Category Archives: Birthdays

A Birthday Party in a Bus – Brigit’s Afternoon Tea

The day we were born is always a special day for us! We often spend weeks, if not months, planning on how to spend our special day. For most of us, we celebrate our birthdays by holding a party and inviting our friends and family. For others, they prefer to travel and go on an adventure.

Back when I was a child, I used to spend the days before my birthday dreaming of the food, games, and gifts I was going to have. I enjoyed seeing all my loved ones come together. Until now, I still get very excited about birthday celebrations. In fact, I love capturing them since there’s so much to memorialize and remember!

Today, I am thrilled to share with you the awesome and distinctive way this 11-year-old celebrated her birthday!

Catalina, the lovely celebrant, chose to hop on a bus with her mom and three of her friends for a fun and intimate celebration. They experienced a lovely afternoon sipping tea, eating cake, and sampling sandwiches. While doing all that, they were also taking in the best sites London has to offer!

The unique tour is from B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour. Their vintage double-decker bus drove around Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and more.

This celebration was undoubtedly an extraordinary event. I loved capturing every moment of it. Everyone was all smiles throughout the ride! The kids were genuine and hilarious.

Check-out my top tips for photographing birthday parties in my blog.

If you are celebrating a birthday 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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    First Birthday Party for Baby R.

    Your child is celebrating one more year! How exciting! Long are the days of pictures with stiff children at parties, group pictures with everyone smiling, a huge fake smile embracing auntie’s gift or posing next to the cake without touching it. This is not what childrens’ parties are all about although we all have those kind of pictures in our childhood photography albums.

    We all know how special the first birthday party can be and baby R had it in the most gorgeous way at Bluebird Café with all the love of his family.

    Birthday parties is still something I love to capture. There are so many great moments to remember!

    Check-out my top tips for photographing birthday parties in my blog.

    If you are celebrating a birthday 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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      Your story in motion – the gift of family films

      Today I want to share with you why I’m so grateful and excited to be giving the gift of family films to my own family and to my clients, and why I think you’ll adore them, too.

      5 Reasons to fall in love with family films:

      1. Movement

      Notting Hill day in the life London Family Photography

      Movement makes a story come alive! The twirl of a dress, energetic bounces on the bed, a determined baby crawling across the floor…continuous motion and movement is documented in the video the way it cannot be captured in stills.
      Every family film holds surprises that play out before your eyes. In your story, you might see how you scoop up your toddler and carry him around on our hip. You might witness the smiles and maybe a glimpse of sass from your teens across the breakfast table. And because family films incorporate subtle yet meaningful details that tell our stories, you might see a breeze blowing across your yard, bending the flowers just so, as you always see them…yet didn’t even realise you’d ever wish to remember.

      2. Grace

      There is something charming and cosy about a homemade film. You know what I mean about that vintage charm if you have ever seen old movies – they take us right back to the moment with all the sights and sounds of our past. Similarly, modern family films are also authentic and original… unique to each family. They stand out from cookie-cutter types of family sessions because they are a sophisticated suite of actions, interactions, and dialogue that is a pure and accurate representation of your family, created from the perspective of an artist.

      3. Time capsule

      A family film freezes moments in time just as they are unfolding. The product is a moving page in your family’s story. Family films are the best way I’ve discovered to take a comprehensive snapshot of the ages and stages of your children. They are quite literally an investment in your memories. Parents, I know it is bittersweet watching each milestone pass and witnessing your babies grow up before your eyes. It breaks our hearts to accept that one day we will wake up to a quiet, empty house–our parenting days behind us. But let me tell you this, as a mother of three: investing in a family film documenting your ‘here and now’ makes it all sting just a bit less. And the fun will live on, increasing in value over the years, as your precious memories are passed down to loved ones who will be grateful for this beautiful page of family history.

      4. Sounds

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

      This one is huge. Just imagine being able to remember your newborn’s whimpering cry. The way your preschooler couldn’t enunciate his Rs but had so very many important things to tell you all day long, until that phase ended and you found yourself missing his accent. Having a family film that features laughter, voices, and sounds of your unique environment will always bring you right back to your days with your loves. In all honesty, you won’t know the real value of this until years from now. But by then it will be priceless if you have invested in a family film to preserve your living, breathing memories.

