First, I'm incredibly happy that I scouted the locations that I wanted to shoot. It took almost a full day to get to them and determine where the sun would be and how I would want to shoot them but I can't imagine layering the complexity of determining a location on top of all of the other things that were going on that day. It was made much easier by having a fantastic family to work with, but still ... scout your locations.
Second, I took my lovely wife along with me. She was amazing (as she always is) at helping. An extra set of hands to hold up reflectors, block off direct sunlight or catch umbrellas from falling over was worth way more than I paid her.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, I realized that a day like that was about having a good experience. I would guess that a lot of photographers would bury themselves behind their camera and play with their settings to achieve the perfect lighting ratios while ignoring the family and the relationship that they were building with them. My biggest take away from this day was knowing when to put the camera down and talk. I enjoyed it and I think it went a long way to getting some decent shots later on.
Below you will find a few examples of the photos I took on the day. Constructive criticism is always welcome and helpful ... especially since this was my first attempt!