So I went to Gage sunday to do the consultation with the couple I was hired by for their wedding in May. We're doing the engagement photos Thursday, while doing their consulation, when we go to the topic of engagement photos, I started asking them questions about themselves. What are their hobby's, passions, what kind of music do they like, have they looked at other photographers to see what style's they like.....trying to get an idea of thier personalities. I want to capture THEM......She is a horse jockey, he is a cowboy. So by asking them those questions and finding that out, I obviously don't want to take them to some old warehouse and do a street, urban, edgy style to their engagement photos. I plan on using their barn they have as a backdrop, maybe get them with a few of his horses..etc.
But I was thinking last night, since I now have 2 other engagement shoots coming up, maybe I should make up a questionnaire for my clients? Something with basic questions like above that they could fill out at the consulation and will help me decide how I want to capture them.
Whaddya think? Any tips on what type of questions I could put on it?
use your imagination!
Keep it simple and keep the personal touch. Do not overbook, people hate this. People love it being personal -- also commends the bigger bucks. Many photographers even suggest to meet the clients in their homes -- this way they can see what the client can afford in additon to see life style. Naturally, this is not published by any photographer in the big buck category. Questionnaire shows a sign of non-professionalism -- except in an instance of type of photos wanted where you may have a selection list -- Bride with Mother, Groom with Father, Bride and groom with ... Bride with favorite ________, and so on. But personal things should be left personal. good luck
I think the questionnaire is a GREAT idea...but not for them to fill out. It's great for you to fill out in their presence. It will reflect your professionalism and attention to detail. It will show that you are organized and efficient. It will also keep you focused on your mission. It will give you an idea of the equipment you will need for the shoot.
Didn't Graphics12 post a great questionaire? I will see if I can find it.
Okay, here it is. Graphics posted a shot list instead of a questionnaire, but it seems it would be a good starting point.
I've thought about doing the same thing, making a questionnaire for engagement sessions. It has been over ten years now, I've not used one yet though.
I like things informal and very personal. I make mental notes or make some notations in their file as we converse and then make some suggestions, get her/his input and we settle on a location.
This year though, I'd like to try and steer clients back into the studio. It seems like every photographer in my area specializes in informal, outdoor photography. Frankly, they all look the same....right down to blown out skies.
That's just me and I'm admittedly an oddball.
My impression is that a questionnaire will never get them to "bond" with you on a personal level like that personal interview will. And it's that personal bond that will turn a client into REPEAT business and REFERRAL business.
Editing and cropping defined:
You know what to leave out, and less will often communicate more.
As clmonk mentions, I wouldn't go with a questionnaire for them to fill out but rather one for you to use to stay consistent. Plus it helps make sure you don't forget to ask something.
I agree with Landscaper that simply handing them the questionnaire makes it difficult to bond with your clients. Maybe give them the questionnaire before hand to give them something to think about but still do the one-on-one interview. With weddings and engagement shoots, it's important for your clients to relax around you. The one-on-one interview helps break the ice so your clients don't look so stiff in front of the camera.
I use a questionnaire with my High School Seniors, but I use it to interview them with. I ask about colors in their home, what their style is, what websites they regularly visit and what blogs they follow. I also ask about specfic shots they might like. HTH!