Artist Spotlight: MaRia Popi

Where in the world is MaRia Popi?


The answer lies on top of some of Detroit’s most famous skyscrapers.


“I love shooting Detroit from the rooftop of buildings. I have been on the rooftop of every skyscraper in the city. That’s what drives my photography. I’m a sky chaser,” MaRia said.


Starting at the Top



MaRia began shooting the 313 five years ago. Since then she has been to most downtown skyscrapers’ rooftops and inside most of the iconic buildings, however the Penobscot building reigns supreme in her opinion.


“I believe the Penobscot building has one of the best views in the heart of the city. It is surrounded by the beautiful architecture of Detroit and the view is different at night and day. That is what makes it so exciting for me!” said MaRia Popi.


She often returns to her favorite places to highlight the differences in the foreground and background, exploring different seasons and times of day. She knows no sunrise, sunset or cloud pattern is the same. Using long exposure techniques, especially at night, is her favorite style of photography.


In the Motor City



MaRia was born in Bulgaria and moved to Michigan in 2003. She always loved traveling and had a camera in hand while growing up. Her passion for photography and love of architecture and design led her to the Motor City, and now she’s proud to call it home.


“I consider myself an explorer who keeps learning. Art is a big part of my daily life. I grow as an artist while exploring other artists’ work – while using new photography techniques and working with creative people from different backgrounds,” she said.


Some of MaRia’s portrait photography work can be seen inside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the “Oh You Fancy!” exhibit currently on display.



Follow along as MaRia shares her love of rooftop photography on the GMRENCEN’s Instagram over the next two weeks. She is also a previous winter of the GMRENCEN’s Your Photo Here Contest, and you can see her art inside the GMRENCEN.


MaRia Popi lives in Livonia. See more of her work on her Instagram @_mariapopi_ or her online portfolio at

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