Why Hylands House is the Perfect Wedding Venue in Essex

Ok so I may be a little biased because I actually had my wedding reception at Hylands House in Chelmsford but I honestly believe that it has a lot to offer couples looking for a wedding venue. 

Here are a few of the top reasons I think that it is a great choice.

  1. It has an amazing and varied indoor space 
  2. The grounds are stunning should you get some great weather
  3. You get to choose all your suppliers including who does your catering
  4. You get the venue exclusively

There is plenty more reasons but let me explain a little further why the above points are a great plus when looking for a wedding venue.

First the indoor space is not only beautiful but it offers a great variety, with several options on places to have a ceremony and drinks reception you can have up to 70 guests for the reception inside the house or you can go to the newly added pavilion if you would like more space. However, if you are looking to keep costs down then keeping guests to a minimum is a great way to do that.

If you are looking for a venue and you have concerns about the weather because of the time of year then a venue with a beautiful inside space that has room to move about is important and Hylands has that in spades. As a wedding photographer I can take a couple to a different room for some photos and not disturb guests and not have guests watching as I take the portraits. Great if you are a bit shy about having your photo taken.

Second if you want to have your drinks reception outside or have a beautiful manicured garden to have some different photos taken the back lawn or formal gardens are absolutely perfect and if you are getting married in the summer once the café shuts the gardens are often completely deserted.

Third the choice of all your own suppliers is great, it gives you the scope to do what you want but also with things like catering then you get more chance to control the menu. Often venues that have in house catering only give you 2 or 3 options on the choice of food you serve. As an example, I used Premier Crew to cater my wedding, I had a spring wedding and I wanted spring lamb as a main course, this was not an option I was given at any other venue. I also wanted lots more canapes and only 2 courses for the wedding breakfast. This was due to the number of children at our wedding but also because I wanted people to dance and after 3 courses no one wants to dance. It also had the added bonus of being slightly cheaper. Hylands has several caterers they recommend I suggest you think about what you want and shop around, do you want BBQ or a buffet or perhaps you want something more specific to your culture, this gives you the opportunity to do so.

Finally, the sole use of the venue means you will not have strangers in your photos or anyone you don’t know wandering through your reception. It happens trust me!

I have attached a few of my favourite images from the last wedding I photographed at Hylands House and if you would like to find out more about my wedding photography please email info@cvphoto.co.uk

Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography
Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography
Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography
Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography
Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography
Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography

London Pre-wedding shoot with Kelly & Mike

I am often asked if having a pre-wedding shoot or engagement shoot is a good way to help get over some of the nerves of being in front of the camera for your wedding day. There is no simple answer to this as everyone is different but the information I will give you should hales you make a more informed choice.

If you absolutely hate having your photo taken, I mean you leave an event because someone has brought a camera sort of hate then I would suggest that you are not likely to be turned in one pre-wedding shoot. My suggestion is that this may take several occasions and a very experienced professional. A professional will have ways to work with this and ways to capture your wedding with you in it without making you feel bad.

If you are like Kelly and Mike and are not a fan of having your photo taken but would like to feel more confidant on your wedding day and make sure that you are the most of your photography on your wedding day then this is absolutely the opportunity to have a pre-wedding shoot.

During my pre-wedding shoots we go through some of my posing top tips, some of the things i will ask of you on your wedding day. I will also get an opportunity to see how you are as a couple, for example are you hopeless romantics are you silly and fun or are you quiet and reserved?

What happens on the pre-wedding shoot is really simple, we will walk and talk around the area you have chosen for the session and take photos along the way. The pace is relaxed and easy and not rushed. Here are some of the images we took on Kelly & Mike’s shoot in the area around St.Paul’s Cathedral in London.

If you would like to book a pre-wedding shoot then please email me on info@cvphoto.co.uk

London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography
London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography
London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography
London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography
London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography
London pre-wedding photographer, St.Paul's engagement photography

Wedding Photography Prices: A Bride’s Guide

Couples getting married are often bemused, confused or just completely stunned at the vast difference in wedding photography pricing. I want to spell out in a clear concise way what you can expect to pay and get and take the guess work out of shopping for your wedding photographer. I am sure as a Bride to be you have also read a few magazine or online articles that tell you the average UK wedding photography prices, this is very misleading in my humble opinion.

With over 25 year’s experience as a photographer and 15 of those photographing weddings I have seen the industry go from professional film, to digital to amateur to people using no photographer at all. I believe I can shed a little light on the industry and explain what you can honestly expect to get.

The way I see it there is 3 groups of wedding photography pricing categories:

  1. The Budget
  2. Middle Class
  3. The Premium Service

The Budget comes in at about £200-£1000 for a full day and most likely is just a digital download or a usb with images. This person often has another job – usually nothing to do with photography and can afford to charge less as it is not their main form of income they are likely not insure nor have professional or back up equipment. 

