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Chase Jarvis RAW | 6 Morning Habits Of Successful Photographers

By Kishore Sawh on October 28th 2015


I’ll be the first to admit two things right off the bat; that the title is slightly misleading in that it’s pretty much Chase’s habits, and that I understand many of these things to be habits of the most successful people generally.

Now, the paranoid disclaimer aside I think it merits mentioning that I have a bit of a fascination with routines, and the micro-changes you can do to make life go just that little bit better, and more efficiently. Even more so, I’m very into morning routines, because if the fine educational institutions I’ve attended have taught me anything it’s that I’m not really a morning person.

The world, however, doesn’t give a sh*t if I’m a morning person or not and continues to turn. So, in order to counteract this massive flaw of mine, and yes I believe it to be a flaw, I’ve found that routines are the one thing, or maybe sex and flying, that helps me get going and make the most of the pre-noon hours. It’s been a bit of a journey of self-discovery through trial and error, and I don’t mean that in some sort of ‘woo-woo’ way, but it has, and also through the study of morning routines of the successful people I know, and the ones I wish I could’ve, historically – like Hemingway.


Actually, if you’re interested in this stuff, a good starting point is a book called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It’s page after page of insight into the habits of rather famous, influential creatives, like Hemingway, Ben Franklin, Jane Austen, Voltaire, Frued, Fitzgerald, and Jung, to name a few. It’s an easy read giving you just enough of each person to leave you wanting more – note, don’t read it in the morning before being productive.

Anyway, I’m not going to list here all the things Chase does in his morning routine because if I did, you would glance at it, make some estimation of how it’s useful, and move on. Instead I’d like you to watch it and listen to how he implements it all, and why. It’s short so you can do it while sipping coffee. I will however share a few insights of his which are also mine.


As creatives we tend to be caught up in the creative facility, and many often let little things stand in the way, like keeping a tidy desk, or taking care of our health. We also have a tendency to be sedentary which leads your mind to often think we have more time than we actually do, which may explain the difficulty creatives have with hitting deadlines. A little honest soul searching could come in handy here to have a think about your behavior and what you know of yourself. For example, I’m very visual and very auditory, so while writing, I either need white noise, or silence. That’s me. I also know that being visual, I’m prone to distraction via something out of place, so I make an effort to keep tidy by always putting things where they need be after use.

Moving on but in the same vein, something as simple as making your bed in the morning, every morning is HUGE. I can’t stress this enough because doing it makes me feel a slight sense of accomplishment and nothing nagging in my mind about my room being a mess. So, make your bed.

[REWIND: Your Side Project Is Your Next Big Win | Chase Jarvis & Tina Roth]


I also literally roll off the bed in the morning and do push-ups, nothing crazy, just 30 and move on. It’s enough to get the blood flowing and have me feeling for a shower. A shower, like Chase, that I always end with about 30 seconds to a minute (or however long I can stand it) of cold water. This, is not pleasant so I won’t BS you to thinking it is some lovely holistic experience, but apparently it forces your body to pull blood and resources to your core and brain to keep them going optimally. I generally feel alive after and then I down lemon water, walk the dogs, then coffee. Walking the dogs is crucial too, and I leave my phone while I’m doing it so I can just take in the scenery and not think about things I can’t tend to while out walking anyway.

Anyway, I think routines are so important for creatives because I’ve just noticed so many have none or no good ones. Some of this stuff can really help you to free your mind to be better creatives, be more productive, and those are ways you’re going to separate from the pack.

What are your routines? I’d love to hear.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Andy & Amii Kauth

    We’re picky when it comes to water consumption … new literature/recommendations suggest drinking to thirst (more a recommendation for athletes than the average person). Back when we got more serious about working out/lifting, we became pretty disciplined to drink 1/2 our bodyweight in oz. Over that and you’re flushing out needed nutrients.

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  2. Paul Robinson

    My mind is all over the place, I think I need a routine.

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  3. Tanya Goodall Smith

    I’m more healthy and productive when I have a routine. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a predictable day (or night) since I gave birth eight years ago. With three kids and a husband with a demanding job, my life is not my own. I have been trying to create some routine in my day as much as I can and it really helps. Getting up at the same time each day, showering, actually wearing make-up and leaving the house for whatever reason get me going. If I can figure out how to get regular exercise in there and more sleep I’ll be golden.

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  4. Scott Trombley

    Good Job. A goal without a plan is a wish.

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  5. Enzo Scorziello

    My routine starts at 530 am with a walk for the dog, back home after 45 min or so for a shower. Then off to my favorite spot for some good reading and bible time. After that off to my 9-5 (in marketing). I have 5 kids and a spouse so as you can imagine finding time to pursue my passion of photography can be difficult. The main thing for me is to focus on what I want to accomplish and set attainable goals. At the end of the day it boils down to self discipline, which for us creatives can be the hardest part.

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  6. Ant Motton

    Ha….Haaaa, #1 Sleep….I’m thinking this dude doesn’t have any kids…..sleeps for amateurs….(or those sensible single people.. :o)

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  7. Stan Rogers

    Also worth checking out: Ryan Brenizer’s talk from the 2014 B&H “Wedding Event of the Season” ( ). It’s mostly coming from a business perspective, but it covers a lot of the same ground — and Ryan has a chance to explain how he transitioned into a “morning person”, something he never was either. Apparently, it can be done if you’re the sort who has a mind to do that kind of thing. (Personally, I don’t trust the sun. It’s a lazy hydrogen bomb that has nothing better to do than to spew radiation indiscriminately throughout its neighbourhood for billions of years — for kicks, mind you — and will eventually grow to envelop any rocky planet bold enough to have developed protective magnetic shielding.)

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    • Kishore Sawh

      “It’s a lazy hydrogen bomb that has nothing better to do than to spew radiation indiscriminately throughout its neighbourhood for billions of years — for kicks, mind you?” – submitting to Oxford for them to change their current, and yet backward definition of the sun.

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