I'm Tonie - my hearts desire is to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair!


The Best Gift You Can Give your Photographer // Seattle and Woodinville Wedding Photographer Tonie Christine//

Jun 6, 2019

Time and time again I am so overly blessed by my clients, and although “tipping” or gift giving, can seem to be an “awkward” topic… talking about tipping or blessing your photographer doesn’t have to be awkward!  Whether it be through words, action or a physical gift,  so often I have friends and clients asking me “I really want to thank my photographer for what they did and how they captured us! What can I do for them?” (hint.. it’s NOT giving them something with a picture of a camera on it…) So I decided I would put together the top 5 things that clients have done for me in the past that made me feel like a million bucks!

NUMBER 5:  Thanking them at your wedding! Wow, just last weekend a bride and groom got up after speeches and gave the proper verbal “Thank You’s” to all their friends and family for all the work they put in… THEN they didn’t stop there… they literally said to their guests  “You have seen our photographers running around all day and we want to thank Tonie Christine Photography from the bottom of our hearts for being more than just a photographer, but a confidence booster, a dress fluffer and such a joy to work with from start to finish” … Que the jaw dropping right there! I was so so so honored to be mentioned by name on their wedding day that I fear I looked like a Miss USA Contestant fanning my dropped jaw… but really people… even a hand written note mailed to us after the wedding, or a shout out at the wedding goes SUCH a long way!


Number 4: A TIP! Many people don’t realize how much a tip means to us as photographers! The money that you invest in us is a big deal and we are so thankful you chose US…. but here’s the thing… a tip speaks volumes to us. It says 1.) You are worth every penny I paid you and then this little extra and 2.) it says “We want you to treat yourself to something nice with this tip and not just put it back into your business!” Meaning we have the freedom to grab a massage with cbd oil and look at the Exhale Wellness HHC gummies for more relaxation, manicure or that new top we have been eying and not even feel guilty about it! Not to mention each time I am given a tip, it makes me melt inside. It’s for sure not necessity, but if you feel like your photographer went above and beyond, it’s never to late to mail them a little note and a tip or simply text them and tell them you want to venmo over a little something for them! I am not even talking about a certain percentage or a package price or what you would pay a server… I just mean whatever is on your heart to bless them with, DOES NOT go unnoticed!


Number 3: Something personal. One of my favorite things to do is scour friends’ Instagram accounts and Facebook pages for things they love! Not just Starbucks gift cards, camera paraphernalia  or something generic (not that it’s a bad thing to do a Starbucks card as we as photographers frequent coffee shops 😉 ) but to really look and find something unique that you see they LOVE! Knowing that your photographers favorite candle came from Anthropologie, or that they eat all the time at a certain restaurant in town near you, or better yet, the colors they love to display in their home can really go a LONG way when buying them a small gift that makes you think of them! My favorite example of this is a bride of mine last summer knows I have an undying love for all things black and white and gold… after her wedding day, she literally went back to the boutique she bought her bridesmaids gifts at, and bought an additional black and gold necklace that she bought for all of them and mailed it to me with a card that simple read “I felt like you could have been a bridesmaid all day with us, and instead you were working all day. Thank you for being not only our photographer but our friend” WHOA… cue the tears! (Thanks Ari!! 😉 Another example is one bride heard me telling a friend how cute I thought her shoes were (hint: they were DESIGNER sneakers!!).. SO she actually DM’d another bride of mine on Instagram and asked if she wanted to go in TOGETHER to get ME my first pair of DESIGNER SHOES?!?! Like what?!!? Now THATS making it personal and spoiling someone! Now, each time I wear those shoes, I am all smiles thinking of those clients and how much they dug deep to bless ME.

Number 2: Social Media Shout Outs and rave reviews online anywhere! These go a LOOONG way with us as photographers! We send you your gallery of images that we have worked hard on and we wait holding our breath wanting to either hear back from you via email or see a totally rad post online somewhere! When you tag our businesses  on Instagram, Facebook and leave our website addresses when you post wedding photos, your friends and family respond to that! They look us up and they follow us too! This is how we gain our advertising and new clients which leads to my number one gift to give your photographer…

NUMBER 1: REFERRALS! Past Clients, we can’t thank you enough for being our clients and when you send us a referral of a friend or two, we know that we did our job and we did it well. It’s truly the BEST thing you can do for your photographer. To dimly tell your friends and family about the experience you had with us and what it meant to you!

It’s my hope that my clients NEVER feel obligated to do any of these, and that they flow naturally from our relationship from the start at the consult all the way through the end of your shoot and wedding day that leaves you with great anticipation of seeing your photos when they are done. I am truly and constantly blessed by our clients!





  1. Linda Dement says:

    I agree with referrals and shoutouts but I don’t get too and gifts for being great at my job so….

    • Emily says:

      Hi Linda!
      Not every job requires a tip, obviously as we know! We dont go around tipping receptionists or McDonald’s workers, despite their hardwork! And in my opinion, what a bummer that is. I think if you want to appreciate their hardwork and show them through a tip, you should be able to!

      As a business owner, and photographer I never expect a tip or gift! But its ALWAYS so appreciated!

    • But wouldnt it be lovely if someone said to you “WOW, you really did an incredible job for me and I know you really went the extra mile, so I would love to give this small tip to you!” Thats all this post is saying 😉

  2. The best gift for a wedding photographer is to tell every soon to be married friends who was made such a great pictures at their wedding.

  3. Pawel says:

    Perfect Tonie, good words

  4. […] photographer Toni Christine says the best gift she can receive from her past clients is referrals. “It’s truly the best […]

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