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!