1. Ask the photographer to show you some samples of his or her work – talk is cheap; the proof is in the photograph!
2. Do not underestimate the value of good references. Ask the photographer for contact details of previous clients – ask how the photographer handled the job, the level of professionalism, if he or she arrived at the shoot on time and whether the final product met the client’s expectations.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – for example, ask the photographer to explain certain pictures and the reasons for shooting it in a particular way, what settings were used and why. Real professionals should have a thorough knowledge of their equipment and be able to handle anything that happens during a shoot.
4. Check whether the photographer will edit your images or whether they’ll simply be cut onto a CD. You’re likely to pay more if unedited pictures need tweaking later.
5. Lastly, never merely settle for a photographer that offers the cheapest rates. It takes more than a fancy digital camera to be a great photographer! Rather look for an experienced professional that offers the best overall deal for your specific needs.