According to Facebook, I've been a serious photographer for a little over a year now. That's baby steps. I'm still gathering things from other artists myself, you know? If anything, I'd hope I can pass on some form of inspiration to just go out and see the world in a different way.
7. If you could work with any photographer of the past or present, who would you choose?
J - I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest photography buff just yet. I'm getting there. I've had brief talks with fellow photographers like King Texas who definitely know their stuff. He'll drop names that I've never heard before. Just constantly putting me on game about some heavy hitters in the world of photography. As of right now I'd I had to choose someone of the past, it would probably be Vivian Maier. Seeing her work just showed that no idea is original. Her photos are what some Instagramers today try so hard to emulate. Her selfie game is strong, also. Present day photographers that I pay attention to are usually close friends or associates. Dondre Green, Jack Sommer, King Texas, Temi Coker, Deun Ivory, Lauren Zoë, Eric Ward, and the list goes on. Hopefully that answered the question.
MEET THE VISUAL CREATOR
Jelani, primarily known as Noah Bility is a visual storyteller based in the heart of New York City. His work reflects the beauty of people around him. Noah Bility, captures the essence of authentic and genuine human interaction while still remaining to showcase the beauty of the environment. Each photograph holds a story that needs to be told. Each photograph speaks of the importance of everyday life in a way that is all his own.
Connect with Noah Bility here