Dream websites should attract dream clients! Here’s how cleverly crafted contact forms help seal the deal. (Five genius examples included!)
From fully-customized websites to bare-bones template, focused photographers are developing one-of-a-kind brands using smart design, clever copy, and a whole lot of scrappy persistence. Look through ten photography websites, and you’ll find breathtaking home pages, stunning portfolios, and beautiful blogs. What doesn’t get much love?
Most contact pages and forms showcase dreary white boxes floating in a sea of drab negative space, sporting equally uninspiring messaging.
Name. Email. Message.
Don’t make this mistake. Make your contact form count!
The Importance of a Photographer Contact Page
Contact pages and forms can sometimes be an afterthought when it comes to building out your site. In reality, not taking the time to create a good contact page can hurt your business!
Here are common reasons why photographers do not use a ‘Contact Us’ page:
- Your details are already on your “About Me” page: Don’t assume clients will read your About page. Put yourself in their shoes–if you were looking to reach out to someone, wouldn’t you look for a “contact” section?
- You have a newcomer’s mindset: Maybe you’re just starting out and not expecting inquiries to be rolling in quite yet. But if you keep thinking this way, you will lose out on business. Lean into confidence and create a strong contact page.
- You’re not looking for clients: Even if you’re not looking for more bookings, you should still be easily accessible. Always keep a line of communication open on your page for inquiries, requests, and collaborations.
- You’re focusing on aesthetics: Some photographers think that providing a separate contact page ruins the vibe or creativeness of a site. Want in on a little secret? Contact pages can actually look great and complement your branding, if you take the time to build the page out properly!
Anatomy of a Contact Page
Have you visited sites where you’re reading details and price lists of products you want to buy, only to find that the site shows zero info about how to get in touch with the business?
Frustrating, right? That’s how your potential clients will feel if there’s not a clear and simple way to contact you. While we recommend having a robust and visually attractive contact form, make sure you at least have your email address or phone number visible on a page so people know how to reach you.
Your contact page should include two main parts:
- A contact form that allows people to easily submit information to you
- Additional information about your business, like how and where to find you
Let’s start with the form:
Contact Forms Are Premium Real Estate
Your contact page is the next stop for potential clients who’ve fallen in love with your work and want to give you money!
Your contact page should motivate visitors to contact you. It should make them want to connect.
This is why you need the CaRV Rule, a game-changing approach to contact and connection that will finally make your contact page the marketing tool it should be.
CaRV: Care, Reveal, Value
Your brand should carve a you-shaped niche in the photography marketplace. That inherent color, voice, and energy should flow throughout your website, including your contact page – where visitors come to connect.
Put CaRV Into Practice
The CaRV rules:
- enable you to actively Care for your visitor
- Reveal your brand personality to your visitor
- make your visitor feel Valued
Pro Tip: Your Words Should Feel Natural
Throughout your site, use words that are natural to you. Write conversationally, then read what you’ve written out loud. If it sounds awkward, rewrite until it flows naturally off your tongue. That’s when you know you’re communicating in an authentic, sustainable voice.
“Ca” = Care
Care content enables you to actively provide quality care for your visitor. The answers to Care questions tell you what your visitor needs from you.
Details about wedding photography packages? Pricing for a newborn portrait? Location options for an engagement session?
Ask the questions that will help you help them.
Don’t leave key details to chance. Be proactive. Show that you Care about your visitor’s needs, and ask!
Jules Photography gets the details she needs in a colorful space that flows seamlessly into the rest of her site’s design. Her contact form is energetic and fun, adding interest to even the most basic questions.
She screens for clients who understand her style and approach with one unexpected question:
“What is your favorite TV show EVER?”
“Recently, a bride answered, ‘Dr. Who!’ I was like, WE’RE KINDRED SPIRITS! Then I [also] learned she’d recently gone skydiving, and I knew we were meant to be. Weird questions can tell you a lot about someone!”
– Julie Vansant
Because Julie’s ideal clientele celebrates in eccentric ways, it’s important to her to understand what makes them unique from the moment they contact her. Their answers guide her in providing the best Care possible – from customizing coverage, to creating client gifts, to cultivating authentic relationships.
“R” = Reveal
Design team Braizen understands that Care is more than sentimentality. They invite visitors into their world in a cheeky, daring fashion. You’ll either connect with Braizen’s sarcastic humor – or you won’t. Either way, everyone will know if it’s a good match once the contact form is complete.
In boldly looking for uncommon ways to Care for potential clients, Braizen Reveals their hilarious brand-personality, and offers visitors a quirky connection experience.
The way a visitor completes Braizen’s contact form also Reveals a lot about the visitor – their sense of humor, their tolerance for sarcasm, or their desire to “just get the job done” and bypass pesky get-to-know-you chats.
Self-proclaimed “nerdtographer” Carrie Swails’s contact page Reveals her personality so completely, like-minded visitors won’t even consider hiring anyone else once they’ve reached Carrie’s contact page! Her brand-personality explodes off the screen, and visitors fall head-over-feet upon arrival.
