April 19th, 2017
Mike in Tennesee asks:
How far should one travel for a shoot? And how much of an extra charge is appropriate. I’m a one man act, a couple of my clients are pretty good customers but they almost always seem to have properties not terribly far out from town but far enough where it sometimes gets in the way of my other jobs, screws up my scheduling, and causes my good local clients to have to wait.
As usual, there’s no one simple answer to how big your service area should be that works for everyone. The key consideration is going outside your service area should not appreciably reduce what you are making per hour.
The size of your service area is very much dependent upon your particular location, whether it’s rural or a big metro area and the surrounding geography. What I would do is the following:
- Establish a service area by looking at where 90% of your business is. Draw your service area on the map.
- Do the math for your business and find out what you are making per hour doing a shoot (drive time and shooting time). On the average how much time is spent traveling?
- Make sure whatever you charge to go outside your service area is enough to not drop your income.
It’s that simple. Charge enough extra to go outside your typical area to make it worth your time. Otherwise, don’t do the shoot.