Is Bribing your Child a Win-Win?

Can bribing your children lead to a win-win?

The day for a photo session has arrived, and your child is not as happy about it as you are. There are many ways to get through the hurdles children might present.

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We all know that children can be unpredictable. Even when we think we know how they will respond, a child’s meltdown can present itself at the most inconvenient time. Believe it or not, this actually worries parents to the point that they might feel that coercing children into taking pictures would not be a good idea. A professional photographer such as myself, however, should know how to handle a situation like this.

What do you do? 

For the short length of time that constitutes a photo session (an hour to an hour and a half), you can incentivize the children.  You, as the parent, are the one who knows what each child is motivated by: one might want more computer time, another might desire additional playtime, and yet another might like the idea of shopping for a new toy.  If this is what it takes, then go ahead and use an incentive for that short period of time. Think of it as a secret weapon and, most importantly, as a last resort.

If you save the “bribe” for only special occasions, your child will know you mean business. Abusing this power can lead to the formation of a bad habit for you and your child. If given a reward for good behavior becomes a frequent event, the child may then learn how to get exactly what they want whenever it is desired. In that case, the power of the bribe will not be strong or, perhaps, not even effective. However, the important part of this incentive is to keep your word. The child will never believe you if you promise a treat but never follow through on it. This balance has great potential to become a win-win: you get stunning photos and your child gets a treat!  On top of that, this builds trust between you and your child.

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Another recommendation that I often make is that you not mention the upcoming photo session too frequently, especially to younger children.  If you do bring it up, maybe you might even characterize it as a family play date. Make it an exciting event for children. If you build it up too much, it becomes something similar to going to the dentist.  They will start to feel anxiety, and dread the photo session before it even begins. Using language such as “We have to go to...” or “I have an appointment with...” may create an association between the photo session and a doctor or dentist visit.  If, instead, you use language like “We get to go...” or ''We're so excited to...”, you create the idea that this so-called family play date is going to be fun and occur at a really great place!

Keep it low-key by not drawing too much attention to the plans of a photography session. I like to keep our sessions stress-free and, more importantly, I like to have fun. I want children and parents to enjoy themselves and even look forward to another such session in the following year!  After all, your children are only this age once, and you can never recapture those precious years brimming with incredible moments. This timeframe will come and go so it is especially important to document your beautiful family over the course of the years.I have always wanted to have children but, as I don’t have any of my own, I feel that working with children is my calling. I have a lot of patience, and I know when I capture 'the shot'.  On top of that, my experience as a top NYC Family Photographer has taught me a lot of what I know in order to get great photos and make sure that my clients enjoy these photo sessions. Having years of experience in family photography, I have seen it all, and know how to work in various situations. I make sure that family photos are fun to take and that our session will be an experience to remember.


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Just as I love working with children, my partner of many years adores them!  He has something about him that is, well, “silly,” which makes them laugh even when he hardly speaks a word.  He is 6’4”, and, for some reason, children take to him—they probably think of him as an overgrown child!  We work together to capture incredible soulful, energetic, and whimsical photographs that, when displayed on your wall, express in a thousand silent words the love shared among your family members.

Summer has officially begun, and many families have booked their photo sessions or are in the process of planning the session.  Get your date on the calendar soon so that you will make sure it happens. Remember: when scheduling with us, the session will be stress-free, fun, and relaxed. It's our job to do the work, not yours!  For each session there is a limited time period to capture the real personality of your child in great photographs.

So, go for it: book your session with the experienced and professional NYC family photographer, the Hamptons family photographer: Lucille Khornak.

Book Now with Lucille Khornak Photography!

Shopping for a Man

DAD - he can be your best friend, supportive and fun loving, or even someone who has simply taught you much of what you know. He is someone you look up to, someone you know who will always be there for you. He is your rock. As you mature, you want to be successful in life as a way to show your love and appreciation for him. You want him to be proud of you.

He may be the man who always there for you from helping with your homework, taking you to a football game, and making sure you saw him every day in the house as he prioritized and made sure he was home when his children were there. He could be the dad that sacrificed time with his family to make sure that they were cared for- like a selfless act of love, altruistic in nature. He may have had to sacrifice memories being made for a chance to ensure that he could provide the life he did for the people he loves.

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He also may be the dad that is not your father. Not all dads are fathers. Dad could be the figure that steps in to care for a child that is not his own. Today there are so many unconventional dads – it's important to thank them and let them know that they are valued. Dads could be grandfathers or similar family members.  Many grandfathers step into the role of being a dad. They become a large part of your childhood, your memories, and even your own developed wisdom. Some end up with two dads – your biological dad and your step dad, the more the merrier! Lots of moms also remarry. A person may step in to fill a new role in your life, perhaps that person offers a new perspective of what it means to be a dad. Step dads have taken on a new child, without obligation, into their lives out of love. Caring for children that are not your own is intimidating, but also courageous. Step dads choose to be a part of a new family, and without holding back, embrace a new family, and all the roles that a dad has. Big brothers are another type of dad. The big brother cares for this child out of protection, and desire to love another. Younger brothers look up to their big brothers, and often would love to be like them. These big brothers set an example, or even create a path that a younger brother may chose to follow. Today, many women are choosing to have children without a male counterpart. Kids may inevitably find dads in the lives they live. Whether it's a family friend, or an older friend of the child, this individual “dad figure” has gone out of their way to extend knowledge and advice to lost children. This individual is brave, and becomes another role model, the example the child never knew they needed. Lastly, he may even be the dad that is no longer with us. It always seems to be too soon when losing a father, but he may be guiding you and teaching you every day. If you believe that his guidance and wisdom is still evident in your life, then thank him this father's day.

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These dad figures can shape the way that a child looks at the world. Having someone there to help raise you and give you advice is an important part of who you become as a person. There is a special bond between a child and their role model. As we grow to become adults, we will realize how much more that person means to us. As time passes, we realize how much dads mean to us. Some of us miss our dads dearly, and wish we had the chance to thank them. Some of us are still lucky enough to have them around, how on earth could we thank them enough?

I don't know if any of you have ever struggled with shopping for a man, however, I know I have. What do dads want?

Dads want to be proud of their children. They want to feel that the work they put into raising you has been time well spent. They not only want to help you become a solid substantial human, but knowing that they gave you the best opportunity they could is also gratifying to them.

Dads want to know that they are loved. No matter how 'macho' a man seems to be, there is a soft and kind soul underneath that outer layer. Kids know that their dad is strong, yet sometimes dad might not know that he is strong. In times of uncertainty, he looks to his family, his happiness, his home, his light in the dark. His family is all the reassurance he could ever want.

Some children are lucky enough to have their dad in their lives, others do not get to spend much time with their dads, and some may not have a dad at all. Who ever your 'dad' is, this guy is special, so give him something that communicates just that  – give him a gift of love, a gift of meaning.

A visual that documents those precious moments is a priceless gift of love and and meaning to that special person. A gift certificate with premier photographer Lucille Khornak is one of love and meaning. Take beautiful family photos with a top NYC Family Photographer, and get your dad something special this year!

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