Brothers and Sisters

The relationship between and among siblings has been the subject of literature for millennia.  From Old Testament stories of Cain and Abel to Shakespeare’s plays, modern novels, folktales, proverbs, and poems, the topic of  brothers and sisters has been a universal theme, relevant because most people on the planet have siblings.



TIBET-10100NF3Amdo, Tibet

Van Dyck, Ruebens, Hals, Van Gogh and hundreds of other artists have painted portraits of young siblings, but the subjects were mainly children of affluent families.  The siblings I photograph are often poor children in third world countries who have to stick together to survive poverty, wars, abuse, and deprivation.






UZBEKISTAN-10003Samarkand, Uzbekistan






USA-10283Los Angeles





























AFGHN-13010Kabul, Afghanistan




INDIA-10891NFMizoram, India



INDIA-11137Bombay, India








“Sibling relationships …  flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.”  ~ Erica E. Goode, The Secret World of Siblings



My siblings

50 Responses to “Brothers and Sisters”

  1. I absolutely love the first image – always a special bond between siblings (even if they fight)

  2. Emotional and moving images. Heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time.

  3. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    I always recommend my students find a theme to work towards, this very simple idea of brothers ans sisters, although I don’t doubt just siblings would do, is a great idea and one that most people could manage.

  4. Awesome serie Steve.. regards

  5. Jordanya Rodrigues Says:

    you’re work really inspires me to go out, and show the world what beauties|tragedy’s it has to offer, and capture with my camera. I hope that one day I can be as successfully known as you, and spread some knowledge to the world.

    you may not know me, but i thank you.
    thank you for teaching me so much about photography.
    & i also thank you for teaching me so much about life
    and how to value my life & surroundings as a piece art that i am able to
    capture, and to forever hold on too.

    Thank you Steve.

  6. Asrar Mohammed Says:

    Sir Steve your work inspires me. I hope to achieve your goal when I live college. It be such a dream if I can do what you did in several countries.

  7. Margarida Says:


  8. Wow, you have seen some stuff, and you have captured our World.

  9. Very moving images, bought a tear to my eye, you know just how to capture the emotion of the moment, love all your images.

  10. It’s fantastic!!!Great job!!!!A new look for the life…I loved all photos! A hug.

  11. Rod Schultz Says:

    Hi STeve,

    Loved all the photos of siblings, but especially the last one.

  12. Hello Mr. McCurry,

    I came across your blog about a year ago and have yet to be disappointed by your amazing and remarkably beautiful work. It is truly inspiring because I really have a heart for traveling and documenting the world. I am in my junior year in collegey, and I am doing my project on “How to Write for the National Geographic.” While I realize that there is not a paved path to writing or even working for their publication, I am interested in the path you took which led to your photographs’ publication in the National Geographic. I do not have a whole lot of experience with working for publications, except for a couple school newspapers, but I found that writing for a newspaper just wasn’t giving me room for exploration! I hope to have the opportunity of joining the Peace Corps, specifically traveling to Africa or India, sometime after graduating college. So, if you have any tips on how to reach my dream job or just want to share with me some of your own wisdom on your life it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you so much for you time, and have a great day!


  13. Hi Steve,

    This is my first time sending comment to your post. Words can’t describe how much you has inspired me. Those photos are super amazing. Your writings hit me straight in my heart. God bless you.

  14. Siddharth Jain Says:

    Mr. McCurry, as always, your pictures are beautiful but must I say that your family series is the strongest and the most beautiful one.

    I am in love with my family all over again.

    Thanks a lot sir.

  15. Steve tus fotos son fantásticas, y la exposición que hicíste en Buenos Aires maravillosa! Me acabo de comprar tú libro “Instantes”. Te admiro y siempre te cito en mi blog. Gracias por la inspiración! Abrazo

  16. Hi steve.

    The most i like from your shot is how you do comunicate with the people you shot by mean of your camera.

    For me the camera is like a translation machine that allows you to create magic moments.

    Tomorow i am receiving my new Hasselblad h4d 31. I am only a person who love the photography i will take it to my next travel in 1 month to Etiopia and as always you are my inspiration.

    Thanks Steve for having this magic comunicaction.

  17. Steve, I love the Indian picture! So poetic! The first and the last ones are very strong and beautiful, too. I like this whole series. Please keep posting, Steve! Coming to your blog each time is like visiting a museum and having a profound experience of life. Thank you so very much!

