Moving Day! or Merry Christmas to My Blog

I have had an awesome run with blogger, I am in love with blogging, and I am forever in debt to Peter and Ali who first encouraged me to start blogging (and now I hear that they have up and moved out west! what will Ohio come to with out them!!??).

After a lot of hard work by my amazing programmer Grant Webster I now have a NEW BLOG!!! Change your RSS, reset your bookmarks, get ready to comment and head on over! I have already prepared a few stories/new posts for you to see when you get over there... one of which being my ENGAGEMENT!

I can not even tell you how blessed I feel, my Grandfather shared a similar thought over Christmas dinner, "I do not know why the Lord chooses me to shower with blessings." It is, at the very least, a mystery that causes me to ponder the grace and boundless love of God.

God is good.


Books for EVERYONE!!!

I am so very excited to announce that the innovation of Derk's Works has struck again with hardback proof books for all occasions! Effective immediately every senior, family, engagement, wedding, day after session (I think you might get the idea... everything) will be getting proofs in a custom designed 7"x7" hard cover book!

These books are awesome for showing off your rocking-self on your coffee table, kitchen table, bookshelf or just carrying around with you where ever you go.

So what are you waiting for? Book your appointment today.


Shooting RAW!

I'm always looking for a reason to shoot more pictures, and NOW with 12 MORE gigs of memory I can shoot 'till the cows come home! Better than that, I can shoot in a better file format 'till the cows come home!! I am drunk with compact flash memory power! With this beautiful addition of memory I will be shooting exclusively in the RAW file format.

RAW format offers more colors per image, more post processing options, and an overall higher quality. If you (or your photographer) are not yet shooting in RAW, for most or all of your imaging, you gotta check it out. Thanks to lightroom and now
Adorama such capturing and work flow is better than ever!

* clarification: I have been shooting with raw for a lot of projects but have not had the card space to shoot entire weddings in raw.... so, now, I am 100% on the raw gravy train :)


Kids Prayer Retreat

I have had the pleasure of being involved with the miniseries at Beulah Beach for several years now and I am always thrilled when I am able to go volunteer for them. Last month I had the opportunity to photograph the activities of their Kids Prayer Retreat! It was a great weekend filled with many meaningful activities designed to teach kids about the value of a personal interaction with God. My friend Katie does a tremendous amount of ministry with her church in Hillard and was heavily involved in the leadership of the weekend. To see a full video about the retreat, catch the link! My very talented friend Crystal busted some moves as she stayed up all night to produce this video!



New Product Stuff!

I am really excited for the awesome clients that I have. I just finished designing a few "Save the Date" invitations (don't worry, if you know Matt and Becca they'll be mailing them out soon) and can't wait to make some more! All of my design work is carefully critiqued by my awesome graphic designer (Joel Derkin), improved and then submitted to the client. I think it's very important to note that photographers and designers are very different, while I have design training, and I love the design process, I always look for Joel's opinion and critique (I wish he had a web site that I could point you to but he's just too busy making awesome stuff for other people).

Anyway, enjoy!



A few weeks ago I had the exciting honor to photograph Steve and his new bride Holly alongside of one of the most talented and precise photographers I know. Jay, pictured middle right (the guy with the camera), is a commercial photographer and one of three amazing instructors at Owens Community College that pushed and encouraged me in photography. I owe a lot to my friend Jay and I was very pleased to be able to shoot alongside him and observe some of his lighting techniques in action.


Matt+Becca Engagement-ographs

Let me see if i can write this out in a semi-mathematical way... Matt+Becca=TrueLove=AwesomeCouple. Ok, so I was never very good at math... but I think you all get the idea. I am so excited to shoot their wedding this May, it is unreal! Shooting these engagement-ographs was super-fun and, due to the awesomeness of the couple (see math in sentence 1) we came out with some awesome shots!



Courtney's Senior-ographs

Downtown T-town is pretty much to coolest place to take pictures... though the coolest place gets even cooler when you have a senior as awesome as Courtney. We went out the other day and had a totally rad time shooting, we had so much fun that local passers-by thought for sure that we were filming a movie. lol. I'm not really sure why my digital still camera looked like a full video crew... perhaps it is not for me to question why but only do my job and look super-professional with awesome models.


Jon+Ori Engagement-ographs

Just last weekend I had the privilege of photographing one of my oldest friends (I don't mean that my friend is old... I just mean to say that I have known him for a long time) and his recently acquired fiancee. Though I had been previously booked and thus unable to shoot for them this coming May, I was thrilled to be a part of their life together though their engagement photos. Jon is an amazing guy and I have no doubt that he and Ori will live happily ever after.

On a business note, I have decided to change up my proofing process. I think that everyone will be more than pleased with the change... I'm not going to actually tell you what I will be doing now... I just wanted to get you curious :) I'll tell you more in a future post, hopefully with some photos of how it all came out.

Until then, enjoy the pics.



Last week I had the privilege of photographing my cousin's family. They are an awesome bunch and we had tons of fun. We were joined, on our photo shoot, by Dr. Danny (pictured swinging in the top photo) and Pez Batman making an already fun time even better!


Down with The Man! Party!

I realize that it is a little late for a Labor Day party post.. but when you are trying to post about not working you spiral into a bit of a catch 22. My Aunt and Uncle hosted the the hottest party in T-town with cheeses and cake to die for. All of the coolest people were there... my family. My cousin from England made the trip along with her son and we all had a great time. Those who were absent were missed and those who weren't invited... tough luck ;)

If you'd like to see all 60-sum-odd photos catch this link. To see the collage bigger, just click on it. And, as always, comment till your heart's content.



