When my girls were growing up, I took a lot of pictures. Most parents do. I also took them to portrait studios when I could afford to. Every school year I bought their school pictures. What I didn't do is have a professional photographer take portraits of them. I regret that a lot now that I have seen first hand how nice they are when done right.
Looking at studio and school photography now, I think that it is very impersonal. Yes, the kids are all decked out in their best clothes, hair done just so, and have cheesy smiles plastered on their faces. The difference between studio photography and a lifestyle photographer is like night and day.
Lifestyle photographers, like Emily, capture your children's moods, personalities, character. They do this by getting to know the kids thru conversation and play. One the greatest joys for Emily is to watch and capture those personalities and moods. Kids don't always want their pictures taken and that's ok. Sometimes the best shots are the ones that don't include smiles. A sullen child is just as beautiful as the one that wears an ear to ear smile. Even if your child is not really into the shoot, Emily will get some great shots and you will see how beautiful he/she is even without that smile. The way Emily can capture his/her moods is amazing. She will follow a toddler around the playground while you play with him/her. She will sometimes have bubbles to have you blow while she shoots. You can bring a favorite toy or blanket for him/her. Siblings playing together will create some gorgeous, frame worthy, portraits.
Should you have professional portraits done of your children/family? That's entirely your decision. I hope you do at least once so that you can really see the difference between your snapshots, studio photography and school pictures. I think that once you see the difference you will make it a regular occurrence like so many of Emily's clients have done.