Your Photographer

Self Portrait - 1933 Dunes


To view this ad in a larger format,
right click image, then "View Image"


Oscar W. Boedeker: The Man Behind the Camera

Many families in the Calumet Region crossed paths with Oscar W. Boedeker, (known as Bodie by most) at some time in their life. Whether it was on picture day in high school, our wedding day or our baby’s first picture, the man behind the camera took the pictures that lined the mantles of our homes. He captured our likenesses for future generations to admire and hold dear.

Self Portrait - 1942 HHS Dunes

Born May 26, 1895 to parents William and Louise Boedeker of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Bodie was the youngest of three. Bodie opened his studio in 1916 in what was the Indiana Hotel Building at 149 State Street in Hammond. A few months later, the studio was closed when Bodie went into the service, where he served in the Army Air Corps as an aerial photographer. At the end of World War I he returned to Hammond and reopened his studio.

Bodie received much acclaim from his contemporaries, and was the recipient of countless awards throughout his career. Portraiture was his forte, but this did not keep him from experimenting in other areas of photography. His dunescapes were also well received and continued to be admired today as part of the permanent collection at the John G. Blank Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana

(To see a photo essay on Men at Work in Hammond, click on this link.)


Though he was not known for his commercial work, Bodie did advertising campaigns for Kodak and Goodyear as well as others.

Bodie’s best friends were his dogs, whom he featured in many of his photographs. In these photographs, his sense of humor and his patience are evident. He exposed such a human quality in the animals that they quickly brought a smile to our faces.

Bodie was a passionate and charismatic man with a flair for living the good life. Many of us have memories of him but not many had a relationship with him as unique as the relationship he and his wife Kathryne had with the Clayton family… Bodie was not just your ordinary picture man, but an artist with depth and a far-reaching vision.

Linda Dorman Gainer
Debra K. Luke

Co-Curators – The Northern Indiana Arts Association




If you would like to share stories about Bodie, or photographs of HHS, yourself,
or Bodie's pictures of the Dunes, the City of Hammond, Indiana, please share them with us. Contact