Tag Archives: baby photography

Authentic Family and Baby Photography in Hampstead – A Day in the Life

Spring arrived, family and baby photography is allowed, and I can finally get back to my documentary photo sessions. It is a delight to photograph families with babies below one year old. All their routine is changing rapidly, and you really want to capture it all. The fuss they make while dressing up, the giggles and their curiosity flourishing day by day. It is fascinating to watch!

Family And Baby Photography - Hampstead - Baby - London Family Photography - Ana Ruivo-76

I am incredibly passionate about documentary family and baby photography and believe that A Day in the Life sessions are so important to tell our story most authentically. Most of us do a great job of documenting extraordinary outings, celebrations, and milestones, forgetting that in many ways, our most cherished memories are derived from everyday moments.

It can be challenging to step back and appreciate the beauty of the life as we experience or observe it day in and day out, but the fact is that our daily activities do change – sometimes incrementally and gradually. A Day in the Life is a beautiful way to capture the rituals and routines that are so easy to take for granted (but are gone before we know it).

Do you remember how your days were spent with your children when they were still babies? What were their favourite toys? What games or activities did they love doing with you? Was bath time a breeze? Were meal times messy?

These are questions that may get harder to answer as time goes by. It’s probably easier to remember your children’s christening, first birthday party, or their first words. But we sometimes forget the ordinary days – the lazy afternoons spent listening to nursery rhymes, the random walks in the park, bedtime routines, and so much more.

Family And Baby Photography - Hampstead - Baby - London Family Photography - Ana Ruivo-76

It is likely because most of us do a good job documenting extraordinary outings, celebrations, and milestones while forgetting to photograph the things we do daily. We fail to realize that our most cherished moments can come from the things we do every day.

I took these fantastic pictures from a day in a life of a family with a beautiful 9-month-old baby boy. I was delighted to be able to take a sneak peek at what happens in their typical day. It includes photos from their playtime, mealtime, and even bath time which all looked magical.

Finding beauty in the ordinary, unscripted moments is what I do, and I enjoy bringing that to my clients. I photograph habits and routines that are easy to take for granted but are gone before we know. I love capturing the seemingly simple moments that make up our entire lives.

Family And Baby Photography - Hampstead - Baby - London Family Photography - Ana Ruivo-76

Whatever your day looks like, nothing better captures it like documentary-style photography. Ready for your family and baby photography session? Drop me a message.

Family and Baby Photography in Hampstead – A Day in the Life

I’m Ana Ruivo – an award-winning London family photographer. I am specialized in family and baby photography. Since 2013 I have photographed hundreds of clients from all over the world, all the UK and the USA, Spain, France, Portugal, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE and Hong Kong.

My view of documentary family and baby photography is that it is unscripted, unposed, and records what happens naturally. I’ll come to your home, or meet you at the park or at brunch, wherever you choose, and just take photos as you and your family or friends interact just as you would on a day when a photographer was not present. I will not ask you to pose, sit still, “say cheese”, or pretend anything. There is no pretending, this is your life, documented. Let the kids be kids, Dad does his thing, and Mum just enjoy the experience.

I want these photos to capture the true essence of your family, your relationships, the stage of your life you are currently experiencing. I want it to be real, in all its tantrum-ing, messy, teary, silly, beautiful glory. I want to capture this chapter in your story so that you can look and remember exactly how it looked and felt at this very moment.

Your family has a story, many stories actually to tell, and I believe they should be preserved.

Check-out my awarded images in Family Photojournalist Association this year!

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    London Family Lifestyle Portrait Session

    I still do family lifestyle photography from time to time. My sessions are super relaxed and my main goal is to capture connection and the children’s personalities.

    These are some of my favourites from this session. On this day it was zero degrees outside! I love winter light.

    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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    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?”



    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.


    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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      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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        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:



        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…


        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.


        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


        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


        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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            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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