Not sure which questions to ask photography clients? Here’s a list that will help you exceed expectations and deliver a great session!
Details that will transform your session
Back in the 1990s, NBC began featuring a series of public service announcements titled “The More You Know” designed to educated school kids about big concepts. Exceeding client expectations is definitely a big concept as a photographer!
When it comes to photography and clients, the more you know, the smoother your session will proceed!
So: learn to ask the right questions!
We don’t have a cheesy jingle, but we do have some ideas on the information you need to glean from potential clients.
This article and these questions are designed to:
- Clarify expectations
- Get to know your clients
- Understand how clients connect with you
Asking a few simple questions in your initial consultation or client questionnaire helps set the tone for the session and the final product. It also helps nurture the relationship between you and the client!
Important: Curate your questions!
These questions are merely for inspiration. You don’t need to ask every single one of these! Instead, identify the key questions you need to be answered by your client. Then include those in your client consultation or in your questionnaire.
List #1: Questions that will set and clarify expectations
Make sure you understand your photography clients’ expectations and are prepared to meet them. Use these simple pre-session questions.
Think of these questions as a means to reiterate the basics of the session: who, what, where, etc.
- How can I reach you? (Ask for a mailing address and phone number—plus social media handles if that’s your thing!)
- Who will be participating in the session? Please share the ages of any kids!
- Why are you having photos taken right now?
- What are your priorities for the session?
- What type of images are you most drawn to? For example, do you prefer more posed shots with everyone smiling and looking at the camera? Candid images? Interactive images?
- Would you enjoy some images in black and white?
- Will you be bringing any pets or special props to your session?
- Where do you plan to display your images? What kind of finished product do you prefer (prints, metals, canvas, etc.)?
- How many outfits do you have picked out for your session?
- How do you prefer to be contacted? Via e-mail? Text?
- What are your must-have photos?
- What areas of your home will you decorate with these images?
- Do you have a photography location picked out?
- Do you have a Pinterest board you want to share for inspiration?
- Do you have a list of group photos you’d like to take?
List #2: Questions to help you get to know your clients
These questions help you build rapport with your clients—even before meeting them!
- Tell me about your family. What are some of their interests and hobbies?
- What do you want to remember about this season in your life?
- What is one fun fact about each member of your family?
- What activities do you enjoy together as a family?
- If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
- Please send me a recent photo of you and your family! I love to put faces with names straight away!
- Describe your personal style. What type of clothing do you love?
List #3: Connection questions to ask photography clients
- How did you hear about my photography studio?
- What social media platforms do you use the most?
- Why did you choose me as your photographer?
- Who should I thank for referring you to my photography business?
- May I put you on my mailing list to receive session advice or photography tips?
Be specific to your genre
Some genres require specific questions. An engagement questionnaire might include questions on how the couple fell in love, where they had their first date or activities they enjoy together.
A wedding photography questionnaire would include specific details about the wedding day such as colors, decoration, wedding party, or timeline of the day.
A personal branding questionnaire, on the other hand, will focus more on the potential client’s business. You’d want to inquire about their business, services, marketing color, or marketing goals.
Infuse your questions with brand personality
Your questionnaire doesn’t have to be a snooze fest. If your brand voice is fun and upbeat, make your questions fun and upbeat! If you have dry and sarcastic humor woven through your blog, use it in your questionnaire, too.
For example, you could ask this multi-choice question:
How excited is your family for their photo session?
- We love having our photo taken and are already picking out outfits.
- We are always a little awkward in front of the camera, but with guidance and patience, eventually, we loosen up and have a great time.
- Cleaning up elephant poo at the zoo sounds like a much better plan to most of my family.
The format is up to you
There aren’t any rules on what format to use for your questions. Use open-ended, multiple-choice, true or false, or fill-in-the-blank questions. Mix and match question types if it fits with your brand voice!
Ask your most important questions first to ensure they get answered!
How to create client questionnaires
If you use a client relationship management tool, start there! Most studio management platforms, including Táve, have a questionnaire function built in!
Other potential questionnaire options include:
- Google Forms
- A form hosted on your website
- Fillable PDFs created in Adobe and hosted on your website
- A beautiful questionnaire designed on Canva meant to be filled out by hand
Great questionnaires = great experience
Whether you are a wedding photographer or a pet photographer, knowing the right questions to ask photography clients helps you and your client. You’ll be better able to meet their expectations and they’ll feel like you really care about them as people! It’s a simple step to improve the client experience and build customer loyalty.
Written by TERESA MILNER | Photographs by CAPTURED GROUP PHOTOGRAPHY via Two Bright Lights