There are many good photographers available who are true artists. But remember, like in the field of law. there are a number of photographic fields. You would not hire a real estate attorney to defend you in criminal court. The same is true in photography. Some photographers are best at working with children and babies. Others enjoy product photography the most. The list goes on. It would be unrealistic to expect someone who loves primarily working with babies to be equally good at working with executives. And visa versa.
It is ideal to visit the studio and see work the photographer has actually done. Tour the studio and interview the photographer. What is your impression of the studio and the samples? What will the photographer be like to work with? An extra amount of research can pay off in the long run.
What is his speciality? Ask what firms he already does work for. Can you get references? See examples. However, remember that most photographers only show their greatest photos (sometimes models) on their web site or wall. What does their average subject look like? Ask if you can see the photographer’s file of his work on his computer of the type of work you need. This will give you a true idea of what he does. He should have no problem letting you see. I have a site that you can go to called “Pittsburgh Professionals on the Move”. These are customers who have been hired or promoted and are not chosen because the are model material. It also lists the firms that they work for to see some of the companies I do work for.