Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some things you may be wondering prior to working with us!
I’m nervous about getting photos taken. How do you address that fear?
First of all, know that you are PERFECT as you are… and that there is no one in the world that has your unique personality or characteristics… so inhale, exhale and relax. We tend to be our own worst enemy and biggest critic. You, however, have taken the step in the right direction to get professional photos taken of yourself, whether for a special occasion, your profession or just because. Let’s celebrate the MASTERPIECE that you are and the beauty of being a living, breathing human person. It’s time to shift the paradigm of fear to the paradigm of trust… in who you are and what you are meant to do!
Here are some of my tips for taming the voices in your head (which we ALL have):
1.) Find a location that is meaningful to you. Could be a first date location, favorite coffee shop, out in nature where it's more private... and even indoors at one of DC's coolest museums such as the National Gallery of Art East Wing or the Kogord Coutryard of the National Portrait Gallery. When in doubt, choose an activity that you can enjoy together (i.e. eating ice cream) and I will be happy to document it for you!
2.) It’s always fun to go shopping for a new outfit. Make it an engaging experience! Wear something you are comfortable in and expresses your personality. We are also happy to provide guidance upon request depending where we are shooting and of course, the weather. So feel free to text us with any outfit ideas you are considering!
3.) Invest in professional hair & makeup. We’re happy to recommend vendors from our Preferred Vendors List once we book your session/event. This experience will instantly help calm your nerves and allow you to be able to work with your artist to create the look that vibes with your genuine self.
4.) Be open to ideas from your photographer/videographer. And just HAVE FUN! Be prepared for lots of movement, laughs and even dancing when working with us! We are big believers in authentic moments and will definitely guide you through the process so that you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera.
One of Laura’s favorite Rumi quotes states the following:
“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.”
I love your storytelling style, but we also need formal/more posed portraits for our families.
Absolutely! We all need those timeless, “classic” photos for the family Christmas card or to send home to our families. The best time for these photos are immediately following your wedding ceremony (or at a designated time during your event) and during cocktail hour/before dinner. What we don’t want happening is for you to stress about getting them throughout your wedding day. If everyone works together to cooperate during the designated group photo times, you will have more time to be present throughout your celebration. We understand that even the best timeline can go “off-track” and if that happens, we’ll simply go with the flow while prioritizing the portraits!
How many photos/videos will we receive?
You will receive all the photos that make you look your absolute best! Trust me, you do not want photos of you with your eyes half open or awkwardly posed. This also varies depending on the event/shoot nature and the shot list requested, but in general, I average 40-50 final images per hour of shooting
Can we receive the RAW files?
We do not give out RAW files (photo or video) because we feel that is a disservice to the investment you made for your wedding, event or portrait session. Giving RAW files is equivalent to a commissioned artist delivering a half-finished painting or a chef serving a half-eaten salad -- NO WAY, JOSE! However, the only exception here is for corporate companies who have an in-house editor and wish for work to be edited for consistency. Please contact Laura for a quote & release form.
Do you travel for photography & videography work?
Absolutely! Laura has documented weddings, engagements, headshots and events outside of the DMV in U.S. cities such as Philadelphia, Austin, Richmond, Boston, New Jersey, Charlotte and Seattle, plus countries such as Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, Slovenia and the Netherlands. We love to travel and are always passport ready for your next destination event. (Laura also has a 10 year visa to India that expires in July 2029!) Travel is covered within 50 miles of Northern Virginia; for any distances outside of that range, we charge a travel fee of 51 cents per mile covered or the flight/hotel for the duration of the event. Please email Laura for more specific information.
What kind of equipment do you use? And do you have a studio?
Team Nikon and Sony here, with top-notch professional flashes, reflectors and LED lights! Please contact us for a full list! We do not have a physical studio space, but are happy to recommend creative spaces/co-working spaces that can be rented to fulfill your photography and videography needs.
We are private and prefer that you do not share our photos/video online.
