The kids can be a lot of things and they may not always be as cooperative as you would like them to be when it all comes down to it. Prep your kids ahead of time so that you can get them to really participate well enough in the family portraits that you are trying to get them to pose for.
Dad not being cooperative.
If your partner is in on what you are trying to achieve, you will soon realize that things will turn out to be so much easier to go through with at the end of the day. You shouldn’t be doing all of the work all of the time.
The time of the day. you need the schedule to be strategic as much as possible. It would be a really huge mistake to book the photo shoot on a school night because the kids would then be tired and grumpy and this can really be a challenge so far. Doing something about this ahead of time will ensure that you minimize the difficulties that you will come across during the photo shoot.
You might seriously want to consider the possibility of color or theme coordinating the clothes of the people who will be a part of your family photo shoot. This way, there is a certain coherence to the way things pan out and you will be more than happy to know that your family portraits will end up making so much more sense somewhere down the road. You don’t want the clothes to be an eyesore in the photos. You want them to be seamless and to have a certain common denominator one way or the other so that the photos tend to make sense so far. Shooting and prepping for a shoot for family portraits isn’t rocket science but there are certain considerations that you ought to think about and clothing is definitely one of them.
People feeling weird around the photographer.
It’s normal and at times even expected one way or the other. Chances are, your kids haven’t really had the experience of posing in front of a professional family photographer before and this is something that you ought to pre-empt or anticipate at some point or so. What you can do to help them feel more familiar and comfortable around your photographer when posing for family portraits is that you can introduce them ahead of time in a non threatening type of setting such as inviting the photographer over for dinner or for lunch somewhere.
An informal setting will help paint the photographer in a more human light making it more comfortable for them. Children in general take some getting used to before they warm up to things and this is what you need to keep in mind as much as you possibly can. If they happen to know their photographer a little bit more, they might more or less open up a bit and this can work to the advantage of the photo shoot that you are trying to bring together so far at the end of the day.