8 tips for getting your dream wedding photos

1. Research websites and friends’ weddings, define your style, then interview a photographer whose work resonates with it. Many photographers are adept at multiple approaches, such as portraiture and photojournalism. If you want film photography or natural light, your list of qualified artisans will be narrower.

. Photographers’ websites show their best shots from a cross-section of weddings. Shooting a wedding is like a running a marathon. Ask to see examples of full weddings, looking for consistently beautiful shots in a variety of settings. Consider framing, image quality, lighting and the photographer’s “eye” for capturing spontaneous moments.

3. Great photographers are engaging and your personalities should click. You’ll spend all day with him. You’ll love your wedding photos if you’re feeling beautiful, having fun and he doesn’t irritate your mom.

Editing skills can be as important as capturing great shots. Be clear about your expectations and look for evidence of over-editing. Hair shouldn’t be too smooth; laugh lines belong on happy faces; noses shouldn’t blend into cheekbones.

5. You need to understand the photographer’s “menu,” then make sure your budget is compatible with it. Do you also want engagement photos or pre-wedding day portraits? They may be part of a bundle or priced a la carte.

6. Read the contract. Ask about watermarks, social media sharing restrictions and print rights. Will she charge more for multiple venues? How quickly will you see your images? How many will be edited? What’s the back-up plan if the photographer falls ill?

If you have specific priority shots, don’t assume your photographer will automatically shoot a “first look,” a dramatic balcony view, or a laughter-filled family photograph. If you want a shot in your grandmother’s vintage convertible, tell your photographer in advance. Provide a heads up if your flower girl will leave right after the first dance. Make a list, then let yourself relax and be directed. Part of a great working relationship is respecting your photographer’s artistry and trusting him to capture unpredictable moments.

Smile, cry, relax your shoulders, wink at your dad. The camera’s gonna love you!