Family Photography: Sibling Poses

Getting the small humans together for a photo may feel like herding cats, but there are several strategies you can use depending on their ages. Here is some inspiration!

A good ol’ sitting pose is a great place to start for any age. You don’t have to do much posing other than trying to get the kids to sit as close to each other as possible. Little ones can easily be positioned between older kids.

The biggest challenge will be to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time – it helps if you act really silly (noises, fake falling, jokes, etc) so that they look at you expecting something funny to happen.

Try and keep your framing and shooting distance consistent for a few shots at a time, just in case you need to do head swaps. Having similar frames will make that process so much easier

The key to winning over all the kids is often just winning over the older child.The younger children tend to look to the oldest child for reassurance that everything is good.

This standing pose is versatile – you can capture the formal posed grandma shot, then ask the oldest sibling to squish the younger ones in close. With his/her arms wrapped around the little ones, the parents will love this protective pose so much! And yes, your last prompt, before everything collapses into chaos, will be for the older sibling to dish out some tickles!

Figuring out how to pose siblings that are still babies can be challenging. especially if they can’t sit up by themselves. Enter older sibling!

Have them wrap their arms around the baby, with baby sitting between their legs. You can shoot this from the front or the side

Please make sure to have a parent within arm’s reach as a spotter. Safety always comes before getting the shot.

Get siblings to do an activity together, and get ready to fill your camera with lots of connection, engagement and togetherness. Make sure this is an activity that fits into the environment – building lego in a field of wildflowers won’t look right! But asking them to pick flowers, or blow dandelions, or chase one another around a tree … those work beautifully.

Resting foreheads or noses together works beautifully for parents with kids, so why not between siblings! You will have to shoot fast – this pose will break down into giggles in no time!

We have to be real …this sweet pose is very rarely the result of asking kids to hug one another! More often than not, I have to dramatically “glue” their ears together, “glue” their tummies together, and then prompt them to squeeze tight … tighter … even tighter!

Not all kids will be willing to plant a kiss on a sibling’s cheek. And not all kids will be happy receiving a kiss. But it is always worth asking. Because either way, whether they receive the kiss happily, or squirm in absolute horror, the reaction will be worth recording!

Kids are not real good at sitting still in one spot and posing on demand. So don’t push that. Let them walk. Just find a way for them to connect, like holding hands (you may have to remind them a few times).

You can even ask them to skip, which will ensure lots of smiles (just make sure your shutter speed is fast enough). Or if they are old enough to understand the concept, you can ask them to walk in slow motion – they will love that game

Kids’ special lovies and blankies are part of their lives for such a short time, but during that time, it is their most valuable possession (ask any parent whose kid can’t find a stuffie at bedtime!).

So encourage parents to bring the stuffed animals along, and capture the kids loving on them. I suggest handing these over at the end of the session, or else the kids may not want to let go of them at all!

Not all siblings are the two-legged kind! If there is a special friend that is like a brother or sister, be sure to invite them to the photo shoot. You will be amazed – they may be the most well-behaved at the session!

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