Photographer and journal writer Jane Lee has been freezing priceless moments in time for wedding couples in and outside of Malaysia for the last seven years.

Her photography business has seen her doing pre-wedding and wedding shoots, alongside destination wedding shoots that have given Jane the chance to pair photography with another of her passion: travel.

Jane Lee’s vibrant journalling workstation

2019 has been a year of travel for Jane: New York and Tokyo in June, European cities in August and Australasia in September – all of which she intends to commemorate in her journals, a hobby she has picked up around 2015.

Jane opens up about the thought process that goes into her journals and why should you give it a shot too in our interview below.


What are the inspirations that go into the design of your journal entries?

There are already plenty of ideas on the Internet via platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. I get ideas on putting together my own entries from there. It’s very much like photography – I have photographers whose styles that I like too. You wouldn’t want to shoot exactly the way they shoot, so you’d tweak things from there to create something that is your own.

I’d gotten into the whole calligraphy and watercolour painting activities before, but personally, I didn’t enjoy them, so I decided to just journal the way that’s convenient and comfortable for me.

I mean, at the end of the day, it’s my own journal; if it’s not me, then I won’t do it. I like it messy, so I’m happy to just stick things on the pages and make it like a scrapbook kind of style. That’s the best thing about journaling: there are no particular set of rules you have to follow.


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Adventures in unexpected places – Two days ago when I was in Milford, I was reading the local newspaper here and came across this very meaningful article. I cut them off with my little scissors (yes I had one with me) then paste them in my travelers notebook journal. “Because adventures are not about what you do, they’re about how they make you feel.” I am not a runner nor hiker but I do kind of agree the story behind every little adventure we create in our lives to make them more interesting. On another side note, I like this new idea of cutting n pasting articles cuz sometimes Im out of idea what to put in my journal or just not enough of scraps to fill the entire book quickly. Also out of boredom in the Mildford Sound Lodge I stayed in, it was raining the whole day that I didnt get to go out and use my hiking shoes. Talk about adventures huh! 🤭 #milfordsound #midoritravelersnotebook#journal#手帳#travelersnotebook#travel360#traveljournal#artjournal#gf_malaysia#igersmalaysia#journaling #トラベラーズノート#chrisord#dirtchurchradio

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Why do you think journaling has succeeded and is enjoying a comeback right now, especially in this digital age?

I suppose it’s because there’s more heart to it, which makes it much more memorable and precious. In photography, we have come to a point where we can enjoy digital and film photography at the same time. I can’t say the same for anyone out there, but for me, analogue means you put more heart into it.

Digital photography may be fast and convenient, but you may miss out on some moments that analogue photography might not; you are forced to slow down and take things in because of its more lackadaisical technology.


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Good morning from San Francisco!

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How is the journaling community in Malaysia?

We do have a private Facebook group for Malaysia, Traveler’s Notebook Malaysia, for those who use this particular brand of journals or those who are looking to get into this hobby. It’s not very active (laughs), but we meet up every three or four months, about 20 or so of us at a café.

During our gatherings, we take out all the journals we’ve done and share them with one another. We exchange ideas on how to stylise our entries too, which usually end up with us spending more the next day, because we’d see something someone else has that we’d like to have as well (laughs)!


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I am taking an express train on the way to the airport now to catch a flight back home. While I have some time so might as well just tidy up some stuffs I have collected these days for my journal. I have kept food/drinking label, photos that I printed out from the printing station here (because I did not bring my mini photo printer with me when I travel), the train subway journey receipt (did you know that you can print that out?) and some beautiful stampings (I just kept papers with me to stamp instead of the whole insert/journal cuz my book can be so heavy plus I also have other gears on me in my bag?!) Can’t wait to go back home and print the remaining photos soon to fill up all the spaces as you can see the flip through at the end of this video taken on a moving train 🤪 Bye Japan, I will be back again and again and again and again. #hellojanelee

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That being said, it’s about the camaraderie as well. We are made up of people from all walks of life like students, lawyers, doctors and stay-at-home mothers.

We may all be using the same brand of notebooks, but the creativity and ideas put into writing our entries are fascinating. Based on the different things we decided to write down, it’s interesting how we all come together because of something as rudimental as journaling.


This feature first appeared in the print issue of Augustman June/July 2019.


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