By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
Not only do you get to see how Selectess Iriela felt about Detroit during our photoshoot for 'Girls Gone Vinyl' with Maggie Derthick and Super Dre, but I ended up in some of the shots between Orleans + Winder and wandering around Eastern Market!
This was already super cool to begin with - but then we all got picked up in a HuffPost article! Part of the article, written by Ron Mwangaguhunga says the following:
"In the YouTube video of her trip, “Selectress Iriela’s Trip to Detroit,” Selectress Iriela talks to local techno DJ Superdre, Maggie Derthik and Amy Cooper, the ladies of Girls Gone Vinyl. “It was incredible how the maiden trip mirrored my life in many ways - it had a ‘this is your life’ quality to it,’” notes Selectress Iriela."
Check out the article by clicking here, and watch Selectress Iriela's Video below, along with some of my favorite shots from the shoot.
“One of the best photographers I've worked with hands down.” – Jeff Morawski, Published Tattoo Model
“Amy does an amazing job and her passion shows through in her photographs. Not only is Amy a very skilled photographer, but she has a huge heart. When my mother passed away unexpectedly this fall, Amy stepped up when we were trying to raise money to cover funeral costs by donating a beautiful, framed print. We received so many compliments on the print throughout the evening and the buyer ended up gifting it to us. We continue to get compliments on the photograph regularly.” – Caitlin Bawdin, Friend
“Amy is a beautiful soul destined for success, the amount of pride, effort and emotion she puts into her shoots is phenomenal. She goes above and beyond to initiate conversation, making sure the model is comfortable and is just overall very REAL. One of the best photographers in Detroit that I've worked with and I wish her and ACRONYM nothing but continued success in the years to come.” – Tyler Beltz, Public Personality
“We have had our family portraits done by Amy for years- we love her! Her pictures are beautiful and she has wonderful patience when working with children! She chases them around to catch them in their natural element and the pictures turn out great! Highly recommend!” – Elizabeth Phillips, Family Portrait Client
“Amy is fantastic. She gets work done. She makes everything flow very easily, and she has even given me photos back as soon as that day. She’s a wonder to work with.” – Carrie Richards, Model, Suicide Girl Hopeful
“Simply the best! Hard worker, reliable, talented, and fun! I highly recommend using ACRONYM for your next photo shoot!” - Sadie Quagliotto, Hip In Detroit
“Amy was the photographer for our wedding, and did an amazing job! She had a thousand of us ‘cats’ to try and herd, a weird and shadowy outdoor space and it was a zillion degrees (mid-summer). The day was stacked against her, and I have a large collection of incredible photos from that day all because of Amy. I will always ALWAYS recommend Amy for any photography be it event, modeling, family portraits or otherwise.” – Tress Hotzel, Friend, Wedding Client
“An excellent review for excellent talent. Not only one of the best photographers in Michigan, but an A+ person. You can't deny the talent if you've seen this page.” – Bree Houlihan, ACRONYM Page Fan
“Really great writer and photographer. She's always caught me in a beautiful moment and light on set. It's great to have such raw talent locally and I'm pleased to say Amy is not just an associate but role model and friend in the industry. She shows everyone how it's done and I've never seen her not putting in 110% to what she does. Raw passion.” – Sydney Ballans, Model
“Amy has done multiple shoots with us, engagement, baby announcement, wedding. She has great pricing and works really well with us. I always feel comfortable around her and she always comes up with the coolest ideas. I have been very happy with all of our pictures that we have had done by her and will continue to use her for all of our big milestones!” – Heather Kerber, Friend, Client
“I have worked with Amy (Acronym) for the last 5 years and she is nothing short of amazing. She goes above and beyond to give you the best work she can possibly give you. She is an exceptional photographer and I highly recommend working with her if you haven't yet. She works with you, gives you advice, and just overall puts her whole heart into her work and it truly shows. She is friendly, outgoing, and very confident in what she does. ACRONYM is one of, if not my favorite, Detroit based photographers. She's up for doing anything, so if you need photos done for anything I advise going to her for all your photo needs! You won't regret it!” – Amber Wagel, Friend, Model
“I've had the pleasure of shooting with Amy, AKA Acronym twice and would be lucky to shoot with her in the future. The first time was for PRTY Crew Collective. The shoot was with 7 other models and also included video. She was seamless in her organization and direction and the shoot was so much fun. The pictures had an edge and captured the day and mood of PRTY Crew.
