What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
All the time, trade magazines, photo forums, training videos etc.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I like the creative process, and it sure beats sitting behind a desk all the time
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
While equipment is not everything, having the right equipment can mean the difference between getting the shot, and hoping the shot turns out. Meet the provider face to face if you can, see if your personalities mesh. Better to know beforehand.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Simply picking up a dslr camera does not make you a photographer.