We understand your concerns and are happy to honor your request. Most of my clients understand that in order to be successful in our photography + video business, sharing visuals through social media and online mediums is crucial. They are usually okay with us posting or sharing with clients off-line, and not using names/tagging them on social media. No matter what your request, we will be respectful and honor your wishes: no questions asked.
How long does it take for us to receive our final gallery of photos/videos?
For portrait/headshot sessions and smaller events, my turnaround time is 72 hours for sneak peeks and 2 weeks for the final, personalized and edited gallery. You will receive the gallery via email. For weddings, multi-day conferences and larger events, the turnaround time is up to 8 weeks depending on the season and the amount of work that the studio takes on. For wedding videography, please allow up to 4 months for the completion of each project in its entirety, pending any additional edits or special requests that are added. And for commercial/branding projects, the deadlines vary depending on what is previously decided. We do not outsource our editing and everything is done in-house to ensure brand authenticity and consistency on every level.
Can you Photoshop out my “imperfections”?
As a photographer, Laura is committed to empowering her clients to embrace and love the skin that they are in. We will use Photoshop as needed to enhance your portraits (i.e. blemish removal, skin softening, etc.) and remove distracting objects from the background, but you will not appear to look drastically different than you do in real life. If you desire to look like a different person, then we are not the photographers/videographers for you.
We love your DC Monument photos but are not keen on paying for a permit. Do we really have to?
Yes, it is the LAW. **Please note that any location in the National Park Service requires a permit, and I am not able to photograph there without us getting one. I have been stopped by the Park Police in the past and thankfully had documentation so I could avoid getting my gear taken away and handcuffs (true story! Happened to a friend of mine). Permits currently go for $140 for one day of shooting and up to 10 people in the shoot. Better to be safe than sorry!
**Do you have a return policy or offer discounts for special circumstances?
First up, we ask that all Laurentina Photography + Video clients are familiar with our style of shooting and editing prior to working with us. Digital files (both photos and videos), once delivered, cannot be returned. Therefore, we have a hard “no return” policy on all digital services purchased from us and cannot offer monetary refunds due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. not liking images/videos, memory card corruption on dual back-ups, etc.) With each individual unique case, we will work with each client to make sure their needs are met and that communication is transparent from the beginning.
As a professional of 10+ years in this industry and a small business owner, Laura is just like you… a real person trying to do her best to live, breathe and be happy, while serving her clients to the best of her ability. That being said, Laura’s pricing is based on her time dedicated to her work, business expenses, experience in the industry and what it costs for her to live in the DC Metropolitan Area. As someone who also values her industry peers, Laura is not able to provide discounts or undercharge the industry standard.
We encourage you to reach out about limited edition sessions during the spring & fall seasons, which will provide special pricing for services such as family portraits and take advantage of our November print sales — which make great holiday gifts for family & friends.
I’m interested in booking your services! What’s next?
Laurentina Photography + Video books on a first come, first serve basis. We recommend that you book with us once you have settled on a date for your event/session so that we can block that off our calendar.
My wedding clients typically book between 6-9 months from their wedding date, and there is a possibility that we may not be available on your wedding day if the decision making process is longer. After chatting with Laura about your big day, we recommend that you take the next step in the process (i.e. booking or inquiring further) with 7-10 business days (M-F) before the date is released to the next inquiry. In most cases, we will update you if someone else is interested in the date also.
Since we offer a variety of photography and video services, there is no “busy season” (i.e. typically April - October in the DC Area for weddings) and we book year round. Once you book with Laurentina Photography + Video, we will not book another event on the same day so that our focus can be on YOU!
To see if our vision aligns, please reach out to me via the contact form with as many details as you can provide about your wedding or event. I will then send you a proposal for your request and after signing the agreement, you will put down a non-refundable retainer to "save the date". This amount varies depending on how far in advance you book your session, but in general, it is 1/3 retainer for weddings 6+ months out and 50% for all other photography and video services.
Email: laurentinaphotography (at) gmail (dot) com