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Tipping a Wedding Photographer?

Amol Kumar , Jan 08, 2004; 01:58 a.m.

Hi guys,

I am getting married soon, had a quick question:

I was just wondering whether it is common practice to "tip" the wedding photographer?

Should I tip after I get my complete pictures (album), or after a see the proofs?

Wedding photography is such a large chunk of my wedding fund, but I still want to be give a tip, IF that is the usual practice.

What are your thoughts about this?

Thanks, Amol


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John Kantor , Jan 08, 2004; 02:40 a.m.

It's not usual, but I've receive one tip so far. Since photographers charge up front for their time and efforts, you should only provide one if you think you got above average service or results. Even a small, essentially symbolic, tip can really motivate someone to provide even better service, so I'd give it after seeing the proofs.

El Fang , Jan 08, 2004; 03:05 a.m.

I'd say that it depends - if the photographer is a staffer/freelancer who is working for a studio, then yes, I would tip (assuming a tip is deserved, of course). On the other hand, I don't think it's necessary to tip a photographer who is in business for her/himself.

Alan Babbitt , Jan 08, 2004; 07:00 a.m.

I agree. It's not really necessary (or correct) to tip the owner of a business. However, if the photographer is a employee of a studio rather than the owner, then a tip is optional but usually much appreciated.

The amount would be commensurate with the overall expenditure on the entire wedding. If you're having a small wedding, then a modest tip is OK. I've received as little as $20, which was from a young couple who didn't spend too much on their wedding. If they had spent $30,000 on the reception, then 20 bucks would have been tantamount to an insult. In that case, NO tip would be better. I'd say $50 or $100 is much more common, hand delivered to the photographer near the end of the reception. But it is by no means mandatory or "expected".

Luke Pederson , Jan 08, 2004; 08:10 a.m.

Tips I have received.

Don't eat yellow snow Get a hair cut Look both ways before crossing the street.

Steve Levine , Jan 08, 2004; 08:31 a.m.

This is an often unspoken topic.I have shot approximately 400 weddings and have recieved about 10 tips!This ranges from $20-$50,this is almost always pressed into my sweaty palm at days end,after I've gone above & beyond the call of duty.Is this appreciated?What do you think?As a rule I will give "tippers" a mounted print or a stack of wallet size prints gratis.Any person that is in any service industry is gratefull for tips!It is always the less affluent that seem to tip too!Probably because they are more used to getting bad service than the rich!The rich feel they have paid your fee,so they own you for the day.

Stephen W. , Jan 08, 2004; 08:51 a.m.

How about a gift instead of cold hard cash?


MaryBall Pierson , Jan 08, 2004; 09:47 a.m.

I agree that you don't need to tip owners...but a gift or tip to a studio employee is a nice gesture... It isn't, however, expected. I have received gifts (and I'm an owner) that were very much appreciated and once I did get a $600 tip on a wedding! I was floored! I think it was because she was from New York and at the time I was in Vermont and she realized she was getting a great deal compared to the prices in NY as well as when I work a wedding, I give it 200%.

Steve Levine , Jan 08, 2004; 11:03 a.m.

Why wouldnt you tip a business owner if they far exceeded your expectations??Tipping,is a reward for excellant service!If you dont get excellant service,dont tip.I have tried to do my best & I hustle at every wedding.Im not doing this hoping for tips though,its just the way the job should be done.

Jerry Litynski , Jan 08, 2004; 12:07 p.m.

Generally, no. I've been given 'meal money' once for the time spent waiting after the reception to take some family reunion shots on the beach near sunset. The wedding reception was finished around 3 p.m., and the family (same gang as the wedding) photos went around 6:30 p.m.

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