Tag Archives: baby girl

London Maternity Documentary Photoshoot – what it’s all about

Nine months are flying by at an incredible rate.
Even though you can only sleep with a minimum of 5 pillows and bread is your main food group, something about the work inside your body right now makes you feel like a rockstar. And you want to remember it.
Maternity photos used to be so unusual, now they are trendy, and because of that, there’s this huge misconception surrounding maternity sessions – what they’re supposed to look like, how you’re supposed to dress, blah blah.

We’ve been conditioned, slowly but surely, to believe that a maternity session is a right of passage when you get pregnant. We follow this cookie cutter model and curl our hair and buy a new dress and imagine the romantic, backlit glow.
These photos are lovely, and yes, it feels darn good to get dressed up and honour the beauty in pregnancy. You and your baby will never be one like this again, and it’s honestly an awesome thing to celebrate that by getting in front of the camera in general, no matter how you choose.

But I want to challenge you to take it a step further and think about what is it you truly want to “capture?”

London-Maternity-Photoshoot-AnaRuivoPhotography

 

If you think about, I mean what’s unique and why you want to do a maternity session, I think you’ll realise that –
This photo session is not about the baby growing inside your belly…

…It’s about capturing the world and the people he or she is about to meet on the outside.

It’s not about staring at your belly button.
It’s not about a perfect flowing gown.
It’s not about the stunning, scenic location.
It’s not about the wooden blocks spelling his name.

BECAUSE YOU, BEAUTIFUL MUM, ARE MORE THAN HOW YOU LOOK.

Those things are beautiful, they’re fun, but they don’t capture anything you can’t flip through Pinterest and see a million other examples. And isn’t capturing truth and memories kind of the point?

If you want to “capture this season,” we’ll need more than cheeky props and perfect light.
You need the patience, the preparation, the hugs, the simplicity, the habits. Your STORY is what will make your maternity session special.

Take a look at this one. There are no words to describe the connection between this family has already forged, and I know for sure that it will grow so beautifully.

 

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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    Pink Dream 1st Birthday Party

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

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

     

     

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

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      Eco-friendly gifts for this Christmas in London

      Let’s face it: your wife or husband doesn’t want another pair of socks or a bottle of perfume, or a new pair of slippers.
      What you really want is a “magical way to chill out and appreciate the little things” gift certificate. Maybe a “get out of a stressful situation for free” gift certificate. Or perhaps a “slow down and savour your children better” gift card.
      But last I saw, these were not available at the checkout of Waitrose (or anywhere else).

      No problem!

      London Christmas Family Photoshoot Ana Ruivo Photography

      In this day of ultra-consumerism and pressure to buy something – anything for the special people in our lives, the holidays leave us all daunted and exhausted by the expectations.
      And if you’re anything like me, you’re also feeling guilty about buying new stuff that your loved ones may not want, and may end up in the local charity shop by January.
      So while I can’t grant wishes, I can offer this gentle nudge to think beyond physical goods mass-produced in China and buy your loved one an experience that she/he likely wouldn’t make time for it. In the high-pressure world of parenting+work, it’s hard to give ourselves permission to take an afternoon off to do something whimsical, decadent, or just plain fun. Unless that priceless gift is bestowed upon us.

      Many of us chose to #optoutside on Black Friday, acknowledging that there are more important things in life than getting the best deal on a new iphone or Barbie dreamhouse. Why not keep riding that wave, ditch some of the Amazon-driven pressures this holiday season, and seize the opportunity to gift a memory instead?

      Here are some ideas to get you started:

      A MEMBERSHIP TO ANY OF THE AMAZING LONDON MUSEUMS.

      BECOME A FRIEND OF KEW GARDENS.

      as a family or gift to someone who loves nature.

      Holland-Park-London Family Photographer-anaruivophotography

      A FUN, ONE-ON-ONE DATE WITH THAT TODDLER who’s a dream when not competing with older siblings.

      Let’s say Legoland or Natural History Museum, yes all those dinosaurs…

      LEARN A NEW CRAFT.

      Research shows that people who work creatively with their hands are happier and healthily endure stress than people who don’t. London has an immense and impressive artist community, with all manner of classes open to the public, from pottery to painting, ironwork to woodwork. You can give an art workshop for your loved one and for both of you to do together. Next year I am going to find a pottery class near me, and I am going back to my love for painting.

