Finding A Good Photographer
No disrespect intended to people who advertise themselves as photographers, but before you hire one do your research.
This is the way you are more likely to get your monies worth.
Ask to see their work. A photographer who does good work won't be offended, they'll take justifiable pride in showing you their work.
If they don't or make excuses, consider taking your business elsewhere.
I cringe when people from small towns or communities say they have little choice in hiring a photographer in their area. I wonder if they will get what they pay for and will they be happy.
If you're not paying much, almost anyone with a camera may be your choice but if you are trying to preserve beautiful memories like a wedding or child birth, you may want to hire a professional and pay a little more.
I'm not confident that because a person is in the phone book as a photographer that they are worth hiring or paying a large amount of money to.
Get a few or many quotes to ensure you get a fair price, the going rate.
If you can get recommendations from satisfied customers, even better.
If the photographer has a "pay for what you are pleased with" clause, this is good.
Have a binding contract with the photographer, especially if they ask for all or some funds up front.
A lot of professional have websites that may help you get an idea of their work.
Some lesser beings "borrow" other photographers work to put on their websites or in their viewing books but they are attracting bad karma to themselves for this. In other words, that can hardly be stopped. It's hard to police this.
Many of us tend to copyright or watermark our photos prior to putting them out in cyer-space to discourage theft.
Buyer beware, take your time when shopping for a photographer, use the wisdom you were born with, if your gut feeling says go to someone else maybe you should consider that.
Last but not least, negotiate your contract with the photographer but don't "low ball" to the point of insulting this photographic artist, be fair and you could be well pleased by the end result.