Behind-The-Scenes Of A Photographer and Educator’s Morning Routine

Hi friends! I’m Jenny Garrett, a SoCal based professional photographer, educator, and story-teller. I’ve been photographing professionally for over 10 years and specialize in lifestyle editorials, weddings, and portraits. I love photographing anything that reflects the goodness and light in others. 

I’ve always been obsessed with the magic of story-telling. My bachelor’s degree is in English literature and my masters is in Education. My goal is to help you tell your story the way the world needs to see it and hear it be told. You matter, your story matters, and you make a difference! 

What time do you wake up in the morning and how do you wake up? (To an alarm, music, the sun, etc.)

If I am teaching I wake up around 7:00-7:30 by an alarm (just in case). If I’m not teaching and am in photographer mode, it could be anywhere between 5-9am naturally. If I wake up and have a random spurt of energy, I will wake up and immediately get to work. Those are some of my absolute favorite mornings.

What’s on your bedside table?

My bedside table has flowers that my husband gave to me, a card from him from our anniversary, a ring dish, a phone charger, a book light, and then a basket that holds my bible, whatever current book I am reading, my leather journal, chapstick and lots and lots of pens. I usually keep a glass or bottle of water on it as well.

Do you prepare for your mornings the night before? If so, how?

I take a shower every night before bed, wash my hair, add product to it. I usually have my lunch prepared and ready to go as well. 

What are your skincare/body care rituals?

At night I always wash my face and apply a sage and citrus moisturizer. The scent is so calming and I love how soft my face feels. That’s really the only routine I have other than brushing and flossing with my waterpik. I am super simple. Having a quick and easy routine is manageable for me.

What does your morning routine flow look like? (Give as much detail as possible)

I wake up and walk out into the living room. I immediately light my favorite candle. The scent of guava and strawberry fills the air while the warm glow illuminates the room. The air is so peaceful and a cool breeze enters the house through the opened windows like a kind whisper. I feel like I am the only person in the world awake. That’s when inspiration hits me the most. I begin handwriting every aspiration down and then begin working on the one I can accomplish by the time I need to head out of the door. Most of the time it is something I want to do and am excited to do. I want to begin the day feeling inspired and awake and allow that feeling to accompany me through the adventures of my day. I get dressed, eat a light breakfast, and my dreams and I are on our way. 

When do you kick off your workday? And do you have any starting-work rituals?

My workday begins pretty immediately. I feel so much energy and excitement for a new day and there is so much to be thankful for. I want to start as soon as possible. 

How does your morning routine change on the weekends?

My routine changes on the weekends pretty dramatically. Most weekends in the summer and winter I can rest but once wedding season in the spring and fall hits… that’s a whole different story. I’d say the majority of the time I get to sleep in a bit extra, clean the house, or run to coffee with a friend. 

What does your mindset look like at the beginning of the day? Do you have any tips or tools for getting in a good mindset?

I am a morning person through and through. My mindset is fresh, excited, and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring. I want to accomplish as much as I can before tending to and caring for others. Mornings are typically when I feel most creative. 

What’s non-negotiable vs. what does an extra-luxurious morning look like?

Negotiable is listening to my body. If my body is craving a workout, even a light one, I try to get that done first. If my body needs relaxation, I try to give it a little extra love by going for a walk instead of a run, sleeping in a bit more or by laying on the couch. It is so important to have a routine, but it is also important to know when to be adaptable and adjust as necessary. 
Non-Negotiables for me would be spending a moment with my husband Daniel, even if it is as smile as a quick kiss goodbye, having a conversation with God, and trying to gain inspiration and a positive mindset for the day. 
An extra-luxurious morning would look like waking up around 9 am and doing whatever I felt like doing that morning. Having a super yummy breakfast, going for a long walk, watching my favorite movie, and not having any plans for the rest of the day in sight. 

What would you like to improve with your mornings?

I used to wake up early every single morning and workout. I love the way it moves my day forward by making me feel accomplished. I would love to say I workout every single day but the truth of the matter is, many times, my workouts get put on the back burner. I’d love to make working out every morning a habit. Maybe right after creating my to-do list.

What’s your #1 recommendation to others who struggle with mornings?

Make it fun, calming, peaceful, or energizing! Whatever you are in need of, do that. Everyone is different. It can be as simple as turning on a song that makes you want to dance around or lighting a candle. To make mornings more enjoyable… make it more enjoyable!

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