Photography and Emotions: All You Need to Know

Type of session: Family Portraits

How do you feel when you look at your old photographs?

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”

— Don McCullin

Photography is all about evoking feelings and emotions. The power of photographs to cut through and elicit an immediate emotional response is unparalleled. It is a powerful tool for activating the brain areas associated with compassion, and empathy. 

Photography has the power to freeze moments in time and convey a wide range of emotions and feelings. Photographs are a form of communication. They can tell a story without using any words. A photographer's choice of perspective, angle, and lighting can greatly affect the viewer's emotional response to the photo. 

Your photographs have the power to make you travel back in time to that magical rainy wedding day and make you feel like it happened yesterday.

Whether you're photographing a person, a landscape, or a structure, your aim should be to elicit an emotional response in the viewer. This is why photographs are so wonderful and distinctive. They have the capacity to touch us on a profound, emotional level. 

As a photographer, I find great satisfaction in creating emotional pieces of art. It is my hope that my photos will inspire viewers to feel something, whether it be happiness, sadness, anger, or love. I believe that photographs have the power to connect us to one another and the world around us in a very special way.

As an individual, when I look at a photo, I can relive that feeling again and again. It's like a time machine allows me to go back and revisit happy memories, or even tough times that I've overcome. Photography is special to me because it captures the feeling of a moment in time, and it's something that I can hold on to and cherish forever. Whether it's a photo of a sunset, or a candid shot of my friends laughing, each one brings back a different emotion and memory. That's what makes photography so special to me - the ability to relive moments and feel all the emotions that come along with them.

So, how do you feel when you look at your old photographs?

Our reaction to seeing old photographs varies. There is no right or wrong way to feel when looking at old photographs. It is entirely up to the individual. Some people might find joy in looking at them, while others might find sadness. However, we may all agree that old photographs have the capacity to elicit a range of emotions in us.

I was curious about what my clients felt when they looked at old photographs. Here are some of their comments:

"When I look at old photographs, I'm filled with nostalgia and love. Looking at these images of people and places from the past, I can't help but feel grateful for the moments captured in time." Kathy P.

"Old photos make me feel happy and sad all at once. They remind me of a time when things were simpler, and of how quickly life passes by." Luca V.

"While looking at old photos can sometimes be bittersweet, I cherish them, nonetheless. They are a reminder that even though times change, memories never fade." Dylan J.

"When I look at my wedding photos, I not only see the love that we have for each other, but also the amazing bond that our families and friends share. It brings tears to my eyes every time." Suzanne M.

"I never realized how much I missed my hometown until I saw these pictures. Now I can't wait to go back and visit." Alan P.

"These photos of my kids make me laugh, cry, and everything in between. They grow up so fast!" Martha P.

"Every time I look at old photos, I am reminded of the strength of the human spirit. We have been through so much together, and yet we still manage to smile and laugh." Madelyn S.

"Old photos make me feel hopeful. They remind me that no matter what life throws my way, I will always have happy memories to look back on." Nancy J.

Some people feel nostalgic and sad looking at old photos. But for others, it can be a source of motivation. It can inspire us to see how far we've come, and how much we've accomplished. Looking at old photos can remind us of the good times we've had. They can also remind us of the bad times, and how we've overcome them. They can help us to appreciate the present moment, and to see the beauty in everyday life.

So, what feeling does looking at old photographs invoke in you? Do they make you happy, or do they make you sad? Do they bring back fond memories, or do they remind you of a time that you would rather forget? Regardless of what emotions they evoke, old photographs are a special way to connect with the past. They are a physical embodiment of our memories, and they allow us to relive moments that we may have otherwise forgotten.

So, take a look at your old photographs and see what feelings they invoke in you. Embrace the emotions that come along with them and cherish the memories that they represent.


So next time you're out taking pictures, think about the feelings you want to evoke in your viewer. And don't be afraid to let your own emotions shine through in your work. After all, that's what makes photographs so special. They're a reflection of our innermost thoughts and feelings, captured forever in time.

If you're looking for photographer in Miami, I would love to chat with you about documenting this special time in your life. Contact me today! I would love to chat with you about your vision for your session and answer any questions you may have.

Written by

Hello! I’m Janel Kilnisan, living and breathing photography in the vibrant city of Miami. My camera is an extension of my heart, capturing life’s whimsical moments with a magical touch. My photography is a dance of wild, feminine grace, celebrating each unique story I encounter.

Want to capture your own extraordinary moments? Connect with me on my socials or book a session and let’s create memories together.