Post # 1
… do you expect them to travel to you to meet, or do you expect to travel to them?
So, I have this friend (It’s not really me, I swear!) who’s just starting out in the wedding photography business. He’s super talented, but to get his name out there, and start a portfolio, he’s offering his services for free to his first few clients, and just asking for a nominal one-time fee from his clients to have the rights to their photos. We both live in Chicago, and he’s been getting a lot of interest (yay!), but the majority of his clients are out in the suburbs (which is totally fine). BUT, they keep asking him to go out like an hour or hour and a half each way (where they live) to meet, which kind of sucks. He doesn’t seem too bothered by it because he really wants the experience, but he’s spending a lot of money on gas and stuff. So my personal opinion is that these clients are getting some great work for free (if they book him), so they should at the very least offer to meet halfway, or come to Chicago to meet him.
I mean, either way, it doesn’t matter in the end, but I was curious, for those of you who booked vendors that were kind of far away, did you expect them to meet you, or did you expect to meet halfway or travel to them? If the vendor wasn’t willing to travel to you, would that put you off, or would be be accepting of it and still want to meet with them?
Just curious if I’m in the minority or not 🙂
Post # 3
I do think travel expenses are a reasonable request if he’s traveling that far. Especially given the fact that they aren’t paying much at all. But, its probably hard for him to ask them, because he’s relying on word of mouth to build his rep so he almost has to bend over backwards for these clients, just to establishe himself. However, when he is starting to book paying clients, I’d be careful asking for travel expenses. For the most part, photographers charge an arm and a leg, to add travel fees might seem tacky, assuming you’re not going to far. If he does do that, he should be sure to request only the amount it costs to travel there and not try to make a profit.
Post # 4
If he wants to get customers, he will need to meet with them for a consult first. I would expect to either meet with a vendor at his/her place of business or meet halfway in between. Depending on the vendor, if they won’t at least meet me halfway, I would not give them a second look. If he is taking pictures at these meetings, he should be meeting them where they want the pictures taken. I would not meet with a photographer somewhere where the pictures weren’t going to be taken, if that was the purpose of the meeting.
Post # 5
@noritake: These are for consultations only. Not actual sessions.
@jennifer: He’s pretty dead set on not charging travel expenses overall. I think the question here is should he be more assertive and tell a potential client, “I’m terribly sorry, but you’re located pretty far away. Would you be willing to come to my studio for our initial consultation?” or ask to meet halfway if they’re not open to that.
I appreciate the insight! I’m honestly just super curious how others see this.
Post # 6
I think most people (and here I’m talking in general, not photographers specifically) have a few per mile for travel > X distance. Even my student videographer would do this. We met our vendors near their workplaces. I think it’s more professional for your friend to do this too. He definitely shouldn’t be out gas costs and his time for a consultation. I imagine there will be enough people wanting a photographer in Chicago that plenty of people will meet him near his place.
Post # 7
We hired a photographer from about 2 hours away, and one of the reasons we chose him was because he was willing to travel to meet us for the consultation. I felt like he went out of his way to accommodate us, and sure enough, he acted the exact same way at our wedding. We liked him so much, we’ve also hired him for baby pictures this summer. 🙂
I think it would be nice if he could meet his clients halfway or at his studio instead of travelling, but I will also say that sometimes going the extra mile (literally) can change a couple’s mind on who they want to hire.
Post # 8
My photographer is about an hour and a half away from us which puts her close to 3 hours away from our wedding location. We went to her for engagement pictures and obviously she’ll come to us for the wedding.. If we had chosen to do a consultation prior (we did everything via email) I would have asked to meet her half way. But then again maybe its just me.