Photography at Disney can be one the highlights of your trip if you are a professional photographer, hobbyist or just want to create memories of your trip. With very open rules on photography at Disney World, you can really have some fun for the whole family. In this article, I will give you some tips to get some great photos on your next trip.
Tip #1 – Take Lots of Shots
Disney is a busy place. Between rides, eating, catching the shows, and everything else, it can be hard to remember to get out your camera and capture a few memories. Today, digital cameras allow you to take and store many photos. Don’t be shy, snap away. On a typical 3-4 hour trip to Disney I will snap several hundred photos, come home, and narrow them down.
Things happen fast at Disney, characters do look around and will even seem as if they are looking direct at your camera. Don’t wait to grab the shot. Take as many photos as you can and pick the best later.
Tip #2 – Take Family Photos
There are so many cool things to see at Disney and so many things to take pictures of. Remember, there are already tons of photos of just Cinderella’s Castle, but, there may not be any photos of your family standing in front of the Castle.
Around the parks, there are Nikon photo spots. You can find them on the park map and on the My Disney Experience App. These are great spots to take a photo of your family. Also, don’t forget to pull out your cellphone and grab a good selfie here and there. Our favorite selfies are taken once we are seated on a
Tip #3 – Ask For Cast Members To Take Your Photo
In our family, I am the family photographer. I carry my DSLR everywhere we go and take photos to remember our adventures. When we return from a trip, a pattern starts to arise, there are tons of photos of my wife, our son, and even others but never any of me!
Did you know you can ask any Cast Member to take a photo of you and they will grab the shot for you? Yes, if you see a Cast Member nearby, ask them to grab a photo of you with your camera or cell phone and they will get the shot for you, sometimes even help you to get several great shots. (Please note, if a Cast Member is working in a safety position, they may not be able to help take your photo. Please also be respectful and let them finish their job task if they are in the middle of something).
In addition to asking for a photo from a Cast Member, you can also ask a PhotoPass Photographer to take a picture of you with your own camera. These can be even more exciting since the PhotoPass Photographers are often setup at some of the best photo spots around Disney and they do know how
Tip #4 – Get Candid Shots, Stop Directing!
Have some fun. Rather than directing every shot, grab some candids. I walk around with my camera always on me ready to grab that perfect photo of my family
Tip #5 – Take Shots Without People In Them
We would all love to just have Disney open up their parks for just our family and allow us to grab all the photos without anyone else in them, as well as ride some rides without any lines! Sadly, this is just not possible, unless you want to spend a small fortune for a private after-hours photo session. The good news is there are still many other ways to capture shots without a ton of people in them.
Many times it just takes some patience. Find a less busy area of the park,
Another way to get Disney empty park photos is to arrive early and stay late. When the park first opens, known as rope drop, many will rush to their favorite ride to get in line. This is the perfect time to rush to certain areas and get an almost empty photo. Normally, during the first 1-2 hours, the park is less busy as many are still working their way to the parks from their resort. In addition to being early, staying late can also get you that perfect empty photo. As soon as the parks close, many guests
Tip #6 – Take Photos In-Ride or At Shows
A more unique shot is taking photos while on a ride. These can give you a different perspective and give your kids some fun shots to remember the trip by. First, be sure to turn off your flash. Flash photography is not allowed on rides or in shows and will ruin the experience for others. Once you have taken care of your flash, you will want to make sure you hold on to your camera. Some rides move fast and you do not want to lose your camera. I like to make sure my DSLR is attached to me using a full body camera strap. This way, if it comes loose, it will not go anywhere but back into my own lap.
In-Ride photos and show photos are tricky. Most of these attractions are in the dark with low lighting. This means in order to get a crisp shot, you will need a fast lens. I will either use my 50mm 1.7/f lens or my 24mm-70mm 2.8/f lens. For the outdoor attractions, you can get away with any other lens at high shutter speed. The key to good ride photos is fast shutter speed, nothing lower than 1/125 sec for slower rides and 1/250 sec for faster rides.
Tip #7 – Don’t Forget The Resorts
Disney takes pride in their resorts. They are beautiful on the outside and inside. The amount of thought the