Tipping Etiquette: Do You Tip Photographers?

Tipping Etiquette: Do You Tip Photographers?

In the modern world, photography is a valuable service. It can be used for family portraits, weddings, even sporting events where you want to preserve the moment in high resolution.

But this begs an important question: do you tip photographers? Or would tipping them be insulting?

And what about tipping wedding vendors? Is there etiquette surrounding how much you should tip these professionals? Read on to find out more.

Should you tip a photographer?

Tipping is a custom in the United States and Canada in which a person gives a gratuity to another person for services rendered. Tipping is commonly given to service workers, such as waitstaff, bartenders, taxi drivers, hairstylists, and nail technicians. The practice has its roots in European culture and has been adopted by many other countries around the world.

Of course, no one likes to feel obligated to give a tip. But what if you were doing something that helped someone else? Like giving them your time? Shouldn’t there be some way of acknowledging that person’s generosity and appreciation for their work?

The answer is yes but only if you are happy with the service you have received. Put simply, if you are in a position to do so, you should always offer a gratuity for any service rendered.

blue filtered profile of woman holding camera

What is the customary way to tip a photographer?

The amount of money doesn’t really matter as much as how you present it. For example, if the service was completed successfully and without issue, when the time comes to pay, then handing over an envelope with some extra cash inside is all it takes to feel good about yourself too.

But how much should you tip your photographer? Depending on how happy you are with their conduct, a tip between 15 to 20 percent could be appropriate. Cash tips are also strongly recommended as your photographer will be able to use the extra money straight away.

Reasons to tip your photographer

Tipping a photographer is a great way to recognize exceptional service. Although most photographers tend to charge more than other service workers, so are less reliant on tips, there are moments when leaving a tip could make a big difference.

  • Your photographer has gone above and beyond the call of duty: Has your photographer put in extra hours unpaid to work on your shoot? Perhaps the shoot lasted longer than expected or they spent additional time working on a cool concept to make everything perfect? A tip recognizes this hard work.

  • Specialist equipment was used: If your photographer had to source additional props, clothing, lighting, or drones that were not included in your original brief, including a tip acknowledges the extra time your photographer has spent meeting your requirements.

  • Tipping feels good: Photographers typically work long and unsociable hours and usually spend most of their time on their feet. Slipping a little extra money into your photographer’s paycheck leads to a feel-good sensation that will last long after your photos have been printed or shared on social media.

Occasions When You Should Tip Your Photographer

Some styles of photography are more likely to go hand in hand with tipping culture. Here are the most common times when you should tip a photographer:


Wedding photographers do many things. They take pictures, they direct you and your guests to do certain poses, they do the editing work that makes everyone look good (even if it’s not true), and they work incredibly hard to ensure your wedding day is a success.

But do you tip wedding photographers? Well, it is important to show gratitude when someone does something nice for you, and wedding photographers are no exception. This doesn’t mean showering them with cash – it just means tipping them generously at the end of their services.

Wedding vendors often have high overhead costs just like any other business, and they do not always get compensated for the extra time and effort they put in unless you agree to do so. If you’re wondering how much to tip wedding vendors, the best practice is to add on a tip of 15 to 20 percent on payment. Alternatively, some couples opt to send a thank you card and a cheque or small gift in the mail after the ceremony.

blue filtered wedding photographer taking photo of bride and groom next to trees

Portrait Sessions

If you do a portrait session for family photos, it may be appropriate to offer the photographer a little extra money as a tip. Skilled photographers will take the time to get to know everyone in your family to ensure the photos come out as naturally as possible.

If your family is large, or if you have young children with you, this can mean more work for the photographer as directing big groups of people is not easy. However, do not feel like this is required if you cannot afford to do so. Simply be courteous and your photographer will appreciate the effort.

Boudoir Shoots

Boudoir photography is a type of photography that is often used to capture intimate images of a person, usually a woman. It can be used for a variety of reasons, such as for personal use, as a gift for a partner, or professional use. When having a boudoir shoot done, it is customary to tip the photographer.

This is because boudoir photography is a specialized type of photography that requires a high level of skill and expertise. The photographer must be able to create beautiful and flattering images of the person being photographed and must have the ability to make them feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. For these reasons, it is customary to tip your boudoir photographer once you have received your images.

Baby Photos

When it comes to being a Newborn Photographer, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always make sure to hire a photographer who has experience with photographing babies. Babies can be tricky customers for a photographer as they cannot pose on demand.

Most photographers will therefore want to discuss the photo session with the family ahead of time so that they can capture the types of photos that they are looking for. There might even be conversations about capturing the baby at home. Of course, looking after a baby is expensive, and not all parents will be able to afford a large tip, but even a small tip or another token of thanks will be appreciated.

Tipping your photographer is always a nice gesture

Tipping a photographer is important for many reasons. If you can afford it, this will show your gratitude and appreciation for the hard work they put in to make sure that your day goes off without any problems or issues. Whether you are looking for wedding photos taken by an expert with years of experience under their belt, family portraits shot at home, boudoir photography done in a private studio, or baby photos captured on location – a tip is always appreciated!


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