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We know that you have questions, but that’s okay: we have answers!

From “I love your work! How do I hire you?” and “What, exactly, can I expect from you?”, we strive to answer all of your frequently asked questions.

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I love your work! How do I hire you?

Please use our Contact page to give us a shout, or email us at hello@layerone.ca for information. We can’t wait to hear from you!

What, exactly, can I expect from you?

We love clean, bright, modern visuals, in both photography and design. You will see that our photography and our designs follow this aesthetic principle. When we shoot, we aim to illustrate your story for you (after all, the best stories have pictures!) – we love emotion and we love detail, and we feel these are two things that are extremely important to capture in order to make sure there are no parts of your story missing. With each design, we want to bring your business’ identity out. You can expect us to put our 100% into each and every project we work with you on, because we know that you are putting your 100% into it.
The Team

Where in the world are you located? Are you willing to travel? (And do I have to pay for it?)

We live in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. We are absolutely willing to travel for our work, however it is up to you, our client, to pay for our travel and accomodations. If we can’t make travel happen, we are accessible over Skype and via email to meet you so we can work together.

Why are there three of you?

Strength in numbers. We prefer three for the versatility of having three. It allows us to spread out and capture more, to break up the work evenly between shooting, editing, running the website and all the background stuff that help Layer One run smoothly. Design-wise, we all have our own strengths that we bring to the table to ensure that all of your needs are met.

Are you formally educated?

While we are firm believers that creativity cannot be taught, both Jae and Neil are within months of completing Photography and Graphic Communications at Ryerson University. And Josh has completed Audio Production at Centennial College. So yes – we do have formal education ;)

Are you legit?

Too legit to quit! But seriously, we are a registered legal entity under the name of Layer One Creative, a general partnership between Victoria (Jae) Valerio, Neil Amagna and Joshua De Sa. Our Master Business License was issued to us by the province of Ontario, Canada.

Do you all shoot the same style?

Absolutely not, and yes, all at the same time. Our photography styles are all subtly different, but wholly cohesive. We all have different eyes, and different interests, so we work to ensure that we are complementing each other.

What equipment do you use to shoot/edit?

We are Canon shooters! We use 5DIIs and 7Ds, with backup 450Ds. Our lenses range from wide angle to telephotos, primes to zooms, and we are currently using Canon speedlights as well. We use Macs and PCs, so we’re well-versed in both.

How can I know for sure you will be shooting my wedding?

When you contact us to book us for your wedding, we will ask for a signed contract and a retainer fee, which is 40% of the price of the package you choose. This fee ensures that we cross off anything else on the calendar for the day of your wedding. The remainder of this fee is due 3 weeks before the big day.

Can I give you a shot list?

We will be asking you to give us a list of family members or important persons you would like us to photograph with you; however, a shot list will not be necessary. It is our job to ensure we capture every important detail of your special day. However, if you feel there are some shots you absolutely must have that may not be part of a typical wedding day, please feel free to communicate this to us.

When can I expect to see my photos after the wedding?

We try our best to ensure you get your photos within 3-6 weeks of the wedding. We know it’s hard not to be excited, but we promise you we are working our butts off so you can have your photos as soon as possible!

When do I get my prints (or canvases or albums)?

Arrival time of prints, canvases and albums is dependent on when you order – typically, they arrive within 3-6 weeks of ordering. This is because they are not done in-house; we use third-party businesses to help us with this part of the process.

Can I have all the photos you took at the wedding?

With two (or three) photographers on location the day of your wedding, there can be well over 5000 images taken. We pare these down to the best ones, and deliver only the best to you. Please note that we do not deliver RAW files, and that we reserve the artistic right to withhold coloured versions of black and white photos.

Are you going to retouch every photograph?

Plainly put: no. All images are edited in the sense that we need to ensure lighting and colour is even across the board, but we cannot retouch every single image you will be receiving. However, for prints (and canvases, if part of your chosen package), retouching may be done for an extra fee.

I think my wedding may go longer than I thought it would – do you do overtime?

Yes! But we do charge 100$ per photographer per extra hour. Of course, we will let you know this beforehand. We do encourage building your wedding timeline with the photography (and videography) in mind – this ensures that all the important stuff is captured.

Do I need to feed you?

We are likely to be shooting morning till evening without much break in between, and it’s hard to go all day without food. We just ask that we be allowed to eat around the same time you are eating, so we don’t miss anything crucial. But yes – food is great. You can either provide us with a meal, or we will take an hour around your guest’s mealtime to go get our own food and return to shoot.

I want my engagement photos before my wedding. Is this possible?

