These days everyone has a camera. Besides the obvious things like image quality, in my opinion, what you're really paying for when you choose a professional photographer is for how that particular person sees things. You could ask ten photographers to take photos of the same things and have completely different results. You are inviting someone into your life for a small amount of time to tell this part of your story. Those moments look beautiful on your walls and make wonderful gifts but they also grow in significance as the years go on.
When I photograph people, I'm always trying to find something that makes them who they are; not just taking a photo for the sake of it. I would love for people to look back at the photos I have taken in twenty years and say things like "he always did have that look on his face".
If you ask me to photograph your kids don't be surprised if I spend almost the entire time on the floor with them. I want to know their favourite colour, what they're reading, how they spent their first tooth fairy money. I want to see their inventions and listen to their stories so that I can honestly tell theirs.
I would be honoured if you trusted me to do that.