Documenting Bedtime Rituals | Hello Olivia Photography

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I took a photo tonight that I know I took before and it got me thinking about our bedtime rituals in general.

Over the past 5 years or so (or however long I’ve been shooting this 365), there are times when you have to re-create the wheel…. over and over and over again. There are so many situations you’ll find yourself re-documenting, but the most common one for me are the times right before bed.

As the days grow colder, shorter, and natural light becomes extinct here on Long Island, I’m not left with many options for shooting. By the time dinner/homework/chores are done, my 365 is the last possible thing on my to-do list- so I typically scramble at the end of the day to get a photo to JUST BE DONE WITH IT… which is why documenting bedtime is pretty popular around these parts!

Things to consider when shooting:

What are the things my kid does before bed?

I don't mean the basics - like brush teeth, read a book & go to bed.

Think of exact details. My daughter was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine toothpaste as a toddler and every night I'd have to yank it away from her because she should literally eat it from the tube, or how she would need 15 different stuffed animals on her bed before she would finally lay down, or how she begged every night for her special panda pajamas and ugly blue slippers with creepy eyes in them.

Ironically, She no longer does or has most of these things anymore and I double she would even remember most of these little details if not for the photos we have documenting them.

Currently, I typically document her must have toys she needs for bath and bed. The copious amounts of LUSH bath products she has to have in the water or how she needs to put almost a half of a container of shampoo in her hair so she can get it soapy enough to make a mohawk.

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Then after her bath/shower, she insists on being naked for as long as possible.

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Of course, there is also the occasional waterworks or the “…but MOOOOOM!!!! I’m not tired!” moments.

Then, there is snuggle time:

With people:

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Friends:

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Pets:

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And her countless stuffed animals and squishies:

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But then there will be times where she is all riled up and sleep doesn’t come as easy:

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Or those times where she’ll fall asleep in some strange places:

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And MUST have her pusheen sleep mask!

Jammies and Slippies!

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And spend some time reading:

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And before long, she is finally out cold

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So while I seem to document our bedtime rituals and routines over and over again - there are so many ways to go about it without taking the same exact image and getting horribly bored every winter.

Fairly often, I’ll jot down ideas or think of things that she does that I want to capture - especially the little details that slowly slip away as our babies become more independent.

Think of the things they do that are so inherently them that you’ll miss as they become older. Those fleeting little details will one day be forgotten or disappear forever unless you take the time to document them now.

What are some of the details you would most likely miss as your child grows older?

Write them down and start shooting!

Kristina DominianniComment