Our Guide to Tipping Photographers:
Whether you’ve just got engaged, you’re expecting a newborn, or one of your children is about to become a senior, photographers are people we hire for many occasions. While photography is a service industry, it isn’t one the majority of people deal with on a routine basis. So, what etiquette surrounds tipping photographers? Are tips required or suggested for photographers?
Wondering this is completely normal and it doesn’t make you a bad person for questioning whether or not to tip someone. Tipping, in general, is confusing, more so when it comes to photographers. Let’s take a look to help you whenever you book your next photo session. (And afterward, feel free to take our fun picture trivia quiz!)
Occasions When You Should Indeed Tip Photographers:
Out of any occasion for which one might hire a photographer, a wedding is one where you need to. For starters, the relationship between photographer and the soon-to-be-married couple is a lot closer than other one-off events. Wedding photographers will be slaving over images not only at your wedding but for the many hours of post-processing later. If you’re interested in finding a wedding photographer, make sure that you meet plenty of times before the wedding.
Depending on the photographer, you may be paying them for a specific amount of hours or the entire event. Whatever the case may be, there is a ton of work that goes on that most people don’t see. Not only do they take thousands of photos, but there is also posing that goes into it, travel, time, editing, planning of the wedding day, meetings, etc. In addition to a tip after the event, sending a small gift once you have received your images is always a nice token of your appreciation.
Family photos are another occasion where tipping is encouraged. This highly depends on your family. Like weddings, some photographers enjoy getting to know the family beforehand to make the shoot more realistic. There are two things to keep in mind to know whether or not you should tip a photographer for a family photo shoot.
For starters, how many people are being photographed and what are their ages? Tipping is dependant on the amount of work you are generating for the photographer. If it’s a family with younger children, consider tipping. If you’re hiring a photographer for a family reunion shoot, you should absolutely tip, as it can be extremely difficult to pose that many people together to look great all at once. On the other hand, if it is a smaller portrait in a photographer’s studio, tipping isn’t as strictly necessary.
Besides weddings, if not more so, boudoir shoots are incredibly intimate. They require trust and feeling comfortable in front of one another. Once you have found a boudoir photographer you enjoy working with, cultivate a good relationship. You can easily tell through the final photos if the subject felt uncomfortable. While there is so much the photographer can do, it’s understandable that not everyone will look at ease during a boudoir shoot. This is especially true if they haven’t built up a rapport with the photographer.
On the other hand, boudoir shoots can leave people feeling powerful, sexy, and they may even experience an adrenaline rush. When you’re hiring a photographer for a boudoir shoot, please consider tipping them for the unique work. If you are looking to continue taking such photos with the photographer, building a good relationship is a two-way street.
Newborn or Birth Photoshoots
Lastly, another occasion where photographers should always be tipped is during a newborn and birth photo shoot. If you sense a theme, shoots that are intimate are often the ones that require tipping. Allowing someone to photograph the first few minutes of your child’s life is incredibly personal.
It requires all parties involved to be vulnerable and to allow someone to capture moments where we may not feel the most attractive. Photographers understand that new parents may not have extra money to hand out, but they will surely appreciate a tip for the shoot.
When Tipping Photographers Isn’t Necessary:
Often times events such as birthday parties or weddings will have a photo booth. There is usually an attendant that talks people through how the machine works. They also hand out props and the final photos once they’ve printed off. Because the photo booth attendant doesn’t do too much work when it comes to the actual shooting of the photos, tipping isn’t necessary. If you are, however, the person hiring the booth for an event, consider tipping. Every once in awhile, a photo booth may get a couple of bucks from a group of intoxicated individuals looking to snap some pictures. It’s not required, but it never hurts to tip.
If your professional headshots are being done by a photography company, instead of self-employed photographers, you don’t need to tip the company. Consider tipping just the photographer that took your image. Either way, large batch headshots are quite simple and don’t require the excessive amount of work that other types of shoots require. Professional headshots also offer the fewest number of final photos, as not many are needed. There’s no need to tip a photographer for headshots.
Often times photographers will offer mini-sessions. These allow people to afford a professional photographer, without having a massive photo shoot. Mini sessions are affordable, but you get a lot less out of it. This isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you just need five photos without any outfit or location changes.
Real Estate Photos
Another area where tipping isn’t necessary when it comes to hiring a photographer is for real estate photos. Whether you’re hiring someone to take photos of your own home or for your company, tipping isn’t necessary. Photographers aren’t dealing with people or animals. Many times, the worst thing that real estate photographers struggle with is lighting. Additionally, this is a much more commercial industry in photography, and it is less of a tipping-mandated service.
This is something to keep in mind when hiring them for a specific time and date. The rooms are genuinely fairly easy to photograph and there shouldn’t be too many actual photos to take, depending on the size of the house and property. For all of these reasons and more, tipping is definitely not required for real estate photos.
Thankfully, senior photos are usually run by the parents. Parents often choose a photographer, theme ideas, props, etc. Tipping a photographer for a senior photoshoot is unnecessary. The photographer often doesn’t need to spend time getting to know the person and senior photos are usually pretty quick. Also, most photographers will give you a specific number of photos at the end, which can cut down the amount of editing that is required.