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!

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

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

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

 

Woulda Shoulda Coulda | Choose Ocken Photography

There are many reason to choose a photographer, so we outlined reasons for not choosing a particular photographer in a fun, funny and not so serious look at ourselves. Remember NONE of these applies to Ocken Photograph – we are happy to assure you your day will be documented to our highest standards. Thanks toKyle Hammanat KBH Mediafor all his hard work – if you’re looking for great video, warm personalities and a wonderful person to work with, give Kyle a call!

Classic Dallas Wedding – Lauren Malone and Rob Thomson

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.

Even MORE brides in the Magazines!

Another of our brides, Anne Stover and her new husband Andrew Ruder, made it into Chicago Social Brides! We had a great time traveling with them to their Ludington, Michigan wedding. The couple was married in a gorgeous small church and had a beautiful barn reception. Anne and Andrew’s wedding photograph featured on page 356 in the “Hitched in Chicago” section of the Spring 2013 issue! I just love how many photos we are getting into magazines for our newest friends! (we posted the photo in color and full crop) Enjoy.

Wedding

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!

 

 

Our Brides in CS Brides

Gabby + Chad

Our bride Gabby Brady and her new husband Chad Pendley had their wedding photograph featured on page 352 in the “Hitched in Chicago” section of the Spring 2013 issue of CS Brides! I just love it when I can get photos into magazines for my newest friends! Enjoy.

Caitlin + Jonathan, a colorful affair

If one day could be any more fun, I am not sure how. Caitlin and Jonathan’s wedding was just the right amount of extra fun!  Caitlin’s wedding dress was inspired by her own personality, while Jonathan didn’t wear anything near traditional, straight down to red socks!  It all came together at the wonderfully kooky Catalyst Ranch in Chicago.  Photos by Chris Ocken and Mona Luan

Tis the Season to, well, get engaged

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.

Enjoy!