A person uses a mobile phone to take a photo of a beautiful sunset, with deep orange, blue, and grey in the sky
Student Life

The six things I learned keeping a photo diary

By Jesse Barrett

A photo diary is such a simple thing that anyone can do and everyone should do. Basically, keeping a photo diary involves capturing a photo of one aspect of your day – it doesn’t have to be a good photo. It just has to be a photo that sums up your day.  

I tried it for a week with very low expectations (like, really low) and I was surprised by what I learned.

Here’s what my photo diary did for me. 

  1. It gave me a creative outlet  

Finding a creative outlet is hard these days. Everyone is so busy and unfortunately creativity gets left behind. As my day went on I felt myself getting more excited to take a photo. I would look at my surroundings in a way that would make me think about everything from time of day and light to colour and composition.  

  1. It gave me an appreciation for the day  

I grew to appreciate each day, which sounds silly, but I thought my life was quite boring and dull. After taking each photo I started to enjoy my day and appreciate it more, because I was forced to look at my life in a different way. Looking back, I experienced more than I thought I had.  

  1. It helped me keep track of my memories  

It’s so easy to forget. As humans we are constantly forgetting. Looking back at my photos reminded me aspects of that day, good and bad. I felt like I had a lock in my brain and these photos were a key. It’s important to remember, as the past shapes who we are. 

  1. It made me see the beauty of everything 

I think we rarely see how beautiful things are in our day to day lives. We are always so busy going from one thing to another it’s not easy to see the beauty of things. This exercise really made me see that beauty; I was constantly looking around and I was amazed with by I saw.  

  1. It showed changes over time – in me and my environment 

Keeping a photo diary for a long period of time can show you a lot of change. Changes can be interesting – not always good! – but not as bad as you might think. It’s important to see and note the changes. Reflecting on change is an important part of our futures, and photos are a simple and easy way of recording yourself and your surroundings.

  1. Phone cameras are amazing  

I know this is very overstated. Everyone already knows – but wow. The quality of photographs that phones capture is great. And the best camera is the one you have on you all the time. Got a phone? Then you have no excuse. Get snapping! 

My week in photos … (you can follow Off Campus on Instagram, here)

Featured image: Capturing a sunset for a photo diary. Pic: Devon Rockola/CC/pexels.com

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