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Whats a reasonable travel fee? What do you charge?

Jessica Dixon , Feb 17, 2009; 06:15 p.m.

Hello, I've been asked to do my first out of town wedding. I looked online, for myself and one assistant, the fee's average is about $700 for airfare and hotel.
My question is, should the client pay this full amount or should I charge them a portion of it?
What do you all charge?


Barbara Lucas-Wilson , Feb 17, 2009; 06:33 p.m.

Don't forget that there's a lot more than just hotel and airfare. Add a perdiem for food, rental car, tips for everyone from the skycap to the waiter, plus taxes, etc. Go with the highest season rates for the area your traveling to, add in all the other stuff and then add 10% just in case. And of course they pay the whole thing, why wouldn't they??

Dave Gardner , Feb 17, 2009; 06:52 p.m.

You have to decide what type of hotel you would be comfortable with....what type of rental car...meals and for how many people. Also don't forget it's before and after. You may want to prepare and check out locations for photos. Always 'RECON' the area before entering. They may have a place for you to stay...but remember only you know the room you would need for your equipment etc.
We went to Greece to shoot a wedding and i have to tell ya, it's not as easy as you think. If you can find someone who has been there before. They may be able to give you some incite in to the area where are going. There's always unexpected costs that pop up, so cover all bases.


Jon Rennie , Feb 17, 2009; 07:11 p.m.

You need to cover all your out of pocket expenses + some. The + is the factor you need to decide for youself. If it is possibly taking away from other business then it needs to be considerable. On the other hand, if this job would be amazing to use in portfolio for some reason and don't want to price yourself out, then you can have it extremely low.
Get them to pay travel upfront so that you aren't out of pocket travel expenses in case they cancel.

Jessica Dixon , Feb 17, 2009; 08:56 p.m.

Thanks a lot for all the advice. I know it makes sense to have the client pay for all of the expenses, but it makes me wonder...why don't they just hire a local photographer instead of paying another to come to their town? It might even be less expensive for them. But I'm not complaining, just wondering.
Thanks again.

Jeffrey Blake Adams , Feb 17, 2009; 09:53 p.m.

I am sure that people can find less expensive alternatives to flying me in somewhere to shoot, but they choose to pay whatever they must, to have the exact coverage and products that I provide, if cost were THE primary issue, they would hire whoever was cheapest.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Feb 18, 2009; 02:34 a.m.

Jessica, be aware that there are a lot of scams out there that claim they will pay your travel expenses and fees with a certified check, etc. Shouldn't be an issue as long as you know them, but if they claim to be in "London right now," yada, yada, yada... That would be a scam.

Jessica Dixon , Feb 18, 2009; 04:55 p.m.

Yeah, I have heard of those scams, but the grooms mother is meeting me next week so I know it's not a scam.
Good point Jeffrey, thanks again.

David Wegwart - Denver/CO. , Feb 19, 2009; 07:06 p.m.

The idea of staying away from home is not in my playbook as a rule.

However, last year I was engaged to shoot a three day event that was a three hour drive from my home. I charged $300 for the trip/drive, the full cost of accommodations/food/expenses, then added an inconvenience/away from home fee of $500. That was added into the usual shooting fee for my total.

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