Cincinnati Photography Portraits   |   Cincinnati Wedding Photography   |   Wedding Tips & News   |   Venues

5 Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing a Wedding DJ

March 6, 2014


5 Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing a Wedding DJ

I want to thank Jay from Liftoff Entertainment for taking the time to provide some tips for choosing a wedding dj.  You can view his website by clicking here.

5. My DJ was the Center of Attention

Your Wedding Day is your day and your DJ should understand that. We at Liftoff Entertainment have a motto "

Good DJ’s, you notice the DJ; Great DJ’s, you notice the Party

." We want everyone to have great time at your reception.


4. My Friend has a ton of music; they can DJ our wedding reception

While your friend may have a lot of music, there is much more to a wedding reception. At Liftoff Entertainment, we coordinate with all of your vendors to make sure your reception runs smoothly. A clean and professional look also matters to us, What is your friends sound system going to look like?

3. My wedding reception was exactly like everyone else’s

How are you going to make your reception unique? At Liftoff Entertainment, we don’t have a set order of events. We meet with you to discuss what will work best for you and your guests. We always want to hear your ideas, whether it is fun introductions, a fun way to dismiss guest’s to the buffet, or a special dance routine. Our goal is for you and your guests to have a memorable evening.

2. I took too long to book a DJ

Many good DJ’s can book up to a year or more in advance. If a fun and professional reception is important to you, a DJ should be near the top of your to-do list.

1. A DJ was not a Priority in the Early Stages of Planning My Wedding

A DJ can make or break your wedding reception. Think of it this way: Total time vendors have an impact on a reception

(avg 5 hr reception)




20 Mins




2 Hours


Master of Ceremonies (MC)


3 Hours




2 to 3 Hours



There are currently no comments

Wedding Weight Loss

March 6, 2014

If you are looking to lose 20-30 lbs in a months time under doctor supervision from Go Beyond Medicine, this is the diet for you!  I'm personally doing this diet now and will document my progress on Facebook.  Currently I'm over halfway done with the 10 day cleanse and have lost 5 lbs.  My starting weight was 187 and I'm now at 182. 

Beginning Monday, I'll be starting the hormone and vitamins along with the diet which is where the real weight loss should happen.  My goal is 155 lbs but I will not be upset if I am withing 5-10 lbs of it.  On Monday we start the three "loading days" where we prime our bodies for the diet by eating as much fattening foods as possible for 3 days.  I'm very much looking forward to that!!  After that the diet becomes very strict.  Our office manager Linda has done this once before on a 6 week program and lost 60 lbs!!!  This is only 3 weeks on the hormone so my goal is closer to 20-30.

One of the things that makes this version of the HCG diet different than most is it includes personal instruction and/or personal preperation of your food by an amazing and talented chef in Chef Michael Belanger

If you are interested in finding out more information,

Here is the facebook page for Go Beyond Medicine.
Here is the website for Go Beyond Medicine.


Daniel Michael said on March 14, 2014 - 11:40am:

After the three "loading days" where you teach the hormone what to burn by eating fattening foods, I was at 187.5 to start the losing process. Yesterday was the first strict day and I'm down to 183 to start today. Hoping to lose 2-3 more by tomorrow!!

Why do I need a Wedding Planner?

February 4, 2014

Who is your wedding day point person?  Don't have one?  You should think about it.  I had a conversation with Julie with Cincy Event Planning the other day and it got me thinking of how stress free and easy your wedding day flows with a Day Of Planner compared to without.  It's great to have a friend help out on your wedding day.  However, will that friend be at the wedding reception venue during your wedding ceremony making sure the room is set right and that your cake has arrived?  Will they be in contact with your wedding vendors to be sure all of them are on the same page?  I'd recommend a small investment in someone who does this for a living.  I know your first thought is: "Wedding Planners are not in our budget!"  But are they really?  How much do you think it costs to have an experienced Day Of Planner?  How does $500-$1000 sound?  That's a very small percentage to invest as an insurance policy to be sure you enjoy every aspect of a stress free wedding day. 

Here are some common issues I run into on a wedding day.  I rarely encounter none of them unless I'm working with a Day Of Coordinator.

