Tag Archives: London family photography

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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    5 Easy Ways for Us Mothers To Be In Family Photos

    London Documentary Family - Ana Ruivo Photography-Family Photos
    London Documentary Family – Ana Ruivo Photography-Family Photos

    Why You Need to Exist in Family Pictures- 5 Easy Ways

    Family photos don’t need to be a chore. You’ve framed your babies’ newborn photos, you’ve designed each monthly milestone picture, you think of birthday shoot themes year after year, and you take so many snaps of your kids every day. You capture so many firsts of your children and their random sweet moments with your husband. But mum, when was the last time you joined the photos?

    Often, mothers make excuses for themselves to join family photos. Your postpartum body looks unfamiliar, your hair is too messy, your eyes look tired, or your clothes have spit-ups. You worry about the little things and forget about what really matters: you are important too!

    You are not just a bystander who watches the kids grow. Your motherhood is a big deal, and you should be included in the memories you are capturing. You are worth celebrating! Plus, I’m pretty sure that your kids will want to see photos of you too, especially when they’re all grown up. Do you think your kids care about your tummy or what you are wearing 20 or 30 years from now? Definitely not!

    Here are five easy ways on how you can be included in the photos:

    Take a Selfie!

    Selfies are a great and easy way to be included in photos! Snuggle in close and take a picture with your kids or your whole family. Find some good light, bring out your camera, and make sure you don’t cut faces in half.

    Hand the Camera to Your Husband.

    Husbands are not the best photographers; we can all agree on that. They can take the most unflattering photos, but who cares? Hand the camera to them, and you’ll be surprised what kind of photos you’ll get. I think you’ll get some candid photos that you’ll laugh about but will also love!

    For posed photos, tell your husband to take ten or more, then choose the best one. I promise you’ll notice fewer flaws in the image as time goes by.

    What-To-Photograph-First-Year-Baby-London Family Photography-Family-Photos

    Use the Camera Timer.

    Bring out your tripod and use it with your camera timer or remote! If you don’t have one, it’s easy to improvise with a stack of books or anything you can get your hands on. You can put it on top of a table, a shelf, or even on the floor!

    Play with Angles.

    Be creative! You don’t always have to show your face or include your whole body in the photographs. You can take a photo of your hand while holding your little one, your lap while your kid is laying down on it, or your back and shoulders while carrying your child. Include faceless details and use different angles on days that you really don’t want to be in front of the camera. But make sure that these are not the only ones you take!

    Newborn-Baby-London-Family Photographer-Ana Ruivo Photography

    Book a Photographer for your family photos!

    The best way to make sure that you are included in family photos is to hire a photographer! This way, you don’t have to worry about getting the right angle. You just have to be yourself. You can focus on engaging with your child and let the professional photographer seize those precious moments.

    Getting your photo taken doesn’t have to be a chore. You don’t need to review poses or even dress up. Just relax and let the photographer do the magic!

    Or if you are in London you can gift yourself one of my Motherhood photo sessions and I will take it from there.

    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.

    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.

    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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      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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      New Family Storytelling in Times of a Pandemic – 1 Year ON.

      This Is Our Life2020 Anaruivo 3278

      What about family storytelling?

      It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and it still continues to be a pressing problem in many parts of the world. While constantly thinking about our physical health, we are also feeling the emotional burden of the crisis and how it takes a toll on our mental wellbeing. Many things have changed, and we lost control of various aspects of our lives. Navigating in the “new normal” is a challenging and tiring task that consumes most of us.

      For families with kids, going through life during the pandemic usually means homeschooling, working from home, online graduation or moving up ceremonies, giving up vacations and playdates, drive-by parties, and having less and less interaction from the outside world.

      I actually put down my camera for two months because I was uninspired by the whole routine. Some of you may be guilty of this too. Instead of finding the time to do things since we are mostly at home, we lose our drive to continue our passion because nothing made sense. It was hard to find inspiration from all the bad news that surrounds us. And I don’t blame you.

      London Family Photographer - Ana Ruivo Photography

      But I refuse to drown in that mindset. I took a step back to re-assess what was happening and wanted to still find meaning in all this. I realized that my kids are still growing, and they are observing how I traverse these circumstances. I wanted to still live a purposeful life despite the changes and uncertainties that the virus has brought us.

      Here’s the thing: life keeps going. It goes on during entire meal times at the dinner table or while taking your time to have breakfast with your kids, which doesn’t often happen pre-COVID. It goes on while thinking of what activities your kids will have tomorrow, spending time on Pinterest for inspiration, or just giving yourself a break and giving them the iPad for one whole day. It goes on while you’re looking at your kid’s smile and knowing how happy he is while blowing his candle during his intimate birthday celebration, not having to worry about guests. It goes on; no matter how slow we think the days are, life keeps going.

      This Is Our Life2020 Anaruivo 3424

      A touchstone for family storytelling

      This moment will be a touchstone for our kids, something they’ll remember when they get older. They’ll be sharing the stories with their kids, and they’ll be talking about it with their peers during reunions. It’ll be a memory of when the world was interrupted, and it doesn’t have to be a sad one. We, as parents, have the power to shape that story.

      This Is Our Life2020 Anaruivo 3334

      We can’t change what is happening in the world, but we can mould how our kids experience this. It is up to us to keep them engaged, available, and optimistic. But more importantly, it is also up to us to capture these moments for our family to look back on.

      Focus on what you can control in life – how you spend your day-to-day with your family — document the slow, unhurried moments with your kids, spouse, and even pets. Capture them through the lens of a camera because this is still a stage in your life that you can’t get back. Click away from the challenges, the struggles, and the ups and downs. Do not let the time pass you by. Family storytelling must not fade.

      This Is Our Life2020 Anaruivo 3442

      Enjoy the slow life.

      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 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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          London Family Lifestyle Portrait Session

          I still do family lifestyle photography from time to time. My sessions are super relaxed and my main goal is to capture connection and the children’s personalities.

          These are some of my favourites from this session. On this day it was zero degrees outside! I love winter light.

          If you want to give a family 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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            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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            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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