Is “Tipping Wedding Photographers” something I need to be doing?
I get asked A LOT about tipping. It’s honestly been on my list of topics to blog forever, but Keli encouraged me not to broach the subject.
“You don’t want people to think that you are begging for tips”, she feared, and I agreed. That was the last thing I wanted people to think.
When a Bride of ours texted me a few days before her wedding, panicked about if and how much to tip her wedding photographer, I decided I needed to finally write the forbidden blog post – Tipping your wedding photographers.
“Adam!”, she wrote. “What is the deal with tipping photographers? The internet seems to have conflicting opinions.” The gist of what I wrote her was my personal experience.
First of all, as wedding photographers, we never expect a tip. We totally understand that weddings are expensive. We charge what we charge to make sure our costs are covered, so we don’t depend on tips for our income in the way a waiter at a restaurant might.
When our clients do decide to tip, no matter the amount, we do feel a sense of being appreciated. We feel like the hard work we have put into making their wedding day smooth, and seamless has been acknowledged.
Maybe it’s because of an experience when I was in high school. The day I turned 18, I went to the tattoo shop, to get a tattoo that I would later regret. After it was done, under hushed breath, I asked the woman behind the counter if tipping was normal. She firmly responded, yes, it was normal. Then she added, “Anytime someone performs a service for you, tipping is a way to show gratitude.” That has stuck with me. I always think about that when I am trying to decide if or how much to tip someone for a service they have provided for me.
One of the most meaningful tips I got was a little card from the Bride. When I opened it up, it had a $20 bill enclosed, and in the card it said, “Sorry we couldn’t tip you more. We just wanted to thank you anyway!” It wasn’t about having $20, it was about the fact that they put the thought into it.
If you are wondering, “Do I have to tip my wedding photographers?” the answer is no. We don’t expect it. I polled a group of photographers, and 100 responded that they don’t expect a tip. Only one person answered that they do expect a tip.
Most of that group also noted that any token would make them feel appreciated, even if it was $10.
If you are wanting to tip, but you aren’t sure how much is appropriate, let me tell you there is no “appropriate amount”. We have been tipped from $20 to 10% of the collection, and at each ends of that spectrum, we felt the same sense of being appreciated. It isn’t about the amount – it’s about the thought behind it.
If you are sitting there thinking “ADAM! I DON’T LIKE AMBIGUITY! Tell me numbers!”. In the poll that I sent out, 100 photographers answered specific questions about how much they get tipped. Here were those results:
10 photographers indicated that when they get tipped, it’s under $50 (10%)
50 photographers indicated that when they get tipped, it’s usually between $50 – $100 (50%)
33 photographers indicated that when they get tipped, it’s usually between $100 – $150 (33%)
4 photographers indicated that when they get tipped, it’s usually between $150 – $200 (4%)
3 photographers indicated that when they get tipped, it’s usually over $200 (3%)
I sincerely hope this information on tipping wedding photographers was helpful! To read more tips on wedding planning, click here! 🙂
Creative. Clean. Different. We are a team of creatives in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with a passion for storytelling. Founded in 2006, our studio has been recognized as one of the best wedding photographers in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky by various publications, websites, and groups. We’d love to show you our studio and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our Wedding Collections and introduce you to our team! We’d love to help, connect with us now.