  1. We start photos 30-60 minutes late due to the chaos of getting ready.  There are too many little things that take a few minutes each that you were not prepared for.  Can we as a wedding photographer compensate for that?  Yes we can.  But do you want to be rushed through the next few hours to make sure you get all of your photos and still get to your ceremony on time?
  2. Your makeup artist/hair stylist were not given an end time so you are not ready for photos until you are supposed to be finishing them!
  3. The DJ/Band and Photographer/Videographer are not on the same page.  They both bug you throughout the reception because they don't have the same idea of the evening.  Or even worse, the photographer/videographer miss a moment because they were in the back having their dinner when the announcement was made.
  4. Your wedding reception venue thinks your dinner will be at 8:00 but your photographer was planning on 8:30.  Do you want your food sitting for 30 minutes before it's served?
  5. The person setting your reception is not the same person who planned it.  Any number of things are not the way it was planned and they scramble to fix it when you/your parents arrive at the reception or you just have to live with it.
  6. Miscommunications in general between vendors and/or with you.  Multiple plans for your day instead of just one.
  7. You are constantly interrupted throughout the day to give instruction about how your day is supposed to go.  This slows down everything you are doing and throws of the rhythm and timing of the day.
  8. Your DJ/Band wait too long to start the events because they think you want to go around to all the tables when really you are just killing time till the events start.  You lose 30 minutes of dancing.

We pride ourselves in orchestrating your wedding day and making sure you are not stressed out.  However, we can only help with what is happening in front of us.  A Day of Planner takes care of all the things that you don't want to worry about behind the scenes.  They are your insurance policy to be sure your money's worth out of your wedding day investment because no matter your budget, your wedding is a large investment.

You can check out a list of our preferred vendors including wedding planners by clicking here.



Tips for Choosing your Wedding DJ

January 21, 2014

This is the time of year I like to help our couples with their wedding planning.  I've asked several vendors to help us by sending in some thoughts on what is important in their speciffic field.  So, for our first I've asked for one of the key aspects of your wedding reception, your dj.  So without further stalling on my part, here is Brandon with Hey Mr DJ:

I'm honored that Daniel asked me to write a guest blog for him today. I love working with Dan and his people. They keep the mood light, they work quickly and they are always a pleasure to be around.

What I want to ask all of you visiting Daniel’s blog today is, “What “moments” do you have planned for your wedding day?”

Think back to all the weddings and reception you have attended in the past. What about those weddings and receptions do you remember?

Prior to becoming a DJ I attended and was in several of my friends weddings. From all of those weddings, I’m sad to say, I remember very little. It’s not that I have a bad memory. In fact, my friends are always amazed at the moments I can recall from our past. It’s just that those weddings and receptions had very few “moments”.

When you move people emotionally they will remember it. Wedding magazines will tell you what colors are in, what flowers work in what season and how to make your wedding day beautiful. None of them will tell you how to create “moments”. This is where your wedding entertainer comes in. If you have a good one, it can make all the difference in how your guests feel about the events of your wedding day.

While I can’t recall much of my friend’s weddings, I can recall many moments over the years I helped create for my clients. I can recall a groom who took the microphone just after the father daughter dance and began to talk about his mother. All the while making his way across the room to her, he finally stopped at her table and said “Mom I love you, can I have this dance.” I recall a groom whose brother was deployed to Iraq just a couple of months before the wedding. You should have felt the moment in that room as we heard a toast from that same brother. A toast I had secretly recorded months earlier when we found out he was being deployed.

I recall a night where at the end of the reception we played Billy Joel’s Piano Man. As everyone with their arms around one another sang at the top of their lungs the bride and groom stepped into the middle of the circle where they danced and smiled and hugged their guests. You could just feel the love in the air and nobody wanted to leave. Imagine a bride returning from fixing her dress in a separate room during her reception and finding all of her guests gathered around the dance floor and her groom sitting at the top of that dance floor holding his acoustic guitar and waiting for her. I remember her smile as he sang to her a song he had written for her after their first date. I remember the laugh we got when we introduced a wedding party into the reception with funny stories about each of them and then the smiles as we introduced the newlyweds with the story of how they met, of their first date and of their proposal. I remember these moments not just because they were my ideas or that I helped orchestrate them I remember them because they moved me and everyone in the room.

