Nashville Moment: Jeremy Cowart
Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart is a Nashville native devoting much of his time to making the world a better place through humanitarian projects.
Written By: Alison Abbey
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Jeremy Cowart, Photographer
Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart has shot the likes of Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Lindsey Buckingham, and Carrie Underwood (he’s even gone on tour with Britney Spears!), but he’s more than just a guy who spends his days surrounded by famous faces. The Nashville native has devoted much of his time to making the world a better place through humanitarian projects like Help-Portrait and an array of speaking gigs. With some serious shoots in the can and a new passion project on the horizon, Cowart is ready for his own close-up.
Star power: As a kid who didn’t exactly excel in academics, Cowart wasn’t always sure of his path. Once he discovered art—and later photography—he knew he’d found his calling. But even this confident shooter can get a little camera-shy. “I still get starstruck,” he says. “The first time was when I got to photograph Sting—I was a blubbering, dorky mess. Recently, I was on set with Oprah and Tyler Perry. That was definitely a ‘made it’ moment.”
Finding his purpose: Cowart’s latest gig has him stepping out from behind the camera and giving back. He’s working to launch The Purpose Hotel, a global hospitality chain in which every aspect—from room keys to soap to linens to furniture—is related to a cause or a nonprofit. The first will open in his hometown.
“Nashville is a very loving, giving city,” he says. “The people here are incredibly kind, so I love the idea that this hotel will expand around the world, but it will forever reflect the kindness and generosity of our great city. It’s just really meaningful for the story to start here, with us.”
(Keep an eye out for a Kickstarter campaign launch later this spring.)
When inspiration strikes: Cowart says the idea for The Purpose Hotel came to him, appropriately enough, while traveling. “It was a simple room number at a hotel in L.A. that got my mind spinning,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘What if every room could sponsor a child and tell their story?’ The entire vision for The Purpose Hotel hit me in seconds. I thought, ‘What if everything in the building was connected to a cause or a nonprofit?’”
A lasting impression: Whether it’s documenting his surroundings or working on a global charitable endeavor, Cowart finds satisfaction in a job well done. “The highlight of my career so far has been bringing ideas to life,” he says. “It’s hard to get any idea off the ground, but I love the process of seeing something come to life. It’s incredibly rewarding.”