7 Things Your DJ Notices About Your Photographer

  • By Derek Hoffman
  • 07 Jul, 2017

Last week, Becca and Kaye fired shots at DJs and we let them tear us apart, then build us back up in “6 things your photographer notices about your DJ.”  This week, DJs fire back and delve into the 7 (positive and negative) things they notice most about photographers.

Now, just as they were fair by not naming names for the bad DJs, (to protect the guilty) we won't name bad photographers either.  We sat down with Roy McCaulley of Crystal Entertainment  (A KC Wedding DJ who is almost as good as us) and Mike King of Mic King Music & Events to ask what he noticed most about wedding photographers.  We had to agree when they said,

7.  Some photographers DGAF how they look

Even when I was starting out as the infamous unskilled “$300 DJ” I still showed up in a suit and tie.
dj notices about photographer pumpkin suit
No. Never this one.

Most wedding vendors could be considered “artists” per se and to each artist comes a quirk.  Your baker’s medium for art is cake.  Your DJ/Band’s medium for art is music.  Your drunk groomsman’s medium for art is vomiting in the alleyway of your venue.

But weddings are *NOT* the time and place to spotlight your quirkiness.  It’s a time to act like a civilized (aka: normie) human being.  So leave the paint-stained, 1 strap bib overalls at home and don some nice event-appropriate attire.  Iron your shirt,  fix your damn hair.

DJ Notices about photographer KC Wedding DJ Well dressed photographer
Be like Aubrey.
Just because you’re the photographer and you are behind the lens doesn’t mean you won’t appear in some of the wedding photos. Surely you’re aware wedding guests have cameras too, right?
kc mobile dj notices about photographer wedding dj guests phone camera ceremony
“No… I had no idea guests brought their own cameras” </sarcasm>.
Dressing up for the wedding is a minor consideration.  Something the photographer can do to unknowingly mess things up is when,

6.  The photographer is nowhere to be found

Roy from Crystal Entertainment (another Kansas City wedding DJ company who is almost as good as us) has had to hunt down several photographers for a “can't miss” shot.  It’s usually excusable when they’re found finishing their meal... or in the bathroom…
Eating on bathroom floor dj notices about photographer
It’s never excusable if they’re finishing their meal in the bathroom, though.
But if they’re taking a smoke break or gossiping with one of your guests… game over.  After a couple of mishaps and warnings, I’ll lose patience for inconsiderate photographers and I’ll page them over the sound system.  “If someone knows where the photographer is, can you please let them know the couple is ready for their first dance please?”  We do everything possible to avoid public persecution, but if you’re that clueless and inconsiderate on the job, you kind of deserve it..  One gentle announcement over the sound system will usually fix their momentary lapse of competence.  But another sin worthy of punishment would be when,

5.  The photographer pulls the couple away without telling the DJ

Mike King from Mic King Music always confirms the bride is ready before the bouquet toss in order to avoid the following awkward situation:  

Bey starts singing, “All the single ladies…” and he announces for the bride to grab her bouquet and safely make her way through the crowd of rabid single ladies to toss those roses only to discover that the bride is outside... a few blocks away... for those amazing sunset shots.

We as DJs understand and recognize the importance of grabbing those “golden hour” shots.

KC Mobile DJ Kansas City Wedding DJ Wedding Photography Aubrey Erin Photo Sunset Hour
“Haha - those suckers are back there cupid shuffling.”

And by all means, we want you to grab those shots.  If our client is happier all around, we consider the wedding to be that much more successful.  But for the love of all that is holy… please warn your DJ.  We’re so thankful for photographers like Aubrey Callahan of Aubrey Erin Photography who communicates with the DJ before taking the hosts from their party for those shots.

P.S.  Couples, this is one more reason why we strongly recommend a wedding coordinator.

Oh, that’s right, we said we’d say some positive things too.  Things we love, like when

4. The photographer knows and commits to the timeline

Okay, full disclosure, “timeline” in wedding talk is usually pretty open to interpretation.  We rarely plan for the 30 minutes it can take to bustle a dress and I’ve even defaulted to calling it “order of events” instead of “timeline”.  Because each event has a different genetic makeup of guests, hosts, vendors and atmosphere, the cocktail hour may be a cocktail 15 minutes or a cocktail 2 hours.  Dinners could drag on, etc.  But a photographer who is aware of the order of events, commits to them and is ready for them are golden in our books.

