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Bob Ocken picked up a camera for the first time in 1985 and thankfully, he hasn’t put in down since. A self-taught freelance photographer, he founded Ocken Photography in 1994 where, with his two siblings, opened offices in Little Rock, Dallas, and Chicago. Our photography business is stronger today than ever.
Bob is also an avid cyclist and father of four, living in Little Rock, Arkansas. He can often be seen riding a race, then photographing the next one (if, of course, he’s not carrying a camera during his race).
As a freelance photographer, Bob was part of a team of Associated Press photographers team that shared in the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for the coverage of the 1992 Presidential campaign. Chris was also a part of the team.
Bob is active in the his community. He volunteers his time and talents with many organizations, specifically CARTI, a cancer treatment center located in Arkansas.
About the Photograph
While visiting and camping on scenic Petit Jean Mountain in Central Arkansas, Bob and his family were preparing for a hike towards Cedar Falls when the early morning light caught Bob’s eye. It was falling across the overlook near Mather Lodge, it was so wonderful, as you can see.
“Our challenge as photographers is to create depth in a photo,” Bob says. “In landscape photography, you cannot control anything. You have to be patient and wait for the perfect light. It was by luck, and joy, that I happened upon the perfect light that creates the so many layers in this majestic valley scene.”
On September 29, 2002 Sakiko Mito married Budi Tjoenawan at Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. This was eventful from our perspective because they gave us a freedom we hadn’t experienced before. We shot mostly film, with a slight amount of digital mixed in, but we could do anything we wanted and they wanted us to push our boundaries and try very interesting and progressive (at the time) photographs. We used grain and blur to our advantage, we shot cross process and just about anything else you can thing of, but mostly, we simply had a great time. The final results are something to be enjoyed by all. #experiencematters #tbt #ockenphotography
How long does it take to create great photographs? We say decades – and here’s way. Have you ever looked at a photo and said, wow, that’s a great pictures, but then just haven’t been able to define why? Well, that’s what takes decades, that ability to make the connections within photos that take a picture beyond just ‘good’, the ability to create a photos that are simply a joy to view. #experiencematters #ockenphoto #tbt
Does the changing definitions of art change the way you think about art? Seth Godin recently outlined many changes in his recent blog post – Now it’s ruined. How many times have we heard this?
- Photography is a cheat, the death of painting
- Photoshop is a hack, the death of photography
- Instagram filters are crap, the death of Photoshop
- eBooks are for losers, stealing the magic and majesty of the printed book
- Blogging is impermanent, the end of thoughtful word processing
- Tweeting is stupid, the end of intelligent blogging
- Video is too easy, a cheap shortcut that destroys the essence of film
- YouTube has no curators, the end of quality video
- Selling by phone is for losers, closers show up in person…
Seth argues that “Technology almost always democratizes art, because it gives us better tools, better access and a quicker route to mediocrity.” So in our case, it’s exponentially easier to be a decent photographer given all the great tool on the market today, but, in our opinion, it’s just as difficult to be a great photographer as it ever was. To be great, just as always, takes hard work. As Ashton said, “Opportunity looks at lot like work.” Seems fair to me.
Seth sums it up well “… all this ending is leading to more and more beginnings, isn’t it? It’s not ruined, it’s merely different.”
We found this quote and feel it really captures our message:
“[Experience] is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing, and hearing the significant thing, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and coordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” – Aldous Huxley
Although brides and grooms plan their big day just once, those of us who have spent some time in the wedding industry have tasted more cakes, sniffed more bouquets, and photographed more crazy dancing than we care to remember.
But this is good for you—and it’s good for us too. This gives us a certain perspective. We can tell you that a midnight round of vodka and Red Bull shots may not be the best plan at your reception. Or that hand-making each and every one of those 450 special party favors may not be worth the damage to your eyesight and relationships with those you roped into helping you.
And, because we’ve been around a while, we know more useful stuff! Such as what venues are up and coming in our area, what’s hot this season, and what you can do to choose the very best professionals, which will help make your day as smooth and fun as possible.
In addition to imparting our wisdom (because who can’t get enough of that?), we at Ocken Photography want to talk about what it takes to be a professional wedding photographer, why it’s important to hire someone who’s an industry pro, and what does experience have to do with it anyway.
We’ll be chatting with some of our favorite people to work with and telling you what they have to say. We’ll be sharing different perspectives, as well as our own, in a series of blog posts over the summer and fall, so plan to check back regularly for the latest in wedding trends and insights for all aspects of your blessed event.
The 2014 seniors are excited about their portraits from Ocken Photography and so are we. Bob have been busy making all the graduates look amazing in there pictures for them so share with their family and friends. Meet Madison, a member of St. Mary’s Academy, we are quite fond of her and her beautiful photographs.
We are very excite to have another post in Be U Weddings! We love this blog and have been working closely with them this year on their WONDERFUL bridal guide. We are so excited to show you what we have been doing. So stay tuned! We will show you as SOON as we can. In the meantime check out Erin and Jay fabulous fall fete over on Be U’s blog.
But you don’t want to leave things to chance when it comes to your wedding photographs. When the fanfare and wonder of the big day is over, your photographs will remain. Over time, they become your memories.
So on your one special day, it’s important to choose a photographer who’s already been down the aisle numerous times. Pick someone who’s prepared for (and even thrives on!) the pressure that comes with the just-happening-once joy of a wedding.
After years of photographing ceremonies and receptions of all sizes and styles, Ocken Photography has the knowledge, creativity, and quick-thinking poise under pressure to make sure your memories and one-of-a-kind moments are expertly captured, without disrupting the emotion and flow of your celebration.
Every year I volunteer my photography services to document the CARTI Kids having the time of their lives. These kids have all received treatment at CARTI for cancer. Some are still being treated and some have rods in there backs. When I mentioned that to a climbing guide, he about flipped out. I think we changed some hearts with our visit to the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. To see all the wonderful photographs I took go to the CARTI Facebook page or request a link from me at Bob@OckenPhotography.com