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Results from the Survey on Using Bribery in Photography


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The results are in from the survey on using bribes to get your subjects to cooperate or participate in a photo shoot.  The breakdown showed that 209 photographers voted.

  • 99 of them said they will bribe both customers and their own kids if it helps get better photographs.
  • 90 people said they will bribe their own family members, kids, pets, etc – but not other people’s.
  • 3 photographers felt it was wrong to bribe under any and all circumstances
  • 2 photographers said they would not bribe a family member but would use it with customers
  • 15 said “other” and left comments
  • 59 total people ended up leaving comments on the subject

Here are some interesting things that came up in the comments:

  • Many felt the word “bribe” was too harsh.  A number of people wrote in explaining that they prefer call it incentives. Some said it is a condition or a negotiation.
  • A few explained that you should do positive reinforcement – reward good behavior.  Not tell them if they do this, then they get this.  Just give a reward for doing good.  Then they remember and repeat.  I liked this idea very much.
  • One person explained that “once an adult resorts to bribery, the child has already won control of the situation.” That is an interesting thought and I just do think it may be more true than I would hope.
  • Another person said they never bribe, but plead and beg instead…  I think I do both – not always at the same time though.
  • One person explained that it is not really a bribe if you say that if they do something for you – that you will do something for them.  They said “it is only a bribe if the other person is protesting.”
  • And a number of photographers that responded said the only reason they do not bribe is it does not work for their kids or subject – but they would if it did.
  • And lastly a bunch of the comments explained what different people do for bribes (or incentives if you prefer) – these ideas ranged from candy, to going swimming or to the park, or getting money or even going to the movies.

I hope you found this post as interesting as I did.  Feel free to leave more thoughts if you have them.

Thanks – Jodi

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