Tag Archives: newborn photography

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.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

    5 ways to celebrate International Women’s Day with your daughter

    The 8th of March is regarded around the world as International Women’s Day. It’s the day when we celebrate the accomplishments, both big and small, of women worldwide and a perfect day to celebrate with your daughter. 


    Whether you want to teach her about her self-worth or the value of other women out there in the world, here are five activities you can do with your daughter to celebrate International Women’s Day.

    1. Watch a movie about a strong female lead.

    There are TONS of movies out there showcasing a strong female lead. If you’re having trouble finding some kid-friendly ones, try these: Mulan, Madeline, Alice in Wonderland, Akeelah and the Bee. Not only are they kid-friendly, but it gives you an excellent opportunity to talk with your daughter about the importance the female character played in the movie and introduce her to this internationally celebrated day. 

    2. Attend an event (even online)

    Take your daughter to an exhibition of a female artist; attend an event in your area for International Women’s Day; take her to a festival or a play at the local theatre. Check on the International Women’s Day website to find an event near you. 

    3. Read books

    One of the best ways to educate and spark conversations with your kids is to read books. Fortunately, there are thousands of books out there written by incredible female authors or about strong women, so your choices are far from limited. To help you narrow it down, School Run found the best girl-empowering books for kids

    4. Learn and do

    Pick a strong woman that inspires you and teach your daughter about her. If she was a painter like Georgia O’Keefe or Frida Khalo, learn about her painting style and mimic it. If she is a gymnast like Simone Biles, take your daughter to a gymnastics lesson or have one in your living room better yet. If she is a tennis player like Serena Williams, watch a few videos about her and then head out to the courts to play a few games yourself. There are so many incredible women with incredible talents. Take today to celebrate those women and try something new. 

    5. Say, “Thank you”.

    Grant Family Hydepark 2019Sm 72

    Pick a special woman in your or your child’s life to celebrate. It can be a grandmother, a teacher, a coach, a neighbour, or a lunch lady. Every woman deserves to be celebrated today, and there are a few who deserve a little something extra. So, write her a card, take her out to lunch, buy her flowers, or anything else you can think of that would make her feel special and loved. Most importantly, make sure she knows why she’s being celebrated.

    Regardless of how you choose to celebrate today, make it a point to educate your daughter on women’s vital role in our world’s history. Not only does she need to realize the importance of female contributions, but she needs to see that she is essential and she can make a difference in this world. After all, our kids are the ones who will grow and transform our nation one day. So, let’s do our part and educate them on this International Women’s Day.

    A smart woman learns from her failure, smiles during her lows and grows stronger when faced with challenges. You are one of them. Happy Women’s Day!

    Add a comment...

    Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

      Snapshots of our month – Winter Sun

      Wow, I can’t believe we are almost at the end of January, and I just finished to edit my Christmas pics =) As soon as I got back, it’s been non-stop with newborn photo shoots and birthday parties.

      We had a lovely break in Portugal to spend time with our family, a little bit of sunshine and a much-needed pause from social media.

      These are just some snap-shots of our holiday between the crispy sunny days by the sea and lovely warm winter days in Alentejo. If you pass in Evora city in Portugal, make a visit to Convento do Espinheiro hotel, visit the beautiful University of Evora and the Herdade do Esporao wine caves.


      And if it’s not too late…Happy New Year!



      Add a comment...

      Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

        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:



        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…


        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.


        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


        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


        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?





        Add a comment...

        Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

          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.


          Add a comment...

          Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

            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.



            Add a comment...

            Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

              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.

              Add a comment...

              Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

                Snapshots of our month – Hello November

                Suddenly it’s November and now it’s the official countdown until Christmas. I just wanted to share some snapshots of our last couple of weeks.

                With lots of sweets and creepy encounters, Halloween was so much fun this year!  =) Thanks to lovely friends we had a gorgeous spooky Halloween party with even a smoke machine, which worked amazingly on my pictures =)



                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.


                Add a comment...

                Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

                  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.


                  Add a comment...

                  Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

                    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! 

                    This Is Our Life 2018 London Family Photography Ana Ruivo Photography 9036


                    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.



                    1 comment
                    Add a comment...

                    Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *