a tool to help professional photographers get to know their clients
Wedding photography is such a personal experience. I am confident all my photographer friends out there would agree with me on that! When you think about it, we get to bear witness to one of, if not THE, most important days of a couple’s lives. And what separates us from the other witnesses is that we act as storytellers of the event through what we see and how we see it. How cool is that?

Because of this great honor, I believe wholeheartedly in the process of getting to know my clients on a personal level. I LOVE the process of forming friendships with them! In my experience, getting to know my clients is not only key to their overall satisfaction but also helps make sure their day runs as smoothly as possible. Approaching my business with this goal in mind has blessed me personally over the years, as well as really helped me grow my business. When I invest in the client/photographer relationship, the value of my service is increased and I create a client experience I am proud of.

When I convey to my clients that I want to KNOW them as best I can, it helps build their confidence in my ability to best capture their story through my photography. I usually start getting to know that story, who they are as individuals AND as a couple at the initial client meeting. But to be honest, I don't have the world's best memory. As hard as I try, I can't always remember the specifics (details of their story, some of their favorite things, and which aspects of their wedding day are most important to them) when I reach the point in my workflow when those details would be really handy.

In order to help with this, I developed a tool to bring some structure to keeping track of these details and it has turned out to be INVALUABLE in systematizing the accomplishment of numerous goals in my client experience workflow. I call it my "Getting To Know You" questionnaire. It is a 4-page, fillable .pdf that I send to my clients right after their booking is confirmed. I send it attached to one of my email templates that lets them know this form will help us come up with fun ideas for their engagement shoot as well as help me write the blog post for their wedding. I ask them to return it to me ASAP. Most clients seem to have a lot of fun filling it out, and I think it helps them know that I am wanting to invest in a relationship with them and get to know who they truly are.
Melissa Jill's Getting to Know You Questionnaire
My Getting To Know You questionnaire asks questions about how they met, how they like to spend their time, and what some of their favorite things are. When I get it back from my clients, I like to read through it with a highlighter in hand, and highlight the things that will most hep me later in my workflow. Here are a few things for which I use the Getting To Know You questionnaire:

1. Planning the engagement shoot
As photographers, we all know that picking a setting for an engagement shoot can often be a challenge. I'm always looking for new engagement locations to add variety to my work. And more importantly, I want to find a fun location that is meaningful to my clients. The questionnaire so helpful for asking pointed questions that help me suggest ways to personalize the shoot and make it unique them.

2. Pre-wedding gift
This is a secret, so don't read this paragraph if you're a future client of mine! No spoilers! For everyone else ... I use the Getting To Know You questionnaire to help me discover a few of their favorite things. I include a question that asks about what types of candy and movies are their favorites so I can put together a more personalized date-night-kit -- a fun gift I like to send out to clients two months before their wedding.

3. Wedding day focus
This questionnaire helps me and my team thoughtfully connect to my clients on the day of the wedding. I like to personally look back over the questionnaire the morning of, which gives me inspiration and focus. Then, when my second shooter, assistant and I are in the car driving to the venue, my assistant pulls out the questionnaire and reads through the client's responses out loud. It helps so much for all of us to be reminded of their story and what is important to them before we begin documenting their day.

4. Blog content
When it comes time for me to sit down and write the blog post that showcases some of my favorite photos from their wedding day, I use the questionnaire to help me share a little bit of each couple's story by way of an intro. This really helps to personalize the content of each wedding post I share. You can click here to see some of my recent wedding blog posts for examples.

So, as you can see, I get A LOT of mileage out of this workflow tool. It is SUPER handy. I would strongly encourage you to create something like it to help you get to know your clients better, personalize their experience, and systematize your workflow. Better yet, if you want to save some time and purchase a customizable copy of mine for your own use you can do so here for only $49.99! I guarantee, you'll love the results of using this resource in your workflow!

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A handy tool to help photographers personalize their client experience
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