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Online Booking

Learn how to create an online booking form and have clients automatically book you based on your calendar availability.

Jan Santos avatar
Written by Jan Santos
Updated over a week ago

This is perfect for photographers whose sessions are shorter in nature, for example, family portraits, pets, maternity, newborn, mini sessions, etc.

Once set up, you can share the booking form URL via email or your social media platforms, or link it to your website's "Book now" button.

Learn how Studio Ninja's Online Booking works by watching this 8-minute video.

Settings > Online Booking

Use this page to add, edit, duplicate, and delete your online booking form.

Studio Ninja online booking page

Creating a New Online Booking Form

Go to Settings > Online Booking > Add New Form.

There are four easy steps you have to complete when setting up your online booking form:

  1. Sessions

    This is where you can set the Online Booking Form Name (e.g. Family Portrait Sessions) and add sessions for your clients to choose from.

    Click the "Add Session" button and select a package to pre-fill the name, description, images, prices, etc. OR create your own by typing in the input boxes and uploading beautiful images to showcase your work.

    After adding the package/session details, work your way through and set the:

    • Duration - to let your clients know how long the session goes for.

    • Location - where the session will take place.

    • Job Type - to assign a specific job type when the system creates a job automatically after a successful booking.

    • Workflow - to assign a specific workflow template so that you can start sending auto-emails, contracts, etc., when the job is booked.

    If you're happy with how the session looks, click "Save Session."

    Hit the "Add Session" button once more if you want to add more sessions.

    Note: You can add up to nine sessions per booking form.

  2. Availability

    This is where you can add a One-off or Recurring availability and Check for Conflicts across your calendars.

    You can also set up Buffer, Minimum Notice and Timeslots.

    Click the "Add Availability" button, which automatically adds Today's date to the date select box, or the " + " button in the calendar box to add the selected date, then choose if you'd like to add a One-off or a Recurring availability.

    Please note that each time slot can only be booked once at this stage. In the future, you will be able to take multiple bookings per time slot (on the roadmap).

    One-off availability is useful when you need to schedule a quick session with a potential client or on special occasions like Mother's Day, etc.

    Recurring availability is perfect for those of you who have a weekly or weekend routine e.g. 9am - 5pm. It allows you to set the days when your availability repeats, as well as choose when it will end. This way, you won't have to set up your available days individually.

    Hit the "Save Availability" button if you're happy with your selected calendar availability.

    Advanced Options

    Let's proceed to the Advanced Options. Click the "Edit" button to set up your Buffer, Minimum Notice, and Timeslots.

    Separately, you can check for conflicts across your Studio Ninja calendar and Google Calendar (once connected).

    Buffer - This is the amount of time that is unavailable, either before or after a scheduled session. For example, you may need a 15-minute buffer between booked sessions so you can wrap up the previous one and get ready for the next one.

    Note that buffers will eat into your availability on either side of the booked session. So if you have a booked session from 9am to 10am, and your buffer is 15 minutes before and after the session, and your timeslots are "60 minutes", that will make 8am and 10am unavailable for booking.

    Minimum Notice - This is the minimum amount of "notice time" between when your client books a session and when it will occur. "48 hours" of minimum notice means that there is at least two days of notice when you find out on Thursday morning that your Saturday morning has been booked.

    Timeslots - This allows you to set up the time intervals for your clients to choose from. For example, if you select the "60 Minutes" option, the available times on your calendar will be shown in 60-minute intervals (7 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM, etc.)

    Check for conflicts - If there are conflicting events on your Studio Ninja Calendar or Google Calendar (once connected), sessions will automatically appear as unavailable to your clients when they are using Online Booking.

    You can choose which events should be checked for conflict. On the SN Calendars, by default the system checks for any conflicting shoots or appointments across both Leads and Jobs.

    Note: You can untick the Leads checkbox so that sessions are shown as available even if you have unconfirmed bookings (Leads) on the same day.

    For Google Calendars, you can choose which specific calendar to check for conflicts. There is a maximum of three calendars that you can check, and this limit is there to prevent performance issues across the whole system, given how many photographers are actively using Studio Ninja!

