Sanetra Nere Longno Shares the Morning Rituals That Spark Creativity

Tips for an inspired start.

By Langa Chinyoka

Some people prefer a life in front of the camera—allowing a composition to represent how they move through the world. Others thrive behind the scenes, letting their thoughts and perspective take shape through their medium of choice. Sanetra Nere Longno is the rare sort of person who enjoys and excels at both.

A natural, gifted storyteller, her work creates and establishes visual connections between inspiring people, culture-shifting brands, and humanitarian causes. Drawing from her own passions and experiences, Sanetra’s photography and videography both tell compelling stories of who we are and the contexts that color our unique experiences. From documentaries to love stories—and every narrative in between.

 “I prefer to work with like-minded folx who desire to make a difference with their experiences and uplift one another.”

Much like her approach to life, Sanetra’s art is both playful and considered. As they say, how you do something is how you do everything—and Sanetra does life and art with intention. Photography and video are her vehicles for capturing beautiful moments, and her morning routine follows suit. As Sanetra says perfectly herself, “Video producing allows me to use the other side of my brain and tell stories in another form of stimulation.”

The versatility she weaves throughout her work creates space for flexibility in her life. Her art inspires her imagination. She occasionally includes YouTube marathons in her slow and patient morning routine. And if she had more time in the day, she would spend it gardening. Balancing intuition, creativity, and the comfort of routine can be a difficult feat. But it’s a journey Sanetra inspires us to pursue with grace.

Sanetra Longno Shares Her Morning Routine

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I start by waking up with a glass bottle of water on my bedside ready to drink… or I pick up my phone.

When do you typically wake up?

I’ve been doing better at getting at least eight hours of sleep, but normally I get about seven. Usually, my body wakes up around 6:30 or 7:30 a.m., or our cats Jasper and Luna do the job asking for food. This leads to my next task: feeding our three cats Jasper, JiJi, and Luna.

What morning rituals set your day up for success?

Once I’m done feeding the rascals, I prepare the living room space with incense and open curtains for Yoga With Adriene.

Do you have a breakfast routine?

Before breakfast, I put away clean dishes from the dishwasher and wash dirty ones if there are any left behind from the night before. Having a clean home in the morning keeps me at ease.

Then comes my favorite part: food! I’m not really a coffee drinker because caffeine gives me anxiety, so tea is more my thing. I start our Fellow to make hot water and begin planning breakfast while playing my favorite YouTube channels in the background.

What is your morning beauty routine?

I follow my shower (featuring morning jazz) with a facial and hair routine. Shanutavia from eleMINT Skin saved me by designing a routine that fits my skin type best.

Botnia Daily Face Cream Light

Some face creams sit heavy on the face. This Daily Face Cream is the opposite: While it still delivers a healthy dose of moisture and protection post-cleanse, it feels light and airy thanks to its foundation of lightweight jojoba and squalane oils.

Botnia Toner

A tried-and-true toner is a must in any minimalist, but hard-working skincare routine. For those moments throughout the day when you need a little boost of hydration, this toner is a simple, nourishing solution. Glycolic acid provides gentle exfoliation while hyaluronic acid offers the moisture we all crave.

Symbiome The One Restorative Cream

Simple, streamlined, but effective, The One performs exactly as it sounds—as an all-in-one, effective anti-aging cream that restores and replenishes the skin’s barrier for a glowy complexion.

Native Cucumber and Mint Deodorant

When you meet a deodorant that’s both effective and features a naturally-derived formula, hold on tight. This crisp and clean-smelling deodorant checks all the boxes in terms of what a sustainable, daily product should deliver.

CLE Cosmetics Serumide

Founder Lauren Jin started her career in fashion, but having long appreciated the ritualistic, routine-based nature of beauty, she switched gears. The result of her change in focus is a beautiful, womxn-centric brand. This soothing serum combines antioxidants and amino acids for moisturized, healthy skin. Rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils make incorporating it into your skincare practice all the more pleasurable.

How would you describe your personal style?

I pick my outfit (or outfits!) for the day based on my schedule. My style is whatever I’m feeling that day. Mostly comfortable, chic, sustainable, and sometimes sassy.

What’s your go-to getting-ready soundtrack?

I enjoy sounds of relaxation, so a lot of my morning visuals involve ASMR and homestead living to encourage a clean home mentality and future lifestyle goals.

Sanetra Longno Reflects on Her Work

how does storytelling factor into your visual work?

Every time I get asked this question I chuckle, because I wear many hats. But the two roles that fill me the most are photographer and video producer. Photography gives me the opportunity to intimately get to know someone and showcase their raw and natural side to the world. Helping people love themselves by capturing those sweet moments gives me so much joy, especially when they’re shocked by what we create together.

Photographing Mother Earth’s moments to relive again also fulfills me, because we can never get that second back in real-time. We can, however, relive memories with our imagination. I love how the power of an image or video can evoke positive emotions.

What has been your biggest evolution over the past year?

Being more aware of my body than ever before and learning the power of breathing to regulate my mind, body, and soul.

If you had one extra hour every morning, how would you use it?

One word: gardening.