We encourage our clients to book engagement sessions at least a month (or two, preferably!) before the Big Day. This is so we can ensure you get a chance to see your photos, and get you revved up for the wedding day portraits! Engagement sessions follow the timeline for portrait sessions – the editing process typically takes 3-4 weeks. The earlier you do your engagement session, the better. Many people like to use their engagement photos for their Save-the-Dates, so if that sounds like a good idea to you, it’s recommended to keep the 3-4 week turnaround in mind, plus the time it will take for the creation and printing of the Save-the-Date cards.

What is a portrait session?

Please throw away all thoughts of a stiff-necked, unnaturally posed, medieval-style portrait. A portrait session is a photo session all about you! This includes engagement sessions, maternity sessions, family sessions, lifestyle sessions… During a portrait session, we take both natural/candid photos and directed photos. We capture you at a time in your life that you want to hold in your memories.

I want to book a portrait session with you. How can I do this?

Just ask! Please note that we tend to have weekends booked solid, but don’t be afraid to ask us. We would like to book at least three weeks in advance, but do not hesitate to ask us even if it’s a short notice. We’ll try our best!

I just love my pet. Can I bring him/her with me?

We love our pets too, and we encourage that you include them if you wish to. Please just note that one of us does have a cat allergy, so it would be super nice if you could just inform us ahead of time so the necessary precautions can be made!

When do I get my photos from you?

We want you to have your photos as much as you do! Please give us 3-4 weeks to get these photos edited and out to you. We promise the patience will be worth it.

Is there a limit to the amount of people I can bring to a session?

You can bring your whole family and all your friends and coworkers, if that’s what you want. However keep in mind that the more people there are, the longer it usually takes to get everyone set up and ready to be photographed. If you’ve booked us for two hours and it takes an hour and a half to pose everyone, then we will only have thirty minutes to shoot. We also try to get solo shots of everyone, so there may not be a large number of photos to choose from if we are limited to a shorter time for each person. So just remember this when you book – you may want to add more time if you are planning to bring a group larger than four (or if you’re bringing more than one child under the age of 8).

I need a location for my portrait session. Where should I book it?

We encourage you to choose a location that means something to you, or will produce the kind of image you are looking for. Please keep in mind that it would be ideal to have a well-lit location, so that we can move around easier without carrying lots of lighting equipment. We recommend public areas, as some buildings and spaces are privately owned and might hassle us for shooting there. Don’t be afraid to ask the owners though, if you really love the location! A friendly request is better than trespassing, any day. As with any shoot, you are responsible for obtaining the proper permits to the locations you choose.
Other photography

Do you do product photography?

Yes, we do. We have had the fantastic opportunity to shoot many different things, such as cars and makeup, and many things in between. We also include product photography in our visual branding packages, as this can make a world of difference for your business.

I am having a party/bachelor(ette)/gala/etc. and need a photographer. Do you shoot events?

We absolutely do. Please contact us to give us more information, as each event is unique, and the pricing may differ slightly from event to event.
Visual design

I need a logo for my small business. Do you do logo design?

We love logos. Plainly put, yes we do logo design. Please look at our portfolio to see if our designs match your ideas for your business. We would love to collaborate with you.

What is the turnaround time for logo design?

Our logo design turnaround time is largely dependent on the client. We keep open communication with you during each phase of the design process, from mockups to final product. With each part of your input, we can take a step forward toward finishing the design. We do try to keep clients on track to have your logo design finished within 6 weeks maximum.

What is “branding”?

Branding is a big buzzword in business (both small and big). It is your business’ identity. From logos, to colours, to the fonts you use, to the way you present your work – this is all part of your branding. Think of it as your outfit + your hairstyle + the way you walk + the way you talk. It is everything from the way you write content to the way you present yourself on social media.

What do you mean by “visual branding”?

When we say ‘visual branding’, we mean the visual aspects of your business. Your logo, any photos (products, headshots, etc), and any other images are all part of the visual characteristics of your business. We can help you identify what visual parts need to match your business’ identity, and then use that knowledge to help you design your logo, shoot photos that match your branding, and make sure that the entire look is cohesive so that nothing feels like it isn’t part of your business.

I feel like my current branding doesn’t work. Can you help me to rebrand?

The rebranding process can be harrowing, as you may already have built your business to represent itself one way, and are just now realizing it doesn’t fit. As we work strictly with visuals, we can help you identify which parts of your business need a visual refresh, and shoot new photos or design new images to spruce things up. We strongly advise against a full rebranding until you’ve had at least a year of business under your belt, so that you have a better awareness of what your business’ brand truly is.

I am looking for something like ___’s design. Can you copy that, but make it look more “me”?

We strongly encourage you to find your own business’ identity. Unfortunately, we cannot copy another company’s logo and visual branding, both for legal and creative reasons. We are absolutely willing to help you visually brand your business in a way that is unique to you.