A photographer is not a magician. Sure, we can do some magical things with creating illusions, but at the end of the day, we're just regular people. We aren't wizards and no we aren't going to make you fifteen pounds thinner in Photoshop. I'm sure those photographers exist, but most photographers aim to capture your special family unit as it is.
When I meet a family, the farthest thing from my mind is how they physically look. Sure, coordinating, but not matchy-matchy, outfits look fabulous, but what thrills me more is to see a family connected with each other. So tell your husband to calm down and stop fretting over his smile and follow that advice to "be yourself."
Picture this...it's Saturday. You've all worked hard all week and you've longed for some lounge time. The type of day where there's a bit of chill in the air, so you're snuggled under blankets. You settle into the couch with your significant other for a little movie time. The faintest and most beautiful strand of gold light is coming through the windows and you have nothing on your agenda for the day. Nothing but this. Suddenly, you hear it...the faint sound of footsteps down the hallway. Tiptoeing through the door is the small people that call you Mom/Dad. They giggle as you lift the blanket and invite them in. All of you are there, settled and snuggled into one another on the couch. You long to hear more giggling, so you kiss your little boy on the jawline near his ear, where you know he'll immediately collapse into the most precious laugh. You breathe in the smell of his head because you know this won't last forever. You're literally inhaling this moment in hopes that you'll remember it forever. It's a regular day, sure, but there is something so extraordinary in moments like this.
THIS. This is what I want. I don't want perfectly posed, smiling, and every hair in place people. I want the real you. The genuine smile and fire behind your eyes as you delight in this amazing thing you have called a family. That's my aim. So be yourselves. Delight in your kids. You know how to make them laugh and the consequence of that is that you will laugh too. Engage and interact and be with each other. When I'm ready, I'll let you know to look my way. Until then, I'll just be over here like a fly on the wall trying to make you forget that I'm even there.