(Closed) How much do I pay my wedding photographer?

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

You could pay for her hotel room and/or give her a gift card? That’s what I’m doing for my friend who is acting as our day-of coordinator. Going to give her a $100 or $150 gift card to amazon or something. That way it doesn’t feel like I’m just paying her a super low fee (although she offered to do it for free) but instead feels like I’m giving her a gift for her help.

Post # 4
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@BrookeBThomas:  it does seem a little strange that she offered to do it for free but is expecting payment/tip though. I would be a little confused as to what to do as well!

Post # 5
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@BrookeBThomas:  If you can afford it you could tip her $200 as it does sound like she was there for quite a while. 

Post # 6
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We have a friend doing our wedding, but he is a professional. However, he’s being very generous and only asking for expense money. We’ll be paying for his mileage, meals, and hotel. Because he’s being so generous we’ll probably include a gift of some sort or give him an extra $100 or so.

Post # 7
6545 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Personally I would tip in the $500 range. That’s what you’d expect to pay for for an amature or hobbyist, and she shot not only your wedding but also a seperate session. 

Post # 8
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I was thinking off the top of my head about $250.  Still, when she said free….  Go with your gut, dear.  Good luck not ruining the friendship.  Ugh.  Hate this sort of thing!

Post # 9
1221 posts
Bumble bee

I wouldn’t do less than $250 but probably closer to $500.  $50 per hour= $400.


Post # 10
658 posts
Busy bee

Just curious, what did she do that to make you think “it was obvious she was expecting some kind of tip”?

Post # 11
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013


She probably realized how much work photographing a wedding REALLY is with all the post-processing it entails.  She offered to shoot your wedding for free, so the right thing to do is thank her with some sort of gratuity – doesn’t matter if she is professional or not.

If you want this friendship to continue, the PPs suggestions of $250-$500 seem reasonable (I personally would do $400). 

Have you gotten any sort of sneak preview of the photos yet?

Post # 12
2894 posts
Sugar bee

I think you should look around to know how much the average non-professionals ask for their services (I’m sure you can find plenty of ads on Craiglists or classified ads like that) and I would adjust to that. Ex.: in my are, most non-professional ask for 800$ for that kind of service. I would probably tip your photographer 200 $ if the original agreement was that she was doing the job for free.

Post # 13
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would give at least $500.  It’s a lot of work and would have cost you significantly more than that.

Post # 14
9201 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@BrookeBThomas:  my cousin did this for us too, as a second shooter with our hired wedding photog.  (lthough I still haven’t gotten the pics back! But I did see a preview and they look AMAZING.)  

He was just doing it as a gift, but we’re going to send him a check for $500.  That’s a really substantial “thank you”, but also nowhere near what we paid our wedding photographer.

Post # 15
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

A fellow photographer insisted on doing my wedding pictures “for love” as he put it! He’s actually a very successful professional photographer with literally thousands of weddings in his portfolio so I wasn’t taking any of the risks that so often come with amateurs who will shoot for free but equally, may not make a great job of it.

I couldn’t let him give me what turned out to be 11 hours of coverage for absolutely nothing but he refused to take any money. So we covered his transport costs, fed him handsomely, and insisted he be supplied with tea on tap!  Plus we bought him a gift afterwards.

In your case, OP, I think you should tip her at 10-15% of what you’d normally have to pay a professional wedding photographer in your area for that amount of coverage. So if 8 hours would have cost $3000, you pay her somewhere between $300 and 400.

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