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How Jeremy Cowart and John Keatley Create Virtual Portraits with iPhones and Projectors

4/08/2020 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Throughout his career, photographer and artist Jeremy Cowart has been always  characterized by two things:

  1. Help others with their photographic projects, some good examples are Voices of Haiti, Help-Portrait Project or resilient-light
  2. Do not limit his portrait photography to a specific field, without a doubt, his background as a digital designer helps him at this point.

We live difficult times, but if we are healthy but confined to our homes, we must take advantage of the time to improve as human beings and as photographers. Jeremy Cowart has been doing a new virtual portrait series during the Pandemic called #LOVETRANSPORTED.

This video is a 60-second look into the full technical process of how it's done. He uses two Canon projectors, Profoto lights, a Canon 5Ds and he edits the images live in Capture ONE.

I’ve used hashtags since 2006 when I first jumped on social media. The only hashtag that has meant a lot to browse is #HelpPortrait. It’s a global photography movement I started in 2009, where photographers photograph people in need all over the world at Christmas for free. To browse that hashtag over the last decade has brought me to tears so many times, I’ve lost count. Now it’s a similar concept but also very different. Now I am *personally* photographing new friends all over the planet. In the last week, I’ve photographed people in Australia, Dublin, Spain, France, New Zealand, Canada and so much more. Swipe right on this post to see all the photoshoots I’ve done virtually over the last week and am scheduled to over the next week. More importantly, please take a minute to browse the hashtag #lovetransported. What a beautiful thing to revisit all of your portraits and read your stories. It’s been such a beautiful gift already, meeting and chatting with over FOUR HUNDRED of you already. Who’s next?! I can’t wait to see! Link in bio….
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My new friend @stphnglbrt nailed it yesterday. He showed up inside the picture frame with the full concept ready to go… gloves, mask, the whole deal. Thankfully I had coronavirus imagery ready to go to project on the painted backdrop behind the picture frame. I was so moved by his portraits that I asked him to share some thoughts on the current situation. His response is below. This (COVID-19) is an unprecedented moment. I have no idea what life is going to be like whenever it's 'safe' to go outside again. I'm calm right now. I'm grateful to be quarantined with people I love (my wife and son), and missing my daughter - who lives with her mother - only three hours away. I'm keeping my thoughts grounded. As challenging/costly as this interruption to each of us, our friends and neighbors, I'm encouraged that who remains may see how real our impacts on the planet are. The air in Los Angeles is CLEAR after only a few short weeks. What an opportunity for us to get responsible for how we've operated. If I'm here, the question I want to actively deal with is: Who do I want to BE in the face of whatever comes? Up for life, in pursuit of my best, and grateful for my time, COVID or no COVID.” - @stphnglbrt #lovetransported
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Earlier today, I had the idea to add an element to my series. I wanted to project (using a 2nd projector) the handwriting of the person I’m photographing behind the frame of which the person is being projected onto, live. A couple hours later I tried it and here is the result. This is Robert Johnson and his wife Cheyenne. Here’s what Robert had to say. I had written out a Shakespeare Sonnet (116) that has meant a lot to us. But I can also see where it fits during these times as well because—now more than ever—we are always called to LOVE. And especially in hard times, love is never shaken. OK, here is the portion of the sonnet that I wrote (breaking it out of it's original lines): “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wand'ring bark, whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come; love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.”
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Don't limit your creativity and look for inspiration, that's why I recommend another great project from the photographer John Keatley, "Quarantine Portrait through FaceTime". Only with an iPhone and Face Time,  no limits, NO LIMITS.

