frequently asked questions

Why Should I Choose You as My Photographer?

A lot of photographers view photography as an art form.  We view it as an experience.

You want outstanding images — we get that — but if you’re not having a good time while you do it, those images won’t be as good as they could have been!

When you choose us, you’re not just getting someone who stands behind a camera and tells you to smile.  You’re also getting someone who will collaborate and coordinate with you so that your photography experience is as seamless and effortless as possible.

Where are your prices?

We tried to list everything when we first started and we quickly discovered that we were customizing even our most basic packages with add-ons and extras to accommodate client needs.

That’s fine — we actually love to do that.  Everyone’s needs are just a little different, and the ability to tailor our packages to our clients in a way that makes sense makes everyone happier.

Let us know what you’re looking for by contacting us and we’ll provide a quote for you.  We may ask a few questions, but that’s just so that we have the specifics of the job and because we want to get to know you.

How do I get my images?

We’re an all-digital studio.  After we edit and finalize everything, we upload it to an online gallery so that you can download the images to your computer or order prints directly from us.

On prints:  While our prints are a higher quality than what you’d get at a local supermarket, they’re slightly more expensive.  We average around one dollar per print for smaller, common sizes.  However, we don’t believe in forcing you to order prints at an outrageous cost, so you’ll also receive a print release so that you can order prints from anywhere.

After you’ve got your images, make sure that you make a copy and store them in a safe place.  We try to keep everything on file, but we may not hold onto them forever.  Technology can fail, so keep good backups!


What kind of payment do you accept?

Pretty much anything except bank cards, but we can do an email money transfer for that.  You’ll receive a contract and an invoice when it’s time to pay, and you’ll have the option to pay by any form of credit.

If you’d prefer to pay in cash, via cheque, or email money transfer, let us know and we’ll make the appropriate arrangements.

Do you offer payment plans?

We do. As a downpayment / retainer fee, we take 25% up front. We can talk about the rest based on your timeline, but we do require everything to be paid up front before the session begins.


What if I don't like my photos?

Our goal is to make sure you absolutely love them, end of discussion.  However, if there’s something you don’t like or something you regret that’s within our power to fix, we’ll definitely do our best to make that happen.

There are some things we can’t accommodate.  For example:  My brother wasn’t in the photo. Can you Photoshop him in so that we’re all here together?

(It’s happened!)

Do you offer refunds?

Yes and no.  We offer a cooling-off period after the contract is signed if you change your mind.  We also offer refunds if we can’t show up (illness, emergency, etc.).

Anything outside of us failing to do our job is typically fixable, and we’re willing to work with you to make sure you have a product you can enjoy!


There are two of you. Who’s going to show up for my session?

Scott. Stephanie comes onboard as a second shooter whenever she’s needed. Otherwise, Lumina is Scott’s brainchild. He’ll always be your primary shooter and the one processing your images.

Are you location-based only?

Yes.  But that doesn’t just mean parks and outdoor spaces.  We can bring the studio to you.

Scott worked in a photo studio for several years but chose to build a mobile studio when he started Lumina.  We have the equipment for a mobile studio, which we can deploy in a typical home or office if you have a 5×5 meter space (and that’s being generous).  We’d do this if you needed something like business headshots on a white background or against a cloth backdrop.

How far will you travel?

For weddings and major events, we cover a 100km radius from downtown Ottawa before we have to start charging for fuel and travel time.  For businesses and lifestyle sessions, it’s 50km.

We don’t like it either, but if we’re just breaking even on the gas, we can’t make a living!


Can you retouch photos that you didn't take?

Usually, but we’d have to see the images (or batch of images, if you’re another photographer) in order to give you a price.  Some types of retouching require a bit more effort than others.

Can you retouch X?

Probably.  In his younger days, Scott spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of photo editing software (see below for some fun examples).  A lot of his conceptual work has been picked up by exclusive stock photography websites like Getty Images.  While he can retouch on a professional level, he typically refrains from that level of retouching due to time constraints and the perception of retouched images in a typical portrait setting.

You’ve likely seen those magazine covers where the model is airbrushed to the point that she no longer looks like a real person.  While those images often skew our perception of reality, they’re not a definition of beauty that we’re interested in pursuing.  While we’ll remove small blemishes (things that are temporary), we’re not interested in removing fundamental components of your facial structure.  In short:  We’d remove a glaring zit, but that mole on the side of your cheek would stay.

Certainly, if you’re interested in a level of retouching beyond what’s included in your package, let us know during your initial message or consultation and we’ll factor that into the price.

Most of the time, you won’t need it, though.

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