      SAVOUR YOUR CHILDREN.

      The kids are amazing, delightful, adorable, and changing so quickly. But 90% of the day is spent trying to get them to go play somewhere else; rushing them out the door, or explaining to them why drumming on the antique table with hammers is not acceptable.
      But on those rare occasions that you’re able to detach from the daily slog and really be with them, the balance shifts to that other 10% – when they’re sweet, connected, curious, and a joy.

      Granted I’m biased, but personally, I can’t think of a better way to show a mother or father that they are appreciated than through a gorgeous photo – or better yet a photo session – depicting their special, intimate relationship with the children.

      A day in the life - London Documentary Family - Ana Ruivo Photography

      A GORGEOUS FINE-ART PHOTO PRINT FOR THE WALL.

      It’s been my 2018 mission to replace the non-sentimental art pieces in our home with photographs of real scenes from our life. And you know what? Every time I walk by the photo of my daughters running and jumping through the waves in our favourite beach holiday I’m flooded with warmth and nostalgia. They say life is art, and who’s to say that shouldn’t include our personal, everyday stories? Every third website these days seems to be devoted to making wall art from photos, but beware: not all are created equal. Contact me for info on my own favourite masterful fine art prints.

      Our life Summer 2018-London Family Photographer-anaruivophotography

      A SHORT PHOTO SESSION.

      Capturing how beautifully you love your children and keep the family together. One of my favourite session types to photograph is a three-hour storytelling session, which captures the connection between parents and their little one(s). These sessions commonly span two hours, spent on daily tasks at home – laundry, homework, cooking, art, reading books – and are a beautiful way to bottle up the feeling and intensity of parenting through this specific chapter of childhood – whichever one you’re at.

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

      A DAY IN THE LIFE PHOTO SESSION – I only do 12 days in the life sessions in 2019, and until the end of the year, I am offering 50% off on these sessions if you book by the end of the year. Slots limited to this offer. Contact me for details.

       

      London Family Photographer -Ana Ruivo -offer

       

       

      In the case, you really need to buy something physical take a look at these colourful and eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes from My Green Vibes. A fantastic project that I photographed this year. Laeticia, a mum and entrepreneur is set on the purpose to live with less plastic and she taught me that every little helps to reduce our plastic consumption and save our planet!

      Top of mind, this is my list. What would you add to yours?

       

       

       

       

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        7 family photo shoot ideas for rainy days

        While I love being outside and capturing the family fun in the great outdoors, what I don’t like is waiting until later to capture precious memories of your children growing up. We all know sometimes you expect to do something until a better time, and then we realise the time is just gone!
        There are no excuses.
        Here is a list of my favourite ideas to do on a rainy day indoors. The time is now!

        1. Visit a Museum

         

        If you are one of those families that can’t stay still at home, yes, a Museum it’s a perfect example of a day out but indoors. London is impressive because it has an array of fantastic museums, fun for the kids too. We love the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum and The British Museum. These museums have beautiful architecture and lots of fascinating objects that will create great pictures.

        2. Bake together

         

        Baking is another excellent family activity that many parents and children enjoy doing together. All families have their favourite baking recipes. From chocolate chip cookies, lovely madeleines, gingerbread cookies to banana bread, everything is good!
        Children will be children and yes just let them me. There will be flour on the floor, bowl and spoon licking, it’s all fine! These moments make beautiful and memorable photographs that I can promise you, you will cherish for years and years to come.

        3. Play games

        Family games are great to involve everyone, whether it’s a round of Pictionary or Monopoly, dress up or make-believe, just-dance in your living room, it’s all good.

        4. Read

         

         

        I love the connection I have with my daughters when we read together.
        For many is a bed-time routine but it’s also an excellent activity for quieter moments during the day, reading is the one thing that pretty much everyone does at one point or another, whether it’s a short photo shoot or a day in the life session.
        It’s also a way to get the whole family to slow down and in one place for longer than one minute so I can capture a picture of all of you.

        5. Get Crafty

         

         

        If you enjoy making things, please do! Crafts is a great way to involve everyone and the messier, the better! Glue, knit, build, draw, paint, it’s delightful to see the joy on your children’s faces and look of pride with their newest creations. It’s so worth it!

        6. Bath time!

        Bath time is an always an excellent way to finish a day in the life photo shoot. Especially for babies as they feel a little sleepy afterwards. It’s still such a particular time for any family and perfect for when you have a baby or a toddler. Bubbles, soap and water are good ingredients for great pictures.

