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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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    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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    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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      Motherhood sessions – Mother’s Day offer

      Mother’s day is arriving very soon and to celebrate this day – every single day – I am introducing a shorter photo session especially for mums in London. Being a mum is an all-consuming, unforgettable job, right? And we all have 50 iPhone photos a day of our children being amazing. But go ahead and scroll through your camera roll (I’ll wait). How many are there of you with the little ones, actually doing your superhero thing, mummy? As a mother myself, one of my fears is leaving no visual record of my time with my children. How will they know what you looked like? How you interacted? Will they even remember the way you played dress up or rubbed their backs? How you get emotional with little things they say? How you sat on the floor and read books to help them poop? Do yourself — and your children — a favour. Set aside your excuses and get in the frame with them. You will love the proof of your love and hard work, and they will thank you when they’re grown. Motherhood sessions last up to 2 hours and capture the tender, funny, personal connection between you and your children with honesty. The beauty is in reality.

      Motherhood packages start at £250 and they are offered during the week.

      I am offering a 20% discount for the first 5 bookings! So if you agree this is the perfect gift for YOU, your mum, aunt, sister or friend, get in touch ASAP!

      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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        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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          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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