Today I'm continuing my series for photographers in which I share tips for organizing and systematizing your workflow. And when I say "workflow," I don't mean it in the narrow sense of post-processing. I mean the entire customer experience and set-up of our businesses. If you're just joining us, click here to find a complete list of the posts in The Workflow Series and get caught up!

Today I'm talking about a handy tool I use to systematize the gathering of key information that I need in the final weeks before the wedding takes place, as well as the days shortly after. I call this tool my Final Details Questionnaire. It is a fillable 3-page .pdf that I send out to my clients one month before their wedding date. I send it using one of my handy email templates, and ask them to fill it out and return it to me as soon as possible.

This tool really helps me plan ahead and systematically solve a number of problems:

-The information supplied by the client on this form helps me to finalize their wedding day timeline. Sometimes I need to reply with follow-up questions after I receive their completed Final Details Questionnaire, but usually after following up once and hearing back from them, I have a finalized timeline in hand.

-I've run into issues at past weddings with catering managers at venues regarding the location of my assistant and our gear, as well as the slideshow I like to show at the reception. This tool allows me to ask my client their preferences on these two issues, so that I have them in hand at the reception and can better negotiate and communicate with the catering manager.

-I blog some of my favorite photos from each wedding very quickly after the event -- usually on Monday if the wedding was on Saturday. And I like to be able to give all of the vendors who worked on the event their due credit for their contributions. I don't have time to ask the bride for all of her vendors' contact information after the wedding before I blog, so I make sure to have all of this information in hand before the wedding. This vendor contact list also comes in handy for sending images to vendors, which is something else that we systematize into our workflow -- typically two weeks after the wedding.

So, as you can see, this one handy tool allows me to accomplish numerous goals and keep our workflow on track.

I would encourage you to think through which pieces of information that you ideally need to have in order to avoid having to bother the bride shortly after her wedding to keep your workflow moving, as well as what you need in order to make sure the wedding day runs smoothly. If there are problems you've run into in the past, like the ones I mentioned above with catering managers, think about how you could use this tool to help solve them. Then create a questionnaire that helps you gather this information. If you're interested in using mine as a starting point, you can purchase it here for $29.99.

I hope you've found this post helpful! If so, I would appreciate if you'd pass it on through Facebook or Twitter using the buttons below. To find out about more resources I offer photographers, click here!

Click here to read Part 15 of the series -- Caring for Your Gear
+ Comment +