Brooks + Billy’s New Orleans Winter Wedding

It’s exciting to watch any couple begin the next chapter of their lives. The sparkle is never lost on us. However, when Holland Nader booked our photography services for her daughter’s wedding, none of us — not even the bride — new the extra layers that would be added to her celebration. You see, Brooks Nader is a Sports Illustrated model now married to William Haire. Her fame alone made the wedding very interesting, but after booking us, Brooks won the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model search competition and was named 2020 model rookie of the year for the magazine, which added another level of intensity to the day.

We are all so excited for her. This was such an amazing boost to her career and, well, ours too!

We loved the challenge of photographing a high-profile event, and appreciated the trust she so delicately placed on our shoulders. All of this only increased our desire to do our absolute best with every aspect of the day.

Then, to add even more fun to the mix, Brooks decided to take a shot at a People magazine exclusive to announce her marriage to Billy. And days later, both The Knot.com and Brides.com jumped at the chance to showcase their celebration.

Based on experience, we knew how important it would be to pay attention to the details on this particular day, so we are grateful Brooks had hired Leslie Campbell to plan her wedding, and that it would feature the always-gorgeous florals from Billy Heroman. We worked to prepare, and to anticipate every possibility, but with every passing day, the pressure mounted. Not only would People magazine need photos, but more and more features were being added to the celebration — and all the images would need to be delivered the week immediately following the wedding!

But we didn’t panic. We never panic. Working closely with Brooks, we created a plan to make the edits, learned how she wanted the enhancements to look, and prioritized the delivery of the photos. A good majority of them were finished before the last candle from the reception was extinguished, and the world got their Brooks and Billy wedding celebration fix the very next day!

To do all this, we gathered a team of photographers and even our office manager to work on the photos almost in real time as the day progressed. We pulled Brooks away for a moment between events to approve the choices so we had a large group of photos ready to send before the reception ended. Our confidence in our team was cemented that evening, but none of this could have happened without Brooks’ amazing ability to make quick decisions — and quick changes. She completely reset the tone for her “reception look” with a new dress, hairstyle, and makeup — all without missing a single moment of her celebration. It was truly magical and worth the planning and hard work everyone put in.

High fives to all that made this evening such a grand success.

We first and foremost, we want to thank Brooks and Billy. But we also need to call out our team made up of Emily Green, Taylor Waston, and our office manager, Jessica Sarkar. They all showed up with their talents and brought their creativity, making them a force to be reckoned with! Everyone put on whatever hat was needed at the moment and worked instinctively together as if we could read each other’s minds. It was awe inspiring and at times a bit surreal, but nonetheless a total blast. We are very proud of the beautiful story we produced as the night unfolded. Everything seemed to go exactly right and we are all beaming and sincerely grateful for the team.

We also need to give a big shout out to the Nader and Haire families for keeping their wedding professionals local and trusting in what we all have built right here in southern Louisiana. It’s always an honor to work with such fine professionals, and we proved you do not need to bring anyone from the other LA to create an extremely magical and exceptional wedding celebration. Everyone that helped that evening was touched by your confidence in us and deeply honored to be a part of such a happy time in your life.

So THANK YOU, Brooks and Billy and your beautiful families. You gave us an opportunity to shine, and we truly love all that we did together. And thanks to any and all publications that took the time to feature this magical day. The Ocken Photography team is honored to have played a part in its success. Everything was truly picture perfect!

Fine Art Documentary Photography

We believe in the magic and emotion that makes your wedding special. Ocken Photography calls on years of award-winning experience to ensure all flows smoothly and beautiful photos are the result. Using photojournalists techniques, we preserve the moments and setting of your celebration to tell your story, giving you the freedom to shine as we document the wonders and details all around.

Ocken Photography, capturing the fine art of your life. Let’s Talk

2002 – Dallas, Texas

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On September 29, 2002, Sakiko Mito married Budi Tjoenawan at the 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 think of, but mostly, we simply had a great time. The final results are something to be enjoyed by all. #experiencematters #tbt #ockenphotography

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Throwback – Experiences that separate us

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

See more at our growing throwback gallery on Facebook.

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The Changing Definitions of Art

jake

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.”

Definition of Experience

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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

 

 

 

Perspective makes the day go smoother

WeddingAlthough 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.

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Wedding Experience Matters

Newest NewlywedsWe all get lucky once in a while. (You’re feeling that way right now as you think about your partner to be, right?)

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.

Tell us about your wedding and how we can help

Check out a collection of our favorite photographs