Derek Cookson Photography – Royal Oak, MI Wedding and Portrait Photographer bio picture

    My philosophy of "Life, Laughter, and Love" was inspired by my wife when she had it engraved in my wedding ring, always there to remind me what's important. It's also what guides me to capture what I do, when I have a camera in my hand.

    Friends will ask me if I consider it work, but I ask, how can it be? When I am blessed to be able to share such wonderful moments in peoples lives, to be shared forever, I can't call it work, but I can tell you it's the best job in the world. And I would love to share it with you!


Detroit Zoo Wedding – Jennifer and Steven Got Married!

Many weddings are a whirlwind of chaos…like a zoo! Jennifer and Steven wanted to get married AT the zoo! So much fun was had, and with a laugh like Jennifer’s, it’s not hard to see how easily it is for EVERYONE to fall in love with her! We had a blast cruising around the Detroit Zoo checking out giraffes, polar bears, a curious seal, getting married in the butterfly house – We even had a good old stampede to scare her whole family! (Just check the photo)
Hit LIKE and SHARE to wish the couple a huge CONGRATULATIONS, tag your friends, and don’t forget to check out the facebook page at

Artist Profile: Somto Video+Photos in Royal Oak, Michigan

When Somto approached me to inquire about having some photos done for her, to use as promotion for her as a musician, I was naturally delighted! But photos can only do the musician justice, not so much the music, so my next question to her was, “What about some videos too?” Even though these songs are in french, her beautiful voice needed to be heard!
Over the last few years, I’ve been working on growing, and wanting to add video to my services, but wasn’t comfortable until more recently, venturing into smaller promotional pieces, like these two intimate music videos. And no, before I get asked, I am not planning on offering video for weddings. But my interest in video is in capturing moments, not unlike my photography – and this is Somto’s moment!

And now check out some of her new promotional photos! Look for her very soon, playing near you!

Jody + Steve: Jamaican Destination Wedding

About a year ago, I get a message from my buddy Steve telling me he’s engaged – Fantastic! And then he writes “Want to go on vacation with us?” – Even more Fantastic-er! (IT’S A WORD)

So begins the journey of Steve and Jody getting married in Negril, Jamaica! I was incredibly honoured to have been tapped with the privilege of capturing them. On a beach? All Inclusive? Some awesome friends along on the trip? They knew how to do it, and do it in style!


(View from the Plane)

I can’t speak enough about how much of a great time was had by all at the beautiful resort “The Rui Negril”, as the staff and accommodations were top notch, and the libations…liberal (with more food than you even know what to do with!). Fun Fact: If you hear the word “Jerk” before any food title, it means it will be hot and spicy. VERY hot and spicy. And awesome.

The wedding itself was a wonderfully beautiful affair, with Jody and Steve exchanging vows on the beach, Jody being escorted out by her son, a fun photo session along the waterfront, and ending with an intimate dinner in the private dining area.


Despite the fact that the humidity ensured we were all soaking with sweat by the end of the day, it was a wonderful occasion, with wonderful people, and one we will all not forget anytime soon!

PLEASE say a huge congratulations to Jody and Steve, and visit the Facebook page at to see more fun wedding photography! Click below to see the FULL Sneak Peek!

Snowy Maternity Session in Amherstburg :: Metro Detroit Wedding Photographer

I had the absolute pleasure of sharing these two women’s wedding day a year ago, and now I have the distinct pleasure of sharing their maternity photos for their upcoming baby! We packed up their fur-baby (translation: their dog) and braved the snow throughout some spots in Amherstburg, Ontario one Sunday afternoon for a few hours of photos and laughs! Enjoy the final peek at their session, and wish the happy couple a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for the upcoming birth of their baby! (Boy? Girl? They’re waiting to find out!)

Janine + Jeff – Detroit Wedding Photography

Janine and Jeff’s wedding day was a whirlwind of sorts – Lots of laughs, dancing, rain, and driving all over Detroit! But despite the slushy weather, nothing could keep the smile from Janine’s face all day, as she finally got to say “I Do” to her new husband!

Driving into Detroit, we even took a chance with some umbrellas and braved the cold downpour for a few photos in front of the Historic Detroit Train Station before warming up inside the wonderfully tropical Belle Isle Conservatory! With Jeff’s specialty being trees, you could see his eyes light up with all the wonderfully exotic fauna inside there – AS WELL as his beautiful bride of course!

Stop by the facebook page and wish the happy couple a huge CONGRATULATIONS and don’t forget to check out the for even more fun wedding photography!


Surprise Engagement at a Family Session! ::Royal Oak Wedding and Family Photography::

Family sessions are fun. They give you a chance to dress up a little, share some laughs with your family, and create some wonderful memories. It makes sense too, you have a professional photographer along to capture all of it forever. When Erin contacted me, I thought I was getting into just another family photo session; but man was I wrong!

After some back and forth about scheduling, we decided on a time and place, and all was set. But the next day, I get a phone call from her boyfriend Ted, and he talks with me about an idea he had: Since there will be just them and their two children all dressed up and with a photographer there, would I be interested in capturing his proposal to Erin at the end of the family session? Hmm…OF COURSE I would! Up until now, I’d always wanted to photograph a proposal but being mostly a wedding photographer, I don’t come into the picture until much further down the line!

So the plan was set. And here are the photos that resulted!


Then, Ted and I gave the “secret nod” signal to each other. And he summoned them out into the open for “one more photo..”


After all the laughs, tears, and congratulations were done, we began walking back. The two little ones ran ahead, and my heart melted when I noticed THIS happening:

F a c e b o o k