This is How Far I’m Willing to Go to Get the Perfect Family Photo

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Rain clouds hovered over us as we drove to our usual spot to take Spring pictures in the Texas Bluebonnets. If you remember, last year I totally missed the prime time of the season and was bummed that our field was nearly bare. I couldn’t let that happen again.

This past week my husband worked almost every day, and this weekend he’s out of town. Our window of opportunity was closing quickly and I knew I had to act fast. My kids know the drill. Get dressed up, frolic in the flowers and throw charming smiles my way.

My daughter learned “the purple flowers” as she describes them to her brother, are only in bloom for a short period of time and mommy likes to get pictures every year. My son however, must have missed the memo, because the second we stepped foot in the field he began to cry.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him.

My shoes are too big!” He told me. In his defense, I’d just gotten him a new pair of church shoes, and I bought them a smidgen big because homeboy is growing so fast.

“It’s ok!” I encouraged him. “Let’s just take a few pictures and then you can take them off!”

He kept crying.

I don’t always resort to bribes. Almost never for photos except for twice a year, around Bluebonnet season and Christmas. And then I have no shame in pulling out all the stops.

“If you stop crying I’ll give you a treat!” I didn’t have anything on me but I was prepared to get him whatever dessert he wanted.

“I want a treat!” My daughter pipped in.

“Later!” I chirped back.

I wracked my brain thinking what leverage I had. A threat would only make him cry more, I knew I needed the right incentive.

“Want to go to the store and get a toy? Smile for a picture and we’ll get a toy!” I pleaded.

“Yea, we’ll go get you a snake!” My husband chimed in with the promise of a rubber snake our son’d been eyeing.

Just then, my sister who was with us pretended to trip and my son started laughing. He wiped his tears and slapped on a huge grin.

“I’m smiling now!” He said. “Can I get a snake?”

Wow. Like a switch.

Did I get played or what?

Whatever, he was on board, and I wanted to snap some pictures of the kids before it started pouring, and get a few shots of all of us together.

I picked out all of our outfits and I got some great shoes for a great price at Payless ShoeSource. Women’s shoes are as low as $19.99 and my kids’ shoes were as low as just $9.99.

Coordinating the whole family and a time to take pictures, not to mention bribing my kids can be hard enough. I don’t need to go crazy on shoe spending too. After a couple of pictures in slip on dress shoes, I switched my son to his cute casual shoe (I sized just right) and he was happy to run and jump around without any more debate.

And as promised, as soon as we finished we drove straight to the convenient store to pick up his $2 rubber snake.

It was totally worth it.

Be honest, do you ever bribe your kids?

Even though I partnered with Payless Payless ShoeSource for this post, I legit love shopping there and always have because they offer affordable shoes for our entire family. My husband is pretty picky about his shoes and he was even pleasantly surprised by the dress shoes I picked out.

Here’s what we’re sporting above:

My cute bright string tie flat  and my caged sling heelcaged sling heel

My son’s dress slip-on shoeslip-on shoe and his  casual shoe

My husband’s plain toe oxford and his slip-on dress shoe (that matches our son’s)

My daughter’s adorable fruity slide sandal and her bright and comfy double strap sport sandal

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This post is sponsored by PaylessShoesource, all opinions are my own. 

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  1. I try not to, but if it’s important enough, or a one-time thing (so it’s harder for them to come back another time and say, “But last time…”), then maybe. Or maybe if the goal is to create a better long-term habit. I hate reward charts, but if I feel like the chart will build better behavior and we won’t just get played for the prize, I’ll consider it. But I try really hard not to because my kids are spoiled enough and I don’t want them expecting more! This would have been worth it, though!

  2. I do bribe a lot 🙂 My 4-years-old daughter cried in the family photos last Christmas because she was shy among many people.The photos are very beautiful!

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry your little one cried, it can be a lot for the little ones to take in. I hope your pictures turned out well and that it was worth the bribe. haha!

  3. That field looks fake! No wonder you wanted the photos there in that short window! I would totally bribe my daughter with a treat for a photo shoot. I’d have the M&Ms in hand ready for a melt down. I just found you on Mom 2.0’s Twitter. Congratulations on your accomplishment. 🙂 I’m saving to go to Mom 2.0 next year so maybe I’ll see you there. 🙂

    1. Haha, yes, the field is a gem! And yes, bluebonnets are only in bloom for a really short window. I hope you can make it to Mom 2.0 next year. It’s really such a blast, and it’ll be in my stomping grounds!

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