Most of the guests at the weddings I mentioned above probably couldn’t tell you if the food was good, if the couple arrived in a limousine or if there was a chocolate fountain but I promise you they remember these moments.

Most couples begin searching for DJs with the idea that all we provide is music. What some of us provide beyond the music is the ideas, knowledge, timing, and creativity it takes to help you create “moments”.

Please check out Brandon's Website at


Choosing the Wedding Photographer for you

January 21, 2014

No vendor will have a bigger impact on your wedding than your photographer. Not only will they take the photos that document your wedding for years to come, but they will also work more closely with you than any other vendor that day. There are many things to consider when picking your photographer.

  1. Budget/Package
  2. Photography Style
  3. Quality of Images
  4. Method of Delivery
  5. Personality fit
  6. Experience/Proven Track Record

Each of these is important but it is up to you in which order you value them.  In this column I will try to inform you of some aspects of packaging and styles that you may not have considered yet in hopes you can make the right decision for your wedding

Wedding Photography Packaging:

  1. Without a doubt the most common question I am asked, "What are your starting packages?"  Though you must know pricing to figure out if you can even consider a photographer, the starting price is the most misunderstood aspect of wedding photographer packages.  Very few photographers actually sell their "starting package" simply because it lacks the basics of what they would like to include.  And when they do sell it, it usually comes with upcharges after you sign your contract.  A better way to phrase the question is "What is your average package price?"  The down side to that is it still is not likely the package you will choose, but is much more likely to be in the range you'll spend.
  2. Packaging may be the most complicated part of shopping for your photographer. The hidden charges can easily double your package price after your wedding. For example, the high resolution dvd that everyone asks for is often not print ready and if it is, is still not the same level of quality as what is shown in studio. To get the same look to your photos that you saw in studio, your images need to be color corrected and often cropped and enhanced individually. This can be a significant expense after your wedding or may limit the number of photos you have "finished".  Many packages only include a select number of corrected images.  Be aware of how many your package includes.  It's a good idea to ask your photographer to see an entire wedding with all the photos to get an idea how your photos will look.  It is important to have your high resolution files but look out for watermarks and file types that you cannot print from.  You also want to be aware that an entire wedding in full resolution would only fit on a DVD if the number of photos is limited.  What you truly want is a Flash Drive with all of your images.
  3. Hours/Time line: Few couples really understand the amount of time they will need in their package. If you are headed to a park, then a ceremony site, then the reception and want your photographer to get any candids at your reception, expect to use 8-10 hours or so. The last thing you want is to be rushed through your day because of your photographer’s package.
  4. When looking at albums, make sure to look for additional charges such as: Charges for number of photos included, revisions to the initial design, cover upgrades, custom work, or anything that is "special or unique".  Chances are if there is something the photographer loves, it will cost you extra.

The Right Photographer for YOU:

