How Much Do You Tip Photographers

By | 14/09/2022

In this personal opinion slice, I’grand going to share

whether I believe tipping is necessary for nuptials photographers. The to-tip-or-not-to-tip debate is mostly split about 80 / 20

according to sources I’ve found around the spider web. The majority say that tipping your wedding photographer is non required. Remaining voices say that yes, y’all should tip.

As a wedding photographer myself, I take a unique insight into the debate.

A working nuptials professional’s input tin ofttimes be more valuable than the generic ‘wedding ceremony tipping guides’ that you tin detect in abundance.

So here’s my two cents to add to the debate!

In this commodity, I’m going to have you through whether you should tip your wedding ceremony photographer, when to tip them, how much to tip them and alternatives to tipping. The conclusions are quite surprising. Let’s get to information technology!

Looking for ways to love on your wedding photographer – including those that
involve tipping? Here’s my list of 17 ways you tin can be the best wedding ceremony photography client e’er!

Should you tip your wedding photographer?

In wedding photography, tipping is not expected but it is appreciated. A wedding lensman volition not accept law-breaking if you lot practise non tip them. It is largely downwards to your personal preference, specially if the lensman has gone to a higher place and beyond, or if they are not the business owner.

More often than not speaking, a tip is not standard practice. Personally speaking, I would say that only about 15-twenty% of all wedding clients give me a tip.

Not the blazon to tip at every opportunity? No trouble. There are many other ways to say thank you, which I detail below.

Thanking your photographer for the service they provided does not take to be in monetary format.

A tip is sometimes a gesture that many couples would similar to make – but after the expense of a wedding, there is simply not the opportunity to do so. We totally feel you there and do not concord information technology against you lot!

Complete wedding photography tipping guide! Get the full information and find out whether tips are expected for your wedding photographer and if so how much money should you tip your photographer?

How much should you lot tip your wedding lensman?

A very general guideline amount for tipping wedding photographers in the The states was given by The Knot. Their guide was to tip $fifty – $200.

Yous tin alternatively call back of tipping as a percent rather than a apartment rate. The percentage amount to tip varies between about v% – 15% of the total that you lot paid minus any taxation.

The range depends on how that amount shakes out and *feels* to you! fifteen% on a acme bundle of $5,500 would be $825. This, in my opinion would be
too much to tip.

Personal anecdote time: the smallest tip I have ever received was $10. The largest was over $600. So, it varies profoundly. 🤠

This, to me, is a sign that at that place is no real standard practice.

It is not seen as ‘cheaping out’ or insulting if yous only give a pocket-size tip –
because there is no expectation to tip at all in the commencement identify.

Under what circumstances should you tip and not tip your photographer?

There’s no need to piece of work a tip for your lensman into your hymeneals budget, unless you feel strongly nigh it or they’ve gone above and beyond.

Unlike many other service professionals, photographers are paid what they need to make a living without the addition of a tip.

Photographers that own their ain businesses set up their prices per job to ensure they’re getting what they need, with the profit margin they require. This is different contracted workers such as bar staff, drivers, even some makeup and planning assistants that get paid a contracted per-hour charge per unit.

If yous experience a photographer has gone above and beyond, yet, and so a tip recognizes that
level of service.

For example, a lensman throws in an actress xv minutes on your wedding mean solar day without charging overage fees (that would gear up yous back $100 or more)? A tip recognizes this, and the actress hours of work associated with that additional shooting fourth dimension.

A photographer lends you and sets up equipment that is beyond what’south stated in their contract, and then that yous could stream your nuptials? Plainly, they take saved you a lot of money, so tip them!

You accept asked for multiple telephone calls, venue visits and extra meetings that are above and beyond what’s usually offered (and which photographers do non charge for)? A tip compensates them for the actress time they ungrudgingly gave to you.

The photographer accommodated multiple date changes? That could take cost them a lot in lost revenue while you were parked on different dates!

