Category Archives: Me

How to help a small business during the pandemic

Statistics say 60% of small businesses lost at least 75% of their revenue since the coronavirus became a widespread concern. If the crisis continues, millions of small businesses may be at risk of closing in the next five months or less. 

Here are four simple ways to help small businesses you care about in the wake of this coronavirus outbreak. At the end, I also give you some tips to boost your favourite photographers during this tough time for artists.

AnaRuivo-LondonPhotographer

1. Keep spending

•Pay for online courses. One way you can help gyms and studios is to take one of their online classes. I am currently keeping up with my pilates practice with the fantastic Rachele Dattila or BodyWorksWest online courses.

•Buy local. Many of us, we purchase things online from Amazon. Instead, please take a couple more minutes to see what [small] businesses in your area might have the same product, and order what you need from them.

•Buy gift cards. Many companies are offering gift card purchases that enable the business to get paid immediately. Log onto your favourite businesses’ websites and see if they provide the option to purchase gift cards now that can be used later. 

•Order takeout. While many restaurants and cafes are closed to the public, they could still be offering delivery and takeout. Check apps like deliveroo, which offer contactless delivery, to see which local eateries you can order from. Or call your favourite spots and see what their social distance dining options or specials are.

•Donate. Even if you can’t get the service a given business offers, consider donating the same amount of money you would have spent in a typical month. 

2. Let business owners know what you need.

Some small businesses may be able to adapt their services to offer ones their community needs at the moment.

Many shops started to offer vegetable boxes along with their products or distilleries and breweries have started producing hand sanitizer.

Reach out to small businesses you patronize on Instagram, Facebook, or through an email, they list on their website and let them know if there’s something relevant you need right now. Even if they can’t supply it, maybe there’s another business in their network that can

3. Share their stories

What with the chaos of day-to-day life since the stay-at-home orders began, struggling businesses “may not be top of mind” for a lot of people. That’s understandable. But sharing their stories throughout social media and in your networks can help raise awareness about their plights and what services they’re offering.

If there’s a brand that you like to share it around to your network and then hopefully more of the small businesses go viral.

4. Offer up your skillset

As some companies try to figure out how they can survive and shift their business models to meet the needs of quarantined customers, they may need help with tasks like marketing, web design, or delivery. Reach out to your favourite small businesses and let them know what skills you can offer to help sustain them. 

Some companies might be able to pay or offer you their goods for free in exchange for your efforts, but if you can afford to volunteer, it could go a long way toward helping a small business you value to survive.

Help your favourite artist – buy their art and craft

This is so important.

At this time, I am only offering photoshoots that happen outdoors. It can be from newborn, families, small events like a picnic, small celebrations, corporate portraits and headshots. 

Another way to help my business is to order albums from past photoshoots or even just prints. 

You can always book a photoshoot for later in the year if you feel that it’s still early days, or gift a photo session for your key worker hero (discounts apply) or your friends and family.

I will update you if this changes, in the meantime, help your local business and your favourite artists!

Thank you! 

See you soon x

AnaRuivo-London-Family-Photographer

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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    My COVID-19 lockdown survival guide

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    First I was really shocked about everything that was happening in China and then Italy…and then well you know…what the situation is…

    The ones of you who know me probably know me as a positive person, and I genuinely believe lots of good things will emerge from this crisis but right now the most important thing is for us to stay home, staying home is saving lives. We are all in this together but we are the lucky ones. Lucky because I am at home with my family, we are healthy (so far so good), we have food, we have a safe place we call home, we have books and entertainment, and we have the time. The time to be with each other, the time to learn and the time to rest.

    So in that line of thought, I would like to thank all the health workers, nurses, doctors and front line workers in the world fighting this unprecedented war. Also a big thank you to pharmacists and food supply and delivery workers, rubbish collectors and cleaners, all helping to save the world. 

    I did this little guide for those of you who are in isolation with their children. I hope it helps you with some inspiration and ideas that so far are working for me and in the end, I left an activity for your children to do during the holidays so they document your days too.

    I know it can be difficult and frustrating and you feel like you have to entertain them ALL THE TIME, while you have better things to do, especially if you’re also trying to work from home. 

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    1. Manage your expectations

    We have been inundated with home learning activities and schedules and lots of lots of to-dos, but it’s quite overwhelming trying to do all those things while you work or taking caring of your family. Please lower your expectations; unfortunately, it’s impossible to have the same productivity while you take care of young children. Kids are kids, and they will act like kids, and while it’s okay for them to get bored, we should not expect them to go without interacting with us for hours on end. 