  1. Style:  Nearly every photographer will call themselves photojournalistic because it is popular. It’s up to you to determine if you like their style. Don’t worry about what style they consider themselves.
  2. Quality/Format of Images:  Do not assume that because someone is a "professional" or because they have a website with some nice photos on it or have an ad in a magazine that they are a quality photographer.  Many people with little to know wedding experience are running their own photography companies.  Some with more exprience still do not provide professional quality photography in this age of photoshop.  Though photoshop is a great tool, nothing replaces taking a quality photo in the camera.  Editing a photo is never ad good as taking it with good technique.  A quality professional photographer should be able to explain their photography technique if you ask them.  If they explain their editing technique when you ask about photography technique, you may want to consider someone else.  If they describe their lighting or camera technique in good detail in terms you understand, you should feel a little more comfortable.  If they are talking in terms you don't understand, they probably are trying to sound like they know what they are talking about.
  3. Experience:  A full time professional with 5-10+ years of wedding photography experience should inspire confidence, be organized, prepared for all situations and truly guide you through all the excitement of your wedding day. Most photographers at that level will charge $2,000-$3,000+ for their experience.  If that is out of your pricer range, you may want to consider one of their associates with less experience that works for their studio in a lower price range.  The advantage to this is that you still have the studio's experience and training behind them.  In this case, it would be wise to get a background on that photographer, see some of their work and make sure you get a chance to work with them or meet them prior to your wedding.  You may also find someone with less experience but still a quality photographer for a lower price just by doing your homework or maybe just by getting lucky. You just need to be sure there is enough experience that you are comfortable. Don't assume that a higher price means more experience or better quality either. It's a good guideline, but not a perfect science.  You will find some photographers for a few hundred dollars all the way up to nearly $10,000.  Fortunately, most fall somewhere in between.
  4. Personality.  Probably the most overlooked aspect of your photograpehr is that you will be spending your entire day with your photographer. Make sure that you can not only tolerate them, but actually enjoy being around them. Your photos will suffer if you can tell you are getting impatient with the person taking them. There is nothing more important on your wedding day than how you feel.  If your photographer has developed a personal realitionship with you, it will reflect in your photos.

Final Tips:

  1. Ask your friends for referrals.  However, know that they likely picked the best vendor for them and also have only used that vendor once.  Also ask other vendors what they think.  The combination usually results in a very good idea of what type of quality any one vendor offers.
  2. Check out online reviews.  Though these can be inflated by vendors asking for referral, it is still very usefull.  Search by lowest rating to get a better idea of what questions you should be asking.
  3. Check out the BBB.  Much like the reviews, most everyone is in good standing, but that one or two negative reviews can be worth 10.

If you have any comments or questions, please ask here.  You're question may be shared by others. 

Thanks for reading!


Tips for finding your Wedding Venue

January 8, 2014

Maddie Miller of the Bell Event Centre in Cincinnati was kind enough to take the time to make a list of tips for finding the right wedding ceremony and reception venue for you which I have incorporated with my own thoughts from my experiences with our couples.  There are so many things to consider beyond just the look of the venue, menu and price.  Here are some thoughts:


Is the location convenient for your guests?  You will want easy access off the highway or close to where the majority of the people are coming from.  Is it close to the ceremony location or do they have the option to have the ceremony and reception all in one place?  Does your reception venue have a relationship with some local hotels and possibly offer a shuttle or have readily available cabs to take people home?  You of course want to be sure everyone has easy access to a ride home so nobody becomes impatient and drives if they shouldn't be.  Is there a charge for parking?  Are you close to local nightlife for an after party for you or your guests?  Most wedding receptions end around 11:00 or 12:00 which leaves another 2-3 hours for after party time.         


Some wedding venues require a lot of decoration to dress them up.  There is nothing wrong with this but you need to consider the cost of the lighting and decor and work it into your budget.  Other venues have a style that speaks for itself with naturally beautiful architecture and decor.  Look for photos of what your venue will look like for a reception and get ideas for color schemes and lighting.  It's exciting for your guests to go someplace unique and unlike other venues.  If that doesn't fit into your budget, look into decorating your venue to look different than people have seen it before.  Feature the unique aspects of the space.  Look for unique features such as stain glass, marble floor, vaulted ceilings, etc.  This adds to the ambiance of your wedding reception.  Be sure to consider the lighting and architecture when looking into a photographer.  A less experienced wedding photographer may have a hard time manipulating the lighting in different spaces while also capturing the features of your venue.  It’s also a good idea to see photos of your venue that the photographer has taken.  Decide if you want an indoor or outdoor area for your ceremony, reception and cocktail hour.  Keep in mind that your guests of all ages will need to be able to handle the weather outside that time of year.  It may be wise to only have part of the day outside such as the cocktail hour.  Be prepared to use a tent if you do plan anything outside just in case of rain.


Many venues charge extra for any number of items such as linens, chiavari chairs, table ware, glass ware, serving cake etc.  Know what you want and what is included so you can plan your budget accordingly.  You may prefer to bring in a specific caterer that you like.  There are also many advantages to an in house chef such as the familiarity with the kitchen in the venue.  They also work hand in hand with the same venue every weekend and are familiar with the staff, expectations and requirements.  This should make it so you do not have to be the middle person in any discussions.  This adds to the quality of service that will leave an impression on you and your guests.  Top of the line service is everything on your wedding day both for you and for your guests.  


