Travel Expenses

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rub, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Howdy

    Just wondering what the going rate for travel expenses is. I have been contacted about a wedding 400kms away (800 round trip). What do you charge for something like that?

    My thought was $0.43/km and the value of 2 nights hotel expense (just an average clean hotel - that way I could book something nicer if I wanted).

    Up till now, I have always had a place to stay in the city I have traveled to.

    Opinions appreciated.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That sounds about right for a mileage charge. If it's all day coverage, then yes, I'd probably charge for two nights in a hotel. I'd usually only charge one night, but if you have to be there early, you don't want a 4+ hour drive in the morning.

    Sometimes you can just have them book & pay for a hotel room for you, as they might already be booking several rooms for family that are coming from out of town.
     
  3. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Perfect. Just wanted to make sure I was in the ballpark. No, I wouldnt risk the drive in the morning - if something was to go wrong there would be no wiggle room.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I should also mention that many photographers may not include a travel charge if the destination is within reasonable driving distance. It's obviously an expense that you have to consider, but if you charge enough for every wedding, you can consider that as covering the times you do have to travel.
    For example, I know a few Edmonton & Calgary photographers that won't charge for travel between the two cities (300 km).
    400km is getting to be pretty far though....

    I guess it also depends on how busy you are and how much you want the gig. If you know that you could easily book that date with a local wedding, then yes, you should absolutely charge a premium for having to travel. But if it's a great gig (big package, good looking couple etc) then you might not want to risk loosing the job because you tacked on a travel charge.

    I still think that the smart thing to do, is to charge for travel...but sometimes it's better to no 'nickle & dime' the client and just build these expenses into your price, even if it means raising your prices across the board.
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    If you want to calculate this by milage alone the IRS (or your equivalent) book is good but I looked at it quite differently myself.

    800 kms is a one day thing and I would have charged for a full day of photography. Absolutely. By traveling to your wedding I just lost an entire day of shooting and that is what you are being charged for. Plus expenses of course.

    Charging anything less is telling your customer you have all the time in the world because you are not so busy with your photography... :(
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wedding photography doesn't quite work that way, as there are only a few weddings on Fridays and fewer on Sundays.
    But for a commercial or portrait type shoot, yes, that is a very valid point.

    Now, of course, many of us do shoot both weddings & portraits (and whatever else)....so we could look at it that way, but we also charge a lot of money to shoot a wedding (or we should), so it should make up for lost time immediately before or after the wedding day.

    This is one of those things where there are several different ways to look at it, and you have to find out what works for you, not necessarily what is right or wrong.
     
  7. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    That is exactly how I look at it and how my clients pay me. And the hotel is their responsibility as well as expenses. The hotel is the equivelant of the wedding. My clients are happy to pay it.
     

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