    Work in short chunks of time and forget multi-tasking – concentrating just on one thing at a time for 15-20 minutes will give you better results than trying to do it all in an hour. If you are working as part of a team, keep them updated on your availability and progress – that’s pretty much all of us can do right now.

    It won’t be forever.

    2. Online learning resources 

    At this point, you have seen tons of list with educational programs and online learning activities, so I will share the ones we like the most that are more entertaining.

    Ted-Ed – TED-Ed provides everything you need to spark and celebrate your child’s ideas.

    National Geographic Kids – Lots of resources for children from quiz, puzzles and fact packed articles.

    Audibles – Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. 

    Elevenses with The World of David Walliams – Every day David Walliams reads a story at 11am.

    Draw with Rob – Rob Biddulph posts a draw-along video every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am BST that parents could watch with their kids and, hopefully, make some nice pictures.

    WhiteRose Maths – For those kids who like maths this website has lots of free resources. My kids like to do the problem of the day.

    Keep Cooking and Carry On – Jamie Oliver is releasing new episodes every day of this series on Channel 4 – my kids love to watch cooking programs. Plus, his 9 year old son has an entire playlist on YouTube dedicated to kids-friendly cooking.

    PE with Joe Wicks – The Body Coach star creates a kids workout from Monday to Friday at 9 am. My daughters love it and everyone joins in!

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    3. Cooking and baking

    While at home it’s been non-stop in the kitchen. I have been quite busy with the girls, and I try to teach them about food/nutrition and include them in the making of cakes and some savoury dishes. We follow a plant-based diet, so my to go books for inspiration are Bosh, Happy Pear, Delicious Ella, and the fantastic website/app BBC GoodFood where I just search for an ingredient and loads of recipes appear with reviews and tips, it’s amazing!

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    4. Embrace your home. 

    You know all of those little projects you have been pushing because you didn’t have the time. Well, now it’s the time. I have been trying to organise a cupboard every day or every other day. My children’s closets, the pantry, etc. Try to include your children as much as possible; they love to help! Get some inspiration from theHomeEdit; I am sure the kids will love to organise shelves by colour. =)

    If you are lucky enough to have a garden, at this time of the year there are lots of things that need to be done, from planting, clearing and pruning. Check SarahRaven for inspiration. If you don’t, you can adventure yourself by planting some seeds or buy some indoor plants to brighten your space. Check Patch Plants for some gorgeous plants delivered to your home and Freddie’s Flower for magnificent blooms weekly deliveries.  

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    5. Finish those family photo albums.

    I started last week my family photo books. It’s something I do all the time but in little chunks. Check this post for some tips on how to organise your pictures. You don’t need to send them to print right now, but at least they are ready and updated. Your children will thank you!

    Ana Ruivo usb box prints London Family Photography

    6. Read everyday 

    Not only it’s a great family activity, but it is also very educational. Read to your kids and with your kids. Read all sorts of books, any books that they love. It’s a beautiful and intimate routine that is good for your and for them.

    Our current ones are Five Children and It, The Goldfish boy, Harry Potter book series, David Walliams book series and Ronal Dahl stories. (8 and 6-year-old girls here) 

    7. Art ans Science are important too

    Learning doesn’t involve only English and Maths. Embrace your inner artist with these fantastic art boxes or cards for kids LOLA. I know they might need a bit of guidance, but these art boxes are amazingly well done and are very inspiring for children. 

    For Science because it’s Spring I would recommend starting to plant some seeds and make a diary of them growing. Study flowers and his components etc, gardening tips are important lessons too.

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    8. Enjoy the slow life

    Trust me; they won’t fall behind or unlearn anything. So enjoy slower mornings and more time together. It’s so easy to get frustrated and resent this forced exclusion but try to find joy in this unhurried pace and see this an opportunity to foster a deeper connection with your kids. Lazy mornings in your PJs and cooking breakfast from scratch together, solving a puzzle or having a cuddle while watching a favourite TV show could just end up some of your favourite moments of this whole COVID-19 nightmare.

    I am getting back to meditation, something I used to do before having children and really helps me a lot. Balance app is offering one-year membership, so it’s good to incorporate this healthy habit back in our lives. I also use the app Calm for the kids and me. They love the night stories and wind down with the sound of waves. 

