Do You tip Photographers in 2023: Reasons and Rates

By Eva Williams 13 days ago, Photography Tips

Though tipping a photographer is not a necessity, this practice has become common nowadays. However, the tradition differs from country to country. For example, such a form of gratitude is not typical in Europe, Asia, and Australia, whereas it is quite usual for citizens of the USA and Canada.

If after learning the price list for photographers, you haven’t found the answer to the question “How much should you tip a photographer?”, this guide will definitely come in handy. Here you’ll find out whether it should be by percentage, time, or type of photoshoot as well as other useful info.

Reasons to Tip Your Photographer

In our society, tipping someone who provides a personal service for you like famous photographers is not a wonder anymore.

Today tipping is a widely established norm in the service sector, as we do not even think about whether it is necessary to thank a waiter or a taxi driver considering it appropriate. However, photography clients do not consider this way to say thank you as something ordinary. Whereas those ordering services from tattoo artists, for instance, usually leave them generous tips.

So, if you are not sure whether it is appropriate to tip a shooter, check these reasons you can freely do so:

  • They did their best to provide you with a superior service
  • They were ready to comply with unexpected requests, which are not on the list of their jobs, like making photography prints, for example.
  • This specific photographer appeals to you so much and you want to make sure that this specific person will prioritize your needs in the future.
  • They are in the team of a large company that pays a relatively small salary to its employees.
  • They offered really creative photography ideas, with which you were impressed, and you wish to show your gratitude.
  • The photoshoot was quite challenging.

How Much Should You Tip Photographers?

how much to tip photographer

Speaking about tipping etiquette in the service sector, it should be noticed that such gratitude usually equals 15% -20%. However, some clients do not mind paying even more.

In the photography sector, such a percentage could be a really heavy sum, as some photoshoots cost thousands of dollars. So, paying a shooter an extra $750 for a wedding package that costs $5,000 is real nonsense. In this case, think of the sum, which you don't mind giving away as a sign of gratitude for the performed job. But remember that tipping photographer less than $30 would be a sign of disrespect.

Photographers to Tip

tipping photographer at wedding

The type of photoshoot a photographer is going to conduct for you is another aspect that will help you to answer the question “Should you tip a photographer?”. For instance, a wedding photographer works the whole day holding heavy equipment. Moreover, he/she often deals with tipsy guests and faces other difficulties.

Photographers usually invent mini session ideas to advertise their services. As a rule, the cost of such services is relatively low, so paying a percentage of the price would be a reasonable idea. If you want to tip for senior photos, 10% will be enough.

tipping photographer at boudoir

Usually, boudoir photographers welcome tips as a sign of appreciation for their superior level of service. Of course, such extra payments are not mundane. But right after a photo session, you can decide whether a person you’ve hired is worth getting tips.

When employing an independent family photographer, thank him/her with a small tip and a professional will definitely appreciate this friendly gesture. In such a situation, 5-10% is enough.

tipping photographer at newborn session

Professionals who specialize in newborn photography will definitely expect a cash bonus. Moreover, they also appreciate online reviews and referrals.

However, tipping photographer who has conducted a maternity photoshoot for you is not a common practice. Though an independent shooter won’t refuse to get some extra cash for his/her maternity photo ideas.

Photographers NOT to Tip

photographers not to tip

Generally, a client does not tip beginning photographers, specialists in a department store, or those who are employed by a professional photography studio. But you are free to do it if the photographer’s level of expertise has impressed you.

A thank you note is an acceptable way of expressing gratitude to an engagement photographer. Of course, a shooter won’t mind if you write an online review or recommend his services to others.

Tipping a portrait photographer is not typical, as such professionals usually work in a flat rate payment system. It means that a shooter knows well what type and amount of work he has to fulfill, so he/she has already included tips in the price.

How Can Photographers Encourage Clients to Tip?

Professional shooters should know the factors that make a client express his/her gratitude for the performed job in monetary terms. Tipping photographer practice allows specialists to earn extra few bucks preventing them to resort to pushy sales methods.

traits of a good photographer to tip

Provide top-level service. Be friendly and attentive, smile to win over the client and the chances you’ll get generous tips will increase considerably. Show a person that you understand his/her shyness, stiffness, and not knowing how to place yourself in the frame is ok. Explain to a client how to find angles to open up.

Be honest. If you understand that you cannot meet all expectations and preferences of a client, it is better to honestly tell him/her about it at the start.

Make tipping visible in client workflow. Adding tipping photographer practice to your existing workflow will prompt a client to think of thanking you for a top-level service with some extra bucks. Conveniently, many customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, like Honeybook, and online payment systems like Square, let a person tip right in the invoice or wedding photography contract.

Be sure to include this option in your current system, as often it is not enabled by default. Tip-friendly terminals are another option.

tipping photographer at luxury session

Enter different client markets. A change of business direction is another effective way of getting more revenue. You should understand well that clients who order budget photoshoots won’t give you generous tips. Try to switch to a luxury segment and you’ll see that your profit will increase considerably.