Gathering information about your photography clients is crucial to ensuring smooth shoots and relaxed relationships.
The more you know, the better you can tailor communication and select services to suit their unique needs.
But maybe your current system for getting your hands on this important detail is less than efficient. Another admin task to shift your focus away from all the other demands on your time.
Step forward the photography client questionnaire. A simple way to tackle the problem.
Here we explore how introducing templates can help save time, streamline pre- and post-shoot planning, and boost your customer service reputation.
Read on to get ideas and inspiration about using questionnaire templates for photographers.
Why send a photography questionnaire to your clients?
You could use a notebook and scribble down client information while you’re chatting to them on the phone, doing a venue recce or checking back over their emails. But this way errors lie.
Using carefully designed templates instead will deliver multiple benefits for you and your clients:
- minimise the risk of missing a crucial detail
- reassure your clients that you’re thorough and professional
- personalise the information gathering process to make clients feel valued
- get the right info, at the right time
- reduce repetitive admin tasks
- save precious time
And, if you use a dedicated CRM for photographers, automated questionnaires pass the admin over to your client. Simply set up tailored templates to send at key points during the customer journey and they’ll be prompted to do the info collecting for you.
For example, Light Blue can send questionnaires directly to your clients, pre-populated with the information you already know, and then automatically update your records with the extra detail they submit.
Elise Ellsmore, Sydney newborn, maternity & family photographer
How to use photography questionnaires
One of the beauties of questionnaire templates for photographers is how they can be designed to suit a range of different clients. They’re especially helpful for those shoots which follow a set pattern, such as newborn, wedding and portrait sessions.
Next, we’ll discover how photography questionnaires can overhaul your current info-collating process for each of these client types.
Using a portrait photography client questionnaire
Starting with what can often be the simplest shoot to set up, a questionnaire tailored to portrait clients will make sure all the essential boxes are ticked.
Once you have the basic information from their initial enquiry, this is your chance to dig deeper:
- Ask who else is coming to the shoot and get their names, ages and relationships to the client. A crucial detail here could affect how you plan your session. For example, if you’re getting head shots for a start-up and a member of the team can’t get childcare that day.
- Ask what they’re planning to do with the images. This could get them thinking about wall art or albums.
- Ask the broad question such as ‘Is there anything else important you feel I should know?’ This should alert you to anything unexpected, such as one of the subjects having a disability that needs to be considered.
Setting up a wedding questionnaire template
If you’ve ever been involved in planning a wedding, you’ll know it can be an organisational mountain to climb.
Questionnaire templates to the rescue! They’ll provide you with everything you need to help their day go smoothly, from the style of the ceremony to the time of the toasts.
Clients will want to feel reassured they can trust you to get the minutiae right so will welcome and value your efficiency.
There’s the opportunity with wedding clients to use multiple templates to suit each planning stage. They’ll possibly have booked you many months, or even years, in advance so questionnaires give you the chance to keep in touch for a tangible reason.
The initial contact form will give you the basics: the couple’s names, wedding date and main location.
Depending how far away the big day is, you may want to keep it super short and sweet at this stage, just to get the ball rolling. Or you could choose to get an early feel for the style of the day, asking questions to build rapport and see if you’re going to be a good fit.
Booking confirmed, you’ll want to send out your contract as soon as possible. Alongside this, you can send your second questionnaire to gather additional contact information and details such as extra locations where they’ll want photos taken.
But don’t overwhelm them with questions. It’s likely they won’t know everything yet and the last thing they need is an over-enthusiastic photographer reminding them of the length of their to-do list.
Wedding details questionnaire
This is where you can get down to the precise details, the finer points you need to do your job exceptionally well. It’s the wedding questionnaire template with all the questions:
- Confirm the details you already have very carefully. They could easily have made chances since your last communication and forgotten to tell you. A changed mobile number could spell disaster on the day.
- Get key timings for the day in as much detail as possible: preparations beforehand, distance to and time of the ceremony, speeches, cutting the cake, first dance etc. For those couples with a meticulously spreadsheeted timetable, this will be easy. For those more laidback clients, you may have to make do with a broad outline of timings.
- Ask for a list of 100% essential photos to get, e.g. grandparents, key groups, and preferences for when/where/how these are taken.
- Get emergency contact details for someone other than the bride or groom who may not have their phones with them. Things do go wrong so be professional and prepared. If you turn up to shoot preparation and nobody answers the door, the more mobile numbers the better.
As you know, the job continues beyond the big day. After delivering the images, you can use a template to gather a review and testimonial – always an essential part of the follow-up process.
This is also your chance to fuel your marketing efforts. By asking questions about their wedding, you’ll have inspiring info to use in blogs, insight to guide your SEO strategy and details to build relationships with suppliers.
Consider asking them:
- Why did you choose the venue?
- What was the most memorable moment of the day?
- Would you do anything differently?
- Can you describe my photography style in five words?
- Please share any suppliers’ details
Get useful answers and you’ll then have content for blog articles, key search terms to use in your PPC and SEO strategy, and info to tag suppliers in your social posts.
As the benefits are largely for you here, adding an incentive to complete the questionnaire will boost response rates. Offering a free print or gallery credit could make all the difference.
Ideas for a newborn photography questionnaire
When your client is expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet, trusting their super-organised photographer will be a weight off their mind.
Their main concern will be uncertainty over their delivery date and whether they’ll get their photos done at their preferred time. There’s nothing either of you can do to control this, of course! But you can reassure them that you’re making the shoot-planning process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Using three specific questionnaires at different stages will ensure you’ve got all the information you need and that your client can relax.
The most important detail at this stage is the expected due date. This will give you at least an approximate idea of a shoot date and the detail you need to plan ahead.
Newborn booking questionnaire
This is the stage when your client confirms the booking and shares more information with you. With a template in place, automatically sent on a suitable date, you can be confident that the info will soon be winging its way to you.
Handy questions to ask here are their address, other family members they want including during the shoot, if they want to take shots both indoors and outdoors, and whether there’s been any change to the due date, perhaps for medical reasons.
Gather as much info as you can here, rather than waiting until baby has arrived and life goes a bit bonkers for your client.
They’ll welcome your organisation and know they can tick that job off their list before the nappy-changing commences.
Newborn pre-shoot form
Once baby has arrived, send out a short questionnaire to find out their birth date and name, and confirm the shoot date, time and location. Keep it brief, they’ll be busy.
Getting the right tools in place
Photography questionnaires are a huge helping hand for your business. With the right tools in place, you can automate and streamline a repetitive process without losing the all-important personal touch your business’ reputation relies on.