In this post above, I explicate how wedding photography pricing is designed to have into account differing levels of client needs. Then, even if you asked for more than standard, a tip is still a nice-to-have, not a necessity that the lensman is dependent upon.

Another scenario in which a tip is actually deserved is if the lensman yous used is very new and only starting out in business. Anybody has to showtime somewhere! I shot my starting time weddings for $0, and received a tip and a gift from my first ever clients.

And it goes without proverb, if you lot were NOT at all wowed by your photographer’southward level of service, then in that location is absolutely no obligation to tip!

In a eating place, you lot tip a waiter even if the service he provided was horrible. This is because waiting staff depends on that coin to brand a living! (In the US anyway).

Photographers do non depend on their tips. They truly are just a bonus (specially so if they are the business organization possessor). Never feel pressure to tip.

Understanding whether it's expected to tip your wedding photographer. Will the photographer expect a tip or  not?

When to tip your hymeneals photographer

Whenever I do receive a tip, it’s almost always on the wedding ceremony twenty-four hours itself. Sometimes couples tip during the payment process which is done online prior to the nuptials. Information technology’s always OK to inquire your photographer what they would adopt if you want to give a tip.

Some would prefer it to be in cash or Venmo to keep it off the books. Others may prefer this to be done online with the rest of the payment.

Personally, I am fine with tips to exist paid past Venmo, cash, cheque, or through my online payment portal where there is the option to ‘Add Gratuity’ when you lot’re making your final payment.

I’ve included a link to my Venmo in this article:

Side note – wondering about hymeneals photographer pricing and what the etiquette is effectually price negotiations? I’ve written a detailed guide on nuptials photography negotiation all-time practices, linked below!

The strange matter about tipping is that nosotros tip based on the service, rather than the outcome.

And uniquely with photography, the issue of their services is non seen for several weeks or months.

The purpose of the tip is to thank your photographer for the service and assist they take provided in the run-up to the twenty-four hours – and the large day itself. Not so much to signify approval of the finished photos.

Personally, I have never gotten a tip later on commitment of the images.
I am non sure there would fifty-fifty be a manner of doing this. I tin’t tell yous how many times a couple has said ‘oh, we volition for certain tip you! You were amazing! I have an envelope for you but I can’t recollect where it is right now.’ Does the tip

materialize at a after engagement? Non so much. 😞

So, if you are going to requite a tip and accept budgeted for information technology, make certain you designate a betoken person to requite out tips on the night (or accept care of information technology before the hymeneals if that’s your jam).

This person is normally a wedding planner. It’southward a normal part of their job to deal with tipping the vendors. However, many couples do not have planners, in which example a parent or bridesmaid is a good candidate for distributing tips.

The trick is to remember to hand them out just before each vendor’south scheduled departure time. Otherwise you’ll be going abode with that tip which volition likely not find its way to the vendor afterwards.

The Knot’due south communication on tipping wedding photographers

The Knot is the largest wedding ceremony publication in the U.s.. Their communication is followed and treated as authoritative by thousands of people who seek information on the topic of tipping wedding vendors.

You lot’re not expected to give your shutterbugs [a tip]. Only if the nuptials photographer or videographer doesn’t own the studio, consider tipping each person (or requite a certain corporeality with a thank-you note to disperse to staff).

Protocol: Optional

The Standard: $50–$200 per vendor

The Knot, Your Nuptials Vendor Tipping Cheat Canvas

The Knot raises a crucial point. They depict a distinction between whether the lensman present is a concern owner vs. an independent contractor paid past the hr. Examples of the latter beingness an associate lensman or a second photographer.

Any independent contractor will but receive a small amount of what the couple paid for the photos. Therefore, they deserve a little extra.

When I receive a tip from clients where the wedding is shot by an associate or has a second lensman, I immediately pass the tip on to them. They have worked really difficult for you and for my business, and so I believe any tip belongs to them, non to me.

