Flowers help Atlanta photographer Allen Cooley find beauty in uncertainty

Greg Stevens
Allen Cooley
Allen Cooley

Photograph by Marie Thomas

Ever considering the fact that Allen Cooley picked up his father’s digital camera in 2003, he’s had his lens on bouquets. His father employed the digital camera to doc loved ones holidays, but Cooley used it to exercise the craft, and flowers have been one of his initially topics.

Cooley, who was raised in New York, moved to Ga in the early 2000s to receive his personal computer science degree at Albany Point out University. He set up his 1st studio in his apartment by tacking bedsheets to the walls and commenced getting headshots of close friends and area expertise.

A few months following graduation, he relocated to Atlanta and analyzed images at Savannah Faculty of Art & Layout. He suggests it was there that he understood photographers could have an creative voice, and flowers turned an critical element of his. In the assortment Courtney–A Visual Depiction of a Really like I Really don’t Absolutely Understand, which he shot a 10 years back, Cooley positioned bouquets at many stages in the existence cycle in entrance of a stark black backdrop to depict the ups and downs of interactions.

“I’m normally compelled by whatever is likely on in my everyday living at the moment,” claims Cooley, 37, who shoots some of his wonderful-artwork function on movie with a Hasselblad 501c. “The flower collection was the initially where I stepped away from photographing individuals.”

Allen Cooley
Cooley’s get the job done differs from celeb portraits to great-art pictures.

Photograph by Marie Thomas

Right now, Cooley is a remarkably sought-after photographer, having images for the likes of Toni Braxton, Magic Johnson, Kevin Hart, Raven-Symoné, Keke Palmer, and Lynn Whitfield. But he’s even now drawn to bouquets.

Lately, they’ve served him come across splendor in uncertainty. In 2020, Cooley celebrated the birth of his initial youngster, and, just a handful of months later, his mom died from Covid-19, and he was identified with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. During quarantine and on days when chemotherapy exhausted him, he picked bouquets and photographed them at his English Park studio.

Allen Cooley

Photograph by Allen Cooley

“I never have to apologize to the bouquets for acquiring to reschedule, so I leaned into using shots of the bouquets,” says Cooley. “I want my art to take me absent from loss, not even further into it. I want to make sure I’m not passing that trauma down to my daughter. I want to be ready to speak about this time joyfully for her.”

Cooley is represented by Arnika Dawkins Gallery, 4600 Cascade Highway, 404-333-0312,

This posting seems in our Spring 2022 concern of Atlanta Magazine’s House.

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