The second shoot I did with Acronym was a studio session. She was able to take photos of my arm and leg sleeves and isolate the photos to showcase the full effect of both of my sleeves. From there we worked on different sets, where she was able to transform the studio into totally different looks. Amy was such a joy to shoot with. She had me laughing and comfortable and able to give me great direction and tips. The pictures she took turned out amazing. Her follow through and drive is something you just don't find in just anyone.” – Andria Maire, Published Tattoo Model
By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
With the recent election of Donald Trump, the LGBTQ community is scared. And rightfully so, the man is kind of a monster. (Sorry to anyone who voted for him, I don't mean to offend you, but I have the right to state my opinion.)
With that being said, many Gay and Transgender communities are afraid that what rights that they've gotten that they have worked so hard to obtain, or the ones they are still struggling TO obtain will be taken away due to the racist/sexist/hate nature of the future administration.
So, I wanted to do something that could help that community. Though someone will eventually say "You're a straight white female, why do you care?" I care, because of my friends. I have quite a few friends that fit this category, some I'm more close with than others, and I live near a heavily populated community of a LGBTQ friendly city.
What came to mind was a jewelry project I did back in my years of High School which was the product of a "found object" project. I used lite brite pegs, which are super colorful, and created a chandelier necklace. Once I finished the project, I began making bracelets, earrings, necklaces, anything I could come up with that would work.
The other day, I brought out my bracelet and wore it, and started to get attention for it, and the reason I did was it was a rainbow - which is a symbol for the LGBTQ, and is part of their flag.
So, here is my offer to you:
If anyone would like to purchase a bracelet, necklace, earrings, or any other sort of item with the Lite Brites for $5 an item, I will donate 100% of the proceeds to sponsor a Trans person to get their name changed/passport/legal documents or donate it to a charity that helps Gay and Trans youth.
There are many who need our help in this time, and even though there are national charities, many of them are overloaded with many fearful Americans who need results now.
If you wish to purchase, shoot me a message or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am willing to make whatever combination, trans flag colors, or specific colors - so just express that in the message and I will do my best to accommodate your design ideas.
If you do not want an item but still want to donate, message me privately, AND/OR share this. I will accommodate as many as I possibly can! Let's make some sort of difference somewhere, even if it's small!
I will also have these on hand at the RAW DETROIT showcase on December 13 at St. Andrew's Hall, so you can pick one up there as well!
By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
I will preface this with saying that Adam, owner of Detroit People Mover, wanted me to do a write-up on myself, as I do with the rest of the Detroit People Mover Family. I couldn't knowingly sit there and write about myself and and make it all about me, so I did what I do best: Tell a story with a moral. Read my write up below:
When I stepped into “The Garage,” I wasn’t entirely sure where my focus was going to go on Detroit People Mover. My expectations of shooting a clothing line were A. Get the clothes. B. Shoot the clothes creatively. C. Edit and Post. I ended up spending 3 hours or so talking to Adam, the owner of DPM, and upon leaving, we’d come across the importance of what Detroit People Mover meant to not only Adam, but myself.
You see, a turntable is a vessel. It’s not just signifying techno. A turntable is not classified as one genre’s expediter. A turntable is not racist, partial, or any of those things. It is a tool to play someone else’s expression of music. So when the ink goes through a screen, pressed with care and applied with a squeegee, the Detroit People Mover shirt itself becomes a vessel of it’s own.
I never expected to back a line so vigorously. The thing is, this one is different. It’s more than a piece of clothing. When I started this project over a year ago, I took it one step further than anyone had thought it could go, and began highlighting people who I deemed a Detroit People Mover. The definition of that: Someone talented, who goes the extra mile, who cares not only about the city, but also the people in it.
