7 Tips To Create Commercial Photography Questionnaires | Commercial Photography

It’s clear that from one season to the next industry changes come fast for commercial clients. Whether its new staff, fresh products or expanded services, a business should reflect those changes in their advertising. For business owners who understand the benefits of keeping up, it can be a lot of work. Hiring a photographer who meets their needs should be the easy part. Be on the same page. Use these 7 tips to create effective commercial photography questionnaires for every job.


From creation to delivery, the only true cost to develop a questionnaire is time. Get help with your survey through free online tools such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. In addition, if you work with a CRM system or own a website, they may offer personalized templates for questionnaires.

ground squirrel, thoughtful, photography


Email is your quickest friend. That is why we send questionnaires out electronically. Not only will the client receive it instantaneously, they will have ample time to complete it. If your questions are clear and concise, the client can fill it out on-line and return it electronically in good time.

Pro Tips!

➤ Size

The longer your questionnaire is, the less thorough your client may be when completing it. To help clients give accurate answers:

  • use variety to keep interest: multiple choice, yes/no, short answer
  • take a look through this: Example
  • keep questions short and focused
  • eliminate pointless questions


➤ Aesthetics

You want your clients to trust you. To do that, they need to perceive that you are a professional, and the questions you are asking are credible. Often, credibility will come from aesthetics. Present your clients with a professional form. Incorporate your branding to personalize your clients experience. 


Once a client fills out a questionnaire, their business requirements are documented. Both parties will benefit from the summary, as there is less room for error. With the client’s details outlined, the photographer should use that outline to help pitch and price the project. 

Focused Clientele

  • With focused clients: a questionnaire can help you get to know their brand, understand their goals, and plan sessions. 
  • Clients who are still defining what they need: your questions can present them with new ideas for their products/services. For example, addressing topics such as usage, may open their eyes to what they should expect from working with you.
  • If a client is not serious: the effort of filling out a questionnaire won’t hold the same value as the businesses who are genuinely looking for a photographer.

* Know that clients may prefer to talk through the answers. Send a subsequent email that provides a contact number and other ways that you can help them go over their information.

Pro Tips!

➤ Flow

It’s logical to keep questions that relate to the same subject together. When listing your questions by subject, place the easiest to answer first, and leave the more complex ones until last.

Pro Tips!

➤ Target

Questions should adhere to one aim at a time. All inquiries on your commercial photography questionnaires should provide you with the tools you need to access the job.

Guided Discussions

Clients should have a good understanding of how you can make their photoshoot successful. Guide them with questions about timelines, product, usage, budget and brand. These subjects will lead clients through your process and expectations.

This Example addresses:

  • Greeting
  • How you heard
  • Desired date of photography
  • Personal contact
  • Company contact
  • Company details


Questionnaires draw out sensitive information, so be thoughtful with what you inquire. Make it friendly. For instance, find out about them, and their business. Ask what they take in their coffee, and have one ready for them when you meet. Understanding your client and their business, before your in-person consultation, will jump start everyone’s comfort level.

Shorter Meeting Times

Not unlike a job interview, a consultation should be researched and prepared for. However, you have done much of the leg work through your commercial photography questionnaires. Now comes the fun stuff. Use your in-person time to produce your ideas, iron out the details and walk your client through the steps to reach their marketing goals.

Pro Tips!

➤ Photography Jargon 

There are certain amounts of tech speak that are necessary. However, the level of our clients’ knowledge in photography vocabulary can vary. So keep the jargon down to a minimum. When you must use it, keep your questions simple and clear.