Picking a professional photographer can sometimes be a daunting task. The good news is, it doesn't always have to be! Summing up your decision can be simplified in three easy and practical points. I hope this proves to be a useful resource for you!
When hiring a professional for anything, no one wants to hire the guy/gal with the least experience right? Experience and quality have a symbiotic relationship; less is less and more is more. Your professional photographer should have a deep technical understanding of their camera gear and lighting situations. Ask them how long they have been shooting, what types of photography they do most often, etc. This will be the step that helps you identify what separates the pros from the hobbyists.
Style is going to be what relates the photographer and the client to one another. It is important to understand what style your photographer has and how flexible they are with different looks. Some photographers may stick to a "glamour" style of portraits while others tend to have a more natural "candid" style, and then some are able to bounce between styles. Take the time to view the photographer's portfolio and decide if you like their capture style. Remember, there is no sense in choosing someone that shoots a style you don't like.
Not everyone is comfortable talking about this subject, but it inevitably must be discussed. The sooner you become comfortable talking about your budget, the better the communication of your expectations will be. Prices are always going to vary between professional photographers, but the important thing to remember is to choose what you feel is the correct value for the quality you seek. Don't settle for less, but don't overpay just to guarantee decent photographs. Your budget is important to you, so find a professional that respects your price range as much as you.
No two shoots are exactly the same. Sometimes selecting a photographer will require a little more thought, but remembering these three tips will definitely save you some headaches. Remember, honest and open communication is the fast lane to a fun and successful photoshoot!