First things first: What do I wear for my session?
Simple answer really. As much as I love picking out clothing for shoots, if you're doing a family session, no need to wait on me choose. You'll likely not bring changes of clothing for everyone; simply wear clothes which will coordinate, not necessarily match. I'd steer clear of too much white, neon colors and trendy patterns. You'll want to look back at these images in 10 years and enjoy everything about the finished product...not be picking apart why you wore those "insert trendy length" jeans and "insert trendy patterned" top. Focus really should be on the season of life you and your people are in. Not your clothing choices. Allow your children to show their personalities in their clothing, I say...unless that personality includes unicorn rain boots. I'd stay away from those.
Second and really final: Relax!
Make sure the day of your session is chill. Especially if you have more than two of you involved. No need to stress anyone out or make discipline threats over a simple photo shoot. Kids will be kids, and sometimes reminding them how to smile or stand up straight or to stop picking their noses will stress them out rather than help them out. Allow me to chat with them and know when to shoot and when to let them relax. Remember, I'm a mom, too! The smiles won't all be real, and someone will most likely pick their noses. It's all good...let it happen.
One of my most favorite shoots was 10 years ago with John Bamber. Our littlest two boys (one and three years old) had gotten the flu shots that day and were both fevery and fussy. John allowed us to play and hang out as a family. The images we hold most dear are the ones where little Tate and Micah were holding soggy vanilla wafers in one hand each and stealing Hi-C boxes (the VERY red fruit punch kind) from each other with the others. I look on my wall and see those memories. I stressed that day, but now I smile. Every. Single. Time.