Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I recently met Kari Kochar, a wedding photographer with a keen eye for warmth and style. We quickly realized that we share a common philosophy regarding weddings. I've invited her to share with you some of her tips on what to keep in mind while choosing your photographer.
Personality – IMO, this is one of the most important things!!!
Is the photographer that you meet someone that you can get along with (for your whole wedding)? This is really important, since you will probably spend more time on your wedding day with your photographer than almost any other person and that will also show in the photos if you do not connect with them. And also, is the photographer someone you can get along with throughout the whole process (hiring, engagement session, wedding day and afterwards in designing your album- that is often a 2 year time period)
Experience Level – I strongly recommend that you don’t hire a family member or friend and that you specifically hire a wedding photographer (not an advertising photographer, fashion photographer etc.), but someone with a lot of experience shooting weddings- I’ve lost count of the number of stories I’ve heard where the photographer didn’t have enough experience and lost the photos, their equipment failed, they acted or dressed inappropriately, they missed key important moments, since they lacked the experience shooting weddings, etc.
1. How many weddings? (my rec: at least 25, or more)
2. How long have they been doing weddings? (my rec: at least 2 years)
3. Formal Training? (I do think a photographer can learn on the job, but I know several photographers, and I think the best ones are the ones with formal schooling in photography)- gives them a level of photographic sophistication.
Kari will share more tips in my next entry.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A DJ can make or break a party. While I don't often get to a reception, I have heard many DJ's at ceremonies. Lee Dyson of Hey Mister. DJ, is someone I've worked with and whose work stands apart from the crowd. I asked him to jot down some thoughts on what to look for when you choose a DJ:
In the past you could safely bet that if you were hiring a DJ they had to be good because the would have needed to spend thousands of dollars on music and equipment not to mention the amount of hours on researching music etc...
It was a profession that only the seriously passionate and committed would undertake.
These days it’s much easier for anyone who is a fan of music to pick up some gear and call themselves a DJ.
This is mostly to the change in technology- MP3 downloads, Ipods, computer programs that mix for you, sophisticated cd turntables etc.... the DJ market is flooded more than ever before with hobbyist & bedroom DJs that
are out trying to compete in the professional market without any experience or the level of professionalism you’d expect.
It can be tough for a client to navigate these waters especially when they don’t know what questions to ask or how to identify a talented, experienced, professional DJ.
Often, the client knows what they like when they hear it, but as they start looking for a DJ they begin to realize that they don’t know how to articulate what exactly they need or the style they want.
The style of my company is unique:
We bring the best attributes of the Nightclub DJ & the Mobile DJ together. We provide the hip style & aesthetics of a club DJ (without the attitude or flake factor) and marry it with the professionalism and etiquette that is typically expected from a Mobile DJ. (Without the cheesy factor)
Here is some basic advice:
Before I contract any job I prefer to meet with the client so we can both get a feel for each other and see if we are on the same page or have any chemistry. I think it’s important to have good level of comfort with your vendors, which allows you to relax the day of the event and it usually allows us to have a stronger performance.
You can learn a lot from a meet & greet with a potential DJ.
• Are they able to meet you on time?
• Are they organized and prepared?
• Can they articulate their style and way of doing things?
• Do they listen to you and take your input?
• Do they seem like they could relate to your guests?
I believe in going with your gut so if you genuinely like the vibe of someone then put them to the top of the list but remember that no matter how great someone seems during a meeting you still don’t know if they understand how to program a room properly or create a smooth flow of energy with their music selection.
Ask to hear sample mixes of their work or even better if they are playing someplace locally where you can audit their performance.
Hey Mister DJ