Professional photographers are much in demand and becoming more so as time goes on, whether people are planning a graduation, a wedding, a child's birthday party or any other kind of special occasion.

To take advantage of this growing market, many photographers have opened new shops in just the last few years, hoping to attract their share of new customers. With many new people coming into the business, however, it does raise the question of how to choose the exact photographer with the characteristics that will meet your needs.

Forming a special relationship with a photographer will go a long way toward getting the kind of service you expect and the photos you are hoping for. The more a photographer gets to know you, the better your photos will be, as he or she will be able to showcase your personality and your typical characteristics.

Ask friends, relatives and co-workers about photographers they have used, especially if they show you photos of themselves that you like. After you have decided on a photographer, have a consultation with him or her before scheduling an actual photography date.

Have your suggestions and questions ready before meeting, and be sure you explain exactly what you are looking for in the finished photos.

Try to meet with two or three photographers before making your final decision. Ask what packages are offered, look at sample packages and make sure you understand the sizes of the photos and exactly how many of each you will receive. In order to get the number and sizes you want, ask if there are different plans to choose from.

Ask how many different poses will be available, and how long the photographer will spend with you or whoever you want photographed. For instance, does the studio overbook, or will he or she take time to get a smile from your baby or little children, or give you a little time to redirect a crying child? This can be very important so that your sitting will not be wasted, or you are disappointed after dressing the little ones and getting to the studio.

Try to determine how many customers the photographer has at present, or how many are scheduled in one day or evening, and how important it is to him or her to stay on time.

You do not want to feel dissatisfied by having to be rushed through your sitting. A good photographer should leave lead time in between their appointments for unexpected delays so you are not cheated out of the time for which you are paying.

Do a bit of research before you meet with a photographer so that you know what the most recent techniques and equipment are and ask about them during your initial consultation. If a photographer is up-to-date, he or she will be glad to explain the procedures and what will be involved.

A good professional photographer will be able to bring out the best in the subject and capture the moment to preserve it forever in your photos. You will be offered several different options concerning poses, prints, sizes, backgrounds and other elements that will affect your decision in choosing the right photographer for your needs.

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