I came across Nabil’s Instagram (@nvbilll) feed a little over 6 months ago. At first when I started following him, I had no clue he was a local Jersey City kid (anyone in their early 20’s are kids to me now), I thought he was this huge Morrocain photographer residing in the New York City area. I was obviously wrong, and realized it when I saw #jerseycity. I commented on one of his pictures and said “Let’s work”. Does that make me creepy? I digress.
For our first shoot we decided to do a streetwear/sneaker style theme and we met at the Warehouse Cafe area in Downtown Jersey City. As soon as we started, we connected right away, I felt so comfortable shooting with him that I was able to get out of my comfort zone and try different things I normally wouldn’t even attempt. The pictures came out awesome! I think I published almost all of them! Since then we’ve worked together on fashion shoots, interviews, red carpets and he even joined me on an epic JC Fridays.
I love Nabil, he is so sweet, talented, easy to work with and he makes anyone and everyone look like superstars. It was time to turn the tables on him! We went to a secret spot to shoot and also shoot to shit…. He nails it every time!!
What’s your name? Nabil.
What do you do? I’m a photographer.
How long have you been a photographer? For about a year.
How did you get into it? I started going around with my iPhone just taking random pictures and bought a camera on day and from there that was it.
How did you learn everything? By myself, self-taught, seeing other people’s stuff. You always see someone’s work and you’re just like, “How can I do that?” So I started doing that looked on YouTube and I started doing it myself.
But your pictures are so good; I could never imagine that you were only doing it for a year. What are your favorite things to shoot? I like candids a lot and portraits because it’s cool getting someone to pose, but then when you get someone’s true emotion when they think no one’s looking, it’s always amazing. You’d be surprised the reaction you get from people.
So tell me a little bit more about your work and what you shoot. So besides portraits and candids, I do fashion photography. So with that I usually get regular brands and freestyle it, I just put my own touch into it.
How would you define your style of photography? It’s pretty hard, I usually just mix stuff. I like to play with motion a lot and multiple exposures and I just try to bring that to fashion because if you just shoot a person walking, sometimes it gets boring after a while, you gotta go spice it up.
What else do you do besides photography? I also do brand consulting, so pretty much when a brand just needs new content and stuff I just create it, freestyle it.
Are you working with any local brands? In the future I’m supposed to work with a few street wear brands…
You’re doing CHICpeaJC stuff. Of course.
How’s that been? It’s been fun, you know? You ever meet a person and you start clicking immediately? It’s great.
So what are your future plans? I want to start my own marketing company. So kind of what I do just on a bigger scale and with more people and I want to try to start local, you know? You gotta try to give back.
Where do you live now? I live on West Side.
How do you feel Jersey City has changed in the past couple of years? It’s great; it’s kind of got this cool hipster vibe. Before you wouldn’t see a lot of people around with cameras, they were kind of scared to be around here. But now, I just did a MeetUp last week, it was InvadeJC, 20 people with cameras just shooting.
What did you guys do? Walked around, found places, took pictures.
Of each other? Of each other, stuff around us. It was great man.
How often is this InvadeJC? This is the second one I think, this is the first one I’ve been to, but it was great. I definitely can’t wait for more.
That’s cool, you meet a lot of photographers in Jersey City. Yeah, it’s crazy, a year ago I would’ve never thought.
And you find all these cool places—Like this.
This is awesome, I love this. What is your favorite Jersey City hangout spot? Lately it’s been Porta. I just tried Kraverie, it was fricken awesome. For shopping, Prosper, obviously because I like the stuff.
What are you wearing now? Right now, I’m not Prosper’d out; usually I am like on another day. This is Uniqlo and H&M.
You’re really stylish. I try, I try.
So what inspires you? Just the world, you can just be in this place and kind of imagine what it used to be like and I just like to capture it in its realness. So like I’d see this puddle right here and instead of shooting straight ahead, I’d shoot the reflection. You know? It’s great. The world is an amazing place and people just don’t think of it like that.
And when you’re a photographer you can sit and capture a moment. Yeah, it’s crazy, I’ve been here my whole life, but only a year ago I started exploring it. I was close-minded and then I was like, “Whoa.” Especially with CHICpea, I met so many people, it’s crazy. You guys will see me around, you’ll find me.