I am here to tell you that YES- it so totally worth it to get professional photos taken of your family. Or just of yourself-- I did it at 21, and it is so great to look back at that age and remember what it was like.
I'm not talking about the big box department store sittings, although if that floats your boat, go for it. I'm talking about getting outside and doing a really beautiful, natural shoot that captures who you uniquely are. I mean, regular Joes have access to pretty fabulous point and shoot cameras these days. If you have friends who are aspiring professionals, have them do a shoot of you in a local park. You will never regret it, I promise.
This past weekend, we went to the gorgeous Cordonices Park in Berkeley, across from the famous Rose Garden. That's where we got our photographs taken by the one and only Jessamyn Harris, who is running a wonderful February special. If you're in the Bay Area, I would definitely take advantage.