Never Allow Other’s Opinions To Stop Your Creativity
Here at 2BReal, we are all about analyzing trends in what’s taking place in the Kingdom
2BRealMagazine was birthed to celebrate great content, great people and great businesses that are representing the Christian faith loud and proud. We pray that this series will be an inspiration to our readers not just here in the UK, but around the world and that the people’s lives will touch hearts, speak passion to birth purpose to everyone.
James C. Lewis is an International Photographer and the CEO of Noire3000 | N3K Photo Studios. The American photographer who has been in business for over 10 years created a series that has blown us away.
Icons of the Bible is a moment captured in time of some of the most well known and loved people in the Bible. What makes this collection of art even more valuable is that James recognised the importance of representation and decided to do something about it.
Because of how relevant this collection is for the culture, there was no way I could not let this opportunity to speak to the man behind the Icons of the Bible slip away. So enjoy! And be inspired.
2BReal: What ignited the passion to become a photographer?
JCL: My passion for photography was ignited at age 10 when my late Dad, an amateur photographer, allowed me to play around with his camera. I quickly discovered that I had a very deep interest in photography.
2BReal: Why was it important for you to expand your creativity into Noire3000/N3K Photo Studios?
JCL: It is important to expand my creativity into my company in order to use my photography to change the perspective of others about People of colour. I also feel that the younger generation needs to see powerful and positive iconography of themselves and all of the great People of Color that came before them.
2BReal: How has your journey as a creative director, business owner and entrepreneur developed you as a person?
JCL: My journey as a creative director, business owner and entrepreneur has greatly developed my leadership skills as well as my drive to achieve ultimate success!!
2BReal: What has been a memorable moment thus far as an international photographer?
JCL: The most memorable moment for me as an International Photographer was my 2016 photo exhibition in Paris, France. There a 9yr old Black young man walked up to me with is a camera and asked could he take my picture. I responded “Of course you can” to which he replied, “Hopefully one day I can be a great photographer like you”. It literally brought tears to my eyes because I saw my 9yr old self in him. Not to mention the honour of knowing I was his inspiration. I will never forget that experience…it was by far the most EPIC moment for me thus far.
2BReal: What has been some of the challenges you have faced in building your brand?
JCL: Some of the challenges I have faced while building my brand have been the naysayers and those that don’t understand my creativity on certain projects. For example, my naked black justice campaign series received some criticism from those that felt I was exploiting Black people by photographing them with powerful, painted messages of affirmation on their naked bodies. Although no nudity was shown and all private parts were completely covered…they still felt the need to voice opposition prior to taking the time to look at the message behind the series.
2BReal: You created a breathtaking photography series called “Icons of The Bible”. What was the inspiration behind it all?
JCL: The inspiration behind my ICONS OF THE BIBLE SERIES was pretty simple. I wanted to show another version of these biblical personalities that looked like me and other People of Color. Not to mention my depictions are more inclusive and historically accurate in my personal opinion. The ultimate spin was that I used absolutely no Caucasians in this series. I only used Blacks (from the US and around the world), Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, Indians, and all other People of Color. Surprisingly my series has been well received by Caucasians which completely blew me away!
2BReal: Why was it important for you to create, develop and capture a different representation for the Icons of The Bible series?
JCL: It was important for me to create, develop and capture a different representation for my ICONS OF THE BIBLE SERIES solely because I felt we People of Color needed to be represented. Funny that we have been whitewashed from most history books and replaced with a false narrative that I intend on changing for the upcoming generation.
2BReal: What has the reactions been like since the exhibition release of the Icons of The Bible series?
JCL: The reaction from the release of my ICONS OF THE BIBLE SERIES has been overwhelmingly phenomenal. I have had many Seminaries, Universities, Churches and Schools (High, Middle and Elementary) to reach out to me in regards to having permission to use my imagery to teach from. I was honoured to actually speak at a few churches and institutions of higher learning about my series as well.
2BReal: For some who may be inspired by what you do and want to also begin their career as an international photographer, what would be your advice for them in starting out?
JCL: My advice to anyone that has been inspired by me to pursue a career as a photographer: Never allow other’s opinions to stop your creativity. Always follow your passion to capture the world as you see it. You are your own paintbrush and canvas. Remember there is somebody out there waiting to be inspired by your gift the same way I may have possibly inspired you!