Photo shoots can be stressful whether you are starting out in Photography or are a seasoned pro. Questionnaires are a great way for you to get to know and connect with your client. This makes it far easier to get the real and raw emotions for the candid shots you dream of.
Want to skip thinking of all the right questions and get access to a tried and true questionnaire guaranteed to connect you with your clients for the best reactions and candid moments? Plus get loads of knowledge + tips on how to use the answers, for posing and prompts, before and during the photo shoot for maximum effect?
Connect With Your Clients Now + Be Confident In Your Sessions
Why Use A Questionnaire
Questionnaires are my favorite way to get to know a client. It is the first form of personal communication with my client after payment and contracts are out of they way. Since my questionnaire is pretty deep and tends to pull out a lot of emotions and private details of the couple, or family, it almost never gets answered in full right away.
And thats okay!
My questionnaire clearly states in the beginning what they can expect of it and that it is okay to take their time and come back to it.
In fact, I use that to my advantage. When it comes time to call them on the phone I already have a lot of good info to work with and know what I can easily use to start the conversation and what to talk about so we can talk as if already friends.
This kind of connection will make a HUGE difference when it comes time for your Photo Shoots!!
I usually take time during the phone call to get personal and spill some of my juicy life stories as answer to a few of the questions. For example, my questionnaire asks them to describe the special details about how they spend their everyday together. They usually start with something surface level but during the phone call I will bring it up and say how cute it is..
“I love that he kisses you before bed everynight! My husband is so good about that too. He doesn’t even know it, but my favorite times he kisses me is when he knows I’m stressed, and he leans his head onto mine and kisses my forehead.”Getting personal on a Client Phone Call
See how easy it is to show them the next level of an answer. Start taking notes because all the good stuff will start spilling out. These are the gems you will use to guide your session.
If you are like I was in the beginning and don’t do phone calls at all then a questionnaire is a Game Changer!
I spent a good amount of time building my questionnaire to get to all the juicy info right off the bat. This lets my clients know right away I want the real emotions and candid moments. And since it is set up with examples and tid bits already, just a few emails to prompt more (and deeper) answers do the trick nicely.
I started out as an introverted photographer (and still am though better handled) and I promise it is possible to get a great connection with your client and rock your photo session no matter how “outgoing” you are or aren’t.
What does A Great Questionnaire Include?
First, I like to list out location possibilities for them to check mark. This will include beaches, mountain views, and then get more detailed with date-like scenarios that may interest them.
Then I ask all the boring stuff that needs to be asked such as names and ages of everyone, nicknames, and if they need an officiant (if its a wedding), what they think about props, and florals (because when in Hawaii a Haku Lei, or flower crown, is a must).
Then I get to the fun part! And I let them know it!
I ask all the questions about intimate parts of their life. Favorite songs, favorite gifts, dreams for their futures together.
My favorite for couples is to ask them to write down separate answers to a few specific questions and not show each other or tell each other. Oooh that part is fun at the photoshoot!
For families, I like to include questions that will get me acquainted with their childrens personalities. You will be able to find out little quirks like if they are shy, love exploring, or have a favorite joke. This is invaluable for your session. Being able to connect with a child at your photo shoot takes a lot of strain from the parents And you. This will make for a fun experience and lovely photos to remember it by.
Hopefully this guide has given you a few pointers in how to build your own questionnaire to connect with your clients.
Don’t have time to build your own questionnaire? Don’t worry!! You can Access my Full Questionnaires, complete with all the juicy questions, inspiration, and tips.
How to Send Your Questionnaire
You can send your questionnaire on whichever platform you typically talk to your clients on. Whether that be by email, on facebook, or with a complete software app like HoneyBook.
I use HoneyBook for my full client workflow and it works splendidly! There is a template area (which actually inspired my use of a questionnaire to begin with) for pricing, brochures, questionnaires and more.
It keeps your questionnaire updated and sends you notifications as soon as your client fills in answers or changes information. There is a note section right on the main screen with all your session info so you can keep track of important bits of info like location and what other info you need to get.
HoneyBook is a complete game changer for photographers. It cuts out an incredible amount of hassle and headache. HoneyBook provides you with all the steps for a complete workflow along with contracts, payment center, book keeping, automated messaging and notifications and so much more!
If you want to try HoneyBook sign up here for a Free Trial! Once you love it and see you can’t live without you will be eligible for HALF OFF your first year by clicking the link above!! See HoneyBook is Awesome Already!!
And Don’t Forget to grab My Couple Questionnaire and Family Questionnaire Template to go with your new workflow!