Category Archives: Photography

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.


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


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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      Little Spree – Sarah Clark for Massimo Dutti

      I felt so honoured when Sarah approached me to do a fashion photoshoot for her and her children for Massimo Dutti. She wanted something natural and candid, but also she wanted sharp pictures with connection with nature that could show her twins’ personalities and bond as well as their beautiful clothes.

      First and foremost a fashion editor, Sarah has worked in the industry for over fifteen years for publications including Marie Claire, Glamour, Red and The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. Now a freelance stylist and art director, Sarah draws on her expert knowledge and personal style for Little Spree to source the most stylish high street finds mixed with the occasional ‘spurge’ (but only if it’s worth splurging on.)

      It was so easy to immerse in the beautiful Richmond Park and with its golden gorgeous winter light.

      Check-out this fantastic blog full of inspiration and great styling tips for the home and yourself at Little Spree.

      Also, the final print for Massimo Dutti for their online magazine Paper is here.


      If you want to have great imagery for your project or business, or if you have any questions about business documentary photography or blog/editorial photography, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

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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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      Top Advice for Choosing Your Newborn Photographer

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

      You just found out you’re welcoming the newest addition to your family! Whether this baby is your first, last, or somewhere in between, I’m sure that a big and amazing change is about to happen in your life. New life is always a wonderful thing to witness. And to capture it through professional photography is a must! Here are pieces of advice that I think you should consider before hiring your newborn photographer:

      Pick a style that resonates with you.

      There are different styles to consider for newborn photography. Think of what kind of photos you are drawn to and imagine what you want to see hanging up on your walls. Check the portfolio of the photographers and evaluate if you feel a connection to the style of images produced.

      If your Pinterest feed is filled with portraits of babies sleeping on baskets or snuggly wrapped around cute blankets, then the posed style may be for you! These are the photos of babies resting in a curled position with a solid background and surrounded by colorful props.

      Lifestyle photography is more relaxed and can be done in the studio or at your home. A lifestyle session includes a lot of cuddling and smiling. It is guided by the photographer and will make the subjects look at their best and their most happy.

      While I don’t have anything against the first two, I prefer the documentary style of newborn photography. For me, this approach best brings out the interaction and connections within the home. It does not only show contentment from the family members but also highlights new routines, personal struggles, and unconditional love.

      Know your photographer.

      I can’t stress this enough, but you need to know your photographer. You might not be spending as much time together as you did with your wedding photographer, but it is important to have someone you are comfortable with. Hire someone you feel safe interacting with your precious one.

      Choosing the right photographer is not a decision that can be made by simply looking at their portfolio. If you like what you see on their page, then go and send an introductory e-mail about your family and your baby. You should also set-up an interview or send in some questions for you to learn their abilities and personality.

      I love it when clients try to get to know me – not just my work but also my story and my inspirations. I’ve built a connection with most of my clients based on shared experiences. This allows me to tell a better story through their photos.


      Trust is an important ingredient in any relationship and this is also true for your newborn photographer. If you love their style and have vetted them properly, then the only thing left for you to do is to trust them. Don’t stress out on every little detail and learn to be comfortable with your photographer’s approach.

      I’ve seen that clients who trust their photographers are more relaxed and happy. Their emotions reflect on the photos taken and they tend to take better pictures than those who are stressed and worried.

      I hope you find these tips helpful in hiring your newborn 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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        London Marketing Events – Business Documentary Photography

        It’s been a very busy season with lots of product launches and corporate events. I don’t do only family pictures but also business documentary photography, from small start ups to family or local businesses. It’s amazing to meet such fantastic talented people and be part of many inspirational projects.

        Thanks all for the trust in my images and in my vision. Thanks to Romeo + Jules Bespoke Stationary, Edit58, The Grace Tales, Alexandra Carello, Rosanna Falconer, DB Ceramics, Bonpoint, Liz Linkleter Events.

        If you want to have great imagery for your project or business, to document your launching party or if you have any questions about business documentary photography, 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.”


          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.


          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.).


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


          Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo PhotographyNotting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo PhotographyNotting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo PhotographyNotting 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 PhotographyDay in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo PhotographyDay in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo PhotographyDay in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography


          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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            7 tips for taking pictures at the fun fair

            Deep-fried anything, scream-inducing rides, cotton candy and prizes larger than your head… the fun fair is here!

            London has multiple beautiful Christmas markets and fairs that you can choose for your children’s delight.

            I thought it would be fun to give some tips for those of you who will be braving the trip with your camera or even your mobile.

            1. Capture the anticipation.

            Funfairs may be a drain on most parents’ wallets, but it’s sure a lot of fun for kids! They are all very excited but when it comes the time sometimes they are doubtful… Make sure to capture that.



            2. Shoot in the daytime and at night, embrace all kind of light.

            Whenever I plan a trip to the fair, I get giddy for those nighttime shots with the Ferris wheel glowing and the dark sky contrasting against it. But don’t forget to bring your camera out during the day, too! The fun combination of the funky ride colours will look awesome next to the bright, blue sky.


            3. Play with your settings.

            Get brave and slow down your shutter speed for a fun effect with the fast-moving rides. Capturing movement at the fun fair, with rides moving in a number of different directions at the same time isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Use slow shutter speed and move your camera alongside with the movement to focus on one element in the frame but blur the rest out. It will most likely take you several attempts to get it right, so don’t despair!



            4. Show the setting and shoot wide.

            It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of wide angle lenses (35 mm and less), and I adore getting the entire scene in the frame. Get a shot of your kids up high on a ride. The wide angle perspective will enhance how small your kids are next to the big, open sky.


            5. Capture the details.

            This is my norm with any session and any subject. But the fair has such a good story to tell, and not including the details is like leaving out half the book. Use the features to enhance your portraits. Get a shot of the sign with a picture of cotton candy, and then a frame with your kids stuffing this faces with pink fluff. It is so fun to see these shots side by side.



            6. Using interesting angles and perspectives.

            When I first got the fair this year, I became nervous because the rides were packed into such a small space, and I knew I wouldn’t be getting the shot of just the Ferris wheel on its own. I got creative, and wound up with shots that I love!


            7. Capture the emotions.

            Skip the posed “cheesy” shot and instead capture real emotions – and be sure to include the quieter moments too!

            Don’t forget to have fun!



            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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              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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                Home is where your story begins – London Family Photographer

                It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s dark and I was all set to write a post called “10 great reasons you should have your photo session at home”, but then I started pulling images out of my archive of client photos and from my family, and honestly, they speak for themselves. No list of reasons is needed. The proof is in the pictures.

                These images are full of personality, history, tradition, milestones, details, creativity, expression, comfort, laughter, meaning, and above all, love.

                What would you would miss most about your home if you ever had to leave it for good? What milestones have taken place under your roof? What has changed in your house since you moved in? What family traditions take place in your home year after year? What little moments and details do you currently take for granted? One day they will evolve and change, and perhaps even disappear without you realizing.

                These are all the reasons why you should document your story in your home. Your sacred space. Your extension of you.


                You can have a look at a beautiful Day in the Life session here, other Day in the Life and  my very own 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.

                Add a comment...

                Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *