Tag Archives: childhood memories

London Family Photographer in Beautiful Chiswick House

Chiswick-House-Gardens-London-Family-Phototography

One of my favourite spots to photograph in West London

As a London family photographer, one of my favourites spots to capture in West London is Chiswick House and Gardens. I love the architecture and its relation to the beautiful gardens. There are lots of different paths and little corners that are perfect for toddlers and children to explore.

Chiswick House is a magnificent neo-Palladian villa set in beautiful historic gardens in West London. A £12.1 million project has restored the gardens which were unveiled in June 2010. Built by the third Earl of Burlington in 1729 to showcase his art collection, the house continues to display many spectacular works of art and provides a stunning venue for events.

The gardens at Chiswick are the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and have inspired countless gardens including New York’s Central Park. The varied and interesting gardens are perfect backdrops for your photoshoot.

Chiswick-House-Gardens-London-Family-Phototography

This family was leaving London, and these gardens were one of the most cherished memories for them, especially during the lockdown.

I have been taking pictures of them for many years so, of course, it is hard to see them go, but they are moving to Lisbon, so I know they are going to be alright =)

Chiswick House 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.

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

My view of documentary family 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 do 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.

Chiswick-House-Gardens-London-Familly-Photographer

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5 ways to celebrate International Women’s Day with your daughter

The 8th of March is regarded around the world as International Women’s Day. It’s the day when we celebrate the accomplishments, both big and small, of women worldwide and a perfect day to celebrate with your daughter. 

Mother-Child-Family-Chiswick-House-Gardens-London

Whether you want to teach her about her self-worth or the value of other women out there in the world, here are five activities you can do with your daughter to celebrate International Women’s Day.

1. Watch a movie about a strong female lead.

There are TONS of movies out there showcasing a strong female lead. If you’re having trouble finding some kid-friendly ones, try these: Mulan, Madeline, Alice in Wonderland, Akeelah and the Bee. Not only are they kid-friendly, but it gives you an excellent opportunity to talk with your daughter about the importance the female character played in the movie and introduce her to this internationally celebrated day. 

2. Attend an event (even online)

Take your daughter to an exhibition of a female artist; attend an event in your area for International Women’s Day; take her to a festival or a play at the local theatre. Check on the International Women’s Day website to find an event near you. 

3. Read books

One of the best ways to educate and spark conversations with your kids is to read books. Fortunately, there are thousands of books out there written by incredible female authors or about strong women, so your choices are far from limited. To help you narrow it down, School Run found the best girl-empowering books for kids

4. Learn and do

Pick a strong woman that inspires you and teach your daughter about her. If she was a painter like Georgia O’Keefe or Frida Khalo, learn about her painting style and mimic it. If she is a gymnast like Simone Biles, take your daughter to a gymnastics lesson or have one in your living room better yet. If she is a tennis player like Serena Williams, watch a few videos about her and then head out to the courts to play a few games yourself. There are so many incredible women with incredible talents. Take today to celebrate those women and try something new. 

5. Say, “Thank you”.

Grant Family Hydepark 2019Sm 72

Pick a special woman in your or your child’s life to celebrate. It can be a grandmother, a teacher, a coach, a neighbour, or a lunch lady. Every woman deserves to be celebrated today, and there are a few who deserve a little something extra. So, write her a card, take her out to lunch, buy her flowers, or anything else you can think of that would make her feel special and loved. Most importantly, make sure she knows why she’s being celebrated.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate today, make it a point to educate your daughter on women’s vital role in our world’s history. Not only does she need to realize the importance of female contributions, but she needs to see that she is essential and she can make a difference in this world. After all, our kids are the ones who will grow and transform our nation one day. So, let’s do our part and educate them on this International Women’s Day.

A smart woman learns from her failure, smiles during her lows and grows stronger when faced with challenges. You are one of them. Happy Women’s Day!

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    A Day in the Life at Holland Park Photoshoot

    I know this family for quite some time now, and unfortunately, like many families this year, they decided to leave London. It’s not a goodbye holland park photoshoot but it’s an important set of pictures that I hope they will cherish forever.

    Since moving to West London I’ve fallen in love with Holland Park. A wonderful spot for family photography and also just for the place itself, a great spot for a walk and explore on the wildest part of the park. 

    In this morning in the life photo session, I was thrilled when we planned a trip to Holland Park photoshoot for this recent family photography session. 

    It’s been a crazy year as we know so far but that doesn’t deter my clients to keep on making memories. I think especially this year we should do more pictures, more albums and more prints to decorate our walls and bookshelves. Our children need that warm comfort that family is always together no matter what.

