Your wedding day is, without a doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s also one that flies by in the blink of an eye. There are no re-dos or take twos; the only things that will live on are memories, as well as the photos and videos that document your special celebration.

It’s clear that choosing a wedding photographer is no small task. It takes a lot to put all of your trust into the hands of one company or person to capture all of the special moments and details throughout your big day. However, it’s not just about making that one decision — your relationship with your wedding photographer should be fluid and ongoing. You should be working closely with your photographer throughout the planning process in order to ensure that your expectations are met. After all, you won’t be there on the wedding day to double check every shot that is taken — you must have trust and confidence in their talent.

Communicate what you want (and any potential conflicts)

There are several things that you should share with your photographer upfront. In particular, if there are specific shots of family members or friends that don’t fall into the typical shot list, you need to be clear that they are a priority.

In the same vein, you must also keep your photographer abreast of family dynamics. If there are divorced couples or friends who don’t get along, it’s best to know ahead of time before they are unknowingly forced into the same shot. To keep it straightforward, sit down with your partner to create a list of must-have formals that you provide to your photographer. This makes the process much easier and prevents awkward situations from arising.

Be consistent with your timeline

You should also communicate your timeline with your photographer. Let them know when and where you’ll get ready, whether you plan to do a first look, and any other activities that you want them to capture. Your photographer may have some input on your timeline, depending on how long they are booked. Listen to their advice!

While it may feel like you need to take the reins to ensure you get all of the photos you want, you need to take a step back and trust that your photographer knows what they’re doing. Remind yourself why you chose them. Whether you loved their portfolio or respected their level of customer service, go into the process knowing that they take you and your event seriously. This is their job, their passion, and their livelihood — this is likely not their first wedding, so it’s time to relax and let your photographer do the heavy lifting.

The more you trust your photographer, the more relaxed you be on the big day — and, trust us, stress definitely shows up in pictures. Make it your job to enjoy your wedding and your photographer will take care of the rest.

Ms Zebra Says: Selecting the right photographer is daunting as these images will be the constant in your memory of the day. Thank you Keith for this great advice – and knowing to trust in the person your hire!

About the Author, Keith Phillips: He is the Director of Business Development for Classic Photographers, a company that provides high quality wedding photography and videography services for the budget-minded couple.