Let's be real, professional photographs are a luxury. When my clients hire me to take photos of their family, I want them to have something that ins't available at a retail store. It also means providing an experience that matches the price.
"Experience", really, is such a vague term. Most people assume that a good experience means a fun photoshoot. And yes, absolutely. But that's only a starting point. Providing a good experience during the photoshoot is the basic foundation of any professional photography.. but, it's only a small part of what makes my sessions different.
I only book one photoshoot client each day.
I dedicate the entire day to the family I photograph because photography is such a mentally (and sometimes physically) demanding effort. So if timing needs to shift a bit, or a newborn needs to nurse for 3 hours straight, it's not an issue. I am there for my clients, as much as they need me, and it's not a stretch to say that my time revolves around them that day.
And the success of which depends largely on preparation.
I make sure to be available any time before the session in case parents have any questions or need help with anything. I hand-select what everyone is wearing, so parents (or let's face it, it's Moms doing most of this) just need to bring a whole bunch of options to the Studio. But even then, knowing what to bring cuts down on second-guessing, so I provide a Style Guide that goes over the types of clothes that photograph well, and those that don't. I also send out emails with tips on how to prepare and all the information for the session (and then again for the ordering appointment). I never leave my clients guessing, and it's a very intentional and well-crafted process based on my experience as a professional photographer.
And most of all, I try to make it easy because I know how busy parents are. I try to take care of as many things as possible (including hair styling for Mom) so families can just show up, spend some time hanging out together, and take home some amazing photographs in the end. Photographs (as in, actual prints) that are ready for display and even come with a photo stand that makes putting them on a mantle or console table super easy.
And that, is all part of the "experience" I provide.