Should You Tip a Photographer?

Did you know that tipping is rude in some countries?

Japan, Korea, and China are only a few examples of countries that don’t expect tips, and it may actually be rude to give a tip in some cases.

Meanwhile, you may earn some dirty looks in the US and the Middle East if you don’t give a decent tip.

Tipping doesn’t only depend on the country you’re in, but it also depends on the profession.

For example, while waiters and gas station attendants must get a tip, some other workers don’t.

How about photographers? Should you tip a photographer? Let’s find out!

Should You Tip a Photographer?

Do you tip photographers?

The question is a bit tricky.

Must you tip a photographer? No. 

Is it necessary in some cases, and the photographer will appreciate it? That’s a definite yes.

When you think of it, you’re not obliged to give any tips to anyone. We do it out of courtesy, and sometimes, it can get you better service. 

When you tip a photographer, you can expect them to pay more attention to details and to be keener on giving you your photos on time.

Plus, it always feels nice to feel appreciated.

So it won’t hurt to give a tip if you notice that the photographer is keen on getting you good pictures.

It’s generally recommended to tip a photographer if you’re satisfied with their service and if you can afford it.

How Much Should You Tip Photographers?

As a rule of thumb, any tip shouldn’t exceed 10% of the service’s cost. It differs from one case to another, but it’s mostly under 10%.

Here’s a roundup of different photographers and how to tip them.

Wedding Photographer

Although it’s not a must to tip all photographers, a wedding photographer definitely needs a tip.

For one, he’s responsible for documenting the most important day of your life, so you might want to give him an incentive to work harder on getting good shots.

Besides, a wedding photographer dedicates his whole day to the wedding and goes through a lot of hassle to get perfect shots without any kids photobombing.

We’d say a $50 tip is good for a wedding photographer, but it depends on your package and how much you’re paying him for the service.

In all cases, it shouldn’t exceed $100.

Engagement Photographer

An engagement photographer doesn’t work as hard as a wedding photographer. However, it’d be good to give a tip to encourage him to deliver the photos faster.

Some photographers also pay more attention to editing when they receive a generous tip. 

It’s not a must, but it’d be a nice gesture to show that you appreciate their work. A 5% tip would be sufficient in this case.

Headshot and Portrait Photographers

While headshots and portraits are alike in many ways, their purposes are different.

Professionals often ask for headshots to promote themselves or to have a photo to use in formal settings.

A headshot only captures your head and shoulders, with your eyes on the viewfinder.

Meanwhile, a portrait can capture your whole upper body, and you don’t have to look at the camera.

People often ask for it for branding purposes. 

A headshot photographer could use a good tip, especially since he mostly deals with professionals and famous individuals.

It’d be a nice incentive to get a good shot.

However, we can’t say the same about portrait photographers since their work is pretty standard.

The process is the same in all cases, and the rate mostly covers the photographer’s effort.

Family Portrait Photographer

If you ever looked into behind-the-scenes royal family portraits, you’d know it’s not an easy feat. Royals or not, family portraits are a pain to shoot.

The photographer needs to get everyone to smile while standing in the right places and taking the right postures.

The process gets ten times harder if there are kids present because they’re hard to control.

You don’t have to go all the way out; only a 5% tip will suffice. It’ll show the photographer that you appreciate their effort. 

However, if you’re taking the portrait in a studio, you don’t need to leave a tip. You may replace it with an online review or a recommendation.

Themed Session Photographer

If you ask for a Christmas or a Halloween-themed session for the family, you don’t need to leave a tip.

Photographers usually charge more for themed sessions, especially around the holidays and special occasions.

Plus, the sessions don’t take a lot out of the photographer.

You can leave a tip if you feel that the photographer is going the extra mile to get you good shots.

Other than that, it’s not necessary.

The same goes for baby sessions. You can only leave a tip if your baby has been fussy and gave the photographer a hard time.

Otherwise, the photographer is likely already charging you an expensive rate, as most baby photographers do.

Why Should You Tip Photographers?

Do you tip your wedding photographer?

Well, we can go on and on, but there are a few obvious reasons to tip photographers.

For one, photography equipment is pretty expensive.

You may only pay attention to the camera, but the photographer is also using a tripod, a flash, a diffuser, some filters, etc.

These come at a great cost, so it wouldn’t hurt to appreciate the photographer with a good tip.

Besides, tipping the photographer establishes a relationship with them, in case you need them for another occasion. 

Lastly, photography isn’t easy to master.

That wedding shot you love so much probably took a lot of trials till it got to that—all thanks to the photographer and his patience.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to tip photographers, but a 5% tip wouldn’t hurt.

It’ll push the photographer to work harder on the edits and deliver the photos in a shorter time. 

It’s not necessary to tip session photographers, portrait photographers, and baby photographers.

However, wedding, engagement, and headshot photographers could all do with a generous tip.

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