Tag Archives: day in the life photography

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.


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.


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 – There is nothing as beautiful as real life

    I am very happy to share today one of my latest family day in the life photoshoots where there was no posing or direction from me. I don’t feel comfortable telling people what to do, my clients know that posing and directing families is really hard and unnatural for me.

    My job as a documentary family and newborn photographer is not always to make flattering, bright, and happy pictures of smiling faces. My job is to make images that make you feel something, to freeze a moment in time, to tell a story and to make keepsakes that you and your family will keep going back to. My job is to show just how funny, exhausting, heartwarming, and interesting everyday parenthood really is. And that’s where the beauty resides.

    A mom playing with a toddler while colouring with her oldest children. The light in children eyes while playing with their father. The connection between children and their mum. The silliness, the joy, the wonder and the chaos of 3 children, all different ages.

    No direction needed. Pictures full of life, full of emotion.


    Secondly, because the thing I value most in photography is being able to catch the moment’s spirit or soul as well as my subject’s. I love to shoot when my subject is truly being himself, immersed in whatever it is (s)he is doing in his/her own world; when (s)he is unconscious of me and my camera’s gaze, and his/her spirit unfolds in its full richness. There, you’re just bearing witness to a simple but real and deeper moment in that part of time and space. The moment a person cares about the photographer’s eye, s(he) starkly becomes aware of his/her body, mind, and environment and the shot slips beyond the sincerity.

    While I still do quite a bit of “lifestyle” photography, I prefer unposed documentary family photography because it brings out the true emotions and personalities of a family.  As a mother myself, I know the stress of planning family portraits. The coordinating outfits and “You better smile at the camera or ELSE” feelings, and it doesn’t always evoke positive memories when I look at those photos! Of course, I LOVE those perfect photos to send out to our friends and families, I call them the “grandparents’ shots” =)  but they are not who WE are. But when I see candid images captured of my daughters, it brings me back to the giggles or the sense of accomplishment, or the emotions of defeat, the true connections to my children and the events at hand. I don’t only want to remember the happy/good days in life.

    Sometimes, the attitudes and tears, the scrapes and fights, the tantrums followed by the apologetic loving embrace, remind us of how we became who we are.


    I choose to be a documentary family photographer to provide those same connections and emotions for other families. I want families to know and truly BELIEVE that your everyday life is just as important to capture as the annual Christmas card photo/ “memorable” moments in life! There is nothing to be embarrassed about when your house is messy or your kids are fighting. There is nothing to hide when you need to fold laundry while your little ones play on the floor next to you. You are beautiful when you snuggle up and read to your kids, and your family is perfect, even when the kids aren’t colour coordinated in new clothes! 


    The fact that my clients cry on receiving their slideshow of their day in the life only confirms for me what an incredible gift this is for the families that open themselves up to have a day documented in this way.

    Documentary family photography has a real power beyond just a “nice” picture to go on the wall. We are creating a heritage for future generations – the ability to look back at what life looked and felt like on that one day, to start conversations between our children and their own grandchildren, long after we have left this world. When you think about it, that is pretty darn cool! This is why I choose to make unposed and undirected family images.

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