Just a word about the person who will make your photographs.
Professional Photography goes far beyond just creating a reasonable likeness with a nice smile for your Mom. You want exciting colorful images that present you at your vibrant best and shows off who you are not bland boring posey images. This is why you should make sure you are hiring a real professional and not just someone who owns a nice camera.
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest governing body of photographers in the country. Because of the number of new photographers and persons claiming to be professionals who've had very little if any professional skills, the PPA established an autonomous credentialing agency to verify test and certify the competence of photographers.
The body who maintains the integrity of the the PPA certification is the same as the one who certifies accountants.
Candidates for the CPP degree must pass a detailed test and show competence by submitting professional quality images for review. This must be repeated every five years to maintain certification.
I am proud to say that I am a Certified Professional Photographer. There are fewer than 50 CPP degree holders in whole the state of Arizona. There are many out there who claim to be professionals.. and you could luck out. It's a fair question to ask and verify before giving them your business.
Ed Wilson, CPP CPP CERTIFICATION