About ALT F PhotographyJohn Michael Cooper is a Las Vegas based photographer with a strong imagination for the unusual, and often controversial, romantically tragic side of loves stories. He and his wife, Dalisa, operate a successful photography business called Altf. Though the Coopers passion for portraiture shines through even on their most basic weddings, John Michaels creativity is avidly released when performing his “anti-bridal” shoots.
Cooper began Altf after continuously being preached at by his overly traditional boss at the Studio that he was working at that his ideas couldn’t be executed because “brides do not like it – it has to be pretty”. After a fire in a local Las Vegas park, Cooper was eager to use the natural set for some dark and dreary photos featuring a beautiful bride. After being turned down by several of his clients in fear that the black ash would get on their beautiful white gowns, Cooper called a friend and purchased his own dress. Cooper was not going to be tied down.
“I’m not doing anything that has not already been done” – John Michael Cooper.
Photography for John Michael Cooper is sometimes about reinventing himself, creating new ideas or situations or taking a conceptual piece of art and making it his own. Photography has been repeating itself for years and the Altf concept is not about promoting “correct” photography or by following rules or expectations. Altf is about passionately creating images in the way that you want and believe they should be created.
The “trash the Dress” phenomenon took off when Louisiana based photographer, Marc Erik, read an online article written by John Michael Cooper featured on wedshooter.com in February 2006. (Reference: http://www.wedshooter.com/2006/02/10/show-off-aka-trashing-the-dress) and created a website called trashthedress.com, crediting John Michael Cooper as the “Godfather of Dress Trashing”. It wasn’t long before the New York Times picked it up and published a color article in the Sunday newspaper, June 2007. From there, the way brides look at their dress has not been the same. The biggest misconception about the Coopers conceptual photography? It’s never about the dress. In some concepts, the dress has become a casualty, but it is never John or Dalisa's intentions to actually destroy a dress.
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