How online forms help a wedding photographer document love

The world is full of love stories just waiting to be discovered, and for almost seven years, Talia Jensen has been able to capture her fair share of them with her camera.

“Photography [was] my passion growing up, and turning it into my career has been a dream come true,” Jensen said in a 2017 interview with the High Five blog for Arizona-based girls clothier Alice + Ames.

Owning your own [photography] business is lots of hard work but getting to document couples on their best day and be a part of such happiness and emotion is worth all the hard work,” she said.

Talia Photography
Photo courtesy Talia Photography

Being in the right place at the right time is particularly important for Jensen, who lives “to capture natural light, beautiful landscapes, fleeting moments, and lasting love,” according to the biography on her website.

The Ogden, Utah-based photographer and mother of two relies on JotForm to create the wedding photography questionnaire that puts her in the right place at the right time.

These questionnaires touch on almost every detail of a wedding, such as names, dates, times, venue locations, email addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, family dynamics, possible venue restrictions, and traditions.

Jensen also uses JotForm for her wedding photography contracts, which outline the scope of her services, all associated costs, copyright information, disclosures, and any disclaimers.

A friend introduced Jensen to JotForm four or five years ago, when she needed a form building solution that could help her write contracts for clients.

“I signed up without doing much research, and since then, I’ve seen other companies that do similar things, but I haven’t felt like I needed to change since I’m happy with JotForm,” Jensen said.

wedding photography
Photo courtesy Talia Photography

Build customizable, professional forms

Before JotForm came into the picture, Jensen relied on paper forms to collect vital information from clients, including names, contact information, and signatures.

Back then, Jensen would type up her contracts, print them out, and mail them to clients. She would then wait for clients to return their completed forms to her through snail mail.

“It would take clients a long time to put a stamp on and place it in the mail, so this is a lot better,” she said.

JotForm allows you to build customized forms so that you can ask important questions, gather information, and add a personal touch to the final product without breaking a sweat.

Just place the questions you’d like to ask on your form using the drag-and-drop feature in JotForm’s Form Builder. You can even customize the questions and use the multiple-choice and single-choice form elements to give people a specific list of answers to select from.

The input table, star ratings, and scale rating form elements are particularly handy when you need a creative way to gather feedback.

Jensen, for her part, said the prewritten format of some form elements is convenient and saves her time.

“I could drag form fields, such as name, email, and phone number, instead of having to add each section and type in what I wanted,” Jensen said.

“It was very easy to customize my forms but didn’t require a lot of work from me to do it all by hand since the fields were premade,” she said.

Once you’ve built your form, the Form Designer tool allows you to put your personal touch on the final product. You can set the background color, add a business logo, change the font, and alter the line spacing, among other things.

Rather than building forms from scratch for each new client, Jensen often clones five or six standard contracts for family and wedding photo sessions. She will then make minor adjustments to a form on her desktop or JotForm’s mobile app by adding specific details for individual clients.

You, too, can create a form template that can be used over and over again to save time.

There are a number of ways to publish or share your form once you’ve built and customized it. You can, for instance, share a direct link to your form, embed a form on your website, publish your form on third-party platforms, or allow JotForm to send an email with a link to your form.

In most cases, Jensen will send clients an email or text message with a direct link to her forms.

wedding photography session
Photo courtesy Talia Photography

Collect payments seamlessly with your forms

After clients returned Jensen’s photography contract with their signatures, Jensen would send them a separate PayPal link to pay for her services.

Separate information and payment collection processes not only added extra steps to Jensen’s workflow but also extended the time it took to lock in a photo session.

JotForm simplifies this process. Integrations with more than 30 payment processors, including Square, Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.Net, allow you to collect payments and vital information when people fill out your online form.

JotForm’s new PayPal Invoicing integration allows you to automatically send a PayPal invoice once clients fill out your form. The invoice pops up on their screen as soon as they submit their information, and a copy is sent to their email address. Since their submitted form information populates the PayPal invoice, you can spend less time doing manual data entry, sending multiple emails, or sharing links to several platforms.

You could, for instance, use the PayPal Invoicing integration to sell photo session packages in a model release form or photo session agreement and send customers a PayPal invoice automatically once their information is submitted.

In addition to PayPal Invoicing, JotForm also has integrations with PayPal Standard, PayPal Checkout, PayPal Pro, and PayPal Express.

The best part is that JotForm doesn’t charge you any fees on top of those charged by your preferred payment gateway.

JotForm users with free, bronze, and silver plans can receive up to 10, 100, or 1,000 payments each month, respectively. Users with gold plans, meanwhile, can receive an unlimited number of payments per month.

wedding photographer
Photo courtesy Talia Photography

Share or archive polished copies of forms

Once clients filled out Jensen’s photo session agreements, she would either archive a copy of the submission that was emailed to her or place forms for individual clients into an Archive folder in her JotForm account.

The problem, however, is that Jensen found it difficult to incorporate the legal language from her photo session agreements into the saved copies. Although the PDF copies that Jensen downloaded from JotForm included a client’s submitted answers, the documents did not include the legal text from her agreement.

That’s where JotForm PDF Editor can help.

This handy product allows you to turn individual form submissions into professional-looking PDF documents that you can either share with clients or archive for your own reference.

As soon as form responses start arriving in your inbox, just log into your JotForm account and select an individual submission that you’d like to turn into a PDF.

Much like JotForm’s Form Builder, you can use JotForm PDF Editor’s drag-and-drop feature to add form fields — with submitted responses — onto the PDF that you’d like to create.

You can then make edits, add notes, or change the text from submissions without worrying about altering the original version stored in your account.

You can even give your PDF a polished touch by adding a business logo, changing the background color, adjusting the line spacing, modifying the font, or changing the page orientation.

JotForm PDF Editor also provides you with a number of options to share your PDF. You can download your files, print them, share them with a private link, or send them in an email through JotForm.

After you build and share your PDF, you can repeat the process using the same form submission information without leaving JotForm PDF Editor.

That means you can create an elegant-looking PDF copy of a client’s submission, share it with them, and then create a simple, annotated copy for yourself without breaking a sweat.

The bottom line is that the PDF documents you create with form responses should be as unique as your business and vision.

wedding photography
Photo courtesy Talia Photography

Conclusion

Photographers can face a fair share of issues before a wedding, but getting paid or collecting enough information shouldn’t be among them.

JotForm takes the fuss out of collecting and sharing information so you can focus on capturing those picture-perfect moments that will last a lifetime.

Try JotForm today and see why more than 4.5 million people worldwide trust the easiest online form builder.

Darin is a content writer at JotForm. He is passionate about disrupting perceptions, solving problems, and helping people be more productive with the easiest online form builder. Outside of the office, he is a rush-hour straphanger, adventure seeker, coffee drinker, and frequent traveler. You can contact Darin through his contact form.

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