This person should be more than a person you can ask questions.  They should be someone who guides you through the evening.  They should communicate with your wedding vendors so you don't have to and be able to handle anything that comes up.  They should be familiar with the venue, know what works there and what does not.  Plenty of places have a warm body as an event coordinator but few have a person who proactively makes your event a night to remember for the rest of your lives.

Your venue is a lot more than just four walls, a dance floor and a bar.  When your guests walk in the door, it sets the tone for what they will expect for the rest of the evening.  Set the bar high and make sure the staff is ready to over deliver on that expectation.


Best of luck in your wedding planning!!


Five tips for the Bridal Shows

December 31, 2013

Are you going to any of the Bridal Shows in Cincinnati Ohio or anywhere else for that matter?  Have you ever been to a bridal show?  Bridal Shows are a great way to meet a lot of potential wedding vendors such as Wedding Venues, Wedding Photographers, Wedding DJs/Entertainment, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Dresses, Transportation and pretty much anything you can imagine for your big day all in one room in one weekend.  Having said that, it doesn't matter how big or small the Wedding Expo is, your first one will be overwhelming if you do not prepare yourself. Here are the things you need to know to get the most out of these bridal shows.  

  1. Create a wedding email:  Everyone including the show host will want your contact information.  Every vendor will receive a copy of this information which means you will get a lot of vendors contacting you to try to earn your business.  This can get very overwhelming and annoying.  Creating a wedding email will keep all of the wedding spam out of your normal email.
  2. Bring a Sharpie:  You will talk to so many vendors at the show you will forget who was  who and what made them stand out to you.  With your sharpie, you can mark notes or even just a checkmark to remind you to take a good look at them when you are doing your research at home afterwards.
  3. Do some pre show research:  Inevitably you will have already done some homework on the vendors for your wedding.  Look at the wedding show's website and see if any of the vendors you are interested in will be in attendance.  If so, make sure to look for them while you are there.
  4. Do not waste your time:  If you are not interested in a vendor, do not stop to talk to them.  You don't have time and neither do they.  As salespeople they will try to talk to you but in reality you may be keeping them from talking to someone who may actually hire them.  Don't stay and talk to be polite.
  5. Carry two bags:  You will likely collect information from most of the vendors who say hello to you even if you don't like them.  Have one bag for those you are not interested in and throw that in the trash when you leave.  Have another bag for those you are interested in.  This works with bringing a sharpie because you can distinguish your favorites in that bag with the sharpie.

Some of the top Bridal Shows coming up in Cincinnati Ohio are:

  1. **Wendy's Bridal Show at Duke Energy Convention Center - Jan 4-5, 2014
  2. Cincinnati Wedding Showcase at Sharonville Convention Center - Jan 11-12, 2014
  3. Ohio Bridal Expos at Horseshoe Casino - Feb 9, 2014
  4. Bridalrama at Duke Energy Center - Feb 15-16, 2014
  5. **Newport Aquarium Bridal Show at Newport Aquarium - Feb 20, 2014

** Images by Daniel Michael has confirmed attendence to these shows if you would like to come see us!  We could add more as the bridal show season unfolds.


The Knot Hall of Fame Press Release

October 10, 2013




-- First-Ever Wedding Industry Hall of Fame Pronounces Preeminent Vendors Across the U.S. –

Images by Daniel Michael Photography honored!


NEW YORK (October 1, 2013) – Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Philadelphia, the most creative wedding photographers in Los Angeles, New York’s top cake bakers or Miami’s hottest reception sites, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop from real brides. The Knot Wedding Network (NYSE: XOXO), which is composed of the top two wedding websites, and, today announces the first-of-its-kind wedding industry Hall of Fame for the all-time best wedding vendors across the United States.


