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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is a photo booth rental?

A party photo booth is a fun, interactive experience where guests can take a series of photos (usually three or four) that are immediately printed out on a strip as a keepsake. When you rent a party photo booth, the company sets up the booth or photo station at your event; a photographer staffs the booth and coaches guests on how to use it throughout the event. Often the photo booth rental company provides props like silly hats, wigs and glasses. There are different types of party photo booth rentals. An open-air booth has a curtain or backdrop that allows more freedom of movement and enables more people to use it at one time. The traditional enclosed photo booths that you may have seen at the mall or the fair tend to cost more to rent, as they are harder to transport and also cost more for the pros to purchase. The national average cost for party photo booth rentals is $400-$500.

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.

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

The safest way to conduct a consultation during COVID-19 is virtually. Ask wedding officiants near you if they can have a phone call or a virtual appointment over video chat. If they can, make sure to ask them any questions you have about upcoming work. Discuss what precautions, if any, they have in place to ensure safety. You might consider asking if they accept digital payments or if they can complete the work remotely, without any in-person contact. 

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.

Do wedding officiants offer remote or virtual services?

Reach out to wedding officiants in your area, and ask them if they can offer a remote or virtual ceremony. Some officiants may be willing to meet in person while maintaining 6 feet of distance, while others may prefer to conduct the entire service over the phone or a video call service such as Skype or Zoom.

Familiarize yourself with the social distancing rules in your community, city and state, and move forward only if both you and the officiant are comfortable with the arrangement. 

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.

What does a wedding event coordinator do?

Pulling off a large, complex wedding or an elegant, small affair requires juggling myriad details, including the officiant, food, drink, wedding cake, entertainment, transportation, rehearsal dinner, photography, equipment rentals, venue reservations and more. A wedding event coordinator can help you keep track of these details, overseeing the planning process and managing everything on the day of your wedding. Each wedding coordinator (and wedding) is different, but in general you can expect an event coordinator to:

  • Help you devise a realistic wedding budget and hold your vendors to it.
  • Map out a master plan that includes all of the details including ceremony music, favors, the guest book and more.
  • Suggest ceremony and reception locations that fit your wedding size, budget and vision.   
  • Suggest florists, photographers, bands, caterers and other vendors that fit your budget.
  • Negotiate vendor contracts for the best deals.
  • Create a timeline for the day of the wedding that includes each vendor and member of your wedding party.
  • Mail invitations and track RSVPs.
  • Answer questions about wedding etiquette and current wedding trends.
  • Manage the wedding day from supervising vendors and setup to handling last-minute emergencies.

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.

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