Professional photographers take pride in meeting and exceeding client's expectations. In order to achieve a great photography session, you must fully understand what these expectations are, and make sure you can deliver. This is why asking the right questions at the right time plays a crucial role in your client onboarding process.
A photography client questionnaire is the best way to get into the nitty gritty details of the job requirements and helps you to efficiently filter out those clients who you may not be a good fit for, or who simply cannot afford your services. To help you create the perfect pre-session questionnaire, we'll go over the main aspects you should cover before you take the photography job and give you some example questions to put you in the right path.
But before we get into it, let's quickly go over some reasons why you should be making this photography questionnaire a priority in your business.
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Why Should You Use Questionnaires Before a Photography Session?
Utilizing client questionnaires in your photography business has many advantages; They not only provide a quick and orderly approach to get crucial information from your clients (such as budget and basic requirements), but you can also learn about their favorite settings, their relationships, and develop a deeper, more sincere bond.
This provides you with a highly personal and intimate insight into who they are, and what they need from you, therefore you'll be able to address those needs and ultimately provide more individualized, attentive service to your clients. Having this important client information will also make you feel more prepared and in control during each photography session.
You'll know ahead of time if your clients want to bring other family members to the session, want to wear matching outfits, or arrive with special props. Additionally, you can use these questionnaires as a way to organize client data, create photography contracts, anticipate inquiries, gather feedback, and step up your game if you notice many clients are looking for services you don't yet offer.
But what are the right questions to include in your photography questionnaires? Read on to find out.
What Questions Should a Photographer Ask a Client?
Now that you are aware of the enormous influence questionnaires can have on your business and workflow, let's look at some of the main topics to focus on and how you can gather this vital information. While our suggested questions are great for any photography questionnaire, you can always tailor them to your specific niche and add your own questions based on your needs. As you do this, consider covering the following aspects.
Client and Family Members
Getting to know your clients before the photo session helps you build rapport and think of better ways to capture their essence. Ask specific questions to learn more about the session participants, what they're interested in and what you can do to keep everyone engaged throughout the session time. Try including the following questions in your
- Please provide names and ages of the people who will be part of the session.
- Describe your family/friends/yourself to me. What are a few of their hobbies and interests?
- Can you share a fun fact about each of the members of your family/friends/partner that will be present at the session?
- What family activities do you all like to do?
- What word, if any, would you use to sum up who you are?
- Describe your individual style. Which fashion do you prefer?
Learn about your client's expectations by asking about the reasons behind the photo session, how they intend to use the pictures taken and why they like your work. These questions should give you a better idea of the end product you should aim to deliver.
- What are the session's top priorities?
- Where do you intend to show your pictures? Which type of finished product—prints, metals, canvases, etc.—do you favor?
- Which rooms/areas in your house will you use these pictures to decorate?
- What kind of imagery appeals to you the most? (posed pictures, interactive images, etc...)
- What do you hope to take away from this time in your life?
- Why did you choose me to be your photographer on this occasion? (budget, style, referral, etc...)
- Have you worked with a professional photographer before? What did you like and dislike about the experience?
If you're photographing an event, ask your client to walk you through the day so you can get a better understanding of what they are looking for. These questions are usually for large events and weddings (check out our wedding questionnaire form here). You want to find out the event timeline, session date, venue restrictions and the most important images they want taken. Here are some example questions to consider.
- Can you give us a general rundown of the day's events? Please feel free to be as specific as you can.
- Do I need to be aware of any venue restrictions?
- Which vendors do you intend to collaborate with? (decorations, flowers, event planning, cosmetics and hair, cake, etc.)
- How many people are attending the event?
- Do you have any special plans for the event or surprises that I should be aware of beforehand?
- Do you want a certain time set aside for group photos?
- What budget do you have set aside for photography services? (this will give you an idea of whether or not you can offer additional services for their event)
Photo Session Specifics
To make sure you understand and are able to meet your client's needs, use the straightforward questions to recap the session's fundamentals: who, what, where, etc. You want to minimize the risk of missing crucial details as well as avoid misunderstandings. Here are some examples to consider.
- What kind of session are you planning? (Newborn, maternity, family, cake smash, etc...)
- Are you bringing any special equipment or pets to your session?
- How many different outfits have you chosen for your session?
- Are there any particular group pictures you'd like to take?
- Do you already have a location in mind for your photos?
- Do you have any specific images or compositions that you must have taken throughout your session?
Create the Perfect Questionnaire for Your Photography Clients With Bonsai
Now that you know all the important details to cover, create your own pre-session questionnaire using Bonsai's custom form builder. We make it quick and simple to draft a professional document that you can easily share with your clients via email or URL link. You can also integrate it into your business website to help you collect leads and streamline your onboarding process.
Our forms are fully customizable so you can make them your own by adding branding elements, and including all the questions you need, as well as choosing your preferred answer format (multiple choice, single choice or text). With Bonsai's wide range of administrative tools you can save time and focus on your passion, not your paperwork. Start your 14-day free trial today and see for yourself!