Comprised of winners of the annual Best of Weddings, a by-brides-for-brides guide to the top wedding vendors in 80-plus cities across the U.S., the Hall of Fame inducts wedding vendors who have won four or more Best of Weddings awards. This honorable list of 331 inductees includes less than 2 percent of wedding professionals.


Included in this list is Images by Daniel Michael Photography, one of a select few in Cincinnati. Images by Daniel Michael Photography specializes in Wedding Photography.


Images by Daniel Michael is thrilled to have been named as a Hall of Fame honoree. “We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on The Knot Wedding Network; it means so much to us and our business to have received such tremendous feedback over four years. We are dedicated to providing excellent service to all of our clients and look forward to helping future brides plan their perfect day."


“For the past seven years, our reviews have been the definitive resource for our brides, providing them with unparalleled vendor recommendations directly from the tried-and-true experiences of fellow brides,” saidCarley Roney, cofounder of “We’re beyond thrilled to induct our first-ever Hall of Fame, crowning the best of the best across the country, based on more than 725,000 reviews from real brides.”


About XO Group Inc.
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include, The Nest, The Bump, and XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing. The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is headquartered in New York City. Follow XO Group on Twitter @xogroupinc.


# # #

CONTACT: Stephanie Fraiman

Public Relations Manager

The Knot Wedding Network



To DIY or not to DYI

November 15, 2012

Creative Wedding Ideas - To DIY or Not to DIY?


By and far, the biggest wedding trend of the last few years has been the do-it-yourself wedding craze. With the recession making resourcefulness cool again, not to mention the rise of crafty inspiration sites like Pinterest, brides are making their own invitations, favors, bouquets and more. But is there such a thing as too much DIY?


Planning a wedding is stressful enough, even with help. A few handmade touches here and there are great, but remember - your wedding day is all about you and your spouse-to-be, and plenty of friends, family members and qualified wedding vendors are more than willing to lend a hand! Here’s a quick guide to what you should and shouldn’t attempt to DIY for your wedding.


The Food - Don’t DIY, for the most part. Your wedding reception meal, drinks and desserts are a ton of work to prepare and serve. This is way too big a responsibility for you or anyone in your wedding party or family to shoulder. However, you can still add personal touches by providing a customizeddrinkrecipe for the bartender to serve as your official “wedding cocktail,” or by setting up a “candybar” near the dessert table with candies whose wrappers match your wedding colors (a big hit with kids and adults alike!).


The Decorations - DIY can be fun, but only if you or someone else involved in the wedding is especially crafty. If your friends and family have an artsy streak, assembling favors and other decorations together can be a fun bridal shower or night-before activity. Hit up Pinterestfor ideas before heading out to Cappels or Fabricate for supplies. A great florist, like Fassler or SayIDo, can also help suggest decorations that will coordinate well with your flowers and colors.


The Flowers – DIY mix.  The bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets will be front and center at your wedding, especially in the photos.  Wedding bouquets are like living sculptures, and are deceptively difficult to create if you are not skilled in this art form.  It’s best to invest a little of your wedding budget in these important components of your wedding ensemble, and let your own DIY creativity shine in tastefully placed wedding flowers and fabulous centerpieces for your reception.  Jazz up the accessories with tea light candles, colorful glass beads, mirrors, or other easy to find accents.


The Hair and Makeup - DIY with caution. If you know someone who’s an amazing hair or makeup artist and is willing to donate his/her time, great! Just keep in mind that your and your bridesmaids’ hair and faces will be major features of your photographs, so you want everyone to look their best. Also remember that when you DIY, you have to provide all your own supplies, so in the end, doing your own hair and makeup maynotsaveyoumoney. If “free” isn’t an option, you can ask your makeup artist friend or acquaintance for a reduced rate.  Going to the salon rather than having the makeup and hair stylists coming to you will also save you some green.  As the bride, you can opt to get the professional makeup for yourself and have your bridesmaids do their own makeup.  Decided not to go this one alone? We recommend great Cincinnati hair and makeup professionals like BridefaceFolchi Make-Up and Jennifer Nally or Mitchells Salon.


