Tag Archives: photography albums

Kid’s birthday party at Hogwarts London – Harry Potter theme




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?”



    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.


    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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    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!



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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!



      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!



      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:



        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?





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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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            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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              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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                100 days of Summer – a personal story in motion

                100 days of Summer is a personal project I do every year for my daughters. I compile short videos of our Summer holidays to honour our love for the sun and the sea.

                Summer now feels like ages ago as we are experiencing freezing days here in London but as the season changes, new adventures and new lovely moments are yet to be captured.



                Check-out the pictures I took from our time in Portugal in my other post too. And the ones in Dubai here.

                See the video from last year here.

                I hope you have a wonderful week. We are getting ready for Halloween!


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                  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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