When heading to the happiest place on your, your may start to wonder how you will capture all the joy and emotion you and your family will experience. Read over this list of Disney World photography tips to help capture your vacation. These tips are meant to help you capture the moments but I encourage you not to miss the moments because you are too busy capturing them. Please put your camera down and live in the moment. Yes, you want images to remember the trip but your kids will want you to be a part of it as well.
Disney World Photography Tips
- No.01Take one lens
It is so tempting to bring all your lenses since you don’t know which one you will need and when you will need it. The struggle is real. I get it. Instead of being a sherpa, choose one lens to take on the trip or at the very least out for the day. I choose to only take my Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 for the whole trip. Since this is a zoom lens I was able to capture images close up or including more of the scene.
- No.02Set your settings while you wait
Taking photos on the ride (a slow ride without water) is a great way to capture the joy on your kids’ faces as they experience Disney World. However, you don’t have time once the ride starts to fiddle with aperture and shutter speed. Take the time while you wait in line to point your camera in the direction of the ride and get your settings ready.
- No.03Details, details, details
Capture the crowds, the food, the wait times. Disney is full of interesting details all over the parks. By capturing these unique little shots they help tell the story of your trip better when you print your images into your photo books…and yes, you need to print these images.
- No.04Show movement
Disney World doesn’t stop moving. Play with your shutter speed to show all the energy and rides. You don’t need a tripod for a shot like this. Steady yourself, lock your elbows, and take the shot. If you are able, rest your camera on a trash can or something sturdy if you need to. Play around and see what you can capture. Read more about how to use slow shutter speed to create motion blur.
- No.05Get in the photo
You were there! You deserve to be in the photos. I don’t care if you look like a mess, get in the shot. Either hand your camera over to your husband or take the shot your self. For this shot, I put the focal point on the center, make sure the aperture was stopped down enough to get us both in the shot and took the photo. It is one of my favorites from the trip.
- No.06Don't forget video
I’m slightly obsessed with video at the moment. Honestly, I think I took as many videos as I did images. There is something about hearing your child’s laughter and seeing the wind in their hair that adds to the memories you are capturing.
- No.07Get down low when take pictures with characters
I can’t say enough amazing things about how Disney handles the children meeting the characters. They never once rushed us out the door or told me to stop taking photos. I made sure to stay out of the way of the hired photographer. Get down low. This helps you get the view from your child’s point of view. Plus, most characters got down on my kids level while talking to them. This is another good time to get your shot ready while you wait in line. You don’t want to fumble around while your child runs with open arms to hug Mickey and you miss it.
- No.08Enjoy your trip - Get Memory Maker
My husband was on the fence about purchasing the Memory Maker package. He figured I know how to take pictures so why would we pay for that. I told him because I wanted to be in the photos. I LOVED having a photographer around every corner that I could gather up the crew, pose for a photo, and I was in it without the stress of saying “Everyone look at the camera”. Plus, they captured some different shots while my kids met the characters than I did. Keep in mind though, you may still want to take some pictures while you meet the characters because many of the photographers used the flash which isn’t a deal breaker but I wasn’t some shots without the flash which I was able to capture with my camera.
- No.09Think outside the box
Since Disney doesn’t allow tripods I was struggling how to capture the fireworks. I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to take my lens off autofocus and switched it to manual focus. I played around with the focus to create some out of focus shots of the fireworks.
- No.10Safety Mom Tip: Take a cell shot
This one isn’t a photography tip but something we do anytime we got to large places where we could get separated from our kids. Take a picture of each individual child each morning in the clothes they are wearing. This way if you get separated you have a current photo of exactly what they are wearing that day.
Remember you’ve spent months planning your trip to Disney World, securing your Fast Passes, and making reservations, don’t forget to enjoy it. Put your camera away. Ride the ride with your kids. Hug them during the parades. Live in the moment. We have a tendency of trying to document every single moment. While it’s important to document it, it’s even more important to live it. What other photography tips would you add to the list? Leave a comment below.