        7. Don’t Do Anything Special

        There’s no need to do any activity just for our session. Just get on with your day, and I’ll be able to see and capture the beauty of the everyday for you.
        During my short 2-3 hour sessions I ask the parents to put away their devices and really concentrate on this precious family time together. Of course, during the Day in the Life experience, there’s no such expectation. No one can be 100% engaged and switched on all day long. And you don’t need to; we are documenting your typical day to drop all pretences and the ideas of what at “perfect” day should look like, and just be.

        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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            Family Portraits – Holland Park London

            This beautiful family have been my client for years and before going back to their home country they asked me to do family portraits at their most loved London park – Holland Park. This is a lifestyle session. I am going to miss these guys.

             

             

            If you want to give a family 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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              Summer is here – Autumn Session Sale

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

              So I present you Summer unplugged Autumn Session SALE! 

               

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

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

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

               

               

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              A Day in the Life – Newborn Family Photography

              On a rainy Sunday in London this family asked me to capture their life with their new sweet two weeks old newborn and their two years old daughther. Life with a new baby is not easy and especially when you have a toddler too.   At the end of the day you are exhausted but it’s all worth it. It sounds like a cliche as they say “the days are long but the years are short”…but it is true. Having children it feels like life is fast forwarding at an incredible speed. Last year baby F (now two years old) was just tiny and look at her now!

              When you fall onto the sofa at the end of a fun family day, which are the moments that make you smile, make you cringe, take your breath away? What will you miss as time flies by and it’s hard to remember what life was like back then?

              There is no better way to capture the chaos, the beauty, the absurdity, the tenderness, and the precise character of your family’s right now than a Day in the Life photo session. These sessions are undirected and documentary in style, and create an intimate, beautiful record of your life at this moment in time.

              You can have a look at another beautiful Day in the Life session here,  and another here or 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.

               

              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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                6 months of baby Y – London Lifestyle Photography

                What a joy was to photograph this gorgeous family among beautiful flowers in Holland Park. The mother is a big fan of flowers and we must say baby Y loves them too. 6 months is a perfect age for a relaxed walk in the park and to capture the best of this stage.

                 

                 

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

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                  A tribute to all mothers – I see you

                  Dear Mum,

                  I know how busy you are. I know the timing is never perfect. This weekend there is a birthday party, next one there’s ballet and football practice. You still need to lose those extras pounds, you should buy new clothes for the children. Maybe when they are older, they will behave better in front of the camera…No. No, because when I see you through my camera I see you as you are in your heart.

                  Notting Hill day in the life London Family Photography

                  When I photograph you, I can see things that you are not able to see yourself. I can see the tiny moments that never get captured by your phone. I can see the way your son grabs your sweater on your back when you pick him up. I can see the way your husband looks at you when you are looking at the kids. I can see the way your daughter looks at you like you have superpowers.

                  I can see the way you love unconditionally your family, the way you laugh so sincerely with your children. I can see the way your eyes sparkle with every new trick or expression your baby does. I see your strong arms that are able to lift loads of groceries and baskets of laundry. I see your graceful body that was able to carry your children. I can see your beautiful hands that wipe away tears and your lips that can cure all the imaginary pains.

                  Oxford London Family Photography-Ada-145 copy

                  You don’t have any dark circles under your eyes, your weight is exactly right and your hair looks perfect. All I can see is love. And love makes all the imperfections that beat us down every day in the mirror blur into the background.

                  Your children will remember the way your laugh sounds and the smell of your hair and the warmth of your breath on their heads.  They will remember the way your hands turned the pages of the books and that you gave the best hugs they will ever have.  They will know that the lines on your face came from how much you smiled and the wrinkle in your forehead came from how much you worried because you loved them with everything you had.

                  Holiday Family Photography - London Documentary Photographer

                   

                  And when they look back at your photo albums, they will not see anything other than how you gave them the world. Don’t let the time pass without being in pictures with your children.

                  Let’s tell your story. The time is now.

                  x

                  Ana

                   

                  I hope you had all a lovely Mother’s Day. Thanks everyone, who entered my giveaway. I cried and laughed with your sincere answers and I am happy to offer all who entered £100 discount on all 3 hours photoshoot packages.

                  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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