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!
Ocken Photography can help you create some pretty darn fantastic personalized holiday cards (if we do say so ourselves, click here for proof!), but it all begins with a portrait session. And since this is the season of getting together, why not have some fun and get your pix for free?
Talk with your friends and family, and as you’re making plans to get together in the coming weeks, consider inviting Ocken Photography to the occasion. Gather two other families, couples, pets, babies, or kids who would like a holiday portrait session–whether that’s in their Halloween costume, decked out for Turkey Day, or in their Christmasy best–and your portrait session will be complementary (when they’re all done on the same day in the same location).
The pictures will be placed online to view, order, and share (you can give them as gifts, you know), or you can purchase the high-res CD of your images from the session.
Once we’ve created the images, Ocken Photography can work with you to design a holiday card that’s sure to garner a prime spot on the mantle at every home it’s sent to. Give us a call or shoot us an email to get your holiday portrait session (with or without the party) on the books!
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.”
Yet again, Chris Ocken was quoted in Chicago Style Weddings magazine on page 396 (398 in the digital version) in a story about top photography trends this year. “It’s essential to make photos viewable on iPhone and iPads and to allow brides access to smaller versions of their images for Facebook, Twitter, and emailing,” Chris said. “In our immediate society, brides and everyone else have come to expect quick and easy access to images from just about anywhere.”
Who knew Chris was so quotable? That could even be him on the cover. (It’s not.) Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
Chicago Style Weddings talked with Chris for an article in their current issue about how to hire a photographer. It’s on page 376 (378 in the digital version). “It is also very important that a couple know what style they want — traditional, journalistic, commercial, or a style that combines several elements, like my own fine art documentary approach,” Chris explains in the story. At Ocken Photography we pride ourselves on letting your day unfold while we make wonderful photographs without getting in your way. Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
Ocken Photography is known for our documentary photography approach to weddings, and Chris recently spoke with Chicago Style Weddings magazine about just that. He’s quoted on page 392 (394 of the digital version) of the most recent issue in an article about photojournalism and photographic trends. Chris explained his approach as a “more documentary, realistic style” that really showcases the bride and groom’s style “rather than setting up shots and doing lots of post-production work. Most all of my brides appreciate not ‘seeing’ me much during the day as I work unobtrusively to capture the emotion and setting of what’s happening around me,” he said.
Each of the Ocken siblings works according to these general guidelines, so you’re bound to be pleased — and maybe even surprised — by the moments we capture when you don’t even know we’re there. Kind of like Batman… Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
We are very fortunate to have Becca Fess (of the fantastic footwear) and perfect gentleman Lucas Cooper featured in Chicago Style Wedding’s Newest Newlywed section on page 382 (384 in the digital version). We think they’re by far the best-looking couple on the page! Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
We are very fortunate to have the lovely Ana Montelongo and dashing Scott McCarty featured in the Chicago Style Wedding’s Newest Newlywed section on page 378 (380 in the digital version). I just love the way they are touching noses. Totally makes the photo! Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
Chicago Style Weddings caught up with Chris recently to talk about the pressures brides feel as they prepare for their weddings. You can find the article in the latest issue of the magazine on page 381 (383 in the digital version), but here’s a highlight from Chris on the pressure of creating (and sticking to) a photography budget. “These images are really one of the few things you get to keep after the wedding. Don’t worry about the extra $500 — hire the photographer you feel is going to do the best job for you.”
All the Ocken siblings stand by that advice. (And it’s a big moment when they all agree, people!) Photographs are forever. Click here to see if your wedding date is open.
Check out our newest ad with a great mix of our favorite photos in Chicago Style Wedding magazine, page 387 (388 of the digital version). Like what you see? Click here to see if your wedding date is open.