      5. Be in the frame.

      This last reason why I believe you will fall in love with family films is that I know how rare it is for mothers to be in the frame with their children. I see you everywhere. Taking photos and video clips on your phone so you can cling tightly to the big and small moments of your daily life. Or maybe you haul your big camera around and do your best to document your days that way. But there are two problems with this: a) You likely don’t do much with the photos and video after that, because, hello, parenting. And b) There is something incomplete about everything you’re stashing away. You are documenting a story in which a critical element is missing…you! Hiring a professional to create a family film for you ensures that you will be included in your family’s story. With no additional effort from you after booking, your natural role as a loving parent will be highlighted, directly and honestly. Your children (and their children) will have the gift of seeing with their own eyes how you hugged them, cared for them, played with them, talked to them, and loved them. A family film has the unique ability to be created unobtrusively while sweetly and intimately capturing the best in your family.

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

      So what’s next?

      Perhaps this sheds a little light on what you might be missing out on if you haven’t yet discovered the joy and excitement of the family film movement. I hope that you will consider commissioning a family film for your next session. I encourage you to do this sooner rather than later. We, as tired parents, will always have excuses that cause us to put off preserving family memories. But I can promise you that there is no time like the present to document all the beautifully imperfect, endearing aspects of your life that your heart is already working to capture. So do yourself a favour and make it happen.

      See below a little teaser I did last year for my film sessions.

      You can also follow me on Vimeo here.

      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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        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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          Kid’s birthday party at Hogwarts London – Harry Potter theme

           

          HarryPotter-Party-HomeHouse-London-kids-AnaRuivoPhotography

           

          We are approaching World Book Day with much enthusiasm in our house, and this Harry Potter theme party just sparkled the child in me! I remember diving into J. K. Rowling books for hours in a row until late at night when I was a teenager, and it’s a joy to see even today these storybooks are still much loved. Notorious kids did a fantastic job transforming the Home House club in the most magical place. Nothing more than Hogwarts wizard school for a 9-year-old fan of Harry Potter books. Every detail was outstanding!

           


          If you are having a party soon and you would like to have it documented, or if you have any questions, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.
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            Pink Dream 1st Birthday Party

            It’s fascinating and an honour to see so many beautiful parties put together with so much care and love from talented people.

            Notorious Kids beautifully prepared this party; a fantastic team specialised in bespoke luxury events. The party was set in the fabulous The Lanesborough perfect for a princess! See for yourself!

             

             

             

            If you are having a party soon and you would like to have it documented, or if you have any questions, 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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              London Christening – Family Documentary Photography

              I had the opportunity to document this beautiful christening ceremony in the oldest church of London, St. Bartholomew the Great. Beautiful church with gorgeous light and where you can also admire a stunning and intriguing artwork from Damien Hirst.

              The ceremony finished with a lovely lunch at Club Gascon and the always amazing entertainment by Notorious Kids parties.

               

               

               

              If you have a life event coming that needs to be documented 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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                Birthday Party at Saatchi Gallery – London Family Photography

                Last week I had the amazing opportunity to photograph a 70th birthday party at Saatchi Gallery on a glorious sunny day. Unfortunately it was a private event so I can’t share the pictures but I leave here these two. =)

                Saatchi Gallery birthday party London Documentary Family Photography-Ana RuivoSaatchi Gallery birthday party London Documentary Family Photography-Ana Ruivo

                 

                If you are celebrating a birthday 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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                  USB print box – Featured Product – London Family Photographer

                  I am telling all the time my clients how important printing family pictures is and this is why I am introducing a personalised usb box with matted prints in all my 3 hours+ photo sessions. So along side with your USB you have in a beautiful personalised box your favourite pictures from our session ready to be framed. Digital is great, but it’s nothing like a printed picture.

                  Ana Ruivo usb box prints London Family Photography

                  After all, when your kids are grown and want to reminisce about their childhood, will you crowd around the computer? When they walk by that photo on the living room wall every day that shows their family laughing together, close and safe, they are constantly reassured and validated of that relationship, no matter the current circumstances surrounding it. When it’s the last thing they see at night and the first image that greets them in the morning, they are subconsiously reminded that they are valued, accepted, and loved.

                  This is priceless. 

                   

                   

                  Check-out another post about how to decorate your home with family pictures for some inspiration.

                  My USB products are all handmade by the amazing FOLIOALBUMS.

                  If it’s time to book your family documentary session, or if you have any questions about products included in my packages, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

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