As a wedding photographer, your job is to capture every detail of the biggest day of your clients' lives. No pressure!
If you're anything like we are, you need a list to help you get through a massive, detail oriented project like a wedding. A wedding photography questionnaire helps you better understand what your clients are looking for while also giving you an easy-to-follow template for what the wedding day will look like.
We've made the process easy by walking you through the major elements of what to discuss with your clients as you all prepare for their ceremony and reception, and we've included a FREE wedding photography questionnaire for you at the end of the post. (So, keep scrolling!)
A well thought out wedding photography questionnaire can save a lot of communication issues and misunderstandings later on in your professional relationship with your clients, and we're all for anything that makes your job easier!
Bookmark this post for reference, and save our free PDF to give out to all of your brides and grooms. You can thank us later. :)
1) Have a clear understanding of their vision.
Working with wedding vendors is stress-free only when everyone is on the same page.
Make sure that you're on your clients' team by listening to their needs as well as telling them about yourself and your services.
You can go through preliminary questions at your first meeting to better understand what their dream wedding looks and feels like, but the wedding photography questionnaire is crucial to getting a full understanding of what they're craving.
2) Communicate to your clients what your style and approach are.
If you're a photographer with a photojournalist approach, you're not going to include many posed photos in your typical lineup. While many couples crave this spur-of-the-moment candid approach, others may really, really, really want a gallery that's heavier on the posed portraits of Aunt Mildred, Great-grandfather Tommy, and everyone else in their family.
Your initial meeting with your clients should clearly showcase your range and comfort zone of photography. Don't be afraid to say "No" if they're looking for something that's just not your style.
After all, you want to seek out the clients who hire you for your portfolio, not for some photographer who they saw on Pinterest! Highlight your specific style and make sure that your website reflects your talents appropriately.
3) Remind them that real life isn't like Pinterest weddings.
While Pinterest is an amazing place to find wedding inspiration (we're guilty of pouring over pictures, too!), it's often an unrealistic way to envision a wedding day.
This isn't to say that you don't take rock star photos--you do!--but the wedding photographs that many brides and grooms pin and re-pin are either from styled shoots or from weddings that had an absolutely enormous budget.
Many couples don't realize that the photos from styled shoots are so fantastic and inventive because the photographers have so much more time to plan and execute their shots than on a typical wedding day. These photos are from photographers totally in their creative zone without anything else to distract them.
As for the real weddings that are often featured on Pinterest for hundreds of repins, they're often coming from couples with a budget that far exceeds the average couple. While we're committed to showcasing real weddings from every budget and style in South Carolina, many wedding accounts are only featuring events with fire dancers, 20-piece bands, and diamond encrusted wedding favors.
Help guide your brides and grooms to the best of your portfolio and show them your best Pinterest worthy moments! They'll quickly realize that they absolutely can have incredible photography within their budget.
4) Set a deadline.
Your clients will be looking to you for guidance as they navigate the wedding planning process.
Don't say, "Oh, just get back to me when you can!" They will forget because they literally have a hundred different wedding related things going on at once.
Instead, tell them, "Please get this wedding information packet back to me by October 15th," and write it in your calendar.
About a week before your set deadline, send a gentle email or text reminder to your bride and groom that they need to be working on their wedding photography questionnaire.
Mostly likely, they'll have it to you before the deadline, but a few reminders never hurt!
In addition to the reminders actually helping you and your clients stay on track, they go a long way to showing your clients that you are a responsible, professional photographer who anticipates their needs.
After all, you are the keeper of their most precious memories, and that's not a job to take lightly!
5) Don't be afraid to get personal.
Okay, maybe not too personal, but understanding who your clients are as people (and not just as clients) goes a long way to understanding why they've made the decisions they've made in their wedding planning process.
As you'll see in the questionnaire PDF, we have prompts about the stuff you expect (particular poses, time of arrival, etc.), but we've also included prompts about the bride and groom themselves.
Sometimes, knowing that they have matching tattoos or love owls gives you some insight into some potentially amazing photographs: get a picture of their tattoos with their wedding rings in the foreground, or bring a cute owl prop to include in their day-of portraits.
It's details like those which will elevate your photography game to the next level, and will have all of your clients gushing to their friends about how amazing their photographer was!
6) Follow up.
After you've gotten the completed questionnaire back from your clients, spend 15-20 minutes reviewing their answers and making notes.
It's highly likely that you need additional clarification on their instructions or preferences, and you'll want to clear those up before the wedding day (when everything gets beyond hectic).
Set up one final photography meeting before your clients' wedding day to triple check their requests and see if anything has changed. Sometimes, the bride's mom insists on having additional portraits made after the ceremony, or the couple has chosen to do a first look after initially deciding not to.
Getting out ahead of these changes will make your life so much easier on the day of, and you'll be able to focus on what you do best: capture those gorgeous pictures!
7) Take a peek into their inspiration.
Ask your couples if they have a wedding inspo notebook or a Pinterest board you can follow. These are a fabulous way to get a quick visual on their style, taste, and budget, and you can help them narrow down the best poses and must-have shots quickly.
Are you ready to get started with YOUR next photography client?
We can't wait to help you!
To get your free 8-page PDF packed with questions, a timeline, and space for notes, sign up below.
If you have any issues retrieving your freebie, leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.