How much do you tip to take someone's picture?

I hope I’m not repeating a previous thread, couldn’t find it if so.


Anyway, we are getting our dollar bills lined up for our forthcoming voyage and we got to talking about tipping those we take pictures of. I was curious as to the amount others pay.


If I decide to take someone’s picture I always get their okay. Usually do this by holding up the camera and nodding my head “okay”. Usually that is what they are there for anyway and want you to take their picture. Then I give them a dollar, once in a while if they have dressed up and have a real colorful shop or something I go two or three. Mimes in Europe are probably worth the most due effort and imaginative costumes, but one could go broke since there are so many, so I don’t take pictures of them often. If you want to see someone get real PO'd just let them catch you sneaking the picture without compensation. 


I hate it when I want to take a picture of someone and what they are doing and I don’t have any ones, just fives and tens. So before we get off the ship we make sure we have some ones.


Did learn something years ago when we circumnavigated Africa. The poor folks selling stuff on the piers are usually overloaded with US ones by the end of the day. When they exchange US ones for their local currency with the banks the banks screw them over if they just have small denominations. They get a much better rates with 10s, 20s or 50s. So just before they pull the gangway a lot of us run off and trade their ones for larger US bills.    

6 Answers

If they are making something, say, rolling cigars, I am more apt to buy what they are crafting. If it's small enough. Otherwise, $2-3 I think would be fair. In Nassau (?) there are the horse drawn carriages. If I want a picture of the horse, I just take it. I never thought about tipping to take a picture.

Unless it is part of thing like they do in Vegas, I don't see any reason to tip. to take a picture.

I may be wrong here, but holidays are costly enough without the extra.

At Renaissance Festivals, the characters that dress for photos expect a dollar per photo, if you find the character particularly creative (Fireflicker the Dragon) then by all means tip more. We use this guideline when cruising. By the way, if you see me... no tipping. Many folks in any cast are not able to accept tips, but we appreciate it when offered. Last year I could have made an extra $10.Big Smile

Those in these three pictures I thought deserved extra credit. The kids, way up the Amazon River, thought that I was so nice I should hold a baby crocodile, no thanks, I value my fingers.

I went to take a picture of this lady in Columbia but realized that I didn’t have money, so I ran to the rear of our procession where my wife was and got some, ran back and she stood up for me without coaching. I like these people.

The two boys on Fanning Island didnt expect anything. They were helping their father fix a boat and I talked them into standing with us for a picture. They ran off, so I had to find them again in order to pay them.

When we travel to foreign countries that do not have a USD based economy, we convert a small amount to the local currency for the express purpose of tipping and small purchases. I check the exchange rate in the morning and tip the same rate that I would in the US (assuming that tipping is an accepted practice in that country).

We do not normally ask locals to stand in pictures with us as I wouldn't hand over my iPhone or my Nikon to a complete stranger even on my worst day :/

I prefer to take pictures from a distance... candids of people doing what they normally do (e.g., fisherman actually fishing). Most of the time (if I am doing it right), people aren't aware I'm taking their picture.

If someone is obviously posing with a donkey or a basket full of fruit on their heads, i do tip them a dollar or two for a photo with them.


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