Tag Archives: London family outings

River Thames Ride – Family Photography

I photograph London through many lens, angles and many different lights. I discovered so many special places but this one was my first time on a private boat in the river Thames. What fun and beautiful sights!

I truly recommend this fantastic boat ride for a special occasion or just because we love London.

See for yourself how magical it can be, and it produces stunning family photography.

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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    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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      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.

      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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        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.

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        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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          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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            London Maternity Documentary Photoshoot – what it’s all about

            Nine months are flying by at an incredible rate.
            Even though you can only sleep with a minimum of 5 pillows and bread is your main food group, something about the work inside your body right now makes you feel like a rockstar. And you want to remember it.
            Maternity photos used to be so unusual, now they are trendy, and because of that, there’s this huge misconception surrounding maternity sessions – what they’re supposed to look like, how you’re supposed to dress, blah blah.

            We’ve been conditioned, slowly but surely, to believe that a maternity session is a right of passage when you get pregnant. We follow this cookie cutter model and curl our hair and buy a new dress and imagine the romantic, backlit glow.
            These photos are lovely, and yes, it feels darn good to get dressed up and honour the beauty in pregnancy. You and your baby will never be one like this again, and it’s honestly an awesome thing to celebrate that by getting in front of the camera in general, no matter how you choose.

            But I want to challenge you to take it a step further and think about what is it you truly want to “capture?”

            London-Maternity-Photoshoot-AnaRuivoPhotography

             

            If you think about, I mean what’s unique and why you want to do a maternity session, I think you’ll realise that –
            This photo session is not about the baby growing inside your belly…

            …It’s about capturing the world and the people he or she is about to meet on the outside.

            It’s not about staring at your belly button.
            It’s not about a perfect flowing gown.
            It’s not about the stunning, scenic location.
            It’s not about the wooden blocks spelling his name.

            BECAUSE YOU, BEAUTIFUL MUM, ARE MORE THAN HOW YOU LOOK.

            Those things are beautiful, they’re fun, but they don’t capture anything you can’t flip through Pinterest and see a million other examples. And isn’t capturing truth and memories kind of the point?

            If you want to “capture this season,” we’ll need more than cheeky props and perfect light.
            You need the patience, the preparation, the hugs, the simplicity, the habits. Your STORY is what will make your maternity session special.

            Take a look at this one. There are no words to describe the connection between this family has already forged, and I know for sure that it will grow so beautifully.

             

             

            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 tips for taking pictures at the fun fair

              Deep-fried anything, scream-inducing rides, cotton candy and prizes larger than your head… the fun fair is here!

              London has multiple beautiful Christmas markets and fairs that you can choose for your children’s delight.

              I thought it would be fun to give some tips for those of you who will be braving the trip with your camera or even your mobile.

              1. Capture the anticipation.

              Funfairs may be a drain on most parents’ wallets, but it’s sure a lot of fun for kids! They are all very excited but when it comes the time sometimes they are doubtful… Make sure to capture that.

               

               

              2. Shoot in the daytime and at night, embrace all kind of light.

              Whenever I plan a trip to the fair, I get giddy for those nighttime shots with the Ferris wheel glowing and the dark sky contrasting against it. But don’t forget to bring your camera out during the day, too! The fun combination of the funky ride colours will look awesome next to the bright, blue sky.

               

              3. Play with your settings.

              Get brave and slow down your shutter speed for a fun effect with the fast-moving rides. Capturing movement at the fun fair, with rides moving in a number of different directions at the same time isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Use slow shutter speed and move your camera alongside with the movement to focus on one element in the frame but blur the rest out. It will most likely take you several attempts to get it right, so don’t despair!

               

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              4. Show the setting and shoot wide.

              It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of wide angle lenses (35 mm and less), and I adore getting the entire scene in the frame. Get a shot of your kids up high on a ride. The wide angle perspective will enhance how small your kids are next to the big, open sky.

               

              5. Capture the details.

              This is my norm with any session and any subject. But the fair has such a good story to tell, and not including the details is like leaving out half the book. Use the features to enhance your portraits. Get a shot of the sign with a picture of cotton candy, and then a frame with your kids stuffing this faces with pink fluff. It is so fun to see these shots side by side.

               

               

              6. Using interesting angles and perspectives.

              When I first got the fair this year, I became nervous because the rides were packed into such a small space, and I knew I wouldn’t be getting the shot of just the Ferris wheel on its own. I got creative, and wound up with shots that I love!

               

              7. Capture the emotions.

              Skip the posed “cheesy” shot and instead capture real emotions – and be sure to include the quieter moments too!

              Don’t forget to have fun!

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              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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                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 Morning in the Life

                  Do you remember the morning kisses and snuggles?

                  For kids, there is nothing like the parents’ bed, a sanctuary of comfort, safety and love. I would sneak out of my room and enter my parents’ bed without them notice…well I thought that at the time, of course, my parents noticed! =)

                  My daughters are still in that phase. I usually wake up very early with little kisses on my hair, soft voices and a small body wrapping my head. Sometimes I am honoured to have a little foot on my face and angel hair in my mouth, but apart from that, it is usually a lovely moment to stop the clock and be there with my girls. It is just the best feeling of the world.

                  If you have little children and if they passed the phase they scream for you during the night, I can guarantee you this will be next, and it is so much worth it.

                  So happy for this family as they wanted to capture these first moments of their day. From the soft, sweet moment until the children are full speed. Say games, crafts, lunch and everything in between. This is the real life.

                   

                   

                   

                  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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                    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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