There are essentially three steps involved when it comes to how to have a photographic memory. These three steps will make it easier to memorise things effectively, and easier to recall them once you have. They take a little effort, but the benefits are nearly immediate, and can be extremely beneficial to anyone who has ever wished they could recall someone’s name, or the crucial facts of a presentation, or the information for an exam.

Preparation and Practise

The first step is essentially groundwork for the other two. Strictly speaking it isn’t necessary, and you can have good results immediately just by employing effective techniques of memorisation and recall, but putting in a little extra preparation can boost that effectiveness immensely.

One part of it is simply to practise. Memory techniques become more effective when they are used well- when you can, for example, visualise things particularly vividly. Build up your memorising “muscles” by setting yourself small tests and challenges every day. Take the time to practise techniques of relaxation, visualisation and association.

There are some memory techniques that require a little extra preparation. This is particularly true of those that rely on association with existing lists, places or images, such as the memory house technique where you associate things to be remembered with a journey around an imaginary or remembered location. If you are truly interested in how to have a photographic memory, taking the time to construct such a mental house can pay great dividends. Other options include memorising and refreshing your memory of lists of keywords to associate with things to be remembered, or memorising scraps of music if you like to use auditory approaches to association.

Better Memorisation

Most of the time, if we say that we have forgotten something, it is because we did not memorise it very effectively in the first place. Your memorisation needs to be memorable. For everything you want to remember, create strong and easy to recall images that exaggerate important points of what is to be recalled. Make these mental images big. Make them funny. Make them colourful. Anything, so long as they avoid being dull, and thus harder to remember.

Alternatively, make use of mnemonics where you can. Putting together simple phrases based on the first letters can help you memorise any cluster of information, along with the order that it appears in a system. Constructing rhymes can help to make otherwise dry information more memorable, as can building acrostics.

Better Recall

Sometimes though, it isn’t about how to have a photographic memory at the point of memorisation. Sometimes, it’s about dredging up facts that you know you heard somewhere, but now can’t quite recall. That’s why you also need to employ effective strategies of recovery for what you remember. Start by relaxing. There’s nothing like tension and pressure to drive information from your head. After that, try to recreate what you can of the situation where you had the information. Retracing your steps can be useful when trying to remember where you put small objects.

In the case of information that refuses to come, try approaching it from another angle. Remember as much associated information as you can about what you are trying to remember. Even if that doesn’t trigger a memory, sometimes you can work it out anyway. Failing all else, try thinking about something completely different for a while. It might just relax you enough for the information to come back on its own.