BLOG of AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY
This should be obvious - but consider what to expect if you choose an amateur. Is their skill/competence at a level that matches your expectations? Will they make you feel comfortable working with them? Do they have a positive attitude?
QUALITY OF WORK
Don't hire someone just because you've seen a few of their photos that look great. Consider what your needs are (brand? products? portraits?) and ask the photographer for samples of that type of work, then make your decision.
ORGANIZATION / ACCOUNTABILITY
This is a big one. Do they answer your emails? Do they show up on time? Do they show up at all? Do they clearly explain what it's like to work with them (when to expect communication, images, invoice, etc.)?
UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS
Photographers should be asking you lots of questions about the types of photos you need. Oh, they haven't? Walk away.
HEARING YOUR FEEDBACK
Something amateurs might not have learned yet is that their ego shouldn't be hurt by getting constructive client feedback. If they're not there yet, it might be an awkward conversation for both sides. Yikes.
I hope this is helpful as you look for your next photographer!