Jeremy Cowart Makes Creative Use of Light for Moody Portraits

All photos by Jeremy Cowart. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Lighting is a crucial component of impressive portrait photography, so it pays to know the different lighting techniques to get the job done. Once you’ve mastered these, however, you’ll begin to think of different ways to break the rules and let creativity take the reins. To help inspire and give you some ideas, we present one of the recent color portraits by Nashville-based photographer and artist Jeremy Cowart. If you like your portraits with a generous helping of colors, we’re sure you’ll find this collection eye-catching.

Cowart recently photographed Indie-Folk husband-wife duo Edward and Jane Carpenter in a dreamy and mostly vibrant style using a Canon EOS 5D with 85mm f1.2 lens. According to him, all the effects we see in these photos were all done in-camera, with only RAW processing color applied using Capture One Pro. The most striking aspect of these portraits is definitely his creative use of color and light to create an experimental and dramatic mood. This is complemented by the various effects he most likely produced using filters or objects like prisms and reflective items.

It’s easy to see how Cowart’s portraits of Edward and Jane break the rules of conventional lighting techniques. However, this style also proves that experimenting and getting creative often lead to pretty cool and impressive results. The combination of colorful lighting, dramatic shadows, and psychedelic effects can be especially useful for conceptual photography or out-of-the-box portrait projects. But there’s no doubt that it also works well for adding an artful touch even to the simplest and most straightforward portraits.

So, if you’re out of ideas for your next portrait project, you might want to take some pointers from Cowart’s example.

Check out Jeremy Cowart’s website, Instagram, and Behance portfolio to see more of his portrait projects and stay updated with his work.