Posted on

Wedding Photographer & DJ: Cheetah & Cheetah

This month’s spotlight is shining brightly on the husband and wife team Cheetah & Cheetah. The Cheetah’s, Nadine and Brian, were introduced in spring of 2000 by a mutual friend who recognized their mutual love of Cheetahs.

Nadine, a fashion design graduate obsessed with all things cheetah print, and Brian, the loud and very friendly DJ Cheetah, discovered that besides Cheetah’s they also had a mutual love of music.

Nadine: “We bonded over our love of music. Going to Melrose in LA was one of our favorite spots. We could spend hours digging through records trying to find that record we just couldn’t live without. After finding records we would go shopping on Melrose looking for that unique outfit no one else has.

After dating for two years Brian proposed on a hill called “the top of the world” in Laguna Beach and on September 8th, 2002 we got married at the Hotel Laguna.

In 2009 when their son was 4 years old and expecting their daughter, they decided to make the move to San Luis Obispo, the happiest city in America! SLO, to all the locals, really is the best place to raise a family.

Starting over in a new location was a challenge, but after years of hard work they were back on top and booking most of their weddings together as a husband and wife team.

Brian:Watching our business grow each year is such a rewarding experience. Especially knowing that we did this all on our own.

Working together is their preference, always looking for ways to help each other out. As an example Brian will get on the mic and make an announcement to help me get the perfect shot. And Nadine, being out among the guests, will help pass around the wireless mic during toasts. Being a team the collaboration makes things run smoothly. Brides and grooms can be at ease knowing …

Nadine’s love for photography started when she was a teenager.

I had a pink film camera that I used to take photos of my friends and pets. I would drop off rolls of film to get developed. It was so exciting to get the photos back and see how good my shots were. I also loved to buy fashion magazines, tear out all the fashion photos that inspired me and put the images up all over my walls. The walls in my room were completely covered with beautiful Supermodels like Nadja Auermann, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Shalom Harlow, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista. In high school the book LaChapelle Land by David LaChapelle inspired me take photography classes. Which lead me to photographing the fashion section of my high school year book. Being a wedding photographer is the perfect fit for me. I get to photograph brides in beautiful dresses. Giving me that perfect mix of fashion and photography”.

Brian’s DJ career started by seeing a ‘DJ wanted’ flyer while in college. 

“I answered the ad, got the job and immediately knew this was my passion. Bad Boy Bill and Richard Humpty Vision inspired me with the way they mix music. I love to feel the music and bring energy to the dance floor by beat mixing, scratching and adding sound effects. I enjoy weddings because every client has different music requests for me to mix. It’s fun to find new songs that work well together inspiring me to create new mixes.I have so much fun at every wedding I DJ. It is so rewarding to keep the dance floor packed and watch my clients having a good time.

In 2017 The family, together, made the decision to legally change their last names to cheetah. It is because of their mutual love of cheetahs Brian and Nadine met, married, started a business and a family.

We all feel very proud to have the last name cheetah.

Book the Cheetah’s for your next event.

Follow the Cheetah’s on Instagram: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography

LIKE the Cheetah’s on Facebook: @DJCheetah.CheetahPhotography

Posted on

Hey Mx DJ — 5 Steps to Hiring a Wedding DJ.

DJ Kitty

DJ Kitty

I googled “questions to ask a DJ” and up popped a free ebook with the anxiety provoking title of Don’t Hire That DJ, by the owners of MyDeeJay, Inc.  And though I really had thought the hard decisions were over now that we had a the date, venue, guest list and caterer, my curiosity kicked in.

After reading the book, I decided to offer my fellow (and weary) wedding planning travelers a few minutes of reclaimed time and provide my summary as this week’s post.  If you’ve got the time, absolutely read the book — it’s free, about 30 pages in length, and has a helpful, not snarky, tone.

Otherwise, after reading their book and too many blog posts, this is my 5-step process for hiring a wedding DJ:

1. First determine the DJ’s role.    Though it is primarily about the music, the DJ will also be “the voice” of our event.  So, I want to know that our DJ will be a good match for our personalities, theme and needs.  For some people this might include cultural and generational similarities. For me, what makes a DJ “good” is the same as what makes any other good pro — passion for their work.  You know it when you see it because you can feel it.

2. Create the short list.  I am asking for a couple of suggestions from our caterer and venue manager.  I also will scan and for reviews and comments.  As I have done with all other selections – I’ll start with my top 3.  I’ll look at their websites, I’ll make contact via email and see if they respond, how they respond and what information is provided up front. We’ll then go meet at least 2 of them.

3. Interview.  The DJ has to want to meet us.  If he/she does not have time for that, I will move on.  I want to know that the person I interview is the person who will be there.  A conference call or FaceTime meeting is not going to work.  I need to have an opportunity to connect (or not…) with this person, see how they present themselves, and how comfortable they are with us and with themselves.

  • Are they more of an entertainer or a behind-the-scenes type — do they have “a style”?
  • Experience – with Santa Margarita Ranch, with same-sex couples, with music that was popular when there were cassette tapes and Walkmans.
  • Willingness to work with us, our particular musical interests and our vision while also bringing their knowledge and professional opinions — into the mix — so to speak!

4. Cost.  The average cost is reported to be $100/hour with a minimum number of hours.  Since we haven’t signed a contract yet, I will let you know how accurate this estimate is.

5. Warning signs to move-on:

  • -speaking poorly of fellow professionals
  • -lack of professionally written contract
  • -high pressure sales approach
  • -contract add-ons that increase the cost
  • -interaction with a sales rep rather than the DJ

If you want even more on this topic,  has another great resource in a Q&A format — questions-to-ask-a-dj-wedding.

Party on!