I've been doing this long enough now to know a little bit about what works and what doesn't.
--- With kids, please don't fret! Yours isn't the first kid that whines and doesn't want to sit through any more pictures after 3 minutes! There is no huge rush. The more tense you become, the more tense your child becomes.
--- Also with kids, please try to limit the amount of people in the room when we're focusing on one child. I know everyone wants to be helpful, but having 4 people snapping their fingers and clapping their hands only confuses and upsets the kids. I've neglected to say things in the past, but what ultimately ends up happening are the kids not looking at me or the camera, but up at everyone else trying to get them to smile. Btw, a lilttle DIY tip for those of you at home. I don't know who ever came up with saying'cheese!' for a smile, but that produces the worst, unnatural smile possible. Have them say'monkey', if anything. And, if you didn't read my bio, I actually prefer the pics where the kids aren't smiling!
--- Clothes. This is very important! Try to keep with solid, complementing colors! Definitely nothing identical or matching (unless you have twins, I guess!) Stay away from characters, distracting prints/stripes, or most brands/labels. We're highlighting your child, not their clothes! Keep it timeless!
--- Families. Everything above applies. You may think that everyone wearing the same thing, or same sweatshirt, or same hat is cute. It is not. And PLEASSSSEEEEE, no khakis and white shirts!!! I will ask you to change!
--- Commercial clients. Please don't mistake my meticulousness for pokeyness (is that a word?). I work right, not fast. I'm not going to sacrifice the quality of your photos just to rush through it.
--- Brides. Don't worry. I got you, boo. Enjoy your day. I'll get good pics. I promise. Yes, even if it's raining.