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Tips for Wedding Photographers From a Professional Wedding DJ

weddingdj

Much like how many of you moonlight as wedding photographers, I double as professional wedding DJ. I’ve been in the business for 7 years and have somewhere around 50 weddings under my belt.

I see it as part of my job to set the scene for you take the best shots you possibly can. I create the moments, you capture them. Whether or not you realize it, we’re a team. There’s no reset switch, we only have one chance to get it right. The better we can work together, the better the outcome is for everyone. To help us work better together, here’s some things I think you should know.

  • The best thing I can mention is communication. We need to have good, constant, open communication. When you arrive on location, find me, introduce yourself and lets hash out a game plan. I always have a printed agenda of my plans to give to the photographer.
  • This is also an excellent time to give me a few business cards. Aside from creeping on your portfolio during the reception, I like to know who you are and know how to refer work to you. Trust me, I’d rather work with photographers that do great work and work well with me.

    buscard

  • Give me a list of things you need shots of and I’ll make sure you’re not in the bathroom before doing them. If you need a extra minute to prepare, let me know and I can delay.
  • If it looks like my lighting rig is going to throw you off, let me know before I turn them on. If time permits, I’d be happy to turn them on so you can get some test shots.
  • My schedule is largely determined by what time you’re contracted until. I understand you’ve been shooting since before noon and want to go, but please, let me know how much flexibility you have. As you know, sometimes things happen that are out of our control and cause events to get out of sync. Just knowing that you’re willing to stay an extra 15-30 minutes if necessary is a big help.

    dance

  • I’d really appreciate a 5 minute phone call or an email a week or a few days in prior to a wedding, just to make sure we’re on the same page. If we need to discuss anything in depth, having the conversation an hour before the ceremony or reception starts isn’t going to do either of us any good.
  • I love getting recommendations for things to do during a reception (fun games, activities, etc)–it helps me keep things fresh.
  • If you hear guests complaining about the volume or song selection while you’re out shooting, let me know. If my voice sounds too loud or quiet when making announcements, let me know.
  • I always have a small toolkit and spare batteries, just ask.
  • Yes, it’s okay if you store your gear bag behind my booth.
  • We can use Google Apps for email and document storage. In order to ensure that we stay in sync with the bride/groom/minister/other vendors, we can create and share the Google Doc with everyone involved. This way, there’s only one constantly up-to-date agenda floating around. Everyone is on the same page, all the time.

What about from your side? What can I do to make your job easier? What should I know?


About the author: Corey Blaz is a professional wedding DJ based in Cleveland, Ohio. Visit his website here. This article originally appeared here.


Image credit: Radonich Ranch: Preparing to DJ a wedding by DoNotLick, Photographer Business Card by Michael Kappel, time to dance by danoxster