Photographer & Artist
Jeremy Cowart is a NFT artist and has spent the past 15 years as a photographer, specializing in celebrity portraiture work and humanitarian photography projects around the world. Before becoming a photographer, he spent time as both an abstract painter and a graphic designer. All of this recently came together when Cowart released his first NFT series called "Block Queens", which combined his paintings, portraits, and drawings together as fully interactive NFTs. The body of 999 NFTs sold out in seconds in February 2022. Cowart is now focused many upcoming drops, spanning 1/1s and more generative NFT projects.
An interviewer once asked photographer Jeremy Cowart why it is important to pursue one's passion. Cowart answered, "The other day, I passed a guy at my office building and I asked him, 'How are you doing?' His response: 'It's just another day.' I hope I never ever answer that question with that response."
Each day is a treasure, an opportunity, a long string of moments ripe with passion. In reading or listening to Jeremy Cowart, that word—passion—appears over and over again, like a mantra. Literally, passion means "ardent love" or "boundless enthusiasm." Few people live with passion; fewer still can artistically capture it. Cowart has an even rarer gift of capturing those frozen moments and using them to inspire passion in others.
Cowart began in painting, then moved into graphic design. Originally, his photography was meant to be only one component of his graphic design projects. By 2005, Cowart's love of pixels took over his craft and he devoted himself to photography full-time. His work quickly drew the attention of a photography agent, and soon he was landing images in some of the most popular magazines in the nation. His portrait work runs a gamut stretching from well-known singers to celebrities.
Most photographers would find that such gigs define their careers. Cowart is a different sort of person. For him, success is a means to an end—a "platform," as he often calls it. After only three years as a professional photographer, Cowart used his platform to launch a three-month, 17-country odyssey called the Passion World Tour. This project resulted in Awakening, a unique, vibrant look at young adults from across the globe and the shared energy binding them together. In late 2009, Cowart founded Help-Portrait, a global effort of over 15,000 photographers using their resources to take portraits of the needy and provide them with a hard copy—perhaps the only loving view they've seen of themselves in decades. In early 2010, after a shattering earthquake struck Haiti, Cowart saw the chance to use his passion. He wandered the rubble, saw what the stricken people saw, and produced the deeply moving Voices of Haiti. More recently, in response to the global pandemic, Jeremy reimagined the traditional photoshoot into a digitally teleported experience. His current projects are the tele-photo series #lovetransported and #separatetogether.
"The projects have all had different impacts," says Cowart. "The Haiti project went on to be displayed in the halls of the U.N. in New York in front of all our government leaders, and it helped to raise a lot of money [$10 billion] for Haiti. But the biggest of all, Help-Portrait, which is ongoing, has changed many thousands of lives through the power of a photo. The stories of how that's impacted people are endless."
For Cowart, his platform exists to illuminate and elevate, to reveal the beauty around us and inspire people to help.
Cowart's ability to build and leverage his platform depends on the equipment of his craft. He shoots on a 50 megapixel camera that generates RAW images of about 23MB each. Each of these streams into a tethered MacBook Pro, which in turn backs up files to any of the several G-DRIVE ArmorATD rugged drives that Cowart totes about in his bag.
With fifteen years as a pro photographer, Cowart knows what it's like to lose files, which is why he's now nearly obsessive about having multiple backups.
"I try to keep every job on multiple externals in case of something going bad," he says. "I also try to keep it on my cards and not erase any cards in case something bad were to happen. You can never be too careful."
Cowart never trusts his computer as a storage medium. Beyond flash cards and G-DRIVE ArmorATDs, he relies on an 64TB G-RAID Shuttle with Thunderbolt 3 which also has another backup in his home.
"Thunderbolt is such a major step forward that I'm kind of giddy with it," says Cowart. "I need speed, and SanDisk Professional is delivering that in this Thunderbolt unit. I'm just loving it."
The drive will be one more node in a chain of drives reaching from Cowart's house to his office and even to his business manager's office as he segregates current work from long-term file storage and implements his unique strategy for backup protection.
Device performance saves time, but nothing matters more to a photographer than reliability. Any pro needs to know that the work he or she captures in the field will survive intact all the way into editing and still be available for retrieval many years in the future.
"In the past, I used to buy whatever," says Cowart. "But I've lost a lot of photos over the years to alot brands. Now I trust SanDisk Professional drives. It seems like all the pros I know use SanDisk Professional. They're just very reliable. It says a lot to me that SanDisk Professional is the major drive brand in the Apple Store. If Apple is willing to trust their brand SanDisk Professional, that's huge."
As amazing and transformative as Cowart's work is, he needs the peace of mind that comes with being able to trust his digital media storage. In a sense, his platform is built on it, and that platform is at the heart of the legacy he's striving to leave.
"I want to be remembered as somebody who used his platform to give back to people in need. You know, photography in general is a very arrogant field. It's all me-me-me. 'I'm the best, I'm the best.' But I could care less about the competition or being the best. To me, it's just about building a platform, being good at what you do, and using that to make an impact on something bigger than yourself."
SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are leaders in their respective fields who use SanDisk Professional products in their day-to-day work lives. SanDisk Professional Ambassadors are compensated for their participation.
SanDisk Professional external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.