Quarantine Portrait through FaceTime of Todd / @todddaviswashere April 3, 2020 / Los Angeles, CA Keatley - How are you feeling right now? Todd - I’m a pendulum. Swinging between energy and fatigue, hopefulness and fear, optimism and heartbreak. Keatley - What do you think is going to happen because of all this? Todd - I have no idea. But the ten second rule is probably no longer in effect. Keatley - What are you concerned about? Todd - This global crisis will surely wreak havoc in more ways that we can predict, on both macro and micro levels. I’m worried about people’s suffering, financial ruin, the loss of lives, the effects on children, and how this might alter our way of living in the world moving forward. Keatley - What have you found to be helpful for your mental health during quarantine? Todd - Though I’m without work and income for the foreseeable future, I’m in a privileged enough position to be ok for at least a while. So I’ve been focusing on some creative projects that I really care about and often have trouble making time for. Also, staying virtually connected with friends is incredibly buoying. Plus, I’ve started a series on IG called #ThisIsAHug which involves, among other things, dance videos and magic tricks. Keatley - What are you feeling hopeful about? Todd - It almost feels irreverent to me to be hopeful or look to the positive things that might come from this given the toll it is taking and will continue to take. But I feel still the importance of hope and even joy in the midst of it all. Surely humans are resourceful and resilient. And some beauty will be born from this too. Keatley - How can we make the most out of this situation? Todd - I guess by being mindful each moment. Push yourself to take action, whatever that might be, and give yourself rest if possible too. This is a lot to handle and we can all use some respite. Also, don’t be an A-hole. I’m looking at you, Mr President. ______________ Stay safe and keep others safe. #KeatleyQuarantine #QuarantinePortrait #FaceTimePortrait #COVID_19 #Portrait #PortraitPhotography #iphone #iphonephotography #socialdistancing #stayhome #losangeles #iphone #facetime
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Quarantine Portrait through FaceTime of Victoria / @v_coop March 30, 2020 / Bethlehem, PA Keatley - How are you feeling right now? Victoria - I'm feeling concerned, yet calm. I'm concerned about our world and the people who are battling this pandemic. Which is technically all of us to a degree. Being calm allows me to contribute towards that of what the world needs and allows me to stay focused. Keatley - What do you think is going to happen because of all this? Victoria - I think there is going to be a huge paradigm shift, in a variety of ways. It'll include the evolution of technology, physical + mental self care, along with more consideration of the human connection. I really feel that. It's like we're practically being forced to create new habits and lifestyles because of this experience. Keatley - What have you found to be helpful for your mental health during quarantine? Victoria - To feel what you feel...then work through it. This is the perfect time to expose those valid and raw emotions. Everyone is entitled to acknowledge that because what's happening around us right now, truly does suck. What I've found is that this moment has allowed me to challenge myself to learn more about my resilience, who I am, and what I stand for. There's something so healing and peaceful about that. Keatley - How can we make the most out of this situation? Victoria - By staying connected...whether it's with others or even with just yourself. ______________ Stay safe and keep others safe. #KeatleyQuarantine #QuarantinePortrait #FaceTimePortrait #COVID_19 #Portrait #PortraitPhotography
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Quarantine Portrait through FaceTime of Devon / @satinitas March 19, 2020 / Portland, OR Keatley - How are you feeling right now? Devon - I'm feeling protective of myself and my loved ones, diligent to receive new information. A natural recluse, confining myself to four walls isn't uncomfortable, though the uncertainty of tomorrow's statistics and latest restrictions is. I'm just trying to keep up my routine and check in on my people as much as possible. Keatley - What do you think is going to happen because of all of this? Devon - Now that we (I can only speak for the Pacific Northwest) are hopefully out of the state of shock, we can finally consider the future beyond this present moment and need-to-do's. I think the numbers of new cases won't be on the decline for at least another 6 months and I definitely don't think we'll start seeing the last of this virus within this year. I think the average American will go into debt to feed themselves and keep their families well. I think we'll all realize how important the working class is, the people who grow and package our food, who fix our cars, who teach our children. Keatley - What are you most concerned about? Devon - This virus feels so unprecedented in my relatively short life, I think often of those around us who have already lived through several wars, sicknesses, epidemics and social tensions...and how those are the perspectives most at risk of being lost right now. I'm most concerned for the families that will lose their wisest members without saying goodbye. I'm concerned for those at risk of losing their income, their health care, their housing, everything. I'm concerned that the world won't learn or implement lessons from this whole experience and will simply go back to its ways as before the pandemic and continue making this earth less and less habitable. ______________ Stay safe and keep others safe. #KeatleyQuarantine #QuarantinePortrait #FaceTimePortrait #COVID_19 #Portrait
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About Jeremy Cowart:

Named the “Most Influential Photographer on the Internet” by Huffington Post, Forbes and Yahoo in 2014, Jeremy Cowart is an award-winning photographer, artist, and entrepreneur whose mission in life is to "explore the intersection of creativity and empathy." He’s the founder of a global photography movement, Help-Portrait, a mobile social networking app called OKDOTHIS, and an online teaching platform, See UniversityLet's Get Connected: |  Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

About John Keatley:

John Keatley is a conceptual portrait photographer specializing in advertising, celebrity, and fine art. Book him for your next ad campaign photo shoot. Let's Get Connected: |  Instagram

Images and videos via Jeremy Cowart and John Keatley

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