Tipping Photographers….Say WHAT!?

So this topic comes from a recent experience I had with a client. A lovely couple booked me for a boudoir session in Vancouver. They were coming from Las Vegas. I gave them a quote of $450 which was more than my average packages. They did not hesitate and paid their deposit right away. 

When I arrived there the session took exactly the length I had told them, about 2.5 hours. When I was finished, they thanked me and handed me a $100 tip. I was SHOCKED! I did not expect a tip, in fact before then I never got a tip at any of my shoots. So it got me thinking, should tipping photographers be a thing?

In a time where it seems we should tip EVERYONE for EVERYTHING, it starts to become costly. First it was only at restaurants when they served you, now it’s beauty salons, taxi drivers, uber, to go orders, coffee shops and people that own their business. I personally tip everyone, all the time. It’s more of a habit now actually than an appreciation for the service. I feel obligated to tip because I read articles about being tipped out and servers working super hard. But I also know that servers make A LOT of money because of tips (if you work somewhere busy) in fact they probably make more than me on average! 

So that $100 tip I was offered, I took it. But I never want my clients to feel pressured to leave a tip. I want them to WANT to tip me as a way of saying thank you. My prices are quite reasonable, some are about the same as a fancy meal or a hair style at a salon. So yes I would like tipping photographers to become a trend. But never feel like you HAVE to tip. It’s not fair. 

There are other ways of saying thank you to the photographer if you appreciated their work. You can leave them a review on google. You can sign that model release form that you initially didn’t. You can send them a thank you card. Honestly all those things mean just the same if not more than extra cash in my pocket. 

So I want to leave you with this: on my product packages, there is a spot to leave a tip, and it ranges from $10 to $100 (depending on your package price). If you loved your photo session and you want to tip me, THANK YOU! But if you already paid a hefty price on your premium package, please just leave me a nice review!