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Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

3 Ways To Capture Adorable Sibling Photos

What’s the best way to capture photos of siblings without missing out on those moments when they are making adorable expressions or gestures? Here, I will share some pointers on how to capture your children’s cute expressions, how to configure your camera accordingly, and recommend some shooting scenes. (Photos by: Nao Nagatsuka, Edited by: Etica)

There are numerous adorable moments siblings share in everyday life that are waiting to be captured on camera. This is something you might want to do so that you can record the development of each sibling, and see how each of them is growing. Even as the siblings grow older, try to take as many shots as possible to keep for the future as these photos will become even more precious when the children look back at themselves as adults.

Method 1: Capture their contrasting differences

When they are wearing the same clothes or holding the same toys, you can see the difference in size between the older and younger child, so the photos are make it easier to see how each child is developing. Because it is easier to see any differences between the two when photographing the siblings side-by-side, I recommend telling the siblings to stand next to each other, or something similar, while you move yourself back a little so that you can fully capture them in the shots. In this way, the difference in size can be conveyed more easily.

[Shooting Conditions]
Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (cloudy)
State of light (strength, direction): Soft light / direct light from the front of the subject


Method 2: Incorporate their favourite activities into your shots

Rather than simply telling the siblings to laugh, use words that incorporate what they like to do, such as getting them to jump, so that it becomes easier to get them to smile while they talk or play around together. If taking a shot of the siblings jumping, try to predict their movements when pressing the shutter, so that you can capture the moment when they are at the highest point of their jump or when they put on their best expression. This shouldn’t be a problem as parents are able to predict their children’s movements because they are always watching them everyday. Also, if you take shots in Burst mode, this will allow you to select shots with great expressions afterwards, making it easier to more reliably capture the best moments.

[Shooting Conditions]
Shooting location (weather): Outdoor (slightly cloudy)
State of light (strength, direction): Soft light / oblique light from the left of the screen


[Shooting Conditions]
Shooting location (weather): Slightly cloudy following rain
State of light (strength, direction): Slight direct light from the left


Method 3: Capture typical sibling expressions

When siblings are engrossed in some activity—whether it be playing or fighting—this is the chance to capture shots of their unadulterated, child-like expressions, or that show the sense of intimacy unique to siblings. Because children are often unaware of the camera, it is easy to aim carefully for great shots. I recommend shooting up close so that you can properly capture their expressions. Furthermore, when you aim from a distance using the telephoto end of a zoom lens, the children are less likely to notice that you are taking shots of them. With close-up photos, even details such as their small hands can be captured well.


[TIP] Use Tv mode so that you won't miss the best moments

When taking shots of children who are running around, I recommend selecting a bright location, such as outdoors on a sunny day, so that subject blurring is less likely to occur. To ensure there is no blurring, use Tv (Shutter-Priority AE) mode, and increase the shutter speed. At faster shutter speeds, it is easier to properly capture these small moments. For example, for shots of children jumping, such as those in Method 2, a rough guide would be to use a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. or faster so as to capture them without any blur.

If your images become darker as as result of shooting at faster shutter speeds, try using a higher ISO speed to make your images brighter (*It is generally sufficient to set ISO to "AUTO").

Tv mode
This mode allows you to set to a desired shutter speed while the camera automatically determines the aperture value to be used. It is useful for shooting moving subjects.


[TIP] Use Face Detection to keep the focus fixed

When shooting in Live View, I recommend that you set the AF mode to "Face Detection". This function automatically recognises and keeps the focus fixed on the faces of people.



Nao Nagatsuka

Photographer and mother of two boys. She mainly shoots subjects such as food, interior design, and miscellaneous items for books and magazines.



Editor Naomi Yajima works as the representative. Besides the Japanese camera magazine “Camera Biyori”, she is also involved in the planning and management of numerous books, advertisements, events, camera classes and so on.