simplicity is key
The more complex a method gets, the more likely it becomes that problems will arise. Complexity invites failure, while simplicity tends toward reliability. It's also less of a headache for everyone involved.
I like to work simply.
The process begins with a new client interview. This can be in person, over Skype, on the phone, via email, etc. It doesn't have to take too long, but it's an important step toward understanding what it is that you are looking to get as an end result. If we are on the same page from the beginning, it's a lot more likely to be a success.
How do I shoot? Typically, it's just me. No assistants or stylists (though stylists can be arranged), no equipment carts, no big lights, no huge affair to deal with. Under most circumstances, it's me, the subject, one camera, and one lens. If you want a friend to come along for moral support, that's fine, too. I work almost exclusively with existing light and prefer to shoot in settings familiar to the subject. This could be your home, your office, a local park, etc. I typically use a digital camera, but sometimes shoot on film, depending on what the client is looking for.
Why existing light?. It simplifies the process and there is great light all over the place (you just have to know how to look for it). I also find that subjects can relax more easily when there aren't big lights in their face in addition to the camera. Existing light is a key element of my overall working method and style. If you are looking for someone who is going to come in with a cart full of lighting gear and make a full production of the portrait, that's just fine, but understand that's not what I do. This leads us to the next key point.
I may or may not be the photographer for you
Working with a photographer is like working with anyone else you might collaborate with in that not every pairing is going to be a good fit. If you consider me to be someone who will come in and focus on environmental portraiture, that's a good start. If you see me as someone who you want to emulate another photographer's style, it's best that you hire that photographer instead of me. It's important to me that you get images you'll be satisfied with, and if I feel I'm not the right photographer for the job, I'll say so. But if you look at my work and like what you see, let's talk about what I might be able to do for you.