First, check out his/her web site. Does it look professional? If not, be careful. Do they look like a real business? Do they seem to have professional practices? You want to hire someone that is a good business person. You do not want to pay a deposit on prints only to find out they needed your money to pay for the prints from the last person's order. Be careful about searching based on price. Any photographer that under charges will not stay in business long. There are real world costs that exist in business and under charging will keep a photographer from being able to pay those bills. You need a photographer that will still be in business at least from the time between when you paid your deposit until after you received your prints! Don't get caught with a payment receipt but no prints. The business skills and the artistic skills of photography are very different skill sets, and it is common for photographers to find themselves rather challenged in the business area.
Second, review their gallery of sample photographs. Do they show a consistency with their quality of work, or do some of the images not seem to be as good as other images in their portfolio? Do the images look more like snapshots that anyone can take, or do they have a WOW factor? When you see the difference, you will immediately know it.
Third, every photographer has genres of photography in which they specialize. Not every photographer is a wedding photographer. Some only do location work and some only do studio work. At Ron Brewer Images, I specialize in Beauty Inspired Portraits for Women, Dance Artistry and Custom Sports Art portraits.
I invite you to check out my full website at www.RonBrewerImages.com when you are searching for an Arizona photographer in Surprise, Scottsdale or Phoenix. I have studio space available in both Surprise and Scottsdale. But I have clients from many of the mid cities, including Mesa, Gilbert, Avondale, and Tempe. The fact is, a number of my clients have driven up to three hours (one way) from Tucson for a portrait session. I would be honored to serve you.