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  • Writer's pictureMia

Cheat Sheet for Tipping Photographers (Wedding, Engagement, Family, Portrait…)

We see people asking the question “Do you tip a photographer?” quite often.

It’s the type of question you are probably wondering about because you are currently working with (or planning to work with) a photographer yourself.

This might be for a big event like a wedding. Or, it could be that you are just getting some professional headshots done so you can update your LinkedIn page. Or maybe, just maybe, you are having someone take family pictures, so you can finally update that hanging print in your living room.

Whatever your reason is for hiring a photographer, it’s good to want to know if a tip is expected.

To help you identify when you should give a tip, we’ve decided to look at a few scenarios to help you. With the range of photography services out there – tipping might be more common for some, and less for others.

General Tipping Etiquette 101

Before we talk about the specifics of tipping photographers, we wanted to quickly go over some general tipping rules.

Tipping is less a formal practice, and more of one that is found to be acceptable or unacceptable based on culture.

In the United States, tipping for many different services is very common. In fact, some jobs like restaurant servers are paid a very low wage by their employers because their main income will be derived from tips. In other parts of the world, this is less common and, in places like Japan, tipping can even be seen as offensive. The Wikipedia on gratuity is an interesting read for those interested in what is normal in different countries.

Going beyond what is culturally expected, tipping is also a way to recognize someone for providing an excellent service.

When we tip people for anything, this is always at the front of our minds.

If we receive a really great service, we tend to give a tip. Even a couple bucks can go a long way to help someone out.

When it comes to tipping photographers in general, tipping isn’t mandatory.