Category Archives: Baby Shower

The difference between lifestyle and documentary photography

Ever asked yourself what’s so different about these weird words – “Lifestyle photography” and “documentary photography?”

How do you know what you want or what to ask a photographer when you’re looking to book a session? These terms are often used reciprocally because on a surface level; both are used to describe images that look relaxed and natural. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Let’s pull these terms apart and break down the difference between the two.

A day in the life-London Family Photographer-2018-AnaRuivoPhotography

LIFESTYLE IS: Lifestyle sessions produce photos through orchestrated light, location, space, wardrobe, and engagement to capture a beautiful, candid moment. They allow families to look their best and demonstrate a family dynamic when they are their most happy and their most “together.”

THE BIGGEST DIFFERENTIATING FACTOR TO LIFESTYLE PHOTOS IS THAT THEY DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS GIVEN SOME DIRECTION ALONG THE WAY.

They are not traditionally posed or placed, as in the studio experience of “stand here, tilt your chin a bit, dip your shoulder…” but subjects are guided merely into place and given prompts/direction to facilitate movement and interaction.
One common misconception is that merely because a session takes place outside, it’s “lifestyle.” But it’s not a prerequisite to being outside – in fact, my newborn sessions are typically lifestyle in nature, but all take place in the home. It’s all about the casual approach and direction over posing.

TO BE CLEAR, IT IS NOT THAT THE MOMENTS ARE FAKE BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT- A GOOD LIFESTYLE SESSION SHOWS PERSONALITY, CONNECTION, AND GENUINE EXPRESSION.

Holland-Park-London Family Photographer-anaruivophotography

DOCUMENTARY IS: Rooted in the methods of photojournalism, documentary sessions produce photos with no photographer interference. Nothing is moved or touched in the scene, the subjects are not directed, the light not altered, and the post-production is minimal (no skin retouching, objects removed in photoshop, etc.).

THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUSES SOLELY ON THE MOMENTS UNFOLDING AND CAPTURING THEM ARTISTICALLY BY USING ANGLES, COMPOSITION, AND FOCUS TO TELL A PARTICULAR STORY WITH DETAIL AND DEPTH.

Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography

Where objects may have been considered “clutter” and moved, or lightly considered too dark in a lifestyle session, an excellent documentary photographer includes and utilise these aspects in the frame intentionally because they add to the authentic story. These sessions focus on the emotion over appearance. They feature meaningful environments and details that often go overlooked but are iconic for documenting a time/place/or stage in life. The blankie before it is torn to shreds, the pancake recipe you used every Saturday morning, the way you made your coffee, tickled a child, the games you played and stores you visited.

WHILE A SERIES OF ACTIVITIES IS  PLANNED, THE SUBJECTS AREN’T BEING DIRECTED IN ANY WAY TO ACHIEVE A PARTICULAR RESULT OR EMOTION.

Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo PhotographyNotting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

THE VERDICT: Neither type is better than the other. I shoot for both and believe there is a place for both. It all depends on your goals for the images and personal preference. Often people assume they want a lifestyle session – it’s what we see all over Pinterest and what’s most popular right now for showing joy, laughter, happiness, and overall, just your family at their best in a particular stage of life (clean, smiling, happy!) Who doesn’t love that?! But I also believe that in 30 years when our kids are graduating, getting jobs,  moving on to start families of their own – they’ll long for images that show them the intricacies of their childhood. Pictures beyond the selfie or the obligatory first day of school on the front porch photo, but the kind that acts as a reminder of the reality that shaped them.

Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK FROM A LIFESTYLE OR DOCUMENTARY SESSION?
WHAT KINDS OF IMAGES DRAW YOU IN?

If you want to give a family documentary session a try, or if you have any questions about these types of photo shoots, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

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    Summer is here – Autumn Session Sale

    Summer is here and I can’t believe how life is going so fast these days! I am finishing some client work and counting down the days until I have my feet on golden warm sand and the ocean breeze blowing my hair…but suddenly I realized I am taking the Summer off and that means I need to fill my calendar for Autumn NOW! 

    So I present you Summer unplugged Autumn Session SALE! 

     

    Book your September or October session by the 31st of July, and get a Full Day-in-the-Life at a Half-Day price. Or a Half-Day session at a Three-Hour price. Or finally, a Three-Hour session for a One-Hour and half price.

    A limited number of discounted sessions is available, so jump on it while you can!

    If you want to give a family documentary session a try, or if you have any questions about these types of sessions, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

     

     

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    Baby Shower at Claridge’s – London Family Photography

    I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to capture this beautiful baby shower in one of the most exquisite restaurants/hotels in London where I always feel so welcome. At Claridge’s Hotel a gorgeous room was waiting for the mother to be, fully decorated with adorable details, amazing cake and the table set for a delicious tea.

    Friends and family prepared this baby shower with so much love, you can see it in every detail. The evening was phased with  quizzes and games which were lovely to capture – the joy, the love and the exciting for the parents to be. Unfortunately pictures don’t capture sound but I think they show how magical this baby shower was.

    Cake from the incredible Odiham Cake Company.

    Stationery from the super talent Romeo and Jules Bespoke Stationery.

     

    If you are celebrating a special event soon and you want it documented, or if you have any questions, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

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