  3. Client Info

    This is where you can add the questions (or fields) to collect information about the client, job, or anything related to the session, before the booking is confirmed.

    You can drag and drop the fields into any order you like to make single or double columns. Edit any field to bring up additional options corresponding to those fields. For example, you can change the label, add placeholder text or customise options for the Lead Source dropdown.


    • First Name, Email, and Phone are mandatory fields.

    • Client Fields and the Lead Source field can only be used ONCE.

    • Answers to the Single-line Message and Multi-line Message fields are added to the Lead/Job Notes section.

    Hot Tip: try to keep this form short and sweet (only the essential information) so as to make it as easy for your clients to book you as possible.

  4. Payment

    This is where you can enable online payment options to your clients (set up via either Stripe or PayPal) and set up the Thank You Text and Confirmation Email.

    Card Payments

    You must connect at least one payment method to turn on Card Payments. Click the "Go to Settings" button and connect either Stripe or PayPal to start accepting debit/credit card payments.


    • If the Card Payments option is turned OFF, all confirmed bookings will be created as new Leads along with an unpaid invoice. It's up to you to send the invoice manually to the client so as to get paid.

    • If the Card Payments option is turned ON, all confirmed bookings will be created as new Jobs in Studio Ninja. The assigned Workflow template will proceed to the Production stage, skipping all tasks in the Lead stage.

    Thank You Text & Confirmation Email

    We have pre-written the thank you and email message for you, but feel free to customise it any way you like to sound more on-brand for your business.

    Hot Tip: You can add your Bank details in the Thank You Text box if you prefer payments through bank transfer.


    • The "Session" variable for the confirmation email will only work on this page. Please do NOT use it in your workflow or email templates.

    • A PDF receipt is automatically attached to the confirmation email if you have Card Payments enabled.

Share your Online Booking Form

Click the "Get URL" button to copy or custom edit the URL and preview the live version of your Online Booking form.

Click the "Edit URL" button to customise the URL. You can add your business or campaign name, so that it's more on-brand. This is the URL that you will be sharing with your clients through your social media channels and emails, or you can directly link to it from your website to get booked.

To ensure that all URLs are unique, you'll see a warning message if the URL you entered already exists.

Note: You can change the URL name up to five times per booking form, and it must contain only alphabets, numbers or these characters "hyphen ( - ), dot ( . ), underscore ( _ ) and forward slash ( / )".

Hit "Save URL" if you're happy with it, and you're good to go! Yay!

You can now share your online booking form by clicking the "Copy URL" button. Insert the URL into your emails, or link it to a "Book Now" button on your website or the "Contact us" button on your Facebook business page.

When a potential client clicks the link in the email or the button on your page/website, they will be redirected to your Online Booking form to choose a session, choose a date & time, and pay for the session.

Here's how a "Book Now" button could work:

What's coming?

The current version of Online Booking is in Stage 1 of what will likely be a 3-stage process. Here are some of the features and improvements that we'll be releasing in Stages 2 and 3:

  • Booking appointments. Ability to have a client (or potential client) book an appointment automatically. Great for initial meetings, in-person sales meetings, etc.

  • Booking sessions for existing Leads/Jobs. Currently the online booking system creates a new Lead/Job. This feature will be great for leads that are already in the system wanting to book a shoot.

  • Payment schedules. Ability to add payment schedules to sessions. Great for larger packages; take a deposit now and the final balance later.

  • Multiple bookings per timeslot. Ability to set a maximum number of bookings per timeslot. Great for those who can shoot multiple sessions at the same time.

  • Add Contracts to the booking process. Ability to have your client sign a contract before completing the booking.

  • Products/Add-ons. Ability for your clients to add products or add-ons to the sessions so that you can upsell your packages.

Need Help?

If you need help with anything, we are here for you :-)

  • Message us in-app by clicking on the green chat icon on the bottom right-hand side, and one of our friendly staff will give you a hand. (Users accessing their account from the mobile app can click on Settings > Open Settings in web browser).

  • Book a training session, and Elle or Woody will help you through every step of the process to get you set up as quickly as possible. They can also answer any questions you may have and also make sure your account is running in the most efficient way.

  • Join our Ninja community and chat with all of our users in the private (members only) Facebook Group.

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