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Should you Tip a Photographer?

Tipping is a way of showing gratitude for the satisfactory service you received from someone.

No doubt that a tip can make someone’s day, no matter how small it is. It’s not the money, but the feeling of being appreciated is that matters.

If you should tip or not is an arguable topic, but mostly it depends on the culture of your country/hometown.

In America, some people live solely by their tips. In Europe, people rarely tip unless the service is above average or perfect.

The tipping process is a bit unfair, though. A waiter will get a tip on almost all occasions while a cashier won’t.

I don’t have an answer for that one, but I do have one if you should tip a photographer (Yes, because I am one myself)

Jokes aside, in today’s article, we will discuss if you should tip a photographer.

Should You Tip The Photographer?

You might not notice it, but a photographer does more than just press the shutter button when taking a picture. So offering a small tip won’t hurt. Actually, it’s the opposite; it will benefit both parties.

“A person who is appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

Giving a tip to a photographer is not a must. However, if you can afford it, do it. 

It is a great way to show the photographer that you like and acknowledge his hard work.

I am not trying to differentiate, but photographers who work for a company are the ones who most deserve a tip. They keep only a tiny portion of the money you paid; the rest goes to the company for obvious reasons.

That being said, it doesn’t mean a self-employed photographer doesn’t deserve a tip. He might need it even more since he doesn’t have any other source of outcome while the company photographer has his wage.

Don’t force yourself, though, do it only if you have the budget.

How Much Should You Tip a Photographer?

Most of the time, photographers won’t expect a tip since tipping is more common in the hospitality field, for example, in hotels, coffee shops, etc.

So most likely, they won’t ask for a tip which is understandable. Asking for a tip might be a bit inappropriate. That’s why you should take the matter into your own hands and tip them yourself.

So the question here is how much should you tip them?

I can’t give you a ballpark figure since it mostly depends on the standards of your hometown.

But take it this way, you can give them 5% to 15% of the sum they charged for. Not a written rule, though; you can try to provide as much as you can, there is no need to cross the boundaries and hurt your bank.

The Type Of Photographers You Should Tip

Boudoir Photographers

We all are aware of how intimate boudoir photography is. Boudoir photography will put both parties in an uncomfortable spot.

In order to perform this type of photography, you really need to know the person who will take the photos. So my advice would be to get to know your photographer and check if he has experience in this field.

You want to make sure he understands you and makes you feel as comfortable as possible.

As I said, it is uneasy for him, too, so once the session is done, it won’t hurt to tip for his collaboration.

Family Portrait Photographers

I like how some photographers get to know the family before taking photos of them. In a way, that makes the photography more realistic.

Taking pictures of a large group is more complex than you might think, especially when there are children present. Most of the time, children will not listen and will become irritated quickly. It is difficult to get them to follow your instructions.

Consider tipping a family photographer, or at the very least, invite him out for a drink and thank him for his services.

Wedding Photographers

Our wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Some people even spend their entire lives engrossed in the thrill of this moment.

A photographer is the only person who can make us relive this moment as many times as we want. Although, I’m not sure if the bridegroom wants to talk about these memories.

Anyways, the photographer will be there all day, to take pictures of the newlyweds, and the rest of the family members.

So take this into account: his entire day will be spent taking pictures, attempting to figure out good angles, posing, and so on, not to mention the many hours of editing and processing that will follow.

Photographers, particularly wedding photographers, do a lot more work than we realize. Tipping a wedding photographer is mandatory, in my opinion.

Engagement Photographers

The engagement event is pretty much the same as the wedding one, just less tiring.

It mainly includes photo sessions between the couple, and there’s not as much chaos as at a wedding.

If you have some extra cash, I don’t see why not. Also, a simple thank you letter might do the work just fine.

Final Words

To wrap this article up, I would encourage everyone to tip wherever.

I’m not just referring to photographers. I said it many times above: tipping someone won’t make them rich, but instead will make them feel appreciated, and that makes them “rich” in a way.

You’ll never know how much of a difference a small tip can make, especially when you consider the young people who work as waiters and the like. 

A ten-dollar bill may not seem like much to you, but it may be to the other person.

As for photographers in general, do it if you can but as I said, it is not mandatory unless it is a wedding photographer.

Most people don’t tip photographers because they believe they don’t need the extra money, but photography isn’t as profitable as you might think.

Unfortunately, many photographers do not expect to make money from their photography; instead, they do it for the sheer love of it.

Caleb Soppe