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 and Chicago.
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.”
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.”
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.
Every year I (Bob) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
It was dry when the CARTI Tour de Rock began its annual fund raiser to help fund cancer treatment in Arkansas. By mile 50 there was a flash flood warning for the state.
Mary Catherine, helped by her mother and cousins, worked to created a bit of photographic magic at the Wildwood Center for the Performing Arts. It was a wonderfully warm day and waiting for the late afternoon sun made the session all the more mystical. Mary Catherine and her fiance, Dr. Stephen Paulus, were married April 6 in Little Rock, Arkansas. We wish the couple many blessings as they start their new life together in Kansas City.
We started our southern wedding season a bit early this year — thank you! — with a wedding in Chicago and Dallas. Congratulations to Lauren and Rob, who were married at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas. Their reception was held at the beautiful Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens. The couple lives and works in Dallas, we look forward to working with them throughout the years.
YOU ALL are so awesome, and WE are extremely grateful. Thanks for helping us prove to the world what you already know. For over 20 years we work hard every weekend to create timeless treasures for generations of your family to see. You have trusted us to capture the most important moments on your wedding day. We love what we do for you, we love to see your joyful faces when we show you the photographs. And we love to create the perfect wedding album for you to share with your children, and watch your grandchildren flip through.
We love to show off what we do, so please take some time and visit our galleries and Facebook pages for Arkansas and Chicago. And be careful, we are totally doing the happy dance right now as we type!
Jon Lee and Chelsey Thompson married June 9, 2012
Ocken photography is looking forward to meeting all the newly engaged couples and help with their wedding planning. You know we make the most amazing wedding photographs, but did you know we also have the best wedding vendor referrals? Like Shelia Vaughtis a great consultant, Becky Clements has some of the best floral designs, Joe Snell really knows how to rock withCentral Arkansas Entertainment. Lets us know how we can help.
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:
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.”