    Holland-Park-Photoshoot-London-Family-Photography

    This shot, one of my favourites from our portrait session, caught my eye the moment I took it. I absolutely love it.  There is so much love, so much connection, the moment is fantastic. It’s an image that is full of emotion and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

    I love to think that the girl, who is older, will be able to look back at images like this and see so much of her childhood in London. Who wouldn’t want a picture like this from their childhood, to have a visual record of the fun they had and be reminded of how much they are loved and love in return.  This is what I look for in my work and if this is how you would like to record your family life then do get in touch, with lockdown looming we might be booking for the New Year but it’s always lovely to have something to look forward to.

    I am very sorry I have been so busy I haven’t been able to give the proper attention to my blog and share with you the most wonderful photoshoots I have been doing since September.

    Holland Park Photoshoot

    I’m Ana Ruivo – an award-winning London family photographer. Since 2013 I have photographed hundreds of clients from all over the world, here in London like this Holland Park photoshoot but all the UK and the USA Spain, France, Portugal, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE and Hong Kong.

    My view of documentary family 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 do 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.

    Holland-Park-Photoshoot-London-Family-Photography

    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.

      This Is Our Life2020 Anaruivo 3289

      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!

      Photo Hunt Kids Arphoto

      Stay Home – Save Lives!

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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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        Birthday Party at the Coworth Park

        It’s a girl’s dream to celebrate a birthday day in such an idyllic place like Coworth Park. If you or your children love horses, this is the place! Gorgeous outdoors combined with fantastic hospitality from The Dorchester.

        Carefully planned by the Notorious Kids, this party was amazing and full of enjoyable activities.

        Check it out for yourself!

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          Autumn in London – Hyde Park – Family Photography

          Summer may be over; the days are getting shorter, the temperatures colder and rainy days in London are setting in. Embrace that back-to-school feeling and enjoy Autumn in London where the parks are bursting with warm colours perfect for long walks.


          Grant Family Hydepark 2019Sm 52

          This family wanted to celebrate Autumn with an after school picnic in Hyde Park, and we were so fortunate with the weather. There was lots of running to get some pictures from these boys and the dog, who loves to pose, but it was completely worth it.

          Check-out an another beautiful session during Autumn in Hyde Park here for some inspiration.

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

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            Snapshots of our Summer – Surf and ice-creams

            This Is Our Life 2019 Web 34

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

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

            Check some snapshots from the last years here and here.

            In case you want to book a documentary family photo session or if you wish to document your holidays please contact me at anaruivophotography@gmail.com or leave a note here.

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              A Birthday Party in a Bus – Brigit’s Afternoon Tea

              The day we were born is always a special day for us! We often spend weeks, if not months, planning on how to spend our special day. For most of us, we celebrate our birthdays by holding a party and inviting our friends and family. For others, they prefer to travel and go on an adventure.

              Back when I was a child, I used to spend the days before my birthday dreaming of the food, games, and gifts I was going to have. I enjoyed seeing all my loved ones come together. Until now, I still get very excited about birthday celebrations. In fact, I love capturing them since there’s so much to memorialize and remember!

              Catalina Birthdayparty 2019 3

              Today, I am thrilled to share with you the awesome and distinctive way this 11-year-old celebrated her birthday!

              Catalina, the lovely celebrant, chose to hop on a bus with her mom and three of her friends for a fun and intimate celebration. They experienced a lovely afternoon sipping tea, eating cake, and sampling sandwiches. While doing all that, they were also taking in the best sites London has to offer!

              The unique tour is from B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour. Their vintage double-decker bus drove around Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and more.

              This celebration was undoubtedly an extraordinary event. I loved capturing every moment of it. Everyone was all smiles throughout the ride! The kids were genuine and hilarious.

              Check-out my top tips for photographing birthday parties in my blog.

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

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                Kid’s birthday party at Hogwarts London – Harry Potter theme

                 

                Harrypotter-Party-Homehouse-London-Kids-Anaruivophotography

                 

                We are approaching World Book Day with much enthusiasm in our house, and this Harry Potter theme party just sparkled the child in me! I remember diving into J. K. Rowling books for hours in a row until late at night when I was a teenager, and it’s a joy to see even today these storybooks are still much loved. Notorious kids did a fantastic job transforming the Home House club in the most magical place. Nothing more than Hogwarts wizard school for a 9-year-old fan of Harry Potter books. Every detail was outstanding!

                 


                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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