For my entire life I have been a documenter.  In an effort to remember every tiny detail I have scrapbooked and journaled.  In fact, I picked up a camera for this same purpose.

My journaling habit began the moment I learned to write words and in high school I really began preserving memories. I wanted to remember every little moment, emotion, and ahem, details… way too many details… ask my mom.

Journaling began to taper off around college and scrapbooking became too messy for me.  Alas, after I gave birth to my chiIdren I felt the itch to begin documenting again. I wanted to remember everything about my children’s lives. I simply can’t rely on my memory anymore.

My Current Journals

1 small moleskin journal for funny things each kiddo says and does that is memorable…

photography journal aticle by photographerMelissa Stottmann

Homemade growth books…

photography journal aticle by photographerMelissa Stottmann

A “Mom” book – each child gets 1 page to write in on Mother’s Day and My Birthday in lieu of a card…

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

A Peel and Stick Album that I add to with 12×12 prints instead of a scrapbook…

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

2 (and growing) photography journals…

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

About My Photography Journals

Last fall, when reading through Julia Stotlar’s Breakout, Cultiviating Creativity and Vision, she mentioned a photography journal.   Why had I not thought of this?  I suddenly realized how messy this could get though and I do not like mess.  As I began my journal, I also started a Table of Contents.  As I began writing, I numbered the pages, and added each title to that Table of Contents.

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

My journal inspired me to start keeping track of foliage and my locations for shooting.  Every fall comes and I’m left wondering what each park looks like so this past fall I started scouting and making notes based on the dates. Next year, when someone wants to book I can tell them that the week of October 24 the leaves at {insert park} switched over to a vibrant yellow and have some example images I took that week last year. Of course, there will be variations and through time I will continue to keep notes and refer year to year changes but it’s so helpful to have this information at my finger tips.  When Spring began I was excited to document tree growth and blooms. For a period of about 4-6 weeks I do a loop around to all of my favorite areas and make general notes.

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

Inspirations are also something that I love keeping in my photography journal.  When I read a quotation, have an idea that I love, read a photography book, work through a course or Breakout I begin a new section.  This journal serves so many purposes and can even just be a ‘brain dump’ when I’m overloaded.   When I daydream I like to draw doodles and bring a touch of chaos to my organization.  My first journal was filled in about 6 months and I recently began a second.

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

photography journal aticle by photographer Melissa Stottmann

Some other things I have journaled:

  1. Notes from my mentorship
  2. Classes I have taken
  3. Pricing Ideas
  4. Inspirational Quotes
  5. Ways to Keep Families Engaged During a Shoot
  6. Breakouts
  7. Branding Ideas
  8. Goals
  9. Books I have Read
  10. Artist Studies
  11. Photography Project Ideas

I love having all of my ideas, inspirations, and new things I have learned in one simple place that I can reference!

giveaway from melissa!

Since Melissa loves journaling so much she is doing a giveaway for the retro mini eco journals from the  CMstore! This set of journals marries her love of journaling and all things earth friendly!  To win, write a comment below telling us if you’ve kept a journal before and what it was for, we’d love to hear all about it.  One random winner will be drawn next Friday, August 9, 2013 after 12pm EST and make sure to come back here to see if you’re the lucky winner!

winner update!

Congratulations to Candice M who said, “I used to journal all of the time when I was younger and always want to go back to doing it. These are some great ideas that!” on being our random winner!  I will email you shortly on how to claim your prize.