Photographer: Jeremy Cowart
Specialty: Portraits, Celebrity, Music, Advertising
Favored Camera/Lens Brand: Canon, Hasselblad
Other Products Used: Profoto lights, Gridded Beauty Dish, Elinchrom modifiers, Fuji XPro-1, Adobe Photoshop, Capture One
Watch an incredible interview with Jeremy here:
Jeremy Cowart is one of the hottest portait photographers in the business today, and is world-renowned for his work with celebrities ranging from Taylor Swift to the Kardashians to Tim Tebow to Sting to Carrie Underwood.
He’s also a hell of a nice guy, having started the Help Portait movement, which provides free portrait photography services to the poor.
So what does Jeremy Cowart use? Let’s jump in. Note, I’ve compiled this from a variety of sources, including interviews, articles, CreativeLive and Jeremy’s excellent Lifefinder DVD.
For some of his commercial and advertising work, Jeremy uses medium-format Hasselblad systems.
For lenses, Jeremy mostly uses the standard stable of high-end L-series zooms: the 16-35mm, the 24-70mm, and the simply amazing Canon 70-200mm. However, while Canon’s 70-200mm just might be the best zoom lens on Earth aspiring photographers should avoid the 16-35mm and 24-70mm — they are both expensive and overrated.
Now, if you’re looking for a great lower-priced Canon setup for portraits, I’d go with the Canon Rebel T2i body, paired with two lenses:
The 28mm f/1.8, which is a great lens for group shots and environmental portraits. It is sharp, has great image quality, and it focuses fast and accurately, even in low light. I’d pair it with the 85mm f/1.8, which is a brilliant lens for single-person shots and closeups — super sharp with creamy bokeh. It’s also probably the most popular headshot leans on planet Earth.
Alternately, the Canon 18-135mm can work if you’re on a tught budget.
Jeremy also frequently uses the 74″ Elinchrom Octa, which is legendary for its ability to envelope a subject in soft, beautiful light. If you can’t swing the $1,000+ for that bad boy and you need big, soft light on a budget, check out the Photek Softlighter (it’s Annie Leibovitz’ favorite modifier).
Note — if you’re just getting started with lighting and off-camera flash, you can’t go wrong with Neil Van Niekerk’s Off-Camera Flash Techniques For Digital Photographers book.
Interestingly enough, like Zack Arias, Jeremy is also now using a Fuji X-Pro1, and has been regularly Tweeting and Facebooking photos made from it. It’s too early to say whether he’s dumping his Canon system.
For post-processing, Jeremy uses Phase One’s Capture One software to handle his RAW files, and Photoshop CS6 extensively for retouching, compositing, and digital art.