This mad-lib, choose-your-own-adventure style of contact forms works brilliantly to communicate brand-personality and guide visitors through a story-experience.
Ash, from The Middle Finger Project, chooses the same approach, inviting visitors to join her brash, irreverent banter. The Middle Finger Project’s polarizing brand-personality thrives precisely because it isn’t trying to be everything to everyone.
If you’re worried that your personality may be too big for some people – or too silly, too sappy, too sarcastic, or too sensational – you’re right. It will be. That’s the point.
You can’t be friends with everyone; you can’t be everyone’s photographer, and not everyone can be your client. Embrace the opportunity to Reveal yourself clearly and attract your ideal client.
V Is for “Value”
Value questions are crafted to make your visitor feel seen, heard, and valued. When a client feels Valued, they sense no obligation on your part. They know you are genuinely interested in who they are and what they need.
Actor Erika Napoletano gathers information in a simple, creative way, including plenty of space for her visitors to deliver a personal message. Filling out her contact page feels like an interaction with Erika herself!
Erika also understands the appeal of a friendly face. Visitors like to know who they’re contacting. If you look like someone they’d like to work with, they’re much more likely to reach out to you.
If you have a great photograph of yourself, highlight it on your contact page. And if you don’t have any share-worthy photographs of yourself, remedy that ASAP. You’re a photographer, for crying out loud!
Pro Tip: Know What Your Clients Like
If your clients love bright, happy photos, don’t post a somber, artsy portrait of yourself. If you’re a fine artist making moody, epic portraits, a photograph of you should fit that theme. Make your personal portrait is as on-brand as the rest of your website’s visuals.
Additional Information to Include on a Contact Page
In addition to your form, here are other items you should consider including on a contact page:
Whether it’s you or somebody else on your team, make it personable! Let leads and customers know who they are reaching out to when they fill out a form on your contact page.
Creating a business email address is a must–it’s the most professional way of communicating with people. Using personal email creates confusion for you and your prospective clients, causing you to miss inquiries or bookings. Make sure your preferred email address is visible on the page, even if there is also a form on your site to fill out. This helps people know that their message is actually going somewhere!
Even if you have phone-phobia, a call is often more effective for closing deals and quickly answering questions.
Another route you can consider is giving people the option to text you. Don’t be afraid to make your phone number readily available to people who are interested in booking your photography services!
Location or Studio Address
A photography contact page should include details about your location. Remember, some clients look for location-specific photographers, which is a crucial deciding factor for some people. If you are open to destination shoots and are willing to travel, make this known on the contact page too!
Social Media Links
Make it simple for people to follow you on social platforms! Having a website is crucial, but social media allows leads and customers to get a glimpse into your everyday life and review your recent work.
Including your physical address on your contact page is smart, but helping clients pinpoint how to find you creates a smoother experience for them. Also, a map helps clients estimate travel time if they’re coming into your studio for a photo shoot. Bonus, it keeps everyone on schedule and ensures nobody is driving around in circles!
The simplest way to add a map is by embedding an actual Google map. If you want to get more detailed, you can create a simple image showing your exact position on the map.
Additionally, go the extra mile and share helpful information like landmarks to look for, or specific turn-by-turn directions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you constantly get bombarded by messages about the same questions? You can add an FAQ section to the bottom of your contact page. FAQs help set expectations about your rates, packages, or what to expect during a photography shoot.
Implementing and Testing a Contact Form
Remember that the primary purpose of a contact page is for you to be contacted. While some clients appreciate lengthy form fields, it’s always smart to keep the content straightforward. Ask for the essentials, but don’t overwhelm your prospects with too much information.
Test your form on the page. And then test it again. Then ask friends to test form fields, links, and verbiage.
Think Through the Website Navigation
As a general rule of thumb, reduce the number of clicks from your homepage to your contact page. Remember, make it simple for people to reach out and book you! If you want more business, make it easy for prospective customers to touch base with you.
Make it Responsive
Responsive simply means that the design responds to the user’s environment based on the platform, screen size, and orientation.
Even if you’re using a laptop or desktop when working, your clients may prefer phones or tablets. In fact, they probably do! Ensure that the layout for your contact page and form adjusts seamlessly on various mobile devices and screen resolutions.
If Websites Are the Main Course, Contact Pages Are Dessert
Imagine you’ve just enjoyed a multi-course dinner at an incredible restaurant. You were served all your favorite foods, fresh and flavorful and beautifully plated. The meal will be expensive, but you don’t care. It’s been worth every penny!
You eagerly order dessert, ready to wrap up this occasion with one final course. The waiter emerges from the kitchen, approaches the table, and presents…
…a plate of stale store-bought cookies.
This is the letdown your potential clients experience when they devour your thoughtfully-crafted website and wonderfully-made photographs, only to end on a flavorless contact page.
Speak directly to your target market with every word and every photograph on every page. Care for, Reveal to, and Value your visitors with inspiration from some of the coolest contact pages ever made.