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Archive 2012 · method for calculating travel fee?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · method for calculating travel fee?

I want to gather some opinions and methods on calculating travel fees... Is there some equation that you're using for deciding what to charge for your travel?

My situation is usually a client who wants me to drive (or fly) long distances or perhaps just a little longer distance than what's typical. This happens for weddings, and other types of gigs like corporate clients, etc. Sometimes it's someone asking me to drive a little over two hours to the shore, other times it's someone asking me to get on a plane and spend a few days out of the office.

My clients are usually offering to pay for the flight, hotel, and car rental. I'm fine with that but would like a bit more for the meals, and the overall inconvenience of travel. What's reasonable? Is it different when dealing with a wedding client then when you're dealing with a business or corporate entity?

Dec 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · method for calculating travel fee?

One guideline is provided by the IRS -- the allowance for employees on business travel. Essentiallly, it is the cost of lodging and food away from home. Booklet 1542. One engineering friend a few years ago told his clients that his fee per hour began when he boarded a plane to leave and ended when he got off the plane when he returned home. After all, he was away from his business a significant amount of time.

Here's the intro to the IRS booklet.

This publication is for employers who pay a per diem
allowance to employees for business travel away from
home within the continental United States (CONUS) (the
48 contiguous states), on or after October 1, 2010, and
before January 1, 2011. It gives the maximum per diem
rate you can use without treating part of the per diem
allowance as wages for tax purposes. For a detailed discussion
on the tax treatment of a per diem allowance, see
chapter 11 of Publication 535, Business Expenses, or
Revenue Procedure 2011-47, 2011-42 I.R.B. 520, which
can be found on the Internet at www.irs.gov/irb/

Dec 19, 2012 at 06:57 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · method for calculating travel fee?



Dec 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · method for calculating travel fee?

You're away from the office, and this is 'lost work time'
- however you're not actually on the job

Perhaps it would be fair to charge travelling time at half the normal hourly/day rate?
(in addition to reimbursing expenses like flights and car hire)

Of course if you have a laptop you can continue to work on other projects while travelling to the job - it's not really fair to charge if you're working on someone else's photos.
- and you can get a head start on processing the new job on your way home.

Dec 19, 2012 at 09:47 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · method for calculating travel fee?

The IRS has mandates for this kind of thing. Personally I bill mileage, any travel expenses if not driving, and lodging. I also bill a half day rate for time spent while away not working because that's time I could be on an assignment getting full pay.

Dec 20, 2012 at 05:28 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · method for calculating travel fee?

It depends on the shoot. Weddings, I bill actual travel expenses. Be it miles (if I am driving out of town from PGh to say Philly which I do a lot). If I fly, they buy the ticket and pay for a car and room.

Other photo shoots such as fashion and commercial work. I build in enough wiggle room for travel. AN example. I was asked to do a commercial job in Miami this past summer. The job was a 2 day shoot. If I did it in PGH I would have charged $15K. I added $2000 to that because I needed to rent a lot of equipment down there, fly, get a room and a van. Cost me around $1800. I used the last $200 to take the client out to a nice dinner as a thank you. Even though technically they paid

So really, you need to know what it costs you to get there and do the job and charge for it.

Dec 21, 2012 at 01:55 PM

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