Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Restore Your Creativity Through Photo Journaling

Benefits of Creativity

I believe in the benefits of a creative life, and I am not the only one.  According to a study in an Psychology Today article, students "who were engaged in everyday creativity had a greater sense of well-being and personal growth than non-creative classmates."  Also, an Everyday Health article mentions that creativity can reduce stress and keep you healthy, all of which is important in maintaining a happy, healthy life.  

As a result, I've made it my goal to be creative every week.

This Week's Creative Goal

This week's creative goal is journaling--but with a twist.  We will do it with photos.

What is Photo Journaling?

Photo journaling is using a picture to represent a mood, a moment, an event, or even your impression of the day all summed up.

Why Journal?

For me, journaling allows me to let loose where no one can pass judgement.  Journaling sweeps away the debris cluttering up my mind--i.e., all the negativity and worries.  And it provides a clearer focus.  But there are more benefits than those.  Just do an online search for benefits of journaling and you'll turn up days' worth of reading material.

Why Photos?

I like the idea of journaling, but I often neglect it focus on my work--freelance writing.  But there are many reasons why people don't like to journal.  Writing may not be your thing.  You may think it is childish.  Or you may not know where to start.

That is where photos come in.  Pictures are around you every day, in magazines, on TV, and in your own photo album.  They stimulate you positively or negatively.  They can capture the essence of something in a way words cannot replicate.  And besides, photos are just fun.

How To Do It?

So, now that you know what photo journaling is and the reasons behind it, how do you do it?  How do you get your photos?

Take photos.   If you like to take photos or even just have the capability, do that.  You can take pictures of anything and everything.  In fact, create a bank of photos to choose from at a later date to save time. 

Find photos.  The other way is to find photos online, such as through flickr or Google.  Again, create a bank of images for later.  If you are going to put this online, be sure to abide by copyright rules.  However, quite a few places allow you to use their photos for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photo to the artist.

Where to record it.  Now that you have your photos, what do you do with them?  You can start a blog, paste photos into a Microsoft Word file, print them out and paste into a notebook, or use a photo album.

Captions and writing.  Add a couple words or a sentence to your photo.  Such as, My Bad Day.  Or, Excitement.  You can even use photos with your regular journal to combine the benefits of both techniques.
Which method works best?  That is up to you.  The key is finding something you want to keep up and that stirs you creatively.


The point of photo journaling is to capture and destress your day in a new way.   And you do that by stretching your imagination.  So, try it, have fun with it, and let me know how it goes for you.

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