The Photography - Absolutely DON’T DIY! When the day is finally over, your wedding photos and videos will be the only way to relive the memories. In 20 or 50 years, you probably won’t regret whether each decoration was just perfect, but you WILL regret hiring an inexperienced photography student, intern or “your friend’s nephew who has an SLR” to do your wedding photos! Invest in quality - contactImagesbyDanielMichaeltoday to book your Cincinnati wedding photography, and trust that you’ll have amazing photos to cherish for years to come.


The DJ – DIY no-no!  Without the right mix of music and a “Master of Ceremonies,” your reception will fall flat and people might duck out early.  You don’t want to remember your big day as a yawn-fest.  Depending on what is included, a good DJ service will be worth the $600 - $1000 investment to keep the house rockin’, people on the dance floor, and most importantly, pace the evening.  Important milestones such as the first dance, mother/son, father/daughter, and bouquet toss should not be left to your little cousin Mikey who thinks he’s a DJ because he likes to go clubbing or has played at a few bars.  A quality DJ service will discuss all elements of your reception and music in advance, be aware of your musical tastes, and have an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and how to mix it up that will appeal to wedding guests of all ages.  Lastly, if you book your wedding reception on a Friday or Sunday rather than the ever popular Saturday, you can save some significant loot.


The key to doing DIY right is to know where and when you can DIY and still have the wedding of your dreams.  If you are attempting to DIY in an area that you really have no skill, you will be disappointed and this can lead to frustration and regret.  Discuss your options with family and friends, but in the end, only make the decisions that feel right.  Tight wedding budgets are a reality for most couples getting married, and strategic thinking should allow you to cut corners on things that may not mean as much to you, to permit you to invest more of your money on the aspects that do.


What to do for Senior Photos

September 13, 2012

Calling all Cincinnati-area high school seniors! Ready for senior portrait season? If you’re not sure how to prepare for your photo session, read on – these tips will help your senior photo session go smoothly and ensure you’ll treasure your senior portraits for years to come.


Where to Go

First things first – give Images by Daniel Michael a call to set up your Cincinnatiseniorphotosession, of course! If you live on the east side, SharonWoods is a great spot for your senior photos; for you wild west-siders, how about RapidRunPark or Mt. EchoPark? Outdoor venues provide the best backdrops and lighting. Don’t worry – we can always reschedule if it rains!


What to Wear

OK, we know what you’re thinking: “Who cares about the location! What am I gonna wear?!” The most important thing to remember is to flatter yourself: if you know you look great in a particular style, wear it! Choose a trusted outfit, or use this as a great excuse to head up to KenwoodTowneCenter or CincinnatiPremiumOutlets and shop for something great!


Keep in mind that simple is often better. Avoid loud patterns, big logos, and anything overly “trendy” – these all tend to distract from the subject: you! Same goes for your makeup, jewelry and hairstyle. That said, a couple of great accessories can really make an otherwise simple outfit stand out on camera. Think cool shoes or one piece of jewelry that shows off your personality.


Make sure to check whether your school has guidelines on how to dress for your senior yearbook photo, and bring at least one outfit that falls within the guidelines. Our photographers work with seniors from all around the Cincinnati area and know their stuff when it comes to taking senior photos that you, your parents and your school will all love!


What Else to Bring

Along with your awesome outfits, consider taking a few props along for your senior portraits. A ball from your favorite sport (hit up MidwestSports or Sieferts for new gear if yours has seen better days!), your musical instrument, ballet slippers, even just your letter jacket – these are all great tools for showing off your personality and interests in your senior photos.


You can even bring along the best prop of all – your best friend! [Insert client’s policies/discounts/etc. for including friends in senior portraits.] Or how about man’s best friend: if your dog is friendly and well behaved, we’d love to include him/her in a few poses. [Ditto for any additional pet policies] Just call Daniel Michael first to let us know if you’re bringing a human or canine companion to the shoot.


Leave the Rest to Us

Our photographers will guide you through posing, smiling and having fun, so your senior pictures will look great and create memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy your Cincinnati senior portrait session – it’s all about you!



References (for internal use)



10816 Millington Ct, Suite 116 • Cincinnati, OH 45242
513.759.6760 •