Thumbtack is a service for hiring professionals for small jobs. Some of our clients first hired us through Thumbtack, and we are fortunate that we have built some long-term relationships with those clients. If you are using Thumbtack to hire a pilot for aerial photos or video, here are three tips for finding a good drone pilot.

  1. Make sure they can do the job. Does the person you plan to hire have the equipment needed to do the job? It’s not unusual for us to be asked which aerial system we use; that’s a question that you should ask too. Do a little research on the drone that your photographer / videographer plans to use. Sure, it’s possible to get some good images and video from a $1,000 drone, but knowing ahead of time is a good idea. I can make some really good photographs with my iPhone, but you would probably be upset if you hired me to take your portrait and I arrived with just a cell phone. And it’s not just the drone that will make the image; the proper use of filters and even editing software can make the difference between great results and lackluster shots.
  2. Does your pilot have a license to fly commercially? If you are hiring an aerial photographer / videographer, it’s in your best interest to make sure that he or she is licensed with the FAA to fly drones commercially. If they are not, they cannot legally fly a drone for any business purpose. Thumbtack lists verified licenses for professions, but if it’s not listed on Thumbtack, be sure to ask. Pilots who are licensed know the rules and are able to request from the FAA exemptions to the rules should the need arise. Why should you care? In our litigious society, if there is an accident, you can be sure that the drone pilot as well as his “employer” (you) will be sued. Hiring someone who isn’t licensed to do the job opens you up to a great deal of liability. Speaking of accidents, that brings us to item 3:
  3. Does your pilot have aircraft liability insurance? There is special liability insurance for drones, and it protects the pilot and you should there be an accident. Accidents are rare, but they do happen (Another point for item 1 above is that more expensive aerial systems have anti-collision sensors, redundant systems and other safety feature to decrease the risk of an accident). Make sure that your pilot has aircraft liability insurance in addition to any general business liability insurance that she might have.


3 Things to Look for When Hiring an Aerial Photographer from Thumbtack