Getting creative with questionnaires.

Let’s talk questionnaires. We know that sharing a questionnaire (or two… or three) with your clients along the way can greatly impact their overall experience with you. Knowing as much as possible about them, their families, their insecurities, and what they’re ultimately hoping for in their photography session will help you get the most out of your time with them, from start to finish. Iris Works will help you deliver the questions and collect the answers, but why not get creative?


Why Use Questionnaires?


Let’s start with a clear understanding of why pre-photoshoot questionnaires work. For starters, capturing this insightful info from your client base helps them trust you, as many want to inspire you to produce your best work. Questionnaires have a great impact on those who’ve signed up for your services during a tradeshow or from a previous client of yours. Couples that have purchased intimate sessions are also ideal candidates because they might need a little help showcasing their true self during a shoot.


Pre-photoshoot Questionnaires work best when they’re designed to establish trust. You can present the questions you have as simple and even fun to answer. In reality, you’re trying to capture specific interests or styles your client gravitates towards. This will help you make them feel comfortable and relaxed during the photoshoot as well as ensuring their vision for the shoot is met.


The Family Photo Shoot Questionnaire


Before a shoot, there are key data points to get from clients. We need to know the basics. A family session, for example, will be a win if you know things like the ages of the kids, what kinds of things they like and what their family dynamic is. But why not take it a step further by finding out:


Question: What kind of bribe are the parents willing to pony up for after the session? Knowing their motivated by ice cream or the dollar section at Target can give you tons of leverage with the kids. Just be sure to pose your question in a subtle way that leaves no option but to open up about their family.

Question: What kind of “silly” words are you allowed to say? Sometimes talking to 4-year-old boys about smelly farts or stinky butts will guarantee a laugh… that’s good to know, right? Find out what type of connection these parents have, but don’t lead them to shame or guilt.

Question: Are they going on a big trip soon? If you know the kids are going to Disney World for spring break, it can help to talk about something that you know is exciting to them. Be critical about the answer you receive, for you don’t want to generalize who the children are.


The Wedding Photo Shoot Questionnaire


In the wedding world, questionnaires are a great way to get insight into a couple’s story. Just come off like a confidant rather than a gossiper or therapist. Use the information you gather when it’s appropriate, but not as a substitute to a real, authentic relationship with both parties. By the time you’ve sent your questionnaire, you probably know the basics about things like date, time, and venue. But why not dig deeper in your questionnaire?


Question: What is their proposal story? Get your clients excited at this point and even nostalgic about their love. Couples love to tell it and are always very proud of it. Get the highlights in the questionnaire and it can set you up for some great follow-up questions during a sit-down.

Question: What is their favorite thing to do on date night? A question like this can draw a connection between you and the couple, but it can also give you a great idea about what kind of gift you could send them as a thank you.

Question: What would be the first 10 songs on their soundtrack? I like to know what kind of music a couple likes and I sometimes even listen to their jams as inspiration when I’m editing their session. See how they feel about certain genres as a way for them to brainstorm, getting to the heart of the music they love.


No matter whether you photograph families, weddings, newborns, or seniors, get creative with your questionnaires! Give your clients a reason to expect nothing but the best. Set the tone, and include any professional standard you look forward to them living up to. Knowing a lot of details about your clients will only set you up for success when delivering a custom experience… and that will lead to repeat business and tons of referrals.


What’s your favorite uncommon question for your clients? We’d love to hear!



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