The Brain Science of Why Photos Make Us Feel Good

A warm feeling waterfalls inside my face and chest while I look through each gleeful 5×7 family photo in my wooden image box.

There’s a tingling behind my nose and eyes – whenever these photos from three years ago turn to memories playing in my mind I get this feeling that often causes my eyes to leak a little or a lot.

Some call it the warm fuzzies.

Some call it bliss.

But I prefer to call it what it is in it’s tangible, physical form:

A hit of oxytocin pumping through your brain, bloodstream, and attaching to oxytocin receptors all over the place.

Oxytocin? Is the same chemical that helps form a strong bond between a women an her newborn child.

It has also been shown in male rats to help form monogamous relationships (Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert).

It’s a natural high.

It’s just one of the chemical reaction behind why we all love photos of our family so much, but can’t really describe the reason.

The opposite happens, by the way, when someone thinks of negative memories, and cortisol is released (a story for another day).

To explain why this happens, I need to credit the book You Are The Placebo which sites an amazing amount of scientific data and studies.

“Your brain and body don’t know the difference between having an actual experience in your life and just thinking about the experience – neurochemically, it’s the same.” – “You Are The Placebo

And the really interesting thing?

The heart, digestive system and many other major organs have oxytocin receptors.

“These organs are highly responsive to oxytocin’s major healing effect, which has been linked to growing more blood vessels in the heart, stimulating immune function, increasing gastric motility, and normalizing blood-sugar levels.” – “You Are The Placebo

Could it be that what we do as photographers is far more powerful than we could have ever imagined?


Especially when our photos elicits an even more strong emotional response from our clients.

Especially when our clients see that image daily and get a hit of oxytocin frequently.

(AKA, the photos aren’t hidden in a drawer)

The stronger the emotion, the more oxytocin, the more not just health, but mood benefits our client will receive.

How do we create a stronger emotional response from our clients?

My favorite way is with Celebrate Mother’s Mini Sessions.

An image filled with glee and joy, mixed with powerful words of appreciation from a Mom’s children, and words of love from mom about her children.

Because feeling joy, gratitude and being appreciated every day in your home before the work day begins?

THAT can have a massive impact on not just the photo subject, but on how she reacts in the workplace, in life, and how those around her feel.

If you’re curious about Celebrate Mother’s and how I not only impact Moms but also how I run them at a massive profit, sign up for the free webinar here.

It’s simple, but more powerful than you can imagine. Each year as I read through the responses of Mom’s and their children I am brought to tears of joy on more than one occasion.

And as we come into the weeks leading up to Mothers Day, I want YOU to also feel just how powerful you are in how you can help moms.

So join me for a 75 minute free masterclass on how to create a mini session event that will invigorate your mom clients and yourself, AND will get you a slew of sessions this Spring slow season.

I’ll share with you 5 Keys to a 6K Weekend this spring, so you can de-stress mentally, take your family on a much-need vacation, or even get that 85mm lense you’ve been drooling over, AND create a powerful impact on the lives of Mothers around your area.

  • I’ll show you my exact path to creating a Mini Session Event SO UNIQUE and so much different than all of the other, “Mom & Kids” sessions, that last year I easily booked 23 mini sessions WITHOUT relying on any other boutique or charity to help me.

  • The secret sauce is the 3 Psychological Triggers that make moms want to buy – and trust me – telling them “you are beautiful just the way you are” is NOT one of those triggers (and is actually an ANTI trigger – it makes moms NOT want to book you)

Click here, and Save Your Seat for this Online Master Class

Cheers to oxytocin and brain science!

Lisa Edwards

P.S. The book You Are The Placebo is fascinating, it’s one of the most interesting books I’ve read EVER, and I highly recommend it. It has made me understand how my own mind works, and just how powerful memories (and therefore photography) can be on our clients.

You can check it out on Amazon here.

P.P.S. If you want to join me on my mission to help moms feel more joy and bliss in their lives, and truly help them feel appreciated, while also making a great wage, be sure to signup for the free webinar here.

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