The product photography questionnaire is an important tool for product photographers to use when they are looking to work with potential clients. These questions give the photographer a better understanding of what each client wants and needs in terms of creating content that moves the needle in selling their products.
Every product photography questionnaire should ask these questions:
- What is your target audience for this product?
- What do they want to know about your product?
- Why should I buy this product over other similar products on the market?
- What are the benefits of using this product?
- Do you have a specific style or tone that needs to be conveyed in your photos?
- What will the content be used for?
- How will you know if this is a successful project?
With these questions, a photographer can get a better idea of what differentiates each product from the others on their market and how to best position them in an aesthetic that will appeal to consumers.
Read on to explore these questions in more detail, and learn how to create an effective questionnaire!
The Purpose Of Your Questionnaire
For many new product photographers, it’s not always clear why they need to be making questionnaires. They tend to come from the consumer world where everything comes in nice little packages, and they don’t realize that creating commercial content is not one size fits all.
High paying clients with huge marketing budgets aren’t going to “order a #10” from a product photographer like they are standing in line at a fast food joint. Cheap consumers do that.
Instead, brands with large budgets who find it important to have consistent imagery look for someone who can take the time to understand their product, and create a custom solution for them.
This is why using a questionnaire is so important!
The purpose of your questionnaire should be to gain an understanding of your clients brand and what their expectations are so you can give an accurate quote, and determine whether or not you can actually deliver on their expectations or vision.
The worst thing you can do is send someone an email asking them how many pictures they’d like with no context as to what or where they’re going to be used, and just come up with something.
It makes a professional effort to gather as much information as possible, even in personal areas such as budget and inspiration. The budget will determine the simplicity or intricacy of your photos, so this knowledge is also valuable.
The following prerequisites for a product photography interview are on this form:
- You should have an understanding of how many final images you will be delivering.
- There should be a section for the client to convey the characteristics of their target audience, such as age, sex, or profession.
- Inquire about the audience’s perceptions before viewing your images. Determine if you are attempting to modify or reinforce pre-existing branding expectations.
- Determine what action your client would want the audience to do after seeing these photographs.
- Discover how your images will be used. Will it appear on the company’s webpage, social media, or at an event?
- You should get an idea of the estimated budget.
With this information, you can tailor your services to meet your customer’s needs.
How To Use The Data Gathered From A Questionnaire
Once you get the basic information from your potential client, it’s time to dig deeper.
The data that you receive from these questions will help you not only come up with a quote, but also determine the kind of visuals that are necessary to portray their brand in an effective way.
Additionally, the data will reveal to you:
- The types of clients you are attracting.
- How well your marketing is working.
- What kind of budget the average client has.
- What kind of visuals your clients are interested in.
- How many models need to be hired.
- What locations/permits you need to book.
- How many props you need to buy.
7 Questions That Should Be On Your Questionnaire
Now that you know what kind of information you need to gather, here are the most important questions that should be included in your questionnaire.
You should ask questions about the product itself, how their brand is different from other products on the market, and what they want to do with these images once they are finished being produced so that there are no misunderstandings or surprises down the road!
Let’s take a closer look.
What is your target audience for this product (e.g., women aged 18-25, men aged 45-65)?
One important question to ask your potential client is what their target audience for the product. This gives you a better idea of who will be viewing and using the photos, so that you can provide them with high quality images that truly represent their brand or business.
If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic with your product photography, then the visuals should reflect that. Similarly, if you’re reaching an older market or business professional community, then you want imagery that conveys professionalism and sophistication instead of fun and youthful energy.
Knowing your audience will help you create images that match their expectations.
Women aged 18-25 are going to respond very differently to visuals that are meant for older men 45-65. Therefore, it’s important to get this information so you can cater your work accordingly!
What do they want to know about your product?
Another important question to ask your potential client is what they want the photos to tell their audience about their product.
For example, is it a high-end luxury item? Do they need images that will show off its size and shape in an appealing way? Is it a functional item?
If they need high-quality lifestyle or product shots for their website and social media, then these are going to be very different than product images that show off its size and shape in an appealing way.
Your potential client would know best what their customers are looking for in their products, and this will help you create visuals that fit those expectations.
Why should I buy this product over other similar products on the market?
A key question you should ask your potential client is why their product stands out from the rest on the market. This will help you know what type of photos they are looking to create, and whether or not these images line up with how they want their customers to perceive their brand or business.
Your client may have spent extra time and money into researching and developing a certain aspect of their product, and they will want to show off all of the features that make it different from other products on the market.
On the flip side, if there isn’t anything particularly unique or special about their product compared to similar items out there, then you may need to brainstorm ways in which your images can help them stand apart.
What are the benefits of using this product?
Asking your potential client about the benefits of using their product is another way to learn about what they want from their photos.
For example, do they need images that show off the product’s ease-of-use? Do they need lifestyle shots to promote a holistic approach of wellness and health?
If this information isn’t easily found on their website, then it is important for them to share that with you so that you can create images that truly represent their brand or business in a positive way.
Do you have a specific style or tone that needs to be conveyed in your photos?
One of the most difficult things for clients to explain to creators is how to capture the tone and style of their brand or business.
They may have a great website that showcases what they stand for, but it’s not always easy to get across all of these qualities in photos.
Asking your potential client for examples will help you understand their style and tone so that you can create the best visuals for their needs. Whatever the customer includes in this part provides insight into the feelings you should want to elicit with your photographs.
There’s nothing worse than your customer not knowing what they want and telling you that they will “know it when they see it.” That’s a non-answer, and it serves only to waste your time with endless revisions and changes.
Instead, insist on getting to know what they like and why they like it. See if you can identify certain emotions they are trying to communicate to you.
According to a survey conducted by OkDork, the most often triggered emotions in social media material include the following:
If your client does not have any specific emotion in mind, you can aim for one of those mentioned above.
What will the content be used for?
One of the most important questions you should ask your potential client is what your images are going to be used for.
Is the product going on a website? Will there be print material or social media posts that include these visuals? Which images are they going to be using for advertising?
This is important because they are using your intellectual property for their business and you will want to know how to construct your usage licenses so that you are compensated fairly.
Additionally, by knowing what they are going to be using your photos for in the future, you can ensure that your client is getting exactly what they need so that their business or brand fully reaches its audience.
How will you know if this is a successful project?
And last but not least, you should always ask your potential client how they will know if this project is successful. This helps you understand the expectations that are placed on you and allows both parties to set reasonable goals for success.
Not only will this help reduce time spent in revisions changing aspects of an image not important to their goals, but it will also help you determine what kind of value you are adding to their business or brand.
For some clients, a 20% increase in sales price is what they would consider a success, but for others, increased social media reach or increased brand recognition is what they are aiming for.
If there isn’t a satisfactory answer to this question, then you may find yourself blamed for results outside of your control if things don’t go their way.
Product photography can be a complicated industry to work in, and it is even more difficult for clients who have never hired a product photographer before.
By asking the right questions during your questionnaire phase, you can ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding expectations and goals so that everyone involved can be satisfied with what they receive from this project.
You want to make sure that every project is a win for both parties involved and by taking the time to learn what each client needs before jumping into production can do just that!