Hot answers tagged emotion
I think you are going in the wrong direction, a picture with an obvious element missing draws attention to the fact that element is missing and you'll have a really hard time going from "missing child" to "fun" :-) If you can't get a child to model for you an adult sitting on the swing with a playful expression can look very "fun" - if you can't get a model ...
Create a nice and aesthetic environment which waits for the child who is just about to arrive. Don't try to capture happiness showing sometime after, without the kid. This should put a happiness in a very near future. You could use some welcoming signs as well. Use warm colors, bright lights, softer contrasts and lower picture temperature. You can also use ...
How about shooting from a low angle, perhaps almost under the swing? Imagine you were able to capture the moment from under the person as they leaped off the swing. Creative use of motion blur can imply movement, some direct lens flare implies a happy, sunny day, and the bottom of the doll can simulate the dark form of a person jumping off.
This one most likely did: I agree with @tenmiles that it's all about context. What makes people emotional are stories, and it's hard for a single frame to tell enough of a story. But it's possible.
I think lighting could be an important part to this equation. in general, high-key images are much more bright and happy than a "normal" exposure or something low-key (which would likely create a more negative mood).
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