    Here’s my two cents on ‘brothers & sisters’, my own kids:

    Greg Shanta

  18. Thank u,Steve. u have given always some great ideas.

  19. Caro Sr Steve.
    Suas fotos me levaram de volta a minha infancia , nasci em um pequena cidade no interior de Santa Catarina , Brazil e de vez em quando um fotografo aparecia na cidade para fotografar as familias, pais e filhos, tenho guradadas algumas destas fotos que foram feitas juntas com minhas irmas, depois de seu post , revolvi minhas gavetas para reve-las
    muito obrigado

  20. Ritu Jain Says:

    steve ur photographs are Full of emotions and it takes me dwn to my childhood memory lanes!

  21. Ritu Jain Says:

    Your photographs make heart pours out the emotions!:) love them all !

  22. I’m not into superlatives, but in this instance I will make an exception: Fantastic!

    What a beautiful face on the girl on the right ( when looking at the picture) in the Indonesian photograph – and the drop of rainfall poised on her elbow. Poetic and poignant at the same time.

  23. fantastic photos, congratulations for the great sensitivity and great technique.
    hugs. Lu

  24. […] e porque quer fazer as pessoas sentirem também por meio das suas imagens. O último post dele, Brothers and Sisters me deixou com os olhos marejados. Vale muito a pena separar um tempinho pra conhecer um pouco mais […]

  25. absolutely amazing photographs, so moving. Do you spend time with your subjects? I am so in awe of how you capture so much in your pictures.

  26. Love your work! Stirs so many emotions, especially these photographs of brothers and sisters.

  27. I always feel that when love or tenderness or any “positive” emotion is shown amid adversity, it shines through all the brighter. And with these, it’s at its brightest.

    Photography can’t get any more poignant.

  28. As always- a pleasure!

  29. Jordi Solà Coll Says:

    The idea of taking pictures of siblings in your way it made me think about the concept of parts that complement each other… As if a part of our own personality would be reflected in the other beign…I knew, as a retired photographer, your work…, but it had been a great pleasure to discover your blog…

    I’m sending the message again because of an error in my computer…
    As well as I changed a bit the message!

  30. A sister shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown
    thank you for your insight and expression,

  31. Thanks for sharing Steve:)

  32. Dear Steve,
    It is true as a child they are there to protect and guide us as our secondary parents, and friends- I could not have survived without my own older sister.
    I love her with all my heart as she is a part of me.
    Thank you for your beautiful insight and expression always.
    A sister shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown

  33. A sister shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown

  34. Margarida Says:

    Beautiful and moving, as always. Thanks.

  35. Margarida Says:

    Beautiful and touching, as always. Thanks.

  36. Anbazhagan Says:

    Very nice thought and related pictures!
    In trouble we come closest,
    In joy we are closer,and normally we are close doing good, bad and the ugly..and ordinary..for that is the way life is…
    and we grow up looking upto him or her..
    we walk around, hand in hand and just be ourselves…
    Really good thought..
    The pictures give time to recollect our own:) and become cool !

  37. Fantastic pictures, Steve!

  38. A beautiful collection and a wonderful theme… Some of the pictures are so poignant and makes the heart wrench… Great work…

  39. The last photo is so sweet:)

  40. Really moving! Especially the two kids in Mizoram, great picture!

  41. Says:

    What a beautiful theme. I have a school with 300 children. Each day I see siblings caring for each other. The kindness and tenderness in this caring is more poignant than other statements of love I often hear.

  42. Such a beautiful and touching portrayal of the strong sibling relationship. I love that you include your own siblings as well:)

  43. Says:

    Steve’s work does not try to capture candid “pretty pictures” or “impressive landscapes” etc… as most photographers do, but rather brings out true life as it is, no matter how poignant or painfull.

    Bravo Steve

  44. Some of your photos are a moving description of the human kind. Great job, Steve.

  45. Once again, family is important.
    That’s what the Eastern countires keep in mind.
    In the Western countries everybody is more selfish.
    Family life is a gift you should not spoile.

  46. The black and white photo has so much depth to it. I’m fascinated how you are able to catch not only rare moments but those caught in a natural setting. The subjects of each photo look very comfortable around a photographer.

  47. very good understanding of relationship !!! really love it…

  48. A so beautifull list of portraits, Steve.
    You are right, peoples and especialy children living in poverty are images that is worth 1000 books and must sensibilize the public opinion. What future do we prepare for them ?

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