Tag Archives: family pictures

A Day in the Life Holland Park London Photoshoot

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.

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.

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

f 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.

    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!

    Stay Home – Save Lives!

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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.


      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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        Summer in London – Family Documentary

        English Summer weather is quite tricky – we can have literally 4 seasons in one day – but it’s wonderful to have warmer days and to enjoy London parks. My families have been scheduling and re-scheduling in an effort to find a beautiful sunny day but sometimes to wait it’s not possible and we work with what we have. Life goes on and life with children feels that goes even faster.

        We are so lucky with this glorious day of sun, the family enjoyed a morning in their garden. This session reminded me of my own children as they have the same age-gap and oh dear it’s not easy! So much fun running after them…

        Don’t wait to book your session!

        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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        The difference between lifestyle and documentary photography

        Ever asked yourself what’s so different about these weird words – “Lifestyle photography” and “documentary photography?”

        How do you know what you want or what to ask a photographer when you’re looking to book a session? These terms are often used reciprocally because on a surface level; both are used to describe images that look relaxed and natural. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

        Let’s pull these terms apart and break down the difference between the two.

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

        LIFESTYLE IS: Lifestyle sessions produce photos through orchestrated light, location, space, wardrobe, and engagement to capture a beautiful, candid moment. They allow families to look their best and demonstrate a family dynamic when they are their most happy and their most “together.”

        THE BIGGEST DIFFERENTIATING FACTOR TO LIFESTYLE PHOTOS IS THAT THEY DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS GIVEN SOME DIRECTION ALONG THE WAY.

        They are not traditionally posed or placed, as in the studio experience of “stand here, tilt your chin a bit, dip your shoulder…” but subjects are guided merely into place and given prompts/direction to facilitate movement and interaction.
        One common misconception is that merely because a session takes place outside, it’s “lifestyle.” But it’s not a prerequisite to being outside – in fact, my newborn sessions are typically lifestyle in nature, but all take place in the home. It’s all about the casual approach and direction over posing.

        TO BE CLEAR, IT IS NOT THAT THE MOMENTS ARE FAKE BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT- A GOOD LIFESTYLE SESSION SHOWS PERSONALITY, CONNECTION, AND GENUINE EXPRESSION.

        Holland-Park-London Family Photographer-anaruivophotography

        DOCUMENTARY IS: Rooted in the methods of photojournalism, documentary sessions produce photos with no photographer interference. Nothing is moved or touched in the scene, the subjects are not directed, the light not altered, and the post-production is minimal (no skin retouching, objects removed in photoshop, etc.).

        THE PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUSES SOLELY ON THE MOMENTS UNFOLDING AND CAPTURING THEM ARTISTICALLY BY USING ANGLES, COMPOSITION, AND FOCUS TO TELL A PARTICULAR STORY WITH DETAIL AND DEPTH.

        Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-London Family Documentary Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography

        Where objects may have been considered “clutter” and moved, or lightly considered too dark in a lifestyle session, an excellent documentary photographer includes and utilise these aspects in the frame intentionally because they add to the authentic story. These sessions focus on the emotion over appearance. They feature meaningful environments and details that often go overlooked but are iconic for documenting a time/place/or stage in life. The blankie before it is torn to shreds, the pancake recipe you used every Saturday morning, the way you made your coffee, tickled a child, the games you played and stores you visited.

        WHILE A SERIES OF ACTIVITIES IS  PLANNED, THE SUBJECTS AREN’T BEING DIRECTED IN ANY WAY TO ACHIEVE A PARTICULAR RESULT OR EMOTION.

        Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography Notting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo PhotographyNotting Hill London Documentary Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

        THE VERDICT: Neither type is better than the other. I shoot for both and believe there is a place for both. It all depends on your goals for the images and personal preference. Often people assume they want a lifestyle session – it’s what we see all over Pinterest and what’s most popular right now for showing joy, laughter, happiness, and overall, just your family at their best in a particular stage of life (clean, smiling, happy!) Who doesn’t love that?! But I also believe that in 30 years when our kids are graduating, getting jobs,  moving on to start families of their own – they’ll long for images that show them the intricacies of their childhood. Pictures beyond the selfie or the obligatory first day of school on the front porch photo, but the kind that acts as a reminder of the reality that shaped them.

        Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography Day in the life-newborn London Family Photography-Ana Ruivo Photography

        WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK FROM A LIFESTYLE OR DOCUMENTARY SESSION?
        WHAT KINDS OF IMAGES DRAW YOU IN?

        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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          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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            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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                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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