On a very sunny Thursday last month I set out into central London, to meet a group of wedding professionals over a spot of brunch.  This is the first time I have done some networking with wedding industry people and I have really missed talking to people about what I do. Running this business is great fun, but I do miss the social element that working in an office or with other people brings.

I was lucky enough to sit next to the very talented and lovely Frances of Frances Carlisle Photography. I may have bombarded her with chatter (I don’t get to speak to grown-ups that often!) but she did manage to get a word in and tell me about her business and agree to sharing some tips on my Photography Focus blog. (Just for the record the pancakes with maple syrup and bacon were very yummy too!)

All photographers at this time of year are super busy so I asked for all answers to be ‘Twitter Stylee’ which has resulted in some great punchy memorable tips for you!

What is your top Do/Don’t tip?

Do think about what you want to remember the day for – and plan events around that. Plan time with your other half if it’s all about the two of you. Plan a longer reception if time with your friends is important. 

Don’t try and plan / DIY it all yourself – there are plenty of professionals out there who can help you achieve what you want without you killing yourself in the process.

What is your advice when a couple is looking for a photographer?

Don’t shop on price alone. Look for a style and personality that fits your own – if your photographer ‘gets you’ and has similar tastes, they’ll be more inspired by your wedding and work better with your personalities.

Your top tip for Styling your day?

Work with a wedding stylist – unless you’re fabulously creative and want to do all the detail yourself, in which case, it’s all about the colours, flowers and details tying in to create a cohesive theme.

Wedding theme ideas blue and yellow

Do you think you should “Trash your Dress”?

A longer post wedding shoot in dramatic or funky scenery, yes – let’s face it, it’s not going to get worn again so make the most of it. Trashing it? Up to you.

Engagement shoots seem to be very fashionable at the moment. What are the advantages of having one?

They’re a great way of getting to relax in front of the camera, and to use as a test for what you do and don’t like in terms of photography (some couples are really touchy – feely, whereas others really aren’t). Better to work out what suits you on an engagement shoot than your wedding day.

What has surprised you the most about wedding photography?

Just how much time you spend with the couple on the day – if there’s no planner involved you basically help with all of that too!

 Frances Carlisle wedding photography street couple

How you describe your style of photography?

Fresh, intimate, relaxed and creative. I like to capture natural reactions between couples, but I try to make sure you’re also relaxed and sitting or standing in a way that makes you feel confident. 

What can a couple do for you on the big day?

As long as you’re not hiding away from me refusing to have your photo taken, I’m happy! And frankly, even if you are, I’ll cope! Most planning out of when and what you want from your photos is done together well beforehand.

Indoor or outdoor wedding?

In an ideal world, outdoors in the warmth or at least plenty of outdoor space to mill around in. That said, one of my favourite venues is a funky warehouse with virtually no open space bar a rooftop.

Wedding Balloon and couple by Frances Carlisle

Themed or none theme?

I do like a theme! Or at least some gorgeous pretty detail in the decor. A recent wedding was bikes galore and not only did it look amazing, it totally reflected the couple and their lives.

Local or Destination?

Err… both? Though I live to travel and experience other cultures, local is very much you and the intimacy of your everyday lives.

Big or small?

Intimate and relaxed in vibe is what I tend to get booked for – most weddings have on average 80 guests, though I’ve photographed as few as 20 and as many as 300.

Frances Carlisle Wedding intimate and relaxed couple shot

Eco wedding ideas?

A summer evening outdoors wedding (or a large windowed reception venue) that makes the most of the natural light for as long as possible.

Frances Carlisle wedding photography

Big thank you to Frances.  Do check out her website and she also offers are great little guide to looking better on camera. Click here to sign up!

If you use Frances don’t forget to mention you found her via us! x