To sympathise more about photographers that exercise not own the business they shoot for (aka ‘associate photographers’), bank check out my article linked here:

This raises a corking point, that if the photographer is paid by the hour to exist there and isn’t the business owner, they do deserve a tip! Concern owners, as I alluded to earlier, take already set up their own prices to make a living doing what they do.

The correct wedding photographer tipping etiquette

Other means you can show your appreciation without tipping


Tipping isn’t always the most valuable way of showing your appreciation!

A referral is the ‘tip’ that keeps on giving.

Go far a point to share your lensman’s information with friends, family and coworkers who are getting married soon! And don’t forget to tag them and shout them out when y’all post your hymeneals photos on socials!

Writing online reviews

Writing a review is also an admittedly excellent way of showing your photographer your appreciation!

It takes you 10-15 minutes to write and volition help increase the visibility of their business online, eternalize trust and provide splendid social proof for years to come up.

That is across anything that tin fifty-fifty exist purchased!

Want to go to a higher place and beyond? Ask if your photographer would like a video testimonial that they can use in their marketing. A uncomplicated video made on your phone is so helpful because it conveys authentic praise from a real client.

Linked beneath is my full and comprehensive guide to writing amazing online reviews for your wedding photographer!

A pocket-size, cheap gift

I accept received lovely gifts from clients likewise, which have made me very happy! 🥰 A well-chosen souvenir does not have to cost very much, simply can really make usa feel then appreciated. Examples include a silk scarf, a necklace, box of chocolates, item of stationery, cool notebook, travel mug, cute pair of socks!

Email of thanks or a greetings bill of fare

You’d be surprised how many times nosotros transport off a client’s gallery and never hear from them again. All those hours and days of work and we are left thinking, ‘did they like the photos? Did I do right by them? Are they going to ask for changes to be made?’

A heartfelt give thanks you lot email, that signals your happiness with our services, is the all-time way of concluding the transaction.

No demand to get your wallet out.

Yous can requite a greeting carte du jour at the hymeneals or send it along by mail afterward with your thank-you cards to guests.

Many photographers keep all physical correspondence they receive from clients as little souvenirs. These mementos can really keep u.s.a. going when things are tough. So, never underestimate how long a unproblematic bill of fare, postcard or note of thanks tin go.

When considering tipping your wedding photographer, consider that there are other things you can do that are also as valuable as leaving a tip

To conclude

We know that weddings tin can be financially draining.

Sometimes, even with the best will in the world, a tip is simply non possible and we do not hold it against you – far from information technology!

Other times, couples cull non to tip or it simply does not occur to them. We respect that a tip is non our right in the profession nosotros are in. And we never expect one!

No lensman should ever use salesman-like tactics or cringey maneuvers to hint that you lot should tip them! That is really not cool and they should feel bad for guilt-tripping the clients that trusted them.

A professional person, established vendor should already know and charge their worth.

Tipping a newcomer or a friendtographer, especially one that gave you an amazing deal, is actually dainty and volition truly assist their bottom line. Also a photographer that went to nifty, swell lengths to aid you. Across that, it’due south your call.

Remember, tipping is a gesture. There are other gestures you can make that are also but as meaningful. Some gestures such equally writing a review or sending referrals our manner, are arguably even more valuable than a tip.

Referrals might be worth several thousand dollars, especially every bit they have an exponential effect!

So to sum up,

don’t feel any obligation to tip your wedding photographer.

And please understand that they will not experience offended if you do non. (They will also non feel insulted if y’all


tip them!) Whether you cull to tip or not to tip, I hope the information in this photographer tipping guide was helpful!

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Zoe Larkin

I’m Zoe, a wedding photographer based in San Francisco! My mode is candid, capturing authentic moments for my couples all over the Bay Area and Northern California. Creating content is my passion! Follow forth the blog and Insta!