Don't forget about the unposed moments
Sometimes I look at the images from my sessions and image what it would be like if I had something like this from my childhood. Don't get me wrong, my parents took lots of pictures of me. There are boxes and boxes full, but it's rare to the in-between moments in our lives. The un-posed spontaneous moments are somewhat missing. I wish I had the ones of my dad throwing me up in the air, my mom hugging me after a hard day at school, or my siblings and I dressing up, playing in the backyard, or just being goofy. Those are the moments I try to get a glimpse of for my clients. Those in between moments are usually my favorite ones.
If you hire a professional photographer I urge you to try to let go of your insecurities and relax as much as you can in front of the camera. Play with your kids like you do at home. Do what you can to make them smile and laugh. Don't threaten or punish them for not smiling. That immediately sucks the fun out of the photo session, and getting those natural smiles becomes next to impossible.
When you're at home have the camera handy. Having a cell phone makes it so much easier these days. I admit to getting the camera first when I catch my kids writing all over their bodies, or cutting their hair off in big jagged pieces. I clean up later. I take pictures of their injuries, or the silly outfits they dress up in. Those pictures in our scrapbooks are my children's favorites. They laugh and laugh about the silly things they have done. It's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words.