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| p.1 #19 · "Are you local?"- how do you respond to this @ bridal shows? |
What do you guys do about travel fees? I don't do a lot of travel for wedding and engagement photography, but when I do I charge a mileage fee. I do $1 per mile over 25 miles from where I live for weddings, and $2 per mile over 15 miles from where I live for engagements. Sometimes I have shoots 3 and 4 hours away and want to make sure it's worth my time. This summer I have an engagement shoot in NYC and it will take the entire day. I would end up breaking even after gas, tolls and food for the day. There are circumstances where I'll wave the mileage fee, but it's not often and it's stated in my contract.
If you dont mind me asking, how much are you charging? The math for a scenario where "entire day"s work is only breaking even for "gas, tolls, and food" just blows my mind. For example, 3.5 hours (7 hours back and forth) of driving at 65 mph, $4 per gallon of gas, 20 mpg car, that's about $91 roundtrip, food another $10, $15, $20? Tolls, $20? Total, <$140.
For engagement sessions it's $300 for the session and a disc of images. You're right, I'm still making money off of an engagement session. I guess I was also factoring in taxes with that number too. I would still make money, but to be away from my family for an entire day, and then editing and what not on top of that I feel it's not worth $100 profit.
For weddings a shoot and burn is $3500. With albums, album upgrades and additions it's anywhere from $4200-$6500.
I spend a lot of time working and being away from my family, so my mileage fee is primarily motivated from not wanting to be away from them more than I have too. If I'm going to be away for a shoot or a wedding I want to make it worth. I took Cliff Mautner's workshop about two years ago and he got an inquiry for a wedding in CA while we were with him. We asked what he would charge to do that. His starting price is $8000 and he said he would probably add a $3000 travel fee to shoot the wedding (imagine making that kind of money!!). He said he doesn't like to travel, so if he booked it he got an extra $3000 if he didn't book it than he didn't have to travel. For him it was a win either way. Since then I've taken the same approach as well (but without those crazy numbers!).