You as the client should understand and have a discussion with the photographer regarding your expectations for the shoot. Are they any comparable images that you can show what you want to achieve? What is the timeline? Can the photographer handle the scope of the project? Is the project even doable within your budget?
Commercial photography is full of questions as no two jobs are the same and expectations vary based on the needs of the shoot, and the requirements of the client.
Usage of Images
What are the images being used for and how will they be used? In one case a client may need images for Instagram and in another case they may want to use the images in their next billboard. The photographer may want to shoot both of these jobs with different equipment. Namely a higher megapixel camera for the billboard since it will be blown up to mega size. Will the images be used locally, nationally, internationally? All of these effect the budget of the project and how the photographer will charge you for the shoot.
Editing / Retouching
Will the images need to be retouched? Most smaller clients aren’t even familiar with the term of retouching, whereas for larger clients retouching is the norm. Who will be retouching the images? If the photographer is retouching the images, there will be additional charges.
Don’t Be Afraid to Work Out a Price
Photographers are artists. They want to create. So if you really like a photographer that you think is too expensive, you never know, they might just be interested in your project. Approach the photographer with something like, “I really like your work. I have a project with you in mind and my budget is x. Can we discuss it?” Compliments go a long way.
Look At the Portfolio
It seems obvious, but look at the portfolio and understand that a photographer that shoots cars, might not be the best product photographer. Not to say it isn’t possible, but the photographer that shoots products for the majority of their work is just going to be better than the car photographer. However, it is possible for a photographer that understands and shoots multiple genres. Look at the work and make an educated decision from that. Remember – have a discussion about your project.