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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Tricking the “Night Owl” Brain For Photographers

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To some people this blog post title is going to sound so odd…but to other it’s going to make perfect sense 🙂 Around my house, my family has always referred to my as a “night owl”, meaning that I function best and work the hardest during late night hours. I’m always sleepy (and looking for a nap) during the the middle of the day, but I regain almost all of my energy after 8pm and am ready to tackle the world! I also have anxiety (#reallife) which means that sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to shut off and allow me to rest.

While being a “night owl” sounds silly and innocent…it actually created some BIG issues for my productivity and sleepiness. I wouldn’t be able to focus on work during the day because I stayed up until 2am the night before, and my schedule was completely thrown off. I started getting sick all the time because my body just wasn’t get enough sleep, but I could never fall asleep at a normal time! This is ESPECIALLY true if I’m traveling and not in my own bed!  I hope I’m not the only one with this issue!! But, I think that a lot of creatives have this in common…so I have a feeling I’m not alone!

Over the last few months, I’ve made quite a few changes to my bedtime/nighttime schedule to help me fall asleep sooner, be more productive during the day and get on a normal schedule. Hopefully, if you’re like me, these tricks can help train your “night owl” brain to get a good night’s rest!

  1. Night Shift Mode

This one was HUGE for me! If you are an Apple iPhone user, you can swipe up to find your menu and click “Night Shift”. This warms up the color tone of your screen, removing the harmful blue light that makes your eyes and brain stay awake while you scroll through your phone. I’m a HUGE late-night scroller, so this made a massive difference in letting my brain know that it’s bedtime.

2. A White Noise Machine (and a phone app to match!)

Personally, I can NOT sleep in silence. If there is not a fan, noise machine or some type of white noise during the night…I’ll never get to bed! I have an air purifier that doubles as a noise machine, and I have a free app on my phone that makes a similar sound to use when I’m traveling.

3. Read Before Bed

This one is a very common tip…but I’m going to include it anyway! I do this as often as I can, and it makes a huge difference. Instead of working, scrolling through your phone or watching TV before you go to sleep…try reading a book or magazine. It turns off the “work” side of my brain and allows me to relax and get ready for bed.

BONUS: Bring a Pillowcase!

If you have a hard time sleeping when you’re on the road or not in your own bed, bring a pillowcase from home! They are tiny, can easily be rolled into your suitcase and make a HUGE difference in feeling “cozy” and at home in a new place.

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  1. Christy says:

    Hope, this is me 110% I am SO glad to know that I’m not the only one and really want to get into a better habit for my body – my mornings are a total write off for me at this point. Thanks for this advice!

hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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