    Children Family London Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

    And for last try my photo hunt!

    Let’s not stop making visual memories. Capture these times at home with the kids through their eyes. I hope they enjoy this activity. I would love you to share the results with me!

    Stay Home – Save Lives!

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      A Walk in Kew Gardens with Chihuly

      The world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist is showcasing again his work against the stunning backdrop of Kew Gardens. It’s only two more weeks and I totally recommend for the kids.

      My daughters absolutely loved it and wanted to come back.

      In the most biodiverse place in the world, you will see the perfect marriage of art, science and nature as Chihuly’s dazzling sculptures transform the Gardens and glasshouses into a contemporary outdoor gallery space.

      The beautifully illustrated Chihuly Family Trail booklet will help children and their families engage with the exhibition and spark their imagination through games and fun tasks.

      Families can pick up a free trail for the duration of the exhibition from the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. The lovely booklet also makes a nice keepsake. Read more about it here.

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        Snapshots of our Summer – Surf and ice-creams

        It feels like Summer was ages ago while I am writing this post; it is raining cats and dogs in London.
        Our Summer was in Portugal, as usual, with our family and most of the time we spent it in our little beach cottage near the Atlantic. This place is a renowned famous surf spot, and I thought this year would be an excellent opportunity for the girls to surf.
        I was a little bit afraid, to be honest, but they just loved it, and now I am already thinking about the next time!

        These are some snapshots of our holiday in this extraordinary place. Until next time.

        Check some snapshots from the last years here and here.

        In case you want to book a documentary family photo session or if you wish to document your holidays please contact me at [email protected] or leave a note here.

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          How to Organize Your Photos in Three Simple Steps

          Are you constantly getting a “memory full” message on your phone because of the hundreds, if not thousands of photos stored? Or are you randomly seeing printed photos on bins and drawers around your house that are starting to deteriorate?

          The worst possible thing you can do is panic at the end of December and try and sort the year’s worth of pictures in one evening. So here is a quick guide to start tackling that job right now.

          Whether print or digital, organizing photos can be a daunting task! Most people don’t bother sorting their photos. They take pictures, share them on their social media and that’s about it! Because of this, many pictures, along with their memories, get lost forever. With the right approach, however, organizing photos can seem less a chore.

          While organising and working on images for my clients is a well-established process for me, keeping on top on my personal digital archive is a whole different beast, and is often an afterthought and there’s never enough time for it.

          Well, it was an afterthought but not anymore, because I’ve decided to finally take control of my digital images and apply the well-established systems and practices I know and use in my work, so you too can take control of your photographs, organize them and preserve them for your children.

           

          Holiday Family Photography - London Documentary Photographer

           

          Organizing Digital Photos

           

          Step One: Get Photos Off Your Devices

          Transfer your photos from your mobile or camera to your computer. You can put them directly to a photo management program or load them to a trusted online storage site. Do this at least once a month so that you have one less thing to worry about when your device gets stolen or malfunctions.


          Step Two: Review Your Photos

          Clean up the duplicates, correct the dates, and fix other issues. To save up space, you should also delete the repetitive shots where your poses or backgrounds don’t change. Trust me, you wouldn’t need every single shot.

          One thing that worked for me is to start as I mean to go on, and then allocate certain times to sort through the older images.

          So what I’d suggest you do is schedule an hour or so every month (or once every couple of weeks, depending on how prolific a photo-taker you are), and do a small chunk of organizing the newly taken pictures. Once you get better at it, you’ll be doing it a lot quicker and it will free up the time to go through your archives as well. In short,  little and often is the key here.

           

          Step Three: Strategize

          Decide on a system on how you’ll organize your photos. You can do this chronologically, by theme, or whatever makes sense to you. Make folders based on that structure and move your photos accordingly. This could be overwhelming so make sure to take breaks in between!

          Organise your photographs by year and/or specific event. Decide on a folder and file naming convention and stick with it, so it’s easier for you to find images in the future. A good folder structure to use is to have a folder for each year, and subfolders for each event. Start each folder name with a year, followed by a month in numerical form, and then a date, then a description of what’s inside. It will allow your computer to automatically order the folders chronologically. Consider also creating a “Favourites” folder for each year, and copy your best photos there for easy access.

          Then, once you have all your photos in their relevant folders, don’t forget to back them up.

