Photo Diaries:
A New Form of Sincerity in Photography
Photo diaries represent an increasingly popular form in contemporary photography, drawing parallels with the concept of personal diaries. Through the lens of a young Russian photographic artist, Galya Budagova, who has already made her mark in Europe and Asia, we are going to explore and try to understand this genre.

In the realm of photo diaries, a photographer becomes a spectator and observer. Unlike other genres, the photo diary artist is not a director seeking specific moments or interesting locations and events. Instead, they are observers of life in its purest form, as it is. Galya discovers this genre by frequently capturing her friends and loved ones in their everyday expressions, finding new artistic solutions and forms in the simplicity of these moments. This is where the allure of this style of photography truly shines.

Most of Galya's photographs in this genre are captured with an inexpensive point-and-shoot film camera. These affordable cameras, at times, introduce defects such as uneven frames and light flares along with bright, vivid colors that add an additional layer of a dreamy and memory-like effect to Galya Budagova’s works. She also often embraces unconventional and sometimes "incorrect" angles, frequently approaching her subjects up close and personally. Galya allows her viewers to see life from nontraditional perspectives, diving into the raw moments that others might tend to overlook.
Photo diaries offer a unique glimpse into the artist's life and experiences. Galya's candid works offer an authentic portrayal of her daily existence, unfiltered and unscripted. As a photo diarist, she takes on the role of a social commentator, an observer of life's beautiful mundanity. She captures the collective experiences of her contemporaries, offering an unfiltered look into their lives, emotions, and aspirations. Her photographs become a mirror reflecting the shared human experience.
And since Galya has been working within this genre for several years now, having held several exhibitions showcasing exclusively the photos from her photo diaries series. It becomes obvious that it's fair to say that this genre has transcended the realm of mere amateur photography.

In her artist statement, Galya Budagova reflects on her approach to this genre:
“This journey culminated in the genre I now work in, at the intersection of documentary and portrait photography, presenting photography as my personal diary. Honesty and sentimentality are my guiding principles. Like a poster hanging over a teenager's bed or a picture of children on a taxi driver's visor—transparent, simple, perhaps even a touch of childishness, something you believe in without a shadow of doubt.”

Sarah Ceraci