Buyer Beware!

Every photographer has a different style and approach to photography. Have an idea of what you want before you reach out to hire a photographer. Do you like images that are natural? Do you like images with a lot of post processing effects? Do you like images that are "classic" or have a black and white approach? Most photographers can make all this happen for you, some are just better than others.
Start by looking around the site. Is it fresh? Current? Clean? How is the portfolio or sample images? Are there enough to look at to form an opinion of their work? Do they have a gallery where images are for sale? Look in there! If they are all locked up, think why? Does every client require privacy and a password? Any photographer can take 100 images and get a couple of good ones to highlight on their site. More importantly is their overall quality. If you question it, think twice or ask to see more.
Do you have other friends with pets that have done pictures? Were they happy with their photographer and did they get the quality of images they were hoping for? Word of mouth is the best form of advertising! It's just like when looking for a doctor, should you choose the biggest ad in the yellow pages or do you trust the word of another!
Are there hidden costs? If you pay for an event photographer, what are the extras? Travel, lodging, additional fee's for downloads or longer viewing of events. Always ask what to expect. Downloads, prints, CDs, Flash Drives, find out what those costs are in advance.

Choose a Specialist!

Would you want a wedding photographer taking photos of your agility dogs? Probably not! Each area of photography comes with learning curves and the ability to capture the shots you are looking for. A dog photographer might be able to capture your wedding, but not with the same professionalism as a wedding photographer.
How many times have people missed out on getting good quality images because they let their friend with a new camera do the job? More often these days with the affordability of cameras. Photography is a skill, just because you have a computer, it doesn't make you a programmer. Remember, you get what you pay for!
A mentor once told me, "A professional photographer only lets their clients see their best work, an amateur shows them everything." Why would you want to scroll through hundreds of bad pictures just to find one good one? Putting up every image you take is NOT the sign of a good photographer. We are not all perfect and everything we shoot is not gold. A professional knows the difference and takes the responsibility of his work seriously.
What do you mean "more"? I am obsessed with an easy to navigate, easy to find site. This is one of the reasons I keep my photo galleries streamlined. My event images for sale noramlly come down in 90 days. I am not running out of space or getting too full to show them all, I just feel like I don't need to keep 300 galleries up for years and years! That is major photo overload! Everyone has a different approach to this, just make sure you don't have to go searching for something that should be easy to find.
Go Dog Photo Show AdsYour best image starts with a great picture. Photoshop is a tool that should be used to tweak and perfect something, not overdue it. Unless you are looking for an "artsy" look, beware of a photographer who uses the blanket statement "I'll fix it in photoshop". Leash removal, surrounding items (garbage cans, etc) that is fairly common. Bad lighting, unprepared setting, not as normal! It has become a practice to highlight eyes. People are drawn to eyes. But do you want your dog to have "Alien Eyes"? If the color of the eyes looks way too bright, the sharpening of the eyes and/or surrounding area too sharp, you get "Alien Eyes".
Everyone thinks they are an artist these days. Beware of over blown, photoshopped images! Unless that is a style you want, photoshop should be used with a "light" hand. Slight touching up to improve, but not change the image. Disguss what YOU as the client want to see. If you want your dogs to look artsy and over saturated or over sharpened, these can be done, when done correctly, to look very good. BUT, beware of the photographer who uses photoshop like it is an extension of the camera! If you want your dog to look great, but look like your dog, make sure you are heard! This goes back to checking out a photographers gallery - if everything looks over cooked, let them know if you do or don't want that. You are the client, your choices need to be known.