Should Photographers Charge Travel Fees?
There are a lot of photography topics on the internet, and the ever-going discussion about travel fee for photographers seems never to end. It seems a lot of professionals can’t agree on how to handle their expenses when it comes to traveling to a remote region from their home base to tackle an assignment.
Many of them include their travel expenses on their bills. Others prefer to ask their clients for specific accommodations. There is certainly a wide variety of ways to handle these aspects of logistics.
There is a couple of facts coming out of this discussion. The first one is that traveling expenses are unrelated to the level of expertise of the photographer. The other one is that every photographer has to charge for traveling expenses regardless of the way they handle logistics with their clients.
Destination Wedding Photography Costs Money
When is time to face the music, we have to realize that moving around, costs money. Even a two-hour drive will consume gas or you need to buy train of flight tickets which is extra expences.
Basic economics should call for you to include the cost of your mobility on the bill of the job once it’s finished. If you are traveling to another country, there are two ways to handle transportation. If you run an established business and you have an expenses budget, you can travel on your dime and bill your client later.
If you are a newcomer with little capital, you should include travel expenses on the upfront payment you ask before taking the job. Keep in mind that the gig could take more than a day, so you need to arrange your lodging accommodations and charge for them as well.
Most of the destination photographers include travel fee when quoting clients before they hire them, so the client understood what he has to pay in the final.
Traveling Takes Some Time
Time plays a significant role in the effectiveness of every photographer. If you are a seasoned veteran, the chances are that you probably have made your mind on how far you are willing to go for a job. A lot of pros love to travel around, but those types of assignments take a lot of time.
For a photographer, times is money in every sense of the word. A regular photographer can book more than one wedding in a week. The longer they take on a far side assignment, the less chance they have to take jobs.
That’s why any wedding photographer travel fee should also account for the time it takes to do the job. This is especially important if the photographer has to travel to another city or another country.
Usually, I arrive at the wedding destination one day before and take one extra day after the wedding.
As for me - Travel is Fun
Anybody loves to travel, and that holds for photographers as well. A traveling gig is always an excellent opportunity to go to another region we don’t know or another country we haven’t visited. It’s also a great chance to practice our craft with new locations, new angles, and new people. Even on a tight schedule, any photographer should have a little bit of time to explore the site of the assignment and enjoy the surroundings for what they are.
How I Charge for Travel Fees?
In term of logistics, we have already discussed a few pointers about the best way to charge our customers with our traveling expenses. By now charging a fair fee is not a matter of doing so on good intentions. It’s something that needs to be done.
Once we have a clear notion about the worth of our work and the value of our time we should place a figure on it. The number should be built on two main factors: the actual costs of the travel, and how good you feel by taking the assignment.
I am including everything in a bill and have a fixed price for my destination wedding photography services, which depend on the destination country. I like my client to be informed and don’t want them to think about extra logistic for the photographer. My suggestion is to include travel and accommodation fee to the final quote when the couple contacts you for the first time.