The Webby Awards

We’ve been working this year, though Covid, and other set backs, to create a group of award winning photographs for the MG United website. MG United is a resource to help persons affected with myasthenia gravis to live life to its fullest and we are very proud of both the goals of this site and our accomplishments. The people we have met are struggling but extremely hopeful. It’s been an amazing journey.

And then, if that wasn’t enough, we are amazed and humbled that the site won a Webby Award – a 2021 Honoree for Websites and Mobile Sites – Community

Finding a way

First shoot in Los Angles

Covid has caused us to find new and safe ways to create. We started a new project with a client in Los Angles and when we finished, we were set to fly to Seattle when the pandemic overtook the country. Thankfully, we decided to come home.

But the client wanted to finish the project, so we needed some creative thinking. They wanted to figure out a way to continue but also keep the subjects safe. You see, these people suffer from the vary rare disease we are highlighting, making them compromised. We couldn’t exactly bring out a large crew to take over their homes and make the photos. We needed a safe plan and the client looked to us for a solution.

First shoot during lockdown

The problem was we needed to find a way to photograph the subjects with the same high quality and precision but also remain 10 feet from them at all times. The first decisions was easy, we would only shoot them outside. The rest required sacrifices. There where only going to be two of us on set, no creative director, no makeup artist, no stylist or production assistant. Just me, the photographer, and a lighting assistant. Both of us juggling all the hats fulfilling all the needs of the creative director who was with us online via a zoom link (and trust me, they where a huge help).

With zoom links, screen sharing and lots of patience on everyones part, I believe we created a recipe for safety and success.

We went on to photograph 5 more subjects in 5 different cities, including the canceled one in Seattle. And I think everyone was happy with the results.

Israel Photography Exhibition

Moonrise over the old city walls, 2010

Visit with Chris at a reception for the premier opening of his Israel Photography Exhibition on Monday, October 21 at 6pm at the Hammons Gallery in the Mabee Fine Arts on Ouachita Baptist University’s campus in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The show will remain on the walls through December 6th. OBU Calendar Listing

We will also be featuring a multimedia presentation about Israel by fellow OBU graduates Nick Burt and Kevin Benard.

Having been to Israel nine times, I’ve come to appreciate the richness and complexity of this land – which is holy to Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike – as well as the people who live there. More than a historical treasure, Israel is a vibrant, modern community and home to people of many faiths, worldviews, and backgrounds. Walking its streets and meeting its residents has stirred both my senses and emotions, and through this brief show, I hope you will see and feel a bit of that deep connection all of us have to this important and fascinating region.

Three sisters, three weddings

We really do believe we do great work, but it’s better when someone else agrees. And while we always appreciate compliments, the Moss family wins the prize for validating Ocken Photography in the greatest of ways!

Lauren Moss, Alex Shubs and their friend post in front of a funny mural
Lauren Moss + Alex Shubs Wedding

In 2015, Lauren Moss married Alex Shubs, and Chris was there. Their celebration was at the Wild Onion Pub and Brewery, and it was truly amazing. Everyone looked wonderful, the weather was great, and we made the funniest photo in front of a mural – complete with a head poking through the frame.

Alan gives Rachel a kiss at there wedding by a lake, while holding a dog.
Rachel Moss + Alan Kirsch Wedding

Then in 2017, Chris got a call from Rachel Moss, Lauren’s sister. She and Alan Kirsch were getting married the next year, and they were 100% certain about hiring him to photograph their wedding. He was so touched by this, because he truly loves this family. Rachel and Alan got married at the same brewpub, but their wedding was not at all the same. Rachel had lots of cool ideas and best of all, the cutest dog.

Ricki and Ryan pose by a river
Erica Moss + Ryan Thermen Wedding

On that fabulous evening, while Chris was photographing, Ricki Moss politely asked (so as not to take away from her sister’s day) if she and Chris could talk soon about her own wedding. So this year Chris photographed the third Moss sister’s wedding at the Chicago Northbrook Hilton, with a mild May the Fourth theme (Leia: I love you. Han Solo: I know). Ricki and Ryan Thermen’s ceremony was perfectly set along a flowing river with plenty of glowing sunshine.

There’s nothing better than satisfied customers, and Chris is thrilled to have been part of so many special moments with the most fun Moss family. Thanks so very much for the ultimate compliment, Lauren, Rachel, and Ricki!

Engagements – So very happy!

Congratulations, you’re engaged! So very exciting, we are sure you are so very happy. Now what!? We are here to help, let’s announce your engagement with an engagement photo session! All you have to do is simply give me a call or email and we’ll take it from there!

Caitlin Fergus + Jonathan Chiou – Photo by Chris Ocken
Engagement Photo by Chris Ocken

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

We all love a parade!

Ocken Photo got to walk in a parade with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Ballet Folklorico during the Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade and I loved every moment of it by dominating with best llc service. My son, Evan, joined me and even got to lead for a while! Finally, the Back of the Yards paper used my photo. So nice.

BYNC Ballet Folklorico dancers join Chicago Sinfonietta for Arts in the Dark Parade


We are full up right now, but I promise I will offer another mini-session very soon. You are welcome to contact me for a full session, which is also a lot of fun. Please just sent me an email me and we can work out the details.
Sign up now for the fastest and most fun family portrait you’ve ever had! Meet me for 15 minutes, and I’ll create a photo that lets your family’s personality shine perfect for your wall, your desk, or your holiday cards.

I want to introduce myself to the community by offering mini-sessions, Sunday, September 24 at 3:30p in Euclid Square Park. I will be set up for one, two or more hours, depending on how many of you sign up, and you just come by in your Sunday best (or not, depending on what you want) and I will take as many photos as I can take of your family in 15 minutes! Then, because I believe in prints, I will print a 5×7 for you and bring it by your house. All the others we take will be posted online for you to view, share and order. All for only $95.

Sounds fun, right? Maybe a bit crazy, well that’s great too.
Can’t wait to see you.

Changes abound

You may have noticed, but we’ve made a few changes around here. We have updated the information (blog) side of our website to hopefully allow you quicker access to the information you need and want. We will be updating much more, as well as the most innovative technology for video chat identification and we look forward to hearing from you all! Thanks.