A - Form a first impression through recommendations of others, viewing the web, or a phone interview. You may also wish to check with the Better Business Bureau before proceeding. Check availability.
B - Check out about 3 photographers to find the one that best suits you. Remember to ask to see complete albums, so that you can get an idea of the whole day and not just one part. When you are looking at the photos, try to focus on the sharpness of the photos and the style behind the shots, not on what the people are wearing or the decorations. As you are interviewing the photographer, get a sense of his or her personality.
C - Check the references. Ask about things such as punctuality, politeness, and dress code as well as how well they liked the final product. Ask what they liked, if there were any problems, and if they would recommend this photographer.
D - Sign the contract. Make sure it includes the locations, the arrival and exit times of the photographer, the quantity of the proofs/thumbnails and the prints/albums. There should be specifics such as the 'for sure' photos, the size of the enlargements, the types of the photographs (colour/B&W, etc.) and the ownership of the film negatives or high resolution digital files. The final cost should include all hidden fees and the tax. Cost of overtime, should it become required, should also be listed, as well as the cost of additional photos, if they become desired. Make sure the amount of the deposit and when it is to be paid is clear, as well as how much is owing, and when.