The other option is that they are shooting a high volume of weddings to make sure they get enough money. It is not unheard of for this type of person to cover 70+ weddings a year. Whilst this is fine for some people many do not have a backup plan for illness or accidents. I very often see call outs on Facebook wedding photography groups for people in this situation.

The second group is our middle-class photographer and they are more likely to be professional and their pricing ranges from £1000 to £2500. This group generally have at least a few years’ experience, they may have started out part-time or second shooting for another photographer. They are normally insured (but always ask) they may even be accredited by one of the photographic professional bodies such as the BIPP or MPA. 

Whilst what you get can vary greatly from this group, you will often see digital files, albums and prints and frames as part of their packages or collections. If you compare the work of someone in the middle of this category to someone in the £500 mark you will likely see a better command of light and posing and a much more professional look to the image. 

The premium service is probably only 10% of the wedding photographers in the country, and they start at £2500 and go upwards. I would say that the vast majority of the photographers in this group include wedding albums in their collections, and you can expect to pay additionally after the wedding for extra pages or spreads in the album or additionally for digital files. Realistically you will likely find the average cost to be more in the region of £4000.

If photography or the photographs are of great importance to you then they will give you exceptional results. This group are what we refer to as masters. They have likely won many awards and have a photographers following them or also work in teaching other photographers. 

The differences between each of these groups is actually quite noticeable when you know what to look for. It would be like the difference between a meal at MacDonalds, Cote, and a Marco Perrier White Restaurant. It all boils down to what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. 

Many articles actually say the average for wedding photography in the UK is £1200 but what they are not considering is the costs many couples pay to their photographer afterwards to add to their album or purchase an album or parent albums. It also does not account for is the vast difference in regions. Even something just as basic as insurance will cost a London photographer more than someone in the wilds of Yorkshire. 

I hope that this has helped breakdown the pricing for you but if you have any questions or would like to know more than please do email as I would love to hear from you.   

Hylands House wedding, Chelmsford wedding photographer, Chelmsford wedding photography

What is the point of a professional photographer now?

Twenty eight years ago I finished my degree in Photography and joined the industry as a working professional. Back then saying I was a photographer was often a talking point and people were always interested to find out more. I would also say that there was a definite respect for the profession, we were seen as artists. Calling yourself a professional was also determined by your income, if you earned more than 70% of your income from photography you were classed as a professional and not just a hobbyist.

Fast forward to today and everyone is a photographer, we are all armed with phones that have great cameras and the latest gadgets that can make even the most ropy images look good. Don’t get me wrong I love that so many people are able to find a love for photography, much like I did. I used to take my camera everywhere taking all sorts of photos, but with film I had to stop and think because every image cost me money, in film, processing and printing. Today everyone takes thousands of photos, rarely they are printed and occasionally they are viewed some never see the light of day ever again. So why bother? I know with the cloud or cheap storage it is not exactly expensive but why keep them if you are never going to look at them ever again?

Today I look up at events, areas of interests, majestic scenery and even weddings and I see a wall of iphones, people recording every second. The problem I see with this is they are missing out, on life. For me photography has always been two things, an art like that you see in museums. The second has been a record of a time, place or person. The perfect example is wedding photographs, recording the day and the people for the future and for children not yet born and the people in them that will pass. As a part of that record though the photographs are there to also stimulate the memory for those that were there, much like a smell can trigger a memory so can to a photograph. If we are all so very busy recording the events from behind the phone then what memory will be triggered? We seem to have become so busy recording everything that we forgot we actually have to engage in the event or surroundings to create the memory in the first place.

Whilst it is absolutely a wonderful thing that we are all able to record moments in an instant I do think that we need to stop and think. Ask yourself this question the next time you pick up your phone to take a photo, Will I print or look at this photo again? If the answer is no then put your phone down and just enjoy the moment.

So why do we need in this age of technology a professional photographer? I believe that for many events, such as weddings, family reunions, and family portraits that hiring a professional photographer has two distinct advantages. The first is the quality of the images you will receive, if they are a qualified professional making a living from photography then there will be a distinct difference of quality. The second is that it will free you up to actually enjoy yourself as a proven professional will have the experience and knowledge to capture the right moments and things for you. Clearly this is a win, you get to enjoy yourself and create those receive as well have beautiful images to remind you and cherish.

The next time you have an event where a professional photographer is in attendance I highly recommend that you enjoy yourself and let them get on with their work, leave the capturing to them.

If you would like to find out more about my photography or work please go to www.cvphoto.co.uk or get in touch via info@cvphoto.co.uk

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