Magical Blogorail: Disney Photography Tips

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing tips to get great photos on your Disney vacation.


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We all like to get our pictures taken with Disney characters! But with the long lines and the short time available for posing, it can be hard to get anything other than the standard stand-and-smile shot like the one above.

So today I’m here to help you one and all break out of the same-old same-old with tips on how to get great character photos:

T I P    o n e    T I P

Photograph Characters on Their Own

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This is perhaps one of the hardest things to achieve due to the popularity of the characters, especially with the youngsters, who tend to rush up almost before the last guest has cleared the posing area. But with patience and good timing, a great shot can be had!

The one above was taken just before the meet-and-greet officially opened, so Aladdin and Jasmine were waiting off to the side, away from the crowds.

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The picture of Mary Poppins was achieved through the miracle of cropping. A little guest was rushing over to the Practically Perfect Nanny when I saw my opportunity. With just two feet remaining between this shot and the inevitable hug-filled greeting, I had room to isolate my subject in post-editing!

Donald was easier, as he was on the way down the ramp from the Aztec Temple in the Mexico Pavilion. He saw me lining up the shot and struck this pose. Thanks Donald!

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Photograph Characters Interacting

Warm Hugs

Photo Credit: The Mousekatools Mom

We all know Olaf loves hugs, so this shot really plays to his strength. With everyone in on the premise, we have a great , and heartwarming, moment captured forever!

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Most face characters will take the time to speak and interact with each guest, especially if the guest is a cute little child! Both Alice and Mary Poppins took the time to engage these little girls. One with a conversation, and the other by putting the little one to work! Can you imagine how thrilling it would be to hold Mary Poppins’ umbrella?

These kinds of shots capture a moment in time that will never be repeated by your child, and not exactly by another child. This makes each shot priceless!

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Photograph Characters in Close-ups

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If you just have to have the obligatory stand-and-smile shot, make it more interesting by cropping out the extra stuff that does not add to the finished product. Legs, for example, aren’t that interesting and so can be amputated in post-editing.

Another tip for making this kind of shot better is to, if possible, choose a neutral background. Nothing can wreck a great shot like an unintentional photo bomb from some other park guest who is unaware they are in the frame. Hence the weird facial expressions or nose-picking moments that are all too common among the background extras when taking a character shot!

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Photograph Characters Being Funny

Alice in Funland

Photo Credit: Home is Where the Mouse Is

Welcome to Alice in Funland as she introduces this guest to a new way of getting an autograph! As you can imagine, this was fun for the subject, and is much more interesting for those who will look at the picture later.