          You should also consider printing your favorite photos. Printing gives life to your pictures. Having printed albums from digital copies is a lovely way to take a look back at your photos over and over again.

           

          BONUS Back. It. Up.

          I can’t stress this enough – you have to back up your photos. The first rule of storing your digital photographs is to assume that it’s never safe in one place and it’s not the question of ifa hard drive fails, but whenit will.

          In order to keep your precious photographs safe, you need to have copies of them in at least two places – three is even better. One on your actual computer, another on an external hard drive that’s kept in a safe at home, or another location altogether (in the case of fire), and yet another – in the cloud.

          For physical, hard drive backup I recommend an external drive like Seagate (it’s actually really small, and you can even buy travel/storage pouches for them as well) or a large capacity USB stick like  SanDisk.

          For cloud backup, I use and recommend CrashPlan but unfortunately now it’s only available for businesses. You simply install the app on your computer, tell it which folders you want backing up and when (a good idea is to leave the backup running overnight), and that’s it, the rest is done auto-magically for you. An initial backup might take a while, depending on how many photos you have (mine took several months because I have so many RAW files that are huge, but with JPEGs, you shouldn’t have this problem).

          I do not recommend Backblaze – it’s a mirrored backup which means if you delete it (even accidentally, without realising it) from your computer, it will also be deleted in your backup online – not great!

          Other cloud backup options include Dropbox or Google Drive, but once you fill up their initial storage allowance things can get pricey. Plus, you have to remember to actually put stuff in there, which is where CrashPlan comes out on top, as it’s one less thing to remember to do.

          You also can use Amazon Photos (free photo and video storage for Prime members) and Flickrwhich offers 1TB of free storage for everyone (but make sure you mark your photos as private if you don’t want the whole world to see them).

          If you have iCloud to back up your iPhone or iPad, you have to make sure you have it set up correctly, otherwise, it might not be backing up as you think it is.

          Now – and that’s the final step on our initial download, organise and backup journey – that your photographs are safely backed up, you’re going to delete all the photos you’ve just imported off your smartphone and SD cards.

          Deleting the already imported photos is an important step, as you honestly don’t want to be importing duplicates and sorting through them again in the future.

          Phew! That was quite a bit of work, wasn’t it?! It’ll get easier once you have a regular system going, and do it regularly, I promise.

           

          Organizing Printed Photos

           

          Step One: Collect your prints

          Gather all your photos together. You need to know exactly what you’re working with. Look for your prints in drawers, closets, safety deposit boxes, on the fridge, and even inside your old wallets! Go over them one by one and throw away the blurry shots, with bad exposure, or those that you never want to look at again. Meanwhile, you can pick your favorites to be placed in frames or given out to friends and relatives.

           

          Step Two: Invest

          Prepare yourself with the proper tools and get yourself a large photo album or storage box. Make sure they are photo-safe which means they are acid-free and can protect your pics from damage caused by light or chemicals. You can also buy a photo-safe pen or pencil to write on the back of your prints.

           

          Step Three: Strategize

          Just like with the digital copies, you need to plan how you want to organize your photos. Chronological might be a little harder to do since not all prints have their dates on them. But don’t fret! It doesn’t have to be perfect since you can always tweak them later on. Also, don’t forget to toss in the negatives with the photographs. These may come handy later on.

           

          BONUS: Scan

          Create backup copies of your precious old photos by scanning or digitizing them! You can then easily share them on your social media or other platforms for everyone to see.

          Organizing photos may seem like a time-consuming and towering assignment. But once you start, you’ll automatically find yourself smiling while going down the memory lane.

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          Snapshots of our month – Winter Sun

          Wow, I can’t believe we are almost at the end of January, and I just finished to edit my Christmas pics =) As soon as I got back, it’s been non-stop with newborn photo shoots and birthday parties.

          We had a lovely break in Portugal to spend time with our family, a little bit of sunshine and a much-needed pause from social media.

          These are just some snap-shots of our holiday between the crispy sunny days by the sea and lovely warm winter days in Alentejo. If you pass in Evora city in Portugal, make a visit to Convento do Espinheiro hotel, visit the beautiful University of Evora and the Herdade do Esporao wine caves.

           


          And if it’s not too late…Happy New Year!

          =)

           

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            Snapshots of our month – Hello November

            Suddenly it’s November and now it’s the official countdown until Christmas. I just wanted to share some snapshots of our last couple of weeks.

