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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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    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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      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:

      A MEMBERSHIP TO ANY OF THE AMAZING LONDON MUSEUMS.

      BECOME A FRIEND OF KEW GARDENS.

      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…

      LEARN A NEW CRAFT.

      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.

      SAVOUR YOUR CHILDREN.

      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

      A GORGEOUS FINE-ART PHOTO PRINT FOR THE WALL.

      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

      A SHORT PHOTO SESSION.

      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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        A Day in the Life with a baby

        A day in the life with a four-month-old baby can be very unpredictable! You have a routine, but sometimes the baby has other plans. Every day he shows you new tricks, more smiles, more strength and more personality. It’s a delight for me to capture that!

        A Day in the Life-London Baby Family Photography-2018-Ana Ruivo Photography

         

        Sometimes we forget the first months with a baby, the endless nights and the sleep-deprived mind, the constant feeding and the insane satisfaction when your baby poos. The overwhelming emotions, the discovery of a love you never experienced.

        I spent a Saturday with these gorgeous new family and included a brunch at the famous Regency Cafe, a walk in the park, lots of feedings, lots of nappy changes, lots of cuddles and finally a nice warm bath. It was beautiful to see how much in love they are with their baby.

         

        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 photo shoots, please drop me a note – I’d love to continue the conversation.

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          Romeo + Jules Bespoke stationery – Launch event

          I could not be happier than to see my beloved client launch her stunning bespoke luxury stationery brand – Romeo + Jules – in a grand event which I loved to cover.

          Founder Jennifer Grant, former art director at British Vogue, invited us to Summerill & Bishop – a homeware shop in Holland Park that creates the world’s most beautiful tablecloths and ceramics – and worked with the talented fashion editor Deborah Brett on setting the scene.
          Jennifer encouraged each guest to experience the full range of elements needed to create a perfect table setting, from beautiful linens to menus and place cards.
          The invitations were hand drawn and then printed to evoke the look and feel of a chic tablecloth.
          Each guest then took home a beautifully scribed set of personalised notecards by The Styled Writing Co.

          Like old times, I believe there is something so magical about receiving a beautiful, hand-written notecard or foil-pressed invitation. I can’t wait to see all the beautiful work Jennifer will do in the future.

          Follow her here: @romeoandjulesbespoke

           

           

          The full video:

           

           

          If you are celebrating a special event 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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            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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              Summer is here – Autumn Session Sale

              Summer is here and I can’t believe how life is going so fast these days! I am finishing some client work and counting down the days until I have my feet on golden warm sand and the ocean breeze blowing my hair…but suddenly I realized I am taking the Summer off and that means I need to fill my calendar for Autumn NOW! 

              So I present you Summer unplugged Autumn Session SALE! 

               

              Book your September or October session by the 31st of July, and get a Full Day-in-the-Life at a Half-Day price. Or a Half-Day session at a Three-Hour price. Or finally, a Three-Hour session for a One-Hour and half price.

              A limited number of discounted sessions is available, so jump on it while you can!

              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 in Notting Hill – London Family Photographer

              It’s been almost 3 years I have been photographing this family and their adventures in London. I couldn’t be happier they followed my dream of going for a full documentary photo session. They tried last year and now they are hooked with a great addition this year of crazy sweet loving Archie, the dog.  =)

              Real life is enough – real memories that stay forever in their sons’ minds – are the precious moments in between, the gentle gestures of every day. Mummy making breakfast, boys helping out or playing stressfree, daddy getting them dressed, mummy combing their hair, the strolls around the block, the silly games, the smiles, the laugh and the freedom of smelling the flowers. But most importantly I wanted to capture on this photo shoot was the connection between these two brothers and which is getting stronger each day.

               

              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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                A tribute to all mothers – I see you

                Dear Mum,

                I know how busy you are. I know the timing is never perfect. This weekend there is a birthday party, next one there’s ballet and football practice. You still need to lose those extras pounds, you should buy new clothes for the children. Maybe when they are older, they will behave better in front of the camera…No. No, because when I see you through my camera I see you as you are in your heart.

                Notting Hill day in the life London Family Photography

                When I photograph you, I can see things that you are not able to see yourself. I can see the tiny moments that never get captured by your phone. I can see the way your son grabs your sweater on your back when you pick him up. I can see the way your husband looks at you when you are looking at the kids. I can see the way your daughter looks at you like you have superpowers.

                I can see the way you love unconditionally your family, the way you laugh so sincerely with your children. I can see the way your eyes sparkle with every new trick or expression your baby does. I see your strong arms that are able to lift loads of groceries and baskets of laundry. I see your graceful body that was able to carry your children. I can see your beautiful hands that wipe away tears and your lips that can cure all the imaginary pains.

                Oxford London Family Photography-Ada-145 copy

                You don’t have any dark circles under your eyes, your weight is exactly right and your hair looks perfect. All I can see is love. And love makes all the imperfections that beat us down every day in the mirror blur into the background.

                Your children will remember the way your laugh sounds and the smell of your hair and the warmth of your breath on their heads.  They will remember the way your hands turned the pages of the books and that you gave the best hugs they will ever have.  They will know that the lines on your face came from how much you smiled and the wrinkle in your forehead came from how much you worried because you loved them with everything you had.

                Holiday Family Photography - London Documentary Photographer

                 

                And when they look back at your photo albums, they will not see anything other than how you gave them the world. Don’t let the time pass without being in pictures with your children.

                Let’s tell your story. The time is now.

                x

                Ana

                 

                I hope you had all a lovely Mother’s Day. Thanks everyone, who entered my giveaway. I cried and laughed with your sincere answers and I am happy to offer all who entered £100 discount on all 3 hours photoshoot packages.

                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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