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!


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:

You don’t need a better camera. You need a better CAMERA CLASS!

Do you own a camera that has more than one button? Do you ever wonder what all those OTHER buttons and knobs and dials are for, and what they do?

Did you get a new camera for Christmas and it’s still sitting in the box because you’re afraid to touch it?

Are you sick of all your friends taking better pictures of THEIR kids than you do of YOURS?

The classes I teach aim to address every one of these questions and more! The “YOU NEED A BETTER CAMERA CLASS” classes are a great way to familiarize yourself with your big fancy toy, stop being afraid of taking it OFF “auto”, and start taking BETTER photos of your friends and family!

Classes will be: Sunday, January 18th, at 12pm-2pm,
at The Derek Cookson Photography Studio, 1211 E. Lincoln, Suite 200,  Royal Oak, MI.
Tickets are only $50, and purchasing your ticket (sold online ahead of time) is your seat reservation. SEATING IS LIMITED, so don’t wait!
For more information, or to purchase tickets, email or call 248-224-7423

Hope to see you there and BRING YOUR CAMERA!

camera class 2015

Capping off my wedding season with Jim and Andrea was the icing on the 2014 wedding cake. Fun bridal party, REALLY fun bride and groom, Awesome party bus driving around half the day, Blake’s Cider Mill, shooting alongside friends (my second shooter Tara and the Videographer for the day, Drew Mason from Drew Mason Video) ….it really was a great day for all involved!

Most of all, it was a CELEBRATION. I mean, Andrea and Jim surround themselves with a crew that knows how to have a GREAT time, and they brought their A-game this day! From the church, we stopped at Target for a sentimental few photos – That’s where the bride and groom met while working there! Then it was off to Blake’s Farm and Cider Mill in Armada for some fun; again, a location that meant so much to Andrea and Jim. It definitely proved a fun location to photograph in!

We ended our travels at the wonderful Andiamo in Warren, and danced the night away. With the happy couple a HUGE congratulations and don’t forget to hit LIKE or SHARE over on the facebook page for more fun wedding photography!

I don’t know who was more excited to shoot engagement photos at a carnival…me, or Sarah + David!

Despite some muddy spots and sinking high heels, we had fun, rode some rides, played some games, and even enjoyed some cotton candy! It hardly felt like work! Wish the happy couple a huge CONGRATULATIONS on their upcoming wedding, and don’t forget to check out the facebook page at !

When I shoot an engagement session with a couple, we share things about each other to help us all get to know one another before the big wedding day celebration… With Jenny and Ron, they shared with me a lot of laughs and love that evening! You can really feel the connection between them, as Jenny has a boisterous personality with a smile that lights up the room, and Ron is quieter, but every bit as smitten in return! They wonderfully compliment each other, and I think you can really feel the heat – and the fun! – in these photos! I can’t wait to share their wedding celebration with them!

After having to cancel once due to extreme weather, we got lucky when I got to hang out with the Prieur family on their farm…there was snow, but the sun came out to warm us JUST enough to keep the smiles going! Not that they needed any help…there was more than enough smiling and laughing to go around – AS WELL as cute kids!

Hit LIKE to tell everyone how GREAT they look, and don’t forget to SHARE on the facebook page at so others can enjoy too!

F a c e b o o k