Portraying the resilient light found in the survivors of Hurricane Irma, Franklin resident and celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart is unveiling “Resilient Light” to raise awareness and financial support for the survivors through striking photos. Named the “Most Influential Photographer on the Internet” and known for photographing the likenesses of Sting and Emma Stone to humanitarian needs around the globe, Cowart aimed to capture the undocumented strength in the survivors of Hurricane Irma as a reminder to them and to each of us that we have what it takes to heal and rise again.
Ensuing one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in U.S. history, Cowart and a small team of six traveled to Southwest Florida to capture the undocumented strength in the survivors of Hurricane Irma. Meeting with families, wading in the waters at night to capture the photos and immersing themselves in the area, the team shot these photos in the dark of night and painted the color on the scenes to craft something beautiful out of something so catastrophic. Cowart captured all color and text in camera. No Photoshop was used in the creation of the messages. The handwritten messages of hope were originally created on the iPad Pro and then projected in thin air via pixelstick as a part of the original photographs. The quotes imposed on the images were chosen as portrayals of the resiliency that Cowart & his team witnessed within the hurricane survivors they met with.
“It all started with a simple idea,” shares Cowart. “Is it possible to turn scenes of devastation into a vessel to help the devastated?” For “Resilient Light,” Cowart used an original lighting technique that combined multiple hand-held Profoto color-gelled B1 Strobes (involving three to four crew members), 20-30 second shutter speeds and handwriting/fonts which were captured in-camera using the pixelstick.
For every print sold, ranging from $35 to $195, 100% of the proceeds will go back to the individuals and families in this community who have been displaced by hurricane damages through two organizations indigenous to the area. Guadalupe Center breaks the cycle of poverty through education in the hard-hit Everglades area where 41% of people live at or below the poverty line. “Resilient Light” will help in their hurricane relief efforts in Collier County, Fla. by assisting students, teachers and staff with temporary housing, repairs and replacement services, temporary economic assistance, food, water and supplies. “Resilient Light’s partnership will help us to depict this community of hardworking people and generate much-needed resources to help them restore their lives,” shares Dawn Montecalvo, President of the organization.
“Guadalupe Center looks forward to completing the recovery process so that our children can fully return to school and educational activities helping us continue to break the cycle of poverty through education.” For areas in Lee County, Fla. The SWFL Hurricane Irma Longterm Recovery Fund, a fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, will be the recipient of the project with proceeds to help people hardest hit in this county. “Often social change is highlighted through the arts,” explains Sarah Owen, president & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “By the work of Jeremy Cowart lending his eye and talent to translate the devastation into photographs, people can relate to the humanitarian efforts needed to help those most greatly affected by Hurricane Irma here.” To support these organizations through purchasing the photos, visit www.ResilientLight.com.