Biography

Michael Cockerham - commercial, social and editorial photographer based in London and SE England.

Born in Tokyo in 1969, Michael Cockerham was raised in Japan, the UK and New York. He was educated primarily in the Rudolf Steiner system, and read economics at University College London, graduating in 1992.

A serendipitous encounter with coach thieves in Northern Italy in 1988 precipitated a life-long obsession with photography. Entirely self-trained, Michael has over 30 years’ experience as a professional photographer. His practice spans commercial, social and editorial imaging.

As a commercial photographer Michael’s client list includes Unilever, the Marine Stewardship Council, the Bourne Group, C3i (Metropolitan Police), NASA, Philips Healthcare, Europa Worldwide, Greggs, Interflora, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Iron Mountain to name a few.

Michael has photographed hundreds of weddings, and countless portraits, christenings, events, babies, animals, and makeovers. He has a distinctive style and easy manner with clients. Michael has photographed weddings throughout the UK, Europe, the United States and beyond. Couples routinely make bookings years in advance.

His work has been published in newspapers and periodicals around the world. It is in the permanent collections of the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, and the libraries of Cambridge University and Trinity College Dublin. Michael’s prints are in many private and commercial collections. He has exhibited work in a number of group and solo exhibitions in the UK. In 2020 he was a winner of the Portrait of Britain Award. He made the shortlist for the same award again in 2022.

A world first

Michael was the first photographer ever to get a newspaper by-line in orbit. In October 2008 astronaut Richard Garriott took a special issue of the Metro Newspaper containing Michael’s work, and later verified as the first newspaper in space, to the International Space Station. The paper is now on permanent loan to the British National Space Centre in Leicester.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and a former Chairman of the Royal Photographic Society’s Visual Journalism Group and the photography coordinator for UK Skills. Michael is a firm advocate of assisting others develop an understanding of the power of photography. He routinely offers work experience placements, and is a mentor for the Ideas Foundation and Venture Thinking, providing young people with the opportunity to unleash their latent creative talents. He sits on the Creative Advisory Board of the Ideas Foundation, and on BNI‘s International Board of Advisors having been a member of BNI for 22 years. Michael is a primary school governor and an ambassador for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and is the Commercial Director of Versant Ltd.

Michael was a skilled baker prior to becoming a photographer. He enjoys travel, hiking, and mountaineering, along with cycling, politics and history. Oh, and planes – ask anyone he grew up with. Michael is nuts about flying machines. He speaks a little Japanese, and even less French. He lives with his wife and three sons in Kent, and is available for assignments worldwide.