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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a photographer when social distancing?

If you decide to hire a photographer, see if the photographer can take photos outdoors or in a large space so all involved parties can maintain the recommended distance between themselves. You should also sanitize surfaces, avoid handshakes, don’t make any other physical contact and use digital platforms to complete payments. Speak with a local photographer in your area to put a strategy in place.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.

Does a photographer need to enter my home?

There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.

How can I find out if a photographer is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic. 

For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Do photographers offer remote or virtual services?

Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services. 

If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.

Can I use digital payments to pay for wedding and event photography services?

As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.

Do you tip a photographer for family photos?

Tipping a photographer for family portraits is not standard etiquette. A great way to recognize a family photographer who goes above and beyond is to write them a glowing review. You probably found your photographer by reading online reviews, so paying it forward by letting everyone know how much you appreciate their work is a great gift. Write your review after they have delivered the final edited photos on time and you’ve confirmed that you’re happy with the terrific portraits they took.

What should you wear for a family photo?

A family photographer captures your family in a series of professionally edited portraits. You can be goofy, you can be formal, you can be exactly how you want to be. To that end, you can wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident — feeling good translates to looking good in photos. However, top family photographers do have some style suggestions that will make your family photos more visually cohesive:

  • Ask the photographer for color suggestions if you’re doing an outdoor photo shoot. Location and time of day can affect which shades will fade in the sunlight and what will stand out in a good way.
  • Stay away from a mix of stripes or plaids on multiple people — the effect is too busy.
  • Steer clear of tiny patterns, which blend together too much.
  • Avoid wearing matching outfits.
  • Do wear outfits that are complementary in color.
  • Choose color over black-and-white outfits.
  • Do choose a theme, such as pastels, fall colors or summer colors.
  • Opt for tonally similar colors.  
  • Go easy on makeup for outdoor photo shoots.

How much does a baby photography cost?

Portrait photography provides parents with lasting images of the first whirlwind months of a newborn’s life. The cost varies based on several factors, including the length and location of the session, the number of photos provided, and the amount of editing and retouching the photographer does. The national average cost for baby photos is $150-$200. Some baby photographers charge by the number of photos provided, typically ranging from an average of $299 for 20 high-resolution edited photos, to an average of $399 for 35 photos, to $499 for all of the images taken in a single session. Props and location affect the cost, too; an elaborate studio shoot with props and professional lighting may increase the cost to $600-$700 for 20-50 photos. Adding a second location or asking the photographer to travel can add $70-$250 to the cost of the session. Photographers may also charge extra fees for providing additional photos and DVDs, scheduling weekend sessions, and shooting siblings. Expect to pay at least a $50 deposit when you book a portrait photography session.

Where is the best place to take baby pictures?

Baby pictures are among the most popular types of portrait photography, and most newborn photographers are well versed in the best places to take baby pictures in their local areas. Some newborn photographers will come to the hospital to shoot the baby within a day or two of birth, while others have set up their studios to accommodate the needs of infants. Some parents prefer to have the newborn photographer come to their home or travel to a favorite park or other outdoor location. Like any portrait photography, the best place to take baby pictures is the place you like best and that will yield the types of photos you want of your baby, whether that’s posed and carefully lit studio portraits or spontaneous, casual photos at home. Work with a local newborn photographer to find a safe, calm location with great lighting and some privacy for your family.

Reviews for Ashburn professional photographers
Amruta B.
A great photographer to work with! We liked his quality of work, professionalism and responsiveness.
The Casual ShotThe Casual Shot
Ameesha D.
Exceptional service! One of the best professional photography sessions I’ve ever experienced. Page is not only an amazing photographer, he’s also a great coach if you’re not sure how to pose.
Cornerstone PhotosCornerstone Photos
Saurav B.
christieis very good and he is very professional. everyone who was and was not present in the party appreciated the photos.
Cristi's PhotographyCristi's Photography
Raj P.
Sarah was very professional and very accurate with her responses. We had a fun time doing the photo shoot with her. The photos of the cake smash really came out good. She also accommodated some of our special requests.
Morning Glory ImagesMorning Glory Images
Thumbtack Customer
Cristi was AWESOME! His photography was exceptional. He captured very precious moments which we are sure to keep for life. He is very professional. I will keep availing his services. I would definitely recommend him if someone is looking for a photographer.
Cristi's PhotographyCristi's Photography
Nasia O.
Ashley and Derek were great to work with. I needed a professional photo on short notice and they were very flexible and receptive to my company's requirements. Excellent quality and value!
7th Tree Images7th Tree Images
Suchendra K.
We couldn't have asked for a better photographer, Julie went above and beyond to capture everything we wanted. She was punctual and very professional. The pictures were amazing and absolutely worth every penny.
Julie BonebrakeJulie Bonebrake
Mariam M.
OMG! Where do I start!!!! Quantized Pixels LLC is amazing but most importantly Gethro, he is so professional and friendly! I couldn't have asked for more from a photographer. He was amazing during the whole event and provided the best photos that captured my moments. He's definitely the person you need at your events and you'll be so comfortable. <3 THANK YOU GETHRO!!!!
Quantized Pixels LLCQuantized Pixels LLC
Rhea S.
Brandon was very relaxing and made us feel great and got the photo we wanted and worked with the vision we wanted and we fun to talk to he was super once we decided to use him for our wedding because of how awesome and professional he was.
Brandon R. Walker PhotographyBrandon R. Walker Photography
Thumbtack Customer
Cristi was fantastic! Exceeded our expectations and was a professional in every sense of the word. Loved that he was early which gave us a chance to see if our preferred location would work. He pointed out that we would have the sun in our eyes, not good and found another spot close by which was perfect! We were a large family group with lots of strong personalities. He was able to get us to move along and used humor to make our session fun. Very easy to communicate with and quickly answered all of my questions. We were all coming in from different states and he was very nice about working with the tight schedule we had. I would definitely use him again if I needed a professional photographer for ANY occasion. The pictures come out wonderful and everyone was surprised at how he was able to get us to quit talking long enough to have us all looking in the right direction. Thank you Cristi for making this a fun family memory with loads of beautiful pictures as well!
Cristi's PhotographyCristi's Photography
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