Have I mentioned how much I just love airports? Don’t get me wrong, the designers go through a lot of effort to make them comfortable but I’ve just spent far too much time in them over the last seven years to appreciate all their hard work. So when I found myself heading to Salt Lake City recently it was a mix of “awesome-sauce” because I was going to be shooting with the ladies of Pure Photography and “Oh good Lord, not another security checkpoint”. But hey, it is what it is, and there’s no reason to share my misery with the rest of the world. So I cracked a smile, told a few bad jokes, said good morning and thank you for the help. There isn’t anything terribly uncommon about that, right? Apparently it was uncommon enough to surprise the airline ticketing and rental car agents who both gave me free upgrades as a thank you of their own. Just because I had a sincere smile on my face and I was friendly? How cool is it that a smile got me more leg room on a plane!? So while I was sitting there, stretching my legs out for the hour flight, I started wondering what is it with a smile that makes the world a better place, even when we’re going through a security checkpoint?
When we laugh and smile the body releases several hormones, including endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural version of opiates and have the ability to produce an overall feeling of well being. That same smile and laughter also helps to raise the number of antibody producing cells and enhance the effectiveness of T cells within the body. Combined, these help boost the immune system resulting in a healthier you and fewer physical symptoms of stress. There are even studies to support the old adage of “grin and bear it.” In these studies participants actually reporting feel less intense pain when they were smiling compared to frowning.
As photographers it’s always in our best interest to see those pearly whites. Aside from most of us being goof balls at heart and love having a great time with our clients, a smiling happy face helps you and others naturally feel better about the rock star on the other side of the our lenses.
See you next time everybody…and for goodness sake, smile. 🙂