Photographing siblings can sometimes be described as herding cats: with children under 8 yrs old, each child is in their own world in what appeals to them and makes them react. A funny face to a 3 yr old can frighten her 1.5 yr old sister, a hysterical knock-knock joke to a 5 yr old boy will elicit a blank stare by his 2.5 yr old brother.
In a perfect world, the two blissfully play with each other while I stealthily capture the siblings enjoying each other. As a documentary project that works wonderfully, but for more portrait looks where they are looking toward the camera together, there is a bit more required. To get them both to react in the same image sometimes requires the skills of a juggler: picture camera holding in one hand, a squeaky toy in another, an acrobatic movement, a bribery or two (yes it does happen) and very cooperative and patient parents to wrangle the runners back in place.
Then I get two kids like L and M that come to the studio and all my rules go out the window. Not only did they work with each other with ease (and actually seemed to like each other) but they just lit up the studio that day. Mom prepared well with our preconsultation so we could decide on clothing and understand personalities and buzz words for the kids. Dad helped out with some of the wrangling and I was thankful for his extreme patience. These good sports lasted long enough to try a second outdoor location. I loved the rich textures of the cobblestone that contrasted with the patterns of their clothing.
Thanks M and L, I smile when I see your smiles.