Photographing Siblings

1. Have an idea

When I notice the boys doing things more consistently I tend to bring out my camera to try and capture it. Also, we do a lot of crafts and experiments and for those activities I like to plan out what kind of photographs I am looking to capture. For example, we made fireworks in a jar to celebrate Diwali on the 11th. I knew I wanted pictures of the process, details of him mixing and pouring but also reactions from his brother watching. Thinking this through will help me figure out where I need to be in the dining room to capture this. So, while this doesn’t take more than 3 to 5 minutes to plan out it can really help to capture some great details.

2. Capture where they are
Do you have an independent toddler reaching for the stool to help around the house? Is your teenager into more alone time? Do you have a little one? If you have a crawler who is always in between spaces and somewhat in everybody’s space then photograph it. This is where he is and it’s such an important time in his life. He’s learning, exploring, gaining independence so grab your camera and capture it. Maybe also try to capture the moment from the perspective of others in the house. Is he pulling up on the sofa to join in? Is an older sibling always staying at arms length to avoid being bothered? These are all things that will eventually fade into a memory so capture it while you can!

3. Tell it like it is
I create photo books from all the pictures I take of our family and when we look through these books stories come pouring out. I love it! It’s not about one moment in time it’s more about what happened, what led up to it, and people’s reactions. I want the kids to be able to look through these books and really get a sense of what childhood was about. And childhood in our house is not always about the beautiful posed pictures with spotless outfits and perfect hair. Its about brothers playing with each other, learning from one another, and often times fighting with each other. And sometimes it is all that and 100 toys around them!

4. Guide the moment
This may conflict with tip number 3 but hear me out. Yes, I enjoy capturing moments as they are but sometimes if I miss it I may ask a question or two to lead my child back to where he was. For example, in the pictures below he had been drilling all kinds of things in his room. He drilled the trains, carpet, blankets, the doors, and walls, so when I finally got my camera I maybe have said, “What about the turtle?” This puts him in a great spot by a window doing something he most likely would have done anyway. If he wasn’t interested he wouldn’t do it. He’s good at giving you the cold shoulder so it’s not creating something out of thin are. In my world, it’s fair game! I may also try to get him to think of his brother by asking if he thinks his brother wants to join him. Usually that will spark the thought of getting a tool for his brother too therefore including him in the picture.

5. Wait for it
Honestly, kids and especially siblings are always up to something. Often times if you wait for them they will come around to doing something photo worthy. I’ve got some great examples on my Instagram. I typically have my camera settings ready depending on being inside or outside and then have my camera within reach. For me that means my camera sits on the dining room table. It’s out of arms reach of the kids, it’s not surrounded by sippy cups and I can get to it from anywhere on the bottom floor. So be patient, be open minded while anticipating their next move and I’m sure you will capture some great moments!

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Hi Friends, I’m Vibha!

A mama, wife, and photographer ready to capture your wonderful & chaotic life.