If you have an upcoming family photography session with me, I have a request. I want you to treat your child like a puppy. Yep, you read that right.
In the world of family photography, capturing genuine smiles and candid moments is the ultimate goal. But let’s face it, getting kids to cooperate and flash those heartwarming grins isn’t always a walk in the park. That’s where a little reward system can work wonders!
You know how you give your pup a treat when they sit or stay? It’s the same idea when you give your little one a sweet treat for flashing their adorable grin during a photo shoot! It’s all about that positive reinforcement, my friend! Just like with our furry friends, a little reward goes a long way in getting those picture-perfect moments.
The Magic of Smiles
As a lifestyle family photographer, my passion lies in freezing those beautiful moments in time filled with joy, laughter, and genuine expressions. Children, with their unfiltered emotions and boundless energy, are some of the most captivating subjects to photograph. However, coaxing those radiant smiles out of them can sometimes require a bit of creativity.
Reward with a Purpose
Let’s be honest: parents have been using rewards and treats as parenting tools since time immemorial. A small incentive can be powerful, from getting kids to finish their homework to helping clean up the playroom. When it comes to photography sessions, the same principle applies!
Why Treats Work During Photo Sessions
- Comfort and Familiarity: Many children can feel a bit apprehensive or shy in front of the camera, especially if it’s their first professional photoshoot. Offering a familiar and beloved treat or toy can provide a sense of comfort and ease their nerves.
- Positive Associations: You create positive memories by associating the photoshoot with a fun and rewarding experience. Kids are more likely to look forward to future sessions with excitement, making the process smoother over time.
- Natural Expressions: When done right, rewards can lead to authentic expressions. Those genuine smiles and laughter that result from a little treat are the ones you’ll cherish forever in your family album.
Finding the Balance
Of course, it’s important to strike a balance. The goal isn’t to turn your child into a professional treat negotiator but to use incentives as a tool to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Here are some tips:
- Keep It Small: Opt for small treats or rewards that won’t spoil appetites or disrupt the session. Be sure to choose treats that are age-appropriate for your children.
- Use It Sparingly: Use treats as needed but also encourage natural interactions and expressions.
- Celebrate Every Smile: Praise and celebrate every smile, whether it’s induced by a treat or simply a result of a playful moment.
Bribery vs Reward
The difference between bribery and a reward for children lies primarily in their intent and timing:
- Intent: Bribery typically involves offering something desirable to a child as a means to manipulate or coax them into doing something you want them to do, often when they might not want to do it. It’s often used as a last-minute tactic to gain compliance.
- Timing: Bribery usually occurs before a child has completed the desired action. For example, a parent might offer candy to a child if they stop crying in a store.
- Intent: On the other hand, a reward is offered to a child as a form of positive reinforcement for a behavior or action they have already completed. It’s meant to acknowledge and reinforce the behavior you want to encourage.
- Timing: Rewards are given after the child has demonstrated the desired behavior. For instance, if a child completes their homework, they might receive a small treat or extra playtime as a reward.
6 Tasty Treats to Bring to Your Next Family Photo Session
*Ensure snacks are age-appropriate for your children.
- Oyster Crackers
- Mini Marshmallows
- Mini Morsel Chocolate Chips
- Banana Chips
- Candy Corn
In the end, it’s about capturing the essence of your family and your child’s personality. So, don’t hesitate to embrace a little reward system during your photo sessions. The genuine smiles and cherished memories you’ll collect are worth every bit of sweetness offered along the way!
Remember, the magic is in the moments, and a sprinkle of creativity can make those moments shine even brighter in your family photo collection.