Between Hurricane Maria, Irma, and Harvey, the 2017 Hurricane season was one of the most devastating in U.S. history. With the death toll at 196 people, millions of families and businesses in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories lost power, running water, and were displaced from their homes. The long-term impact of these storms has continued, and the cost of rebuilding is still incalculable.
As victims of the storms were still assessing their losses and navigating the overwhelming task of rebuilding their lives, Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart brainstormed a way to help. With the success of his relief project in Fall 2016, “Voices of Gatlinburg”, he was determined to find a way to bring awareness and relief to Irma's victims through another photography project.
From September 27 - October 2, 2017, Jeremy and a crew of 6 traveled to Bonita Springs, FL to capture the undocumented strength in the victims of Hurricane Irma. Using an innovative lighting process, Jeremy's hope was to portray the resilient light found in survivors of trauma, as a reminder to them and to each of us that we have what it takes to heal and rise again.
Process - How the photos are made
For this project, Photographer Jeremy Cowart used an innovative lighting technique that combined multiple hand-held Profoto color-gelled B1 Strobes (involving 3-4 crew members), 20-30 second shutter speeds and all the handwriting/fonts were captured in-camera using a device called a Pixel Stick. No photoshop was used in the creation of the messages. They were originally created on the iPad Pro but then captured as a part of the original photographs.