Tag Archives: family documentary photography

Barnes Family Photography on a Cold Spring Day

Finally, it’s over the lockdown in London, and I was able to start working this last week. A Barnes family photography session was my first; a short storytelling session with this lovely family who would like to celebrate and capture their son’s 10th birthday and new home.

Barnes-Family-Photography-Children-Photographer

It was supposed to be a spring day, but it was shocking to see it started to snow when we headed to their garden! It was beautiful to see brother and sister so close and snuggly under the covers on the swing and to witness their deep connection and close bond.

Barnes Family Photography London Children Photos April2021 28

The birthday boy received this unbelievable game table which has over 12 different games! It’s amazing! The mum gave them some tips on the pool, and we got all very competitive in playing little basketball. It was lots of fun.

Barnes Family Photography London Children Photos April2021 54

They played and sang happy birthday, and our session finished while ordering sushi – takeaways have been life-saving these last months, right?

Barnes 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.

I hope you like this lifestyle family photography session where I incorporated a documentary approach. If you would like to know more about Documentary Family Photography check it here. I am a proud member of the Documentary Family Photographers Association.

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    A Documentary Family Photography Dream Client

    Documentary-Family-Photography-West-London-Photographer

    Do you hate forced poses and being told to say cheese? Do you have a kid who dislikes being directed or cannot sit still for a picture? Or do you loathe over-the-top photoshoots? Then you might be my dream documentary family photography client!


    Capturing great photos often boils down to the client and the photographer sharing the same vision for the shoot. You should understand your photographer’s style and be able to trust him/her with the camera. This is why it’s crucial for me as a photographer and a businesswoman to define my dream client and explain my style.


    My dream clients are those who like family traditions (so I can capture them), the ones who have crazy and wild kids, and those that love an adventure. I want to work with clients who prefer an honest and artful visual record of their lives. These are people who don’t like to have the perfect smile, the fake laughs, or the photoshopped look. People who don’t care about what others think as long as they are having fun.

    They want to relax and enjoy the shoot without worrying about how their hair looks or if their make-up is still intact. Those that are not afraid to get messy; won’t cry foul when something doesn’t go as planned or won’t get mad when something tumbles or spills. My dream client loves details and wants to remember the moment for how they felt in it.

    Documentary-Family-Photography-Children-Photographer-Anaruivo


    Documentary Family Photography and Lifestyle Photography

    My photography style is not for those who love getting their family dressed up and getting their portraits taken in a beautiful location. If this is what you want, then a lifestyle photography shoot might be more fitting for you. It’s also not for the people who have a hard time letting go or are not comfortable being themselves in front of the camera. And it is not for those who just want a quick session. If you want to get it done fast, then a portrait session at a studio may be more suitable for you. I think there is nothing wrong with these styles; they are just not what I do.


    I am passionate about capturing real emotions, genuine connections, and authentic moments in life that might soon be forgotten. My style is not intrusive, and I want my clients to be at ease while taking their photographs. I don’t want to snap perfectly combed photos. Instead, I am drawn to the in-between moments, the raw feelings that can take us back to a specific place or emotion. It is more than just love, joy, and happiness. It can include chaos, tantrums, and even tears which are all part of life.

    Documentary-Family-Photography-London Family Photographer-2018-Anaruivophotography


    Since I just let the moment evolve by itself, there is no posing or acting in front of the camera. All the emotions are natural. My mission is not to make you look your best or your prettiest but to make you remember your life as it is – the love, the fun, the chaos, the hard times, and the unique moments.

    Documentary-Family-Photography-Anaruivo


    So if you’re ready to embrace the beauty and the chaos through documentary family photography, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s have a chat!

    I’m Ana Ruivo – an award-winning London family photographer. 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 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.

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      Fun Family Photography in West London

      Fun family photography is not easy to come by if you are only looking for a family portrait session. Adding the documentary approach to my lifestyle photo sessions allows my clients to have a taste of all the amazing benefits that documentary photography can do to enrich their family albums. Unposed moments, real emotions and authentic connection are all captured.

      Fun-Family-Photography-West-London-Photographer

      Fun Family Photography in London

      This lovely and joyful family were leaving soon to New Zealand, and they wanted to capture their home before leaving. This was the perfect moment to make photographs to remember forever, not only beautiful portraits by their doorstep but also the sweet in-between moments, their daughters’ interactions and of course their lovely home. I always love to incorporate my client’s home in the family photoshoots. It’s the place where they are often the most comfortable, and it’s reflected in the relaxed, real-life, documentary imagery.

      Fun-Family-Photography-West-London-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 hope you like this lifestyle family photography session where I incorporated a documentary approach. If you would like to know more about Documentary Family Photography check it here. I am a proud member of the Documentary Family Photographers Association.

      West London Fun Family Photography

      I’m Ana Ruivo – an award-winning London family photographer. 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 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.

      Fun-Family-Photography-West-London-Photographer
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        New Motherhood Photo Sessions – Special Mothers Day Offer

        Mothers-Day-Offer-Motherhood-Photoshoot

        Mothers 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.

        Mothers-Day-Offer-Family-Photographer-Anaruivo-London-Photography

        Mothers day offer on Motherhood sessions 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 mothers day offer 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 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 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.

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        A day in the Life Heartwarming Family Photoshoot in Kensington

        On this dark and cold London day, Autumn looks so far away now, but this family photoshoot warms my heart.

        London-Family-Photoshoot-Kensington

        This is the year, more than any other before, we see how important are the moments with our family and close ones. The little moments in between in our daily lives, the closeness and connection with our children are one thing we sometimes forget to capture and it is the most important to remember.

        Check out other family photoshoot here.

        If you want to give a family photoshoot 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.

        Family-London-Photoshoot-Children-Kids-Photographer

        I’m Ana Ruivo – an award-winning London family photographer. 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 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.

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        • RacheleThese pictures are so beautiful that they really make me feel emotional. ReplyCancel

          • anaruivoAw I know! They are very special. xReplyCancel

        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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            Sunday mornings and a farewell – London Family Photography

            Morning routines sometimes are so underrated. We just want to do everything as quickly as possible and rush out of the house. But it is the little moments that make our lives and can intrinsic memories.

            London Family Photography

            This was fun but at the same time emotional photo session. This family left London and went to NY so they wanted to remember their beloved home and also that the girls would never forget their time in London at their home where they were born and grew beautifully.

            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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              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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                A Walk in Kew Gardens with Chihuly

                The world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artist is showcasing again his work against the stunning backdrop of Kew Gardens. It’s only two more weeks and I totally recommend for the kids.

                My daughters absolutely loved it and wanted to come back.

                Ourlife2019 Summer 46 1

                In the most biodiverse place in the world, you will see the perfect marriage of art, science and nature as Chihuly’s dazzling sculptures transform the Gardens and glasshouses into a contemporary outdoor gallery space.

                The beautifully illustrated Chihuly Family Trail booklet will help children and their families engage with the exhibition and spark their imagination through games and fun tasks.

                Families can pick up a free trail for the duration of the exhibition from the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. The lovely booklet also makes a nice keepsake. Read more about it here.

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