            With lots of sweets and creepy encounters, Halloween was so much fun this year!  =) Thanks to lovely friends we had a gorgeous spooky Halloween party with even a smoke machine, which worked amazingly on my pictures =)

             

             

            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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              100 days of Summer – a personal story in motion

              100 days of Summer is a personal project I do every year for my daughters. I compile short videos of our Summer holidays to honour our love for the sun and the sea.

              Summer now feels like ages ago as we are experiencing freezing days here in London but as the season changes, new adventures and new lovely moments are yet to be captured.

               

               

              Check-out the pictures I took from our time in Portugal in my other post too. And the ones in Dubai here.

              See the video from last year here.

              I hope you have a wonderful week. We are getting ready for Halloween!

               

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                Capturing moments in motherhood – why authentic is so important

                Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

                Taking pictures is today an everyday gesture.

                We all capture our daily lives with great facility and in so many different ways.
                The average person will have around 500 -1000 photos on their phone,
                but if that person is a mum, double or triple that. { In case you are wondering, I have 10 000 …}
                Mums will capture every little moment of their children’s lives, first steps, words, smiles, drawings, outings and continue capturing all the followings, having right there in the tip of their fingers a real narrative of childhood.
                A documentary of the real childhood, because who can resist a  face covered with chocolate ice cream, or a crying sibling while the other has a cheeky smile. Who has not snapped a picture of a fall into a muddy puddle while attempting to do pirouette (and felt terrible about it right afterwards)?  Snap, snap, snap!
                It’s all in the box.  We have it all, the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY.
                Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography
                But who captures mums? Who captures you? Who captures Motherhood?
                And most importantly, how do you this wonderfully abstract almost ethereal state that is your Motherhood to be captured?
                You do this and that, pick them up when they get hurt, kiss them on the knee, dry the tears, hold their hands, and then suddenly you see a camera! You stop, you fix your hair, theirs too, and smile all while telling them to do the same through a half-smiling mouth.
                As a result, we have got a picture of a mum semi-smiling and if we are lucky, one kid is smiling too while the other one tries to pull away (this is just an example to serve a purpose of course because sometimes you do get three “smiles” :-).
                Holland Park London Baby Spring Family Documentary Photography

                 

                Where did that moment go?

                The one where you put your lips on that knee to make it better, the one when the tears transformed into a smile because those lips magically healed a wounded knee?

                It passed. Just like that. And not to be too dramatic, it is gone forever.
                Luckily many more will come, because we all know childhood brings way more than a single scraped knee. or a flooded bathroom floor with soap bearded pirates admiring proudly their work.
                Many more failed attempts to bake a cake while they lick chocolate spoons, strangling hugs, and bedtime arms tightly wrapped around your neck are coming your way.
                So, why not shift from the stiffness of only posing while we can!
                It is still time to make a change, to change those poses we are so used to for the reality of this wonderful emotional roller coaster that is motherhood. Or at least add some!

                Memory is a wonderful but sometimes tricky thing.

                As adults, we only remember as far back into our childhood as our conscient brain allows us to. With luck, we have memories of our early years, photographic/precise moments in our mind, but as we grow up we forget, more and more…
                I always wonder:  wouldn’t we be happier if we remembered more of those childhood moments? Being put to bed, the kisses on the head, all that daily care?

                This is why I love documentary photography.

                This is why I created “A day in the life”, to help you capture those fleeting moments, that daily roller coaster a mother rides every day holding on tight to her little (or less little) ones.

                For me, for you,  but also and especially for them. Because no mum ever forgets having changed an uncountable number of nappies, stayed awake hundreds of nights, played hours on the floor until she no longer feels her legs, or that look on her child’s face when he runs open-armed towards her, but we, the child in us does.
                The truth in words is vital, that is a given, but the truth through an image is just as much. This is why I choose to make unposed and undirected family images.

                You will love taking this leap!

                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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                  Snapshots from our Summer 2018

                  Oh, Summer…it seems it was such a long time ago…! Coming back to these images and editing them gave me a strike of homesickness, especially today in London where there is no light.

                  We call it SAUDADE.

                  saʊˈdɑːdə/
                  noun
                  A feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese temperament.

                  I love living in a busy, chaotic and culturally rich city like London but my heart will always be by the beach, in this little village near westernmost point of Europe. Here you fall asleep with the sound of the waves, where the ocean is never calm and the days are long.

                   

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