7 Tips for Photographing Siblings

Updated: September 23, 2014 Mpix Support Guest Post, Photos

7 Tips for Photographing Siblings

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DrewB is a family photographer and owner of DrewB Photography. She also writes a popular blog for moms who love photography called Mom*tog.

I have a confession. I thought I only wanted one child. I was perfectly content with being a family of three. And then when my son was two and a half I thought, gosh, it would be really cool to have a little girl too. We got lucky and got pregnant right away… with a little girl.

I remember dropping my son off at preschool the morning of my scheduled c-section and thinking to myself that we were ruining his life. He’s had all of our attention for three and a half years and now I’m going to only have half the time and half the love for him. I thought for sure this baby was going to ruin his life.

And, of course, I was so totally wrong. Although my kids are three and a half years apart, they are the best of friends. He is her protector. She is his favorite dance partner. He is her Bubba. She is his number one fan. I love capturing their relationship with one another. I want to document each and everything about their love for one another. The good, the bad, and the awkward. I really just love capturing them as they are. The candid moments. Here are some tips to help you do the same.

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Set up an activity: Give your kids something to do. Keeping them busy will help them forget that you are taking their pictures. And don’t be afraid to set the activity up somewhere in your home that gets great light. Also, keep interacting with them. Ask them to help each other out. Be silly to get those natural smiles out.

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Let them do their thing: On the flip side sometimes just letting them do their own thing is the best option. What they will do will on their own will be better than anything you can ask them to do. If they are in the moment just let them go for it and have fun!

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Be sneaky: I find that once my kids know I’m taking their picture they will start goofing off and acting silly. If I can hear them giggling from the other room I will grab my camera and tip toe over to grab a shot. Sometimes that’s all I will get. One shot. So, I like to have my camera settings ready before I go over there.

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Get one on your side: My oldest is my rule follower. If there’s a moment that I’d really like to capture, I want him on my team. I give him a responsibility and make him feel like he is being my big helper. Because most of the time he can get his sister to cooperate better than I can.

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Anticipate the moment: Your intuition knows when something good is about to happen. When one of your kids really misses the other. When you hear them playing well together in the other room. When one child is comforting the other. Be ready for those moments. You know your kids well and know when they are going to happen.

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Always be prepared: I was a Girl Scout. So I always like to be prepared. But, you can’t get great, natural shots of your kids if your camera is stuck in a drawer or your phones memory is full. Keep your camera in a central part of your home so it’s handy. And always be sure you have a memory card with sufficient space and a charged battery as well. I don’t always have my big camera on me, but I do always carry my iPhone. A lot of the everyday moments between my kids are captured on it.

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Have fun! If you aren’t having fun, your kids won’t either. If you have to force them to do something they don’t want to do it won’t be fun for any of you and you probably aren’t going to get the shot you want anyways. The great thing about kids is that each and everyday they are doing something new and fun so there are always great moments to be captured.

For more photography tips from DrewB, check out Tips for Summer ShootingPhotographing Young ChildrenPhotographing Your Own Baby, and Understanding Cropping.

19 Responses to “7 Tips for Photographing Siblings”

  1. September 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Drew, I know just how you felt about another child. I am a grandmother of seven, and a photographer for 37 years. I spoiled the first one so much, then second, (a boy, then a girl) I thought there just won’t be the time and love for number 3. Well, your heart seems to grow to fit the new ones even more than you can imagine, and you always find the time to enjoy them. (I have even turned down assignments that conflicted with my time for them.) I don’t regret it. Now that first one is 23, second 21, and so on with the youngest one 11. I miss that they don’t have time for me as much as they used to as they have moved to other states, other cities, and are busy with school chums. I cherish the photographs I have taken of them throughout the years. You have much to look forward to. (I only had two children; a girl then a boy, but they gave me SEVEN precious gifts.) Keep up the good work!

    • September 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Lorraine your reply gave me goose bumps!! Wow.
      DrewB stunning pictures of such precious, joyous moments!

    • Drew September 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Laraine! It was definitely the best decision we ever made 🙂 It’s amazing how your heart just keeps growing and growing! Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. September 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    great article! I just did siblings over the weekend 🙂

    • Drew September 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks, Dawn!

  3. September 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Inspiring photo and great tips. The one of your son dipping your daughter brought joy filled tears to my eyes! Beautiful children!!

    • Drew September 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Thank you, Tracy! I keep saying I should sign them up for ballroom dancing 🙂

  4. September 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    Drew I love to taKe pictures I am a grandma of ¹0 and I am 71years old and I still take pictures I have more pictures then the. Lord allows of my family love it thanks for sharing yours with us

    • Drew September 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      Hi Diana! Thanks for your comment 🙂 Happy shooting!

  5. September 23, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I love the one of her in her ballet suit hugging big brother. SO CUTE!
    Thanks for the reminders to just be ready. Always.

    • Drew September 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks, Michele! It’s one of my favs too 🙂

  6. Jen Feiock September 24, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    How about older siblings who, instead of being cute together, are trying to pummel each other or have a face slap fight mid-picture? I happen to own two of these darling teenagers and can never seem to get a decent picture unless I yell “LOVE EACH OTHER!” at which point I become the prey in order to stop taking pictures they don’t want to take in the first place.

  7. Amy September 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Live this article, you have some great tips. My kids are even further apart 6(girl) and 1(boy). They love each other so much and I love capturing all those moments with them.

    • Drew September 25, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Thank you, Amy! Happy Shooting!

  8. Drew September 25, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Hi Jen! While I have a while for my own kids to be teenagers, some of my clients have older kids and I think some of these tips can still apply. Especially the be prepared part. Because as I’m sure you know the moments when they are getting along and happy are very fleeting!

  9. Kimberly September 29, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    I love your photos and thank you for the wonderful tips. The little moments are important in life.

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