Pro Photos for Pro DJs

I recently participated in a brainstorming session to discuss the social media strategy for the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association. The CPDJA’s presence on Twitter and Instagram has become very successful, but we were trying to find ways to set up long term plans to keep the content fresh, without overworking any of the volunteers that keep this association afloat.

Photo content being essential these days, it was quickly revealed that sourcing great imagery for posting on social media was one of our struggles. I brought up the notion that our member DJs can and should be acquiring professional photos from the photographers they work with at each and every wedding. Naturally, this led to a conversation about how I acquire these photos myself and what I use them for. What follows, are a few thoughts on this as well as my newly refined email for requesting and receiving professional images during the wedding season this year.

Prior to every wedding, I will send out an introductory email (4 months before wedding) and a timeline email (5 days before wedding) to all vendors that I will be directly working with. Obviously, that team will include the photographer. Acquiring quality photos after a wedding is greatly assisted by having a positive relationship with the photographer starting early out. This is a great way to begin (particularly important if you have never worked with the photographer before).

On wedding day, I will be the consummate professional with the photographer. I will assist where I can, go out of my way to be of service to them, ensure no major events take place without their knowledge, etc.

In the week that follows, the photographer (and all of the other vendors) will receive an email from me, thanking them for their involvement in helping produce a successful event for the wedding couple. This should be, including the wedding day and all prior emails, my 4th point of contact with them.

If I have succeeded in communicating my openness, my honesty and the fact that I enjoy being a helpful team player, the next and final email they get, often leads to a successful outcome for photos.

That final email goes out two months after the wedding and looks something like this:

A quick question about photos from Stacey & Steven’s wedding

I am continually working on refreshing things like my website and other marketing materials and was wondering if I could purchase some high resolution, watermark free images from Stacey & Steven’s wedding. 

You will, of course, be given full credit in relation to any images of yours that are used on the website. Images are also sometimes shared on social media but I will be sure to tag you in each of those cases (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Do you have the images available for viewing in an online gallery somewhere that I could look at?

Please let me know if you’re ok with this, I would sincerely appreciate it.

I hope all is well and that your other events have been great!

Chat soon. 🙂

In the majority of cases, photographers allow me use of their images free of charge. Be prepared to pay for a few though, if that is what makes them most comfortable. Purchasing a few high quality images is not going to break you. (If my memory serves me correctly, I have only been asked to pay once.)

Tyler & Kaitlyn, October 2015 || Photo © Abby Photography ||

No more excuses! Work with the vendors who have been hired alongside you! Not only might you acquire some high quality photos for use in your print and digital marketing materials, but you might also gain a new friend in the industry and we all know the benefits to that.

~ Dave

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