We stopped Jeremy Cowart to ask him a few questions…Here is what he had to say about:
If you showed up at a photo shoot and all of your modifiers were missing, except for one, which would you hope it would be?
My beauty dish with grid. I just love it. I love the shape it gives, the focus, the catch light, the mood. It usually accomplishes all of that at once, which most other modifiers can’t do. And clients like to hear that you’re about to give them the “beauty” dish. Everyone wants to be beautiful.
Which do you prefer to work with on location: off-camera flashes or strobes with battery packs?
I always work with Profoto and am a pretty hardcore Profoto guy. Those things are crazy rugged, quick, and easy to use. I’ve taken my small Profoto AcuteB 600R pack around the world to over 18 countries. We’ve beat it to death, especially on a recent Haiti trip, and that thing keeps cranking out the flashes. It’s amazing actually. And they’re not paying me to say that. I really am a huge fan of their products.
When you shoot off-camera flash, do you use Manual mode or TTL?
Is there a particular lighting accessory that you use a lot these days?
Yeah, it all comes back to the beauty dish with grid. I started using my ring flash a bit, too. It can get really cliché and obvious, but I like using it with off-camera light. Sometimes it can be really unpredictable off camera, and you know I love to explore.
If you could go back to the beginning of your career and tell yourself something about lighting, what would it be?
Ignore the rules! Classes on lighting are great but ultimately you don’t always have to do what others tell you to do. The goal should be to think outside of the box and just play. That’s the beauty of digital. You can see your results instantly and change it up. Always, always change it up and discover new techniques.
What’s the average number of flashes (or strobes) you use for a location portrait shoot?
I always order six strobes at the minimum. I’d say as a key light, a couple kickers, and two to three lights to change the look of the background environment is probably average for me.
Editor’s Note: Jeremy has a great website. If you want to see more from Jeremy the man, check him out over there. If you want more of Jeremy the teacher – we have just what you need. My favorite is when Matt Kloscowski join’s Jeremy on this shoot for the Eli Young Band. And there are more! Check them all out.