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Brett & Mindy – Married

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Twenty Seventeen

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2017, WORDS TO LIVE BY

As we kicked off the new year, Jenn and I set aside a little time to do some planning and thinking about what we wanted to aim for in 2017. We talked through some straight forward ideas as well as some abstract stuff, but as we started, Jennifer had the keen idea to start with a list of words that globally defined how we wanted our brand to be viewed, felt, and embodied throughout the year. As you well know, the big problem with resolutions is keeping them in front of your face all year long. So I decided to make a desktop background, to hold myself accountable to the goals we set. These goals go beyond what I want for Derk’s Works, it is also what I want for myself. So here it is, thank you for continuing on this journey with us.

(If you’d like the background too, you can click on the picture a few times and it will show you the full resolution version that you can save and use, or you can always email us and we’d be happy to send it over.)

TWENTY SEVENTEEN – BE:

CENTERED

That is to say, I long to be in balance. Hard to believe but, I too am after the Holy Grail of work / life balance. I want priorities to be in their place, I want people to always come before things, to be grounded and stable as life around me shifts. I want my family to always feel prioritized and every client to know that I am on their team 100%.

PRESENT

I want to be known for giving it all to the task at hand. I want the person I’m having any conversation with to know that I’m listening, not just to their words but what they’re feeling. When I look back at some of my favorite work, I know that it represents the moments when I was in a singular place free from distractions. 

GENEROUS

There are times, places, and spaces when the normal should be thrown out the window. I’m not talking about giving discounts or doing a few shoots a year for free (though I also want to do more styled shoots with awesome folks), I’m talking about running our photography business in a way that provides for more than just ourselves. We have a big idea on this topic that I hope to share very soon, but in the meanwhile, I want you to know that I plan on dragging you into this idea along with us :) 

EXCEPTIONAL (yes, I know the image says “awesome”.. the letters fit better)

Every year, I look back and challenge myself to do better. Each shoot, each email, each edit poses new opportunity to do better. Some avenues have more room for improvement than others (lookin’ at you email), but I never want to take this goal off my list. There is a lot to be said for contentment in other avenues of life, here, I want to be relentless. 

GRATEFUL

Through it all I know that I/we are not here alone. The trust you have put in us with your most precious moments and memories has been astounding and I would be foolish if I thought I was here because of straight talent. I don’t want to simply give lip service though, I want to conduct our business in a way that shares that joy and perpetually shows gratitude for everything that comes our way. 

So I’ll start now, thank you for reading this. Thank you for your encouragement and kindness along the way. Thank you for taking part in our lives and letting us share in yours. I’m looking forward to this year, and I’m glad that you are a part of it. 

-Benjamin

Ben & Amy – PREVIEW

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Adam & Sarah Jayne – PREVIEW

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Anuj & Kristian – Married

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Columbus, Ohio – May 2016

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Justin & Kristen – TRAILER

  1. Marylou

    Ok – now you’re making me cry again!

  2. Brian Williams

    Beautiful

  3. Ed Lau

    What a beautiful wedding ! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful ceremony.
    All the best in 2017 and forever !
    Ed

Ben & Rylie – PREVIEW

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Adam & Arlette – TRAILER

Remember This Moment // Proposal Photography

DerksWorks20160722-002 DerksWorks20130815-110For many of our clients, we have had the opportunity to capture their relationship from the beginning through photography. Engagement sessions, the walk down the aisle, even watching their family grow and photographing the evolution of their love is one of our favorite things.

Sometimes, we even get to be a part of the moment where the rest of forever begins. We LOVE proposal shoots as they are full of surprise and unexpected emotion. These rare and special moments are fun to witness and we are honored when a client asks us to join them on that day.

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One reason our past clients loved the idea of having a photographer at their proposal is because they knew they wanted to be able to look back on this special day.

First it starts with the planning. “The usual: ring shopping, talking to her dad months in advance, deciding on the time, place, and method. I chose the upper peninsula of Michigan because it is one of her favorite places and proposing during a routine ‘couple’s photo shoot,’ she wouldn’t see it coming.” Paul, a Derk’s Works groom, thought of every detail. “The best part of preparation for proposing was the intrigue. Early in our dating, we had an agreement that I had the right to not tell her the truth if she asked me poignant questions about proposing.” Coordinating the proposal with Paul was half the excitement of their special day.

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Though Paul had a vision of what he wanted his day to look like, some grooms come with the goal and we help with the details. “Benjamin was phenomenal. He made my experience so easy and comfortable… He was helpful and a great guide [for] ideas and thoughts. He’s a true professional in every sense of the word. He brings so many creative and thoughtful ideas to the table [while honoring] your personal story. I knew I was in the right place speaking openly with him about my family and what [the] proposal meant to me.” Another DW groom, Dillon, brought his enthusiasm and love for his future bride and we helped solidify a plan.

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When the time comes to get down on one knee, we know that we can expect lots of love, sometimes tears, and smiles all around. Stephanie, a DW bride, was so excited when she found out her, at the time, boyfriend, thought to have the moment photographed. “It showed me how excited [Paul] was about marrying me. It made me feel incredibly special that my fiancé wanted that moment to be something neither of us would forget. The images taken at our proposal are a beautiful reminder of the beginning of our marriage journey, and when I look at them they remind me of the joy and appreciation our marriage is built upon.”

DerksWorks20130815-104 DerksWorks20130815-116 DerksWorks20160722-004The images that we take of this special moment are a visual representation of the love that two people share. We are honored when we get to be a part of a proposal. Everything it represents: love, relationship, commitment, and intimacy. All of those things our “bread and butter.”

If you are planning on popping the question, we would love to help you remember that day forever. Let us know if we can help.

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Thank you to our dear clients, Paul, Stephanie, and Dillon for sharing their Derk’s Works stories.

 

2016 Family Tree Chopping

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J-I-N-G-L-E Bells! Tree chopping 2016 at Hickory Ridge Tree Farm as a family of FOUR!

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