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Archive 2012 · Charging for Mileage
  
 
minatophase3
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Charging for Mileage


For those of you that do photo shoots that require travel to/from the shoot location how do you account for your travel time to/from the job? Do you charge your hourly rate, a percentage of your rate, or a certain amount per mile, or just build it into your initial pricing of the job?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Tim



Mar 23, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Allynb
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Charging for Mileage


Print google map showing your start and end mileage. Then double it if you'e returning directly after the job. Then use the federal allowance of .55/mile for this year. Save the map and paperwork for your tax prep.


Mar 23, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Charging for Mileage


The IRS .55 per mile is for your taxes. If you have big suburban then you will want to charge more per mile than if you drive a mini cooper. In fact you can charge whatever you want, but on schedule c the deduction is .55


Mar 23, 2012 at 06:02 AM
sleibrand
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Charging for Mileage


I don't charge clients mileage for "local" shoots. It's built in to my pricing for location shooting. Exactly what is local varies with the type of shooting and the package purchased.

50 miles is "local" for an all-day photo shoot. It's not local for a 60 minute portrait session.



Mar 23, 2012 at 05:30 PM
david debalko
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Charging for Mileage


What is the website to find the federal allowance for mileage? I am guessing they change that yearly? thanks


Mar 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Charging for Mileage


I live in LA so I use what the movie people call the thirty mile zone (TMZ just like the TeeVee show) as a guide for what is 'local'. beyond that I charge 55 per mile unless I rent something bigger.


Mar 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Charging for Mileage


david debalko wrote:
What is the website to find the federal allowance for mileage? I am guessing they change that yearly? thanks


There are two different rates out there that I know of. If you are doing business for the Federal government, then you can submit for reimbursement based on the General Services Administration per diem website. For example, I'm a consultant, and if I'm doing work for the Federal government, I can currently charge $0.51/mile. It changes depending on costs, not necessarily on an annual basis:
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103969

The GSA portal always has current per diem data. I don't know how the IRS does it, but a quick Google turned up this announcement:
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=250882,00.html

Mark



Mar 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM
markd61
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Charging for Mileage


I build the trip time into the total quote.
I sometimes fly to a different city and have to factor air cost plus the opportunity cost of travel.



Mar 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Charging for Mileage


What does "the opportunity cost of travel" mean


Mar 25, 2012 at 05:19 PM
 

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markd61
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Charging for Mileage


Micky Bill wrote:
What does "the opportunity cost of travel" mean


While I am sitting in a plane or car I am using up time that could be generating income elsewhere. Thus the time spent traveling must be paid for. If not, then a job that took three days to complete (two days travel, one day shooting) would only generate one day of revenue.
Might as well sit at home and get paid for all three or at least two or even just one if I can use the other two days to do work that advances my business.

The principle applies even to local jobs. I calculate the time necessary to scout, prep and travel to the location and back and the post-processing time. I incorporate this into my fees.

At bottom we charge for two things: Time and usage.
I only have so many minutes left on Earth. I need to charge for them.


Edited on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:07 AM · View previous versions



Mar 25, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Charging for Mileage


I have never heard it put quite that way. Travel days are common but I always looked at it as part of the job that I am shooting...


Mar 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM
markd61
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Charging for Mileage


Micky Bill wrote:
I have never heard it put quite that way. Travel days are common but I always looked at it as part of the job that I am shooting...


True, but you are still charging for the time that could be purchased by someone else.



Mar 26, 2012 at 12:08 AM
minatophase3
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Charging for Mileage


Thanks for all of the answers, I appreciate it!

Tim



Mar 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Charging for Mileage


markd61 wrote:
True, but you are still charging for the time that could be purchased by someone else.


Do you charge your full rate for travel?
I have a travel day fee, 'd rather explain to a client the cost of getting me to location as part of his project not as a 'lost opportunity" to charge someone else for that time. Seems confusing. But i guess its two ways of saying the same thing.



Mar 26, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Charging for Mileage


When I'm working jobs where I have to travel - where the travel takes a significant portion of the day, I generally charge half of what the normal photography fee would be for that job. The clients, of course, pay for all the travel, meals and accommodations. The only time it gets confusing is when we're shooting in the morning and flying later that afternoon. I try and average those days out to make if fair for everyone. Assistants traveling with me get paid their full rate for travel days as well, as they really can't get any other work on those trips. Sometimes a flat rate for assistants is negotiated that includes the invariable overtime.


Mar 26, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Charging for Mileage


That's what I do too Peter, I just think it makes more sense to the client to pay me to travel for his job, than to somehow explain that he is paying me for not being available for other clients. I realize it's just a different way to get to the same place but when clients examine line items I'd like to keep it simple.


Mar 26, 2012 at 03:22 AM
markd61
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Charging for Mileage


I charge 3/4 of my regular rate for travel.
When I owned a photo lab I noticed that service techs from some companies charged me a single rate whether traveling or working at my site.

I do not itemize everything. I feel it is not really in my interest to get a client second guessing my billing.
I let my client know that when I quote a project that it is a complete price so that they can budget and compare with other bids. My clients are told that some items have variable costs that may exceed the quote because of delays etc. They have to agree to the terms before we go forward. We have never had a dispute in that regard and my clients tell me they appreciate my quotes for being clear on cost and deliverables.

Everyone has a different style but this works for me.



Mar 26, 2012 at 05:21 AM





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