As a photographer, you have the opportunity to commemorate some of the best moments in people’s lives. While the subjects of your photos vary wildly, as do their pictures, one thing is almost universally true no matter whether you’re capturing a wedding, engagement, family portrait or new baby: these images are defined by an overwhelming feeling of happiness.
So to tell the stories of these sessions in blog posts, or even to share on About Me pages or in Mission Statements why you love the work you do, the word “happy” gets tossed around A LOT.
But just like any word that gets overused, it quickly loses all meaning, becoming weak and uninteresting, and that’s the last thing you want to convey when describing the best day of someone’s life…or the way you feel about your job.
Breathe a little life into your blog posts or web copy by replacing the word “happy” with these more impactful, specific, emotion-filled words.
- ELATED Meaning very happy or proud, this word is a perfect choice for describing the posture of the parents of the bride and groom as they greet wedding guests, embrace their new family members or deliver a heartfelt toast.
- EUPHORIC This word carries with it almost a drunken or dreamlike state of happiness, making it the ideal word choice when recounting the bride and groom’s exit from the ceremony or reception as husband and wife. It’s also a great way to describe the guests on a packed dance floor.
- DELIGHTED This word is a sweet, innocent, almost peaceful replacement for “happy” making it a heartwarming way of expressing the emotions felt by grandma during the ceremony or the flower girl when she sees herself all done up for the first time. It’s also perfect for describing the feelings of excitement and joy you have when you meet a new client.
- CHEERFUL This word always strikes me as a first-impression kind of emotion because it conveys optimism for something that hasn’t yet happened. It’s excellent for describing an initial coffee date with a client or the vibe a couple gave off when they met you at the engagement shoot location.
- OVERJOYED Let the prefix “over-” be your guide here, indicating a time when emotions are overwhelming or bubbling over, like that uncontainable burst of laughter from the bride after the first kiss or the whooping cheer from the groom as he leads his bride from the ceremony.
- BLISSFUL This word conveys a sense of perfection as well as happiness. Whether you’re describing an engagement session, a family portrait session or a moment mid-wedding reception, use this word to highlight a moment when the rest of the world seemed to fall away, and only the love between your subjects — and the joy it brings them — seemed to exists.
- THRILLED Rather than conveying the sense of abiding happiness found in a word like “blissful,” this word is much more alive and action-packed, bursting with a sudden surge of intense joy, making it perfect for bouquet tosses or surprise proposals. And who can forget the most thrilling moment of all: the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time.
- CAREFREE For maximum impact, use this word — and its feeling of weightlessness — to describe someone who has put a lot of time and effort into planning the wedding, like the mother of the bride or the bride herself and contrast that pressure with the current state of happiness. It’s also perfect for describing someone living their best “dance like no one’s watching” life.
- ECSTATIC This is, like, top tier, bursting through the roof, uncontrollable joy. Sparking with energy, this overwhelming feeling isn’t your average, everyday happiness and so should only be used to describe the happiest of people. If it gets overused, it loses its punch.
- JUBILANT Defined by an expression of great happiness or triumph, I always associate this word with laughter, and find it is a perfect way to describe the feelings of a loving, supportive bridal party as they celebrate their best friends’ love for each other.
- GLEEFUL This word has an almost precocious ring to it, making it a flawless descriptor for happy children no matter the setting, whether they are giggling on a picnic blanket during a family photo shoot or twirling on a wedding reception dance floor.
- RADIANT Perfect for describing a happiness so uncontainable that it sets the room aglow, this word carries with it a feeling of awe, wonder and beauty that is absolutely tailor-made for describing a bride on her wedding day. It is also a favorite of mine when sharing the tear-filled look of pride on the faces of parents, love glowing behind their eyes.
No matter what word you choose to describe the joy of your subjects, the key to make sure the word is true to the moment. If you do that, you can’t possibly go wrong!
Did I miss your favorite substitute for “happy?” Share it in the comments below. Happy writing!