1. Compile a list of potential photographers to research. This can be done by referrals from friends, online searches, checking Nextdoor recommendations, looking at picture credits in publications, etc.
2. Visit websites. Experienced photographers who operate professionally will have a website (and not just a social media account such as facebook). The website will usually have information about the photographer, a portfolio, details about the client experience, and a pricing overview.
3. Review style. Each photographers has their own style, which can range from light and airy to dark and moody, formal posing to natural posing, studio locations to outdoor locations, etc.
4. Understand pricing before booking. Is it all-inclusive (which means that the session includes a certain number of digitals that are bundled together as one price) or are there separate fees for the session and products? Does the photographer offer digital photographs (jpgs)? Does the photographer offer framed artwork, canvases, albums or other products from professional labs? What are the prices for each option?
5. Find out if there is an agreement. This protects you. It should include details including the session date and time, location, amount of session time, payment information, what happens if a reschedule is needed, how and when you will receive proofs, etc.
6. Learn what happens after your session. Will the photographer meet with you in person to review your proofs and show you samples of items to purchase? Will you receive an online gallery to make your selections?
7. Talk to the photographer that you select before you book your session. Ask any questions that you have and share what is important to you. Ensure that you trust and like your photographer; a good connection is so important in the client experience.
I hope this list helps when you want to hire a professional photographer!