In fact, I had the pleasure of working with Kelby Reck of  Reck’d Photography , who has an amazing portrait portfolio and is quickly developing his wedding portfolio, and I saw him patiently follow the couple around the entire evening.  Grabbing shots of them chatting with guests and generally just being ready.  Even if he had no idea what the timeline was (he did know), he would have been ready for anything because he was on his toes and ready to go the entire evening. 

Another thing we love is when,

3.  The photographer considers their composition

Nothing rubs me worse than when a n00b photog is standing in the middle of the couple's’ guests, taking first dance shots with our equipment in the background.  As we mentioned before, our equipment looks baller AF.
DJ Notices about photographer KC Mobile DJ Wedding DJ Becca Blake Photography Up lighting dj booth chauvet lights totems gobo
"Meh...."

But I’d be willing to bet most couples prefer their guests cherished and adoring expressions to be in the background of their first dance pictures.  Not our goofy faces.

The same could be said from a photographer who not only considers their initial composition but one who offers multiple angles of the same occasion.

Wedding DJ Notices about Wedding Photographer First Dance Becca Blake Multiple Angles
Case in point. Way to go Becca Blake!

Why do we care so much about photography if we’re just DJs? Because we want to have a successful, all around wedding.  And that can happen if,

2.  The photographer is aware of their surroundings.

In an effort to get “the shot” we’ve seen photographers do some pretty crazy things.  And most things they do are things we admire.  We’ve seen them lay flat on the grass for an awesome perspective.  We’ve seen them hold poses that would make any yoga instructor proud while waiting for the ring bearer to smile.  We’ve seen them cup their own chin in their hand while longingly considering the chandelier as a perspective.

DJ notices about photographer wedding photographer hanging from chandelier
“Okay - now hand me my camera please”

That’s why when we see a photographer who carefully steps behind speakers and over lights we breath a sigh of relief.  It’s someone who isn’t a clutz and someone who isn’t going to destroy our equipment or trip and fall into a precariously placed water fountain.

Wedding DJ notices about Wedding photographer falls in fountain
Like so.
Photographers like this are so committed to getting you the #perfectpictures and we can’t say enough good things about them.  In fact when they get those awesome shots of our mutual client, Mike King made an admirable point that it’s awesome when

1.  Photographers share their work

One of my favorite planners, Michelle Layman with Events by Elle said it best, “We’re all in this together.”  So when a photographer shares their work of our mutual client, tags the other vendors in their posts it tugs at our heartstrings.  As Mike put it, those amazing dance floor shots wouldn’t have been possible without an amazing DJ.  Or The composition of the first shot wouldn’t have been as beautiful without the up lights provided by the DJ. 

Sara Marie Photography could write a book on vendor collaboration.  Not only does she post the pictures mere hours after the wedding, she tags all the other vendors and willingly shares images for them to use.

KC Wedding DJ notices about your photographer good example collaborative vendor
We highly recommend you like her page and follow her Instagram to see more of how she does it.
We’re curious about some of the things you have seen at a wedding from a vendor.  Without naming names, have you experienced something truly awesome, or truly awful at a wedding? Spill in the comments below! It could end up in a future blog post.
Derek is the owner (but prefers to be called Supreme Leader) of KC Mobile DJ & Photography , an event service provider in Kansas City.  You can follow KC Mobile DJ on the Facebooks and Instagrams or send Derek ideas, suggestions, contributions and corrections to  derek@kcmobiledj.com .

Thanks to the awesome collaborators on this mini blog series:
Crystal Entertainment | Facebook | Instagram
Mic King Music | Facebook | Instagram
Aubrey Erin Photography | Facebook | Instagram
Sara Marie Photography | Facebook | Instagram
Events by Elle | Facebook | Instagram

KC Mobile DJ & Photography Blog

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