Skip to content

In Focus

Mary Burich | June 6, 2019

People | Inside Magazine

Cory Howe: the man behind the lens

Cory Howe is in his element during a weeklong culinary event for Hormel Foods. The food is extraordinary, the chefs even more so. And the setting is New York, the city that never sleeps.

Cory fits in like the pro that he is. Dressed in khaki shorts and running shoes, his glasses perched on his head, he moves in and out of scenes easily. At times he opts for his smartphone camera instead of the high-end digital equipment that allows him to bring his vision and creativity to life. Social media demands real-time posting.

“These things are getting better all the time,” Cory says, packing the phone away in his pocket. “They’re incredible because they fix imperfections right away. Lighting, for instance.”

He’s been in the business long enough to remember when smartphones weren’t a phenomenon or at the very least, not as ubiquitous as they are today. In fact, he’s seen a lot from his side of the lens.

Don’t Touch That

Cory insists on doing his own retouching – lightening a shadow, highlighting a carrot, making a dollop of peanut butter stand out. One shot can take in excess of an hour to finesse. Reliance on it, however, is one of the things he’s seen change during his years as a professional photographer.

“It’s a tool,” he says. “But it bothers me when people say, ‘We’ll fix it later.’ It used to be there was no fixing it later.”

Cory is one whose shots are often good enough to go as is. In fact, he’s won awards for images that haven’t been retouched, a rare feat these days.

He is slow to name a favorite shot, not unlike a parent who finds it impossible to name his best child.

“There are thousands of photos that I love, a few that are on my walls and a lot that are in my heart.”