For John Michael Cooper, photography requires artistic vision, creative edge, and a poignant exploration of darkness as well as light. With these qualities constantly in his care, Cooper and his wife Dalisa provide Las Vegas brides with a different style of wedding photography. Through their studio, AltF Photography, they shift the paradigm of wedding photography to create emotive art that features brides and grooms in the notorious wedding capital of the world: Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I always tell people, ‘We’re not the first choice or probably even the best choice as a photographer for the average clientele. We’re an alternative choice,’” Cooper said of AltF Photography. “We don’t appeal to the traditional bride.”

Photograph by AltF

While their alternative style might have mothers gasping, AltF never fails to attract brides who want to experience something different for their wedding photography.

“A lot of times a bride will walk by [our bridal show booth], and the Mom’s scared but we intrigue the bride. And that’s how we know we have a hit,” Cooper said at the latest Bridal Spectacular bridal show.

Constantly seeking shift the paradigm of wedding photographs, AltF Photography doesn’t push the boundaries without cause. Cooper wants to create art with adventurous brides and grooms as the subjects of these masterpieces.

“It’s an art study,” Cooper said of his work.

Raw and gritty, AltF’s images feature territory that few wedding photographers choose to excavate. And for that, Cooper draws his inspiration from beyond the bridal realm.

“Paintings, art, fashion,” Cooper said of his influences. “There’s a couple of artists and paintings that I’ll fall in love with, so I use that inspiration.”

Cooper reflected on one such instance, where his photography improved after a study of John Singer Sargent’s painting entitled Spanish Dancer.

“[This] one painting changed how I view light,” Cooper said. “It’s very dark, moody, and intimate. When I saw that, I decided that’s how I’m going to shoot my receptions.”

While Cooper searches for new influence in varied art mediums, he stays consistent to his core of dark portraiture.

“When I got into photography, I liked portraiture, but I liked dark portraiture,” Cooper said. “I always like the old Hollywood stuff… moody and sultry.”

But with this background, Cooper also aims to craft images that powerfully reflect each couple.

“I like to create that loving moment, but I still want it to fit them,” he said.

As AltF Photography caters to the nonconformist, the artist, and the bride who demands to be different, John Michael and Dalisa Cooper aren’t afraid to embrace the emotion of the wedding day through their on-site photography with brides and grooms.

“I want to be happy and I want to make them happy,” Cooper said.

In addition to a positive working relationship between the photographers and the bride and groom, this contentedness takes place through an ideal balance of portraiture and photojournalism.

“I do a little bit of everything, but I love to shoot and I love to create,” Cooper said of his photography specialties. “Dalisa likes to capture moments as they happen. She likes to capture little things that end up telling the whole story.”

Photograph by AltF

Together, this husband and wife photography team presents an alternate look into each couple’s life story, told from an intense engagement shoot to a romantic wedding day. And John and Dalisa Cooper do so with passion for their work, their art, and the people they’re photographing. The result: Evocative imagery, artistic intrigue, provocative conceptualism, and memories captured through the lens of a photographer who understands the meaning of life as art.

For wedding photography that’s different, choose AltF.  Visit their booth at next week’s Bridal Spectacular bridal show, view their portfolio on their website, or schedule a consultation at their studio by calling 702-860-3653.  For more information about Las Vegas wedding photographers, please view Bridal Spectacular’s official website.

Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2011

Photographs by AltF Photography, as seen on their website and professional blog.