In a word, yes, good professional photography is worth paying for. A professional has both the skill and the equipment to photograph your work in its best light. This can be especially important when it comes to applying to large national shows or when using the photos for print advertisements.
When looking for a photographer, make sure whomever you hire is skilled at photographing your particular type of work. Photographing 2D work is different than 3D. Shiny objects like glass and ceramics can create unflattering glares and reflections. Small items such as jewelry and miniatures may require special equipment for “macro” photography. Fiber and wearables may require the use of a model. Ask fellow artists for references. And ask to see samples of the photographers work.
Good professional photography can be expensive, but it can go a long way toward portraying yourself in a professional manner. Think of it an investment in your art business.