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.

Wedding

Erin + Jay on Be U Weddings

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.Be U Weddings

Meet Our Parisian Event Planner

On August 8th come and visit with Kim Petyt, our Paris based wedding planner and author of The Paris Wedding for an exclusive book signing & tete a tete

The Left Bank Jewelry and Bridal Finery – 1155 West Webster from 6pm-8:30pm – RSVP: Info@LeftBankJewelry.com

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The Left Bank Jewelry’s ad in CS Brides features our photo

Left Bank JewelryWhen not working with brides, we really like to join forces with great partners like The Left Bank Jewelry, a wonderful little wedding boutique on Webster in Lincoln Park. Susan Metropoulos has a great collection that includes just about every bridal accessory you might dream of—and probably some you haven’t!  And all with a wonderful French flair. Check out her lovely ad, featuring an Ocken Photography photo, in the current CS Brides on page 275. Then finish the job by paying her a visit, and heck—why not check in with us too? We’d love to take some photographs for you as well!

 

 

Help Us Become #1 on The Knot

We know you already think that we are the best, but we need to prove it to the Knot.  Please help us become one of the Knots best in business by clicking here and give us a quick review, you will be registered for a free give and many thanks from us.

Thanks for the great review from Ashley:
Wedding: 5/5/2012

 

Professional + Personal = Perfect Wedding Day Photos
Bob was absolutely wonderful to work with. He’s very personable and wants to try and get to know the bride and groom and cater to your style. As a bride without much knowledge about the photography business and what “shots” I wanted, he knew how to capture it all and his suggestions were great. Overall, I was well pleased with the selection of proofs from the bridal portraits as well as the wedding day. He has a great demeanor and sense of humor that kept everyone light, yet also exerted initiative to keep things moving when taking group shots. With all the stress that can come with the wedding day, I knew that I didn’t have to worry about the photographer (being on time, getting the right shots, etc) which was a huge relief! I really liked that on the day of the wedding he took photos that told a story rather than still, posed pictures. The classic wedding photos of course were posed, but I loved the way he captured, smiles and body language, etc. when you weren’t looking. While the price was a bit out of our range, we understand why now (such great shots!) and realize that splurging on a photographer was totally worth it. I would definitely recommend Ocken Photography to anyone looking for a wedding photographer, I now understand why some call him “one of the best in the business.”

5 years in Chicago Social Brides

It’s difficult to believe that I have been working with CS Brides for 5 years already, which means I have been working in Chicago for 11 years now!  Congratulations to Chicago Social Brides on a beautiful 5th anniversary edition and a great launch party.  We all look forward to another 5!

Video Partnership in Chicago

Ocken Photography Chicago is proud to announce a new partnership with one of our favorite co-workers in the wedding industry, John Severson of Smiling Toad Productions. Now when you hire Ocken Photography and Smiling Toad for full visual coverage of your wedding or other special event, you’ll get a discount from both service providers. Sweet!

We asked John to talk a little about what’s happening in the world of wedding videos, so here he is with an introduction what will make brides much smarter when shopping for services.

John is the first to admit that wedding videos often get a bad rap. Maybe they’re six hours long, capturing in painful detail every minute of the wedding day–a torture device unwilling family members will be forced to endure for years to come. Or perhaps it was the creation of the video that was painful–a slightly sleazy cameraman in a light-blue tuxedo who insisted on standing a little too close to the pretty ladies as he shone a light in their faces and asked them repeatedly to “share some thoughts with the bride and groom.”

But neither of these scenarios is the current state of the art where videography is concerned. John has a background in documentary filmmaking and keeps himself at the cutting edge of the industry’s rapidly developing technology. His suggestions for getting a memorable video through an unobtrusive process may surprise you…

*Choose a videographer who has a DSLR camera, but not only DSLR cameras. “DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras are the future of wedding videography without a doubt,” Severson says. These cameras look like still cameras, rather than traditional video cameras, “which allows for more casual coverage of guests interacting, getting ready, or taking pictures of each other without immediately telegraphing to the subject that he or she is being captured on video.” These cameras also work better in low-light situations (which at least some portion of every wedding day seems to be), and their interchangeable lenses allow the videographer to zoom in on the action without being an inch away from your face.

However, DSLR video cameras are relatively new, so they have some limitations. You can only record for 12 consecutive minutes, and their microphones aren’t great, Severson notes. So you don’t want a videographer who has ONLY this sort of equipment. It will be another year or so before DSLR has advanced enough to carry an event on its own.

*Be sure your video team includes multiple cameras and shooters. It might seem like one guy with one camera is the best way to ensure video coverage doesn’t swarm and take over your event, but Severson says more is actually less! He recommends three cameras for the ceremony. “This allows for much smoother and more interesting editing,” he says. “Contrary to popular opinion, this also makes video coverage less noticeable. Generally with a three-camera setup, two of the three cameras do not move, as opposed to one- or two-camera coverage where constant movement and/or adjustment is often required.”

He also suggests at least two videographers with two cameras for as much of the rest of the day as possible. “This doesn’t mean that both shooters will be filming all events constantly, but by having this option, it will allow the shooters to allocate their resources to the appropriate event or venue.” You’re giving a heart-felt toast up front, but your husband’s fraternity brothers are making a human pyramid at the back. Don’t want to miss that!

*Don’t let budget worries prevent you from getting video coverage of your day. “In reality, with the proper knowledge and experience, two or three videographers with small HD (high definition)-capable cameras are able to film all aspects of your wedding day in an unobtrusive manner without needing camera assistants or Hollywood salaries,” says Severson. “Wedding videos are no longer just about capturing and preserving your ceremony. They’re a fun and unique way to capture all the elements of your wedding day in a format that’s easily accessible and shareable with people who weren’t able to attend or want to relive the most unique moments.”