Do You Tip Your Wedding Photographer?

Do You Tip Your Photographer? If so, how much? These are frequently asked questions by wedding couples who want to make sure they take care of their hard working vendors and avoid offending them in any way.

As a general rule of thumb, it is not necessary to tip your photographer. However, if you feel that they have gone above and beyond to capture your special day, then a small tip may be appropriate. Remember, your photographer is there to capture your memories – and a true professional will put in 100% effort regardless of the amount tipped.

Tipping Tips from Pros

We asked a few of our award winning photographers and here’s what they said:

– “Tipping is never expected, but greatly appreciated. If you feel inclined to tip, the service was most likely warranted. I personally tip to reward exceptional service.” Zee Anna, Florida Wedding Photographer

– “Most of my couples are destination wedding couples – coming from all over the world to celebrate in Hawaii. The hospitality here is huge and tipping is common almost everywhere you go. I always advise my couples that tipping is never expected but always appreciated. There isn’t a set percentage that folks expect. If they want to tip, I tell them to do it with their hearts.” – Angie Nelson, Hawaii Wedding Photographer

– “As mentioned by my colleagues, tips are never expected but highly appreciated. I’ve gotten a wide range, from nothing, which is the most common amount, up to a couple thousand, which is very rare. If you do decide to tip your photographer, don’t feel the need to stick to a percentage like you would at a restaurant or in a cab. Just do what feels right and what feels within budget. Anything is an incredible gesture.” – Pye Jirsa, California Wedding Photographer

How Much Should You Tip Your Wedding Photographer?

The Knot gives a general guideline of $50 to $200, which is consistent with real world practice based on our experience.  However, I think a better way to tip is as a percentage of your wedding photography package, with a percentage of around 5%.  So for a wedding photography package of $10,000, you might tip $500 on the luxury end and for a package of $2,000, you might tip $100 on the budget side.  But as mentioned, absolutely nothing is expected, so don’t worry if the number you had in mind is different from our ranges above.

When do You Tip Your Wedding Photographer?

The most common time to tip a wedding photographer is during goodbyes at the end of the shift.  However, if you know that you’d rather be dancing and mingling with your wedding guests during that time, another common time is during preparation.  For Vietnamese weddings, a common time is after the tea ceremony when red envelopes are being passed out by the wedding hosts, often the bride’s parents.

Other Ways of Showing Appreciation

If you love your wedding photographer and want to show your appreciation, tipping is not the only option.  You might also consider the following ways to show gratitude:

  1. Booking them for future photography needs – Perhaps the ultimate compliment for a photographer is that you enjoyed their product and service so much that you want to work with them again.
  2. Referring your friends and family to their services – Similar to above, referring your friends and family to them shows that you appreciated them on your big day.
  3. Leaving a review on Yelp, Weddingwire, or Google Maps – Reviews help small businesses immensely.  Bonus points if you upload some images too!

Other Tips for Tipping

  • Most clients do not tip their photographers for engagement sessions.
  • Consider tipping the second shooter and assistant separately from the lead photographer.  This ensures that the tips are distributed the way you would like.

As with all of our articles, we plan on adding more tips and information as we receive more questions that we feel should be answered.

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