I notice a lot of girls find trouble finding photographers, and even though days I do work great photographers I do not forget how hard it can be for a girl to find a good one. So here are some tips:
1. I know you are probably on a budget, but sometimes you DO get what you PAY for, so when it comes to the basic shots a model needs for her first modeling agency submission photos she should try to send something quality! Make a good first impression. I would focus on getting a nice headshot, a fresh looking smile shot, natural, and sometimes this shot can be taken by your mother, other times, you will need to fork out the money and pay a good headshot photographer.
2. Then again, sometimes it is hard to tell just from a photographers website if he can make you look as great as he made the people shown on his website. The internet and Photoshop can be deceiving sometimes. SO. Becareful, and cautious when picking the photographer, DON'T throw all your money at the photographer all at once. Many people I have encountered are NOT happy with their photos/headshots and they are broke now since they spent everything all at once on this photographer.
So instead ask if you can shoot just a roll or two with the photographer, or with digital ask if you can do like 50-100 shots, or one outfit. Test out the photographer first, don't just BLOW all your money without knowing the photographer is someone who you feel you could work with and produce a good photo with.
3. If you are broke, I would stop by a photography school, because to get quality photos, you need to be around people who UNDERSTAND the craft of photography.
For a girl on a budget to find a good photographer she does have to be savvy, so remember, DON'T rely on the internet, Don't call yourself a model before you have modeled something, and don't think this road is an easy one. Modeling, getting started, it is a hands on thing, it doesn't happen from just being hot. That is not enough.