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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 12th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland OR
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Travel Fees

I am trying to figure out what is a fair travelling fee for a potential customer.

They are getting married near Port Townsend, Washington which is a couple hours away(if you include the ferry ride time), from Seattle.

I will have to stay at least 1 night(if not 2) at a hotel or B&B.

How do you handle these types of situations? Any Seattle wedding videographers ou there who have had some weddings on the Peninsula?

Set rate included in final charge or charge them later for expenses and have to worry about getting money after the wedding(which I ALWAYS avoid if I can).

I have had my own business for going on 5 years, but I have never had my travelling complicated by ferries.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #2
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am trying to figure out what is a fair travelling fee for a potential customer.

((Do it in brackets, but also look at the potential upgradability of their pacakge.. and if u can "sweeten" the deal by "including free travel surcharge" if tehy upgrade, they'll see it as a bonus

They are getting married near Port Townsend, Washington which is a couple hours away(if you include the ferry ride time), from Seattle.

((Ferry ride? u cant drive there? ))

I will have to stay at least 1 night(if not 2) at a hotel or B&B.

((Ok.. ))

How do you handle these types of situations?

((I have set rates based on Kilometres.. in your case miles.. I have as et bracket for 75 to 200, then 200 to 400, then 400 onwards.
If i need accomodatin, i tell the client, however as i prefer to keep initial cost down, i suss them out before i hit them with the additional accomodation/travel fee. if theyr etightasses, i tell them that there WILL be an invoice following on from the initial package, and usually their cool with this. If they well off, i tell them upfront as this wont put them off from booking with me. ))

Set rate included in final charge or charge them later for expenses and have to worry about getting money after the wedding(which I ALWAYS avoid if I can).
((I agree about charging upfront, but sometimes, you cant do this, as it has the potential to lose a client, especially if they take your quote to joe bloggs down the road who says he'll travel for free.. youll need to check out your client before u can make this decision))

I have had my own business for going on 5 years, but I have never had my travelling complicated

((it never usually is.. many companis charge it.. hell i now charge for parking too.. last november i spent about 300bux on parking and i was stupid enough to not charge the clients .... fact remains, if they want you to travel the world to film their day, they should pay for it. If they dont want to pay, they should hire someone locally. Its that simple
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Old February 13th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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Travel cost should be covered by the client at what it cost you or slightly more than what it's costing you. But basically if you need a hotel for one or two nights let them know that they need to pay for it. Same for mileage and ferry costs, they should pay for that. For me, anything that takes more than an hour to get to and requires a hotel will be paid for by the client. They understand that. It's just a cost of doing business.

I don't agree with trying to up-sell a package and then giving them travel cost for free. Doing a bigger package only means more work for you later in post and more lost time, plus you had to eat the cost of the travel. That's not good. Travel costs should be paid for by the client seperate from the package rate. If you sweeten the deal then do it with something that won't actually cost you money, only time.

Also, on days that I travel I charge a travel rate. If I'm spending a day traveling somewhere but not shooting anything that day then I charge about 50% of a normal day rate. That covers my lost day and the client understands that. If I have a long travel and then a shoot at the end then it's a travel/work day and that's billed at a full day rate. You should definitely receive something on a travel day because of the lost time, even if it's a small amount it lets the client know that your time is valuable.

Good luck.

Ben
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #4
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Charge per mile

I have had two weddings that required travel of 2hrs drive. The first was part of my first year of "free-bies" so I didn't charge for travel. The second I did, at $1 / mile one way. That was just barely enough to cover the federal mileage amount. I also I had to get up at 5am to arrive at the destination by 8am to shoot some early morning scenes I had in mind but that was all my idea. The ceremony wasn't until noon but I wanted plenty of time to shoot the area.

jason
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Old February 13th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #5
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Travel time is your time spent away from what you should be doing, which is producing product, so you need to be compensated in some manner.

How you do it will depend upon the market conditions in which you are involved. Learning that market takes some experimentation.

In my case, I'll travel 100 miles round trip for wedding clients at no additional fee. Then it is US$.45/mile. For corporate clients the rate is a flat US$.45/mile. Airfare, lodging, meals, parking, and any other legitimate fees are all additional expenses charged to clients and very clearly identified as such before the project begins. It boils down to knowing your costs before your take the task.

For big jobs I build all travel into the proposal. Much easier to record for tax purposes.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #6
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Accounting & Taxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
Travel time is your time spent away from what you should be doing, which is producing product, so you need to be compensated in some manner.

How you do it will depend upon the market conditions in which you are involved. Learning that market takes some experimentation.

In my case, I'll travel 100 miles round trip for wedding clients at no additional fee. Then it is US$.45/mile. For corporate clients the rate is a flat US$.45/mile. Airfare, lodging, meals, parking, and any other legitimate fees are all additional expenses charged to clients and very clearly identified as such before the project begins. It boils down to knowing your costs before your take the task.

For big jobs I build all travel into the proposal. Much easier to record for tax purposes.
I agree. Accounting and taxes are probably the biggest annoyance in running your own business, so that is what guides my expense reporting decisions. As soon as it becomes too annoying to keep track of all that, I'll just ditch it in favor of building in the price.

jason
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