When there's a toddler that just isn't excited about family photos (most aren't), the best thing to do as a photographer is be patient and keep shooting. Bribes work okay, but when McDonald's isn't enough and you're promising them a sportscar on their 16th birthday, you know it'll be the one promise they remember from their childhood. ;)
With this shoot from last week at Agnes Scott College, the first photo sums up the first 30 minutes of shooting. However, once I gave some time and helped Mommy and Daddy figure out what Natalie wanted to do, then the rest was cake. I kept a smile on my face and kept shooting. Eventually we let Natalie do her thing and we coaxed some smiles out of her along the way. This isn't news to parents out there, but sometime you've just gotta let the kids run the show.
If she wants to play in the grass, let her play in the grass.
If she refuses to get on the swing, ask her if she wants to push Daddy on the swing.
If she won't sit next to you, ask if she wants to climb on you!
Though, of course if there's a photo you really want... have Mommy count to three "or else!" That often works too. :)