This is a day that will never be repeated, so you need someone who can capture the best moments without cutting anyone’s head off or giving you ‘red eye’. Here is a few tips to get you the photos you want.

book ahead
Start your search for a photographer early, as good photographers get booked up a long time in advance. I recommend booking between 12 and 24 months before your wedding day.

shop around
Before you make your final choice, try to visit at least three photographers – check out their printed work and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask to see full wedding album samples and make sure that the photographs are the work of the photographer who will be taking your wedding pictures.

build a rapport
Whoever you book to take your pictures will be spending a substantial amount of time with you on the best day of your lives, so you must get on with him or her. You should feel confident and relaxed in their presence.

is the price right?
Prices range from anything upwards of $2000. People often make the mistake of thinking that all photographers are the same, but the photographic quality and style can vary enormously. Wedding photography is one area where you really do get what you pay for.

think style and colour
There are lots of ways for your photographer to record your wedding, from the traditional posed groups shots in colour to more candid reportage-style shots, such as the bride in her curlers. Most couples go for a combination of styles.

If you’ve spent a long time creating invites, menus, flower arrangements etc, you’ll want a photographer who will capture these little details on film too.

put it on paper
Once you’ve found the perfect photographer and decided on a style, get your booking in writing. Check the small print and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. You could even ask the photographer to sign a contract, which records your wedding date, time and place, price and any restrictions or conditions.

for perfect – you need practice
Before the big day, discuss a rough shot list with your photographer – there are certain to be events you definitely want recorded that he or she should know about.

A good professional photographer will use his or her creative and technical skills to get the best results as quickly, smoothly and tactfully as possible, but discuss the role you want your photographer to undertake on your wedding day. Do you want him or her to control events or blend into the background? One well-known photographer likes to shepherd guests into position with the help of a shrill whistle. It’s not very subtle, but it breaks the ice and no one misses out on any of the day’s photo calls!

relax!
Finally, the best advice any couple can take is try and relax in front of the camera. If you’re not used to smiling and posing, or feel unhappy with your usual image in pictures, grab a mirror and spend a few minutes practising until you find a smile or an expression you can live with. If you look and feel comfortable, your photos are bound to work!