How To Identify a Professional Photographer
A true professional starts by envisioning the final image within the context of who will view the image and how it will be "printed"... as an image on a website, an illustration in a print advertisement, or an image in a deluxe coffee table book. The true professional is also an expert in digital editing techniques, transforming photos into great images.
Here are three easy ways to identify true professionals and "weed out" amateurs:
1) Listen carefully when you interview them to see if they ask intelligent questions about your business, about the intended audience and about the specific ways the photos will be used. If they don't ask intelligent questions about those things, keep looking.
2) Ask what application they use to edit. If they say "Photoshop," again... keep looking.
3) Ask for before and after samples of their editing to see if they're able to significantly enhance their photos. If the improvements are only minor, again... keep looking.