When preparing for their family's photo session, many people have asked me:

What should we wear?

What should we bring?

Where should we go?

A more thorough answer to the first question can be found HERE, but in a nutshell, wear what makes you feel beautiful (or handsome, as the case may be). Wear what you feel confident in. I usually call these outfits in my closet my "power outfits". No, not the "power suit", but an outfit where you feel really put together and GOOD about how you look in the mirror. That confidence will surely play towards the camera and make for outstanding photos as a result.
As a family, you can have a thematic color as Laura did, or you can go for an "all solid color" look as Miriam did, or a similar patterned look as Lauren did, or a more laid back feel as Allie did. Whatever works for your family best.

**Sidenote: if your kiddos are uncomfortable in what you've picked for them to wear, they won't be too fond of the idea of photo sessions which might not result in the best photos for the scrapbook...

In answer to the second question, I want to reference how Laura prepared for her girlies. Knowing it was forecasted to be a scorcher and, unfortunately, hottest when we'd be taking photos, she brought multiple bottles of water, bananas, and animal crackers for snacks. The animal crackers were served up as a reward for a job well done--I am not above bribing during a photo session! Bring your child's favorite snack.  She also brought blankets for the girls to sit on in the grassy shade of our location so they could relax while she & Will got photos of just them. This distraction of snack + cool shade + comfy blanket = just enough time to snag 4-5 different poses of the happy couple before newborn Tess started needing her treat too.
To answer the last question, of location, I have a plethora of options in the Des Moines area that I've used in the past, but I often ask clients if they have a family spot that means something to them (I'm always up for a new location!). Not only are we celebrating this particular point in this family's history, but we also want to tell their story. For example, this summer, a family would like to have their photos taken at Grandma and Grandpa's house in their beautifully landscaped backyard and make it a multi-generational session. WONDERFUL! Or Jen & Jason loved the fact that their wedding was at their new home, commemorating their new status of home ownership.

If you don't have something like that available to you however, consider your child's personality. For Jaxon's session this June, we need to find a spot that has play equipment as a reward at the end of his session, but an entrance so that he can't see it prior to photos. Otherwise all hope of a family photo (unless you want them swinging from the monkey bars) is lost.

Another good thing you can do to prepare your kiddos for their session is to talk it up to them in the days leading to our time together. Just as they look forward to a trip to see Grandma & Grandpa because you've let them know about it ahead of time, talk up the photo session to them. Have them practice in front of your own camera with you so that it's not such a foreign concept to have a clicking contraption around them. :)

I hope this helps detail some tips as you prepare for your photo session, but, being the consummate teacher that I am, I'm always here for any other questions you may have!