As I built up this family from my side of the spectrum, I created friendships I never thought that would exist across channels. Not only did I make people aware of these tremendous talents of the city, but I created channels of communication. When one of my choices as a People Mover sees another on a street, they already have a bond, because they are a part of something bigger. They are a collective, an arsenal of directors, photographers, tattoo artists, renaissance men and women. Hustlers, grinders, voices of our generation. Voices of Detroit.
Adam told me that he wanted a profile of me at some point, like I had with the rest of my People Movers, but I can’t knowingly talk myself up without feeling vain. I’ve never been the greatest at taking compliments, and though Social Media may paint me as an amplifier, a loudmouth, and a “gives no f***ks mentality,” I am extremely humble.
The best I can offer is this, which goes back to my definition of a People Mover: “Someone talented, who goes the extra mile, who cares not only about the city, but also the people in it.” I seek out creatives, amazing people, and people who embody the qualities of someone special. Someone who can’t see those things in themselves everyday, and I take that photograph to capture their essence in time. I then put my words into some form of poetry, and honor their spirit and soul in the best way I know how.
That in itself, I bare my soul, my feelings, and my heart, as well as my love to the People that I admire and aspire to be, and to be golden in their eyes. If that doesn’t make me a Detroit People Mover, I don’t know what does.
By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
Stacey and I were out doing some Dark Fashion Portraiture and I had wanted to take her to this church I was fascinated with that had a red chair in it's main room. As we walked into the back of the church, where the door is blown wide open, we hear the distant slamming of a basketball. Inside, we could see teenagers playing on the court in the basement level.
Stacey gave me a strange look and I said "Yeah, kids come in here sometimes to play basketball. We're going upstairs anyways." As we walked onto the staircase, we ran into three kids, the oldest could be no more than 8 years old.
"Ahhh! You scared us!" said the girl of the group, who probably was only in Second Grade, if that. "Are you coming to look at the building?" the Middle Child asked. We said yes. "Can we show you around?"
We walked through the building with the kids for about an hour. They told us stories about how they come to that church everyday after school. As someone who studied education, this threw Stacey for a loop.
The kids showed us different places that they played "Hide and Seek," though they called it something like "Huntsman." They climbed over beams through broken windows, opened doors that were locked from the outside, and detailed what rooms were what to us as we accompanied them through the building. The youngest girl also was very excited that we were taking pictures, and kept posing with Stacey during the shoot.
At the end, we came to the biggest room, and we said that after this last room we'd be leaving. They seemed bummed but we snapped this one selfie together. I then said to them, "It was great to meet you guys and hang out!" and the eldest boy said "It was a pleasure to meet you too."
The red chair was gone, but we walked away with a much better story in the end.
By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
The Facebook Crusader. The Social Media Whore. The Overly Sensitive, Indifferent Shmuck. We know someone in each category. And while our personalities on social media differ from the people we are in real life, I tend to find that there are (more often than not) people with "homeless souls."
In this day and age, we are able to express our thoughts without any passion. Copy and paste. Sharing our political views, our religious views, and more, with no real force behind it other than to say it "out loud." We feel socially compelled to put our own spin on social issues, and when something bad happens in the world, we become bleeding hearts for a cause, but only with our words, not with our actions.
In this photo set, I wanted to highlight "social homelessness" with noting 3 major internet-offenses. These are what I would call "First World Problems," sprawled across cardboard, juxtapositioned with a "homeless" individual.
Not only did I choose to make this set to bring a social issue to light, but I also wanted to share this message: We spend our time complaining about what's wrong with the world, but then don't bother to fix it. As Detroiters, many overlook the homeless community on a daily basis, viewing them as an annoying burden, rather than remembering they are human beings. I chose these locations specifically to illuminate the issue as much as possible. This is in no way to belittle the community, as myself, and many of my friends have been donating clothing and other items directly to the source: The Detroiters that need it.
I ask you one thing when viewing these photos: Don't take the message lightly. Examine the things you complain about, whether it be on multimedia posts, or within your friend group. Realize that some of the things that "hurt you" are a lot less traumatizing than what other people in the world have to go through. They probably would kill to have your problems, rather than starving, freezing, and being frowned upon by society.