5 expert tips to help you create a family history photo journal

16 July 2020
Photo journaling is a new trend that lends itself perfectly to family history. Read on for top tips from photo expert Clare Moreton to help you create the perfect photo journal, featuring family memories, images and memorabilia.

It’s no secret that we’re a nation of photo takers, with apps such as Instagram and Snapchat allowing us to document our daily lives via photography.

However, we don’t just like taking photos: in fact, recent research from CEWE, Europe’s leading photo specialist, shows that over a fifth of people look back at the photos they’ve taken multiple times a week. It’s an activity that has a really positive effect on our mental wellbeing, making people feel nostalgic (65%), happy (56%), relaxed (31%) and inspired (14%).

Preserving those family memories

Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE, said: “The positive feelings that we experience when looking back at our photos could explain why the trend for photo journaling has become really popular. During the past few months, it’s likely that people have spent more time looking back at cherished memories with loved ones to remind them of happier times.

“Photo journals are a wonderful keepsake and can be used in many different ways. Whether it’s to document travel adventures, your baby’s first year or a special event such as a wedding – they’re the perfect way to hold on to and remember those special moments.

“Our memories tend to fade, and we can sometimes forget certain events and occasions, but our photos have the power to unlock those special memories and transport us back to them. Creating a photo journal filled with memories you want to cherish is the perfect way to always remember the moments that meant the most.”

Here, Clare shares her top 5 tips to help you master the trend of photo journaling.

1) Organise your photos beforehand 

Organisation is key when it comes to creating a photo journal - you don’t want to get to the end of a project and then realise you’ve missed some of your best snaps. Try and organise photos into groups by year, place or people as this will help you make sure you don’t miss any photos that you want to include.

It’s good to try and consider the structure of the book before you start creating it. Decide what additional decoration you might want or what theme you want the journal to take. Planning out the journal before you start will be really beneficial in the long run.

2) Document your story with text

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The whole point of a photo journal is that it’s not just purely photo based – there is a writing element to it too! When creating your journal, you could add text as you go or save space on each section you wish to add more information and come back to it once you’ve added in all your photos.

The real benefit to adding text is that it in years to come, you’ll have a much more detailed account and will be able to be transported right back to those moments you cherish the most. Try to remember as much as you can about each event you document – you’ll thank yourself later on.

3) Leave space for memorabilia 

If you’re someone who keeps hold of leaflets, tickets, photographs, photobooth prints or any type of memorabilia from special events – adding them to a photo journal is a great way to make use of them. It’s also a genius way to keep all your treasured keepsakes in one safe place too.

Before you create a photo journal, gather all the pieces you wish to include together and make sure you leave space for them when you plan out your pages. Once your book arrives, you’ll be able to stick them in their designated spot giving your photo journal that more personal, memorable touch.

4) Get creative making your photo journal

Creating a photo journal is a fun project that allows you to express your creativity. Add a personal touch by using stickers, ribbons, colourful paper, decorative clips or stamps to decorate your book and make it unique to you. This doesn’t need to be expensive and can be done with materials you have at home or anything you can find in your local craft shop.

5) Consider the size of your photo journal

The beauty of photo journals is that they come in all different shapes and sizes making them perfect for all sorts of stories and adventures. For weekend getaways you want to cherish, a small photobook will be the perfect size. For longer trips, yearbooks or ‘watch me grow’ books of children, an XL Landscape book will do the trick. Make sure you take the time to decide what size you want and find the perfect book to showcase the memories that you treasure most.

For more information about CEWE photobooks click here.

For history information, opinion and the latest news and research, read History Scotland magazine.