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Photographers: Do you tip them?

Photographers don’t have a simple tipping etiquette. Mostly because tipping is expected for some photoshoots, partly expected or becoming the norm for others, and totally unnecessary for others. The amount or percentage you tip will also vary by type of photoshoot. Generally, you can tip your photographer if you feel they went above and beyond during your photoshoot. This isn’t standard practice, though. Check out this breakdown of tipping etiquette across a few categories of photography.

Wedding photographers

There are thousands of questions newlyweds have, but one that often gets overlooked until the big day is whether to tip your wedding photographer and if so, how much? Yes, that’s the simple answer. Photographers usually expect tips since they’re spending an entire day capturing each special moment. It’s up to you how much you tip wedding photographers. You can tip the photographer, not the owner, $50 to $100 at the end of the night or the beginning of the day. You might also give a tip after your wedding day and a bigger one after you get the photos if the photographer did a good job.

Engagement Photographers

You don’t have to tip an engagement photographer, unlike a wedding photographer. Thank them for their work with a simple note. You can also write an online review and/or tell your friends about the photographer.

Headshot Photographers

A headshot photographer can help professionals get their face out there. However, you don’t have to tip a headshot photographer. For a headshot photo session, there’s no tip expected. If the service was outstanding, writing a good review and referring others is a great way to show your appreciation.

Family Portrait Photographers

There are a lot of things to consider when tipping a family portrait photographer. You don’t have to tip a portrait photographer if they’re a novice, work in a department store, or work in a studio. However, if you’re hiring an independent photographer to capture the perfect portraits of you and your family, you’re often expected to tip. If your family portrait photographer goes the extra mile, consider this a friendly gesture. Nothing more than 5-10% is needed in this case.

Newborn and Baby Photographers

Photographers capture a very special moment with newborns and babies. Parents and family members often treasure these photos for years, but tipping isn’t necessary. Thank you notes and online reviews are always appreciated.

Maternity Photographers

You don’t have to worry about gratuities during your maternity shoot. For maternity photoshoots, tipping isn’t expected. Since the photographer likely charges an hourly rate, there’s no need to tip more than that.

Portrait Photographers

Tipping a portrait photographer isn’t normal. A portrait session is often based on a flat rate, so the photographer has already taken into account the amount of work that needs to be done.

Senior Photographers

High school seniors love senior photos because they capture the end of a big chapter in their lives. However, tips are only expected if the photos are amazing or the photographer went above and beyond. Don’t tip more than 10% if you’re tipping a senior photographer.

Final Thoughts on Tipping

I hope these guidelines help you decide whether or not to tip your photographer. If you hire a photographer, you’re paying for a service to enhance your life, so don’t let the tipping question stress you out. Live in the moment!

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