How to Create a Classic Photo Journal

Photography Journal Ideas

A photo journal is a way to document events using photography and narrative text. This is a wonderful way to keep your memories alive. A photograph can say a lot about a certain portion of a story, but when accompanied by a written description it creates a very clear image in the readers mind.

This is a lot different from an ordinary journal or diary, because it helps a photographer to evaluate their previous work. Photographers are artists, which means that their points of view differ from one to the next. There tend to be two different types of photo journals. These are traditional and digital photo journals. In traditional journals, the photos are attached to an album or book, below which are written descriptions of the photos themselves. Digital journals tend to be maintained using software, which organize your photos by date. One benefit to digital photo journals is that they will (hypothetically) last forever.

Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is the most important part of making a photo journal. Try to think of your hobbies & interests. You want to choose a topic or topics that you have a strong knowledge of or have a passion for. It could be photography, traveling, spots, or anything else! If you are going to try and publish these photos, make sure to do your best when shooting them. However many people keep photo dairies for themselves, so decide which is best for you and go from there.

Where To Start

A photo journal resembles the typical layout of a book. It should have some sort of introduction. Try to take a journalistic approach, maintaining a consistent sequence throughout. Without a proper sequence, the journal won’t tell a story. Your “first chapter” should include a way to introduce the “characters”. Also, try to choose a layout that suits the subject matter. A photo journal should be concise and to the point.


Photo journals aren’t like a regular journal, mainly because you need a camera to make them! When taking photos for your journal, you should try taking photos from different angles. You can also try using a wide angle lens, especially if your subject or subjects are spread over a wide area. A telephoto lens is also a good idea to have, specifically a 50mm telephoto lens. Any kind of DSLR camera is preferred, and try to always keep a 50mm and 35mm lens on hand.

Dramatic Presentation

Don’t worry, if you aren’t the strongest writer then photo journaling is perfect for you. A simple description below each photograph is enough to suffice. The important part is that you are creating a memoir of your journey, and you can do that however you see fit. Keep a record of your day-to-day experiences and take lots of photos. Suppose your goal is to start a photo journal of a large snow storm that has hit your city. How would you start? Maybe you would begin with photos of some significant event just prior to the snowstorm, like a TV weather forecast or a shot of some clear skies. Take a photo of each event and give short descriptions of each as you go. These descriptions should always be in the first person. Don’t forget to include the time and date of each entry. Next, you could take photos of the various stages of the storm. You could also take some images inside of your home. The important part is that you adequately describe how you’re feeling during the experience.

Realistic Images

Capturing even trivial things in an artistic way can make your photo journal more colorful and presentable. Representing different events from varied points of views is very important. Avoid common exposures.

Try to capture even the most trivial scenes in an artistic way to make your journal more colorful and interesting. Representing your ideas in various ways is very important, so try to avoid commonplace shots.Photography Journal Ideas

Imagine that you are taking a photo of a car stuck in the snow. Try taking some close up shots of the tires submerged in snow. Taking a shot of a single part of the subject can often tell more of a story than the full image. You are showing specific views that a person living the situation would focus on. If you are sure to attach a good description to the photo, it will accomplish your goal of bringing others into your memory.

Some Aspects of a Travel Photo Journal

It’s possible that you have already visited plenty of places and snapped hundreds of photos. Due to the passing of time, your memory may have faded, and it’s possible you may have even lost most of those photographs. To avoid this, it’s good to be prepared to preserve your memories before they ever fade. Making a photo journal is the best way to do this. You should try to include as many memories as you can, from the moment you depart for your vacation, to the moment you arrive home again.Photography Journal Ideas

Keep snapping photos of your route, and keep your eyes open for significant sights. After reaching your hotel, take a few photos & then check in.

Hotel Overview

Make sure to take good photos of the places you stay. Describe the facilities in each hotel, and don’t forget to add any personal experiences. If you happen to be staying at a hotel in the heart of the city, take some photos from the top floor if you can. These will serve as a great documentation of the city skyline. And remember, always take plenty of notes for each photo you take!

Close Up Views

Try to take your photos in a casual manner, starting from the first day of your trip. Another great idea is to learn about the places you are going before you get there.Photography Journal Ideas

A great place to look for information about these locations are travel guides! Try to take photos of all the historic places, monuments, and famous buildings. If you aren’t too timid, you can even try to make conversation with the locals!Photography Journal Ideas

If you’re really lucky, you can even take some photos with the local people you meet. In your journal, try to give descriptions of the people you meet, the jobs they do, and how they live from day-to-day. Do your best to expose the culture of the communities you visit, because that’s what travel is all about!Photography Journal Ideas

Many of us tend to forget the names of the places we visit, so if you can, try to remember to write these names down. Taking photos of road signs and famous places can help you remember where you have been in the past.

Food and Culture

If you are visiting a place famous for its cuisine, don’t forget to take photos of these dishes! Also, remember to include where you got the meal and any other distinguishing factors about the experience.Photography Journal Ideas

Try to give your personal experiences and feelings in your descriptions. Wander around places and try to find unique things to take photos of. Places where people shop, like open air markets, are a great place for photos as well. You can capture people acting naturally & spontaneously. Try taking these photos from different angles.

Group Photos

You probably won’t be traveling alone. In fact, most of us like to travel in groups. Try taking your group to different monuments and taking photos of them all together. A group of beautiful women will always improve an image.Photography Journal Ideas

Try to inject some humor into your photos also, A funny caption or inside joke can really improve the flow of your photo journal.

Capturing Sightseeing

You will find that most tourists will only focus on the well known tourist sites. I recommend seeing these sites as well, while trying to find some unique or novel angels to shoot them at. In the early days of photography, there wasn’t the chance to take hundreds of photos and experiment with angles because film was too expensive. But now, thanks to digital photography, you can spend plenty of time experimenting with light & angles, and really finding that perfect shot.

Weather Conditions

Describing the weather on the days you took your photos is another great idea. If you are experiencing a sunny day, capture some images of the sun and clouds, or maybe the sunset. If it’s a gloomy day, don’t forget to try and capture that mundane reality as well. Often, it’s the rainy days that can be the most interesting to capture./span>

Returning Home

The day you return home, capture some images that describe how you feel about the end of your journey. This can be done in many ways. Perhaps you’ll find a board on the side of the road that say “Visit Again” or “Thanks For Visiting” followed by the name of the place. You can usually find these at the points of entry for your location. Remember to always write two or three lines about your locations.

Photo journals can be published in many ways. You could contact a travel blogger or a travel site. You could contact a travel magazine editor. Another idea would be posting your journal onto social media sites. I personally find that the best way to run a travel blog is by running your own travel web site.

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