Derek Yates – Congrats on Becoming Ellen’s New Gardener!

I met Derek Yates several years ago when I was hired to direct a Hip/Hop music video and we quickly became friends. Having each tragically lost a sibling we formed a bond that’s deeper and different from most. He’s become a lot like a brother to me. Over the years I’ve worked with him on a variety of projects from acting to modeling for print and on the runway. Derek is an amazing guy, one of those who is always there for his friends and especially for his family. He’s great to work with, has an incredible sense of humor, and is genuinely just a great guy. Any time I’ve needed an actor for television commercials or a model for commercial billboards, ads, or magazine spreads he’s been there with his A-game ready to go. One of the things Derek and I have in common is the desire and drive to succeed in the professions we’ve chosen. His is modeling and acting, mine is photography – that means we get to work together quite a bit. Derek is one of the most driven people I know and has worked so very hard to make his dreams come true. Saturday evening Derek called to tell me he was flying to Los Angeles and was a finalist for the contest to be Ellen’s new Gardener! Today – he IS Ellen’s new gardener!  I look forward to watching him on the Ellen DeGeneres Show –  I couldn’t be more proud of you, Derek Yates!

You can check out Derek’s filmography here:  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4946463/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Derek also co-founded a non-profit organization to try to stop drunk driving with his beautiful mother, you can read more about that here: https://www.iam1n3.org

You can also view more images of Derek from a recent shoot with BeCouture Group at https://becouturegroup.com/

The current issue of Chattanooga Magazine features an article that I photographed and Derek modeled for (some of the images from that shoot are below).
Hard work pays off, and I don’t know anyone who works harder than you, Derek Yates, to achieve your dreams!

Melody Hood


  1. Eva on November 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Amazing photos of Derek…Beautifully done..