This awesome couple, also known though a series of hilarious mix ups and tongue slips as Erica and Janet, had an amazingly beautiful wedding and I, as always, was honored to be a part of it. I would like to make a few special mentions, the flower girl did the best job at spreading flowers! I have never seen a aisle so well covered in flowers and so evenly distributed. Also, it was very hard for me to not include an image, but the bride's sister had the best reaction of shock and horror that I have ever been able to capture on camera! You'll have to get the full story from Jessica when you look over her proof book.

Enjoy the images!



I have been excited about this post for a while and I'm thrilled to finally be posting it! These two were such amazing people, totally in love, and their wedding was unbelievably beautiful! The wedding was on the beautiful Lake Paw-paw up in Michigan, passing pontoon boats tooted their horns at the first kiss and the sky couldn't have been more lovely. after the ceremony we took a side trip to Lake Michigan for some amazing photos in the dunes.

All of the music, food, dancing and partying matched Sean and Jacqueline in every way. Take a click on the images to get a closer look at this awesome couple and their day.


Megan - The Super-cool

A few weeks ago I the privilege to shoot some portraits for Megan. We had a ton of fun and even got some cool shots with her brother and sister. Below you will see the totally cool result of a fun experiment that she let me try while she was standing on a rock... rock on Megan, rock on.


"... and I think that's why I still like film so much."

This past week, while teaching, I was asked to recount the main reason I began my photographic journey. I thought back to that vacation in Florida where I first picked up my dad's SLR (Canon AE1). The desire I had to excel at something, my need to compete with my older brother who has skills beyond this world, and my inability to express my thoughts and emotions drove me to photography. As I was talking I realized that these were all good reasons, but my love for photography as a medium came from something deeper.

My dad is my hero and role model, I can't think of any other sole person I want to be just like; while on a short term mission trip to Japan in college my father picked up a Canon FTb, with which he soon fell in love. He took a class in photography and as a music major was highly attuned to the quality of records, old radio and film.

While advising me in high school as to which camera to buy, my dad and I picked up a pro line Canon F1 (the pro version of his old FTb). This camera forced me to learn everything about photography in a fully manual way. It is still my favorite camera, and I realized while I was telling my story that I didn't just love this camera, I didn't just love film... I loved my dad. I wanted to be like him and do somthing that he did back in school, I wanted to do something that he enjoyed, somthing that transported him back to such an intense time of learning and growing.

My dad is my hero... and I think that's why I still like film so much.


The life and color of Colorado

So, it was a long trip and I learned a lot about overweight luggage! Apparently when you take the biggest suitcase from your attic and fill it with books, camera gear and clothes it quickly falls under the category of "freight weight!" The country out here is beautiful and the days are packed. I love the people that I am working with and can't wait to plug their websites and blogs. All of the students are doing an awesome job and are all jazzed to be here... too much fun.

I look forward to posting some more photos soon, for now I need to get to bed, tomorrow we will be going to shoot the sunrise at the Garden of the Gods!

click the pic, enjoy, comment, rock on like it's 1995



May I just say, first off, that these guys were amazing. Dan has a life goal of walking around looking cool with a sword as often as possible. Please not that this same quality in the guys provided for some great jumping shots! Anna was radiant and the love that she has for Dan is amazing. They were an amazing group, the day and clouds were perfect, and the sparkle in everyone's eyes reflected an unparalleled joy for the union of these two cool cats.



Teaching in CO

Coming up in September I have been invited by my friend Rowan to join the IPS team for two weeks of teaching in Colorado! I am super excited to see how God will use me to encourage students and fellow instructors alike in photography, excellence and creativity!

Along with the territory of being an IPS instructor, I get to submit a photograph and a little bio. As soon as I got the e-mail last night I went through all sorts of pictures I had of myself and decided that I had to just shoot a new one. So here are some of the results. Let me know what ya think!

P.S. There are still seats available in the courses if you want to join me out there!


Shooting for some fun

Just a few weeks ago I went Michigan's beautiful upper peninsula with my beautiful girlfriend and her family. It was awesome get-away goodness and begged to be photographed in so many ways! If you decide that you like these images SO much that you would like to see more... like, 300 more, catch the link and you can sit through my vacation sideshow.



A few weeks ago I had the privilege of shooting another wedding with Making the Moment (these guys do awesome video work and some pretty stylin' photography, please note that the image of me in the lower left hand corner was shot by Brett) in Muskegon Michigan. Being a pretty long drive up we all carpooled and were able to talk about all sorts of cool photography stuff from blogs to Polaroids to sky saturation and the recent release of Lightroom2!

Andrea and her group of girls were a fabulous bunch to hang out with all day, I'm not sure if I should be allowed to laugh so much while o
n the job, and they were well balanced by James and his hilarious group of guys. It was a beautiful day with awesome food and great company. Over dinner I admitted to Brett that the toasts were so well done that I even cried a little behind my camera... he said that he too was waiting for the prayer so that he could wipe his eyes! Lol!

So that's the weekend in a nutshe
ll, if I left anything too important out hopefully Brett or Joe will correct me in the comments. Enjoy the photos! I know I enjoyed shooting and editing them.

Oh, I should also add, while looking at the images you will notice that they laugh a lot but just can seen to get the whole jumping at the same time thing down! I don't think that they would do very well in the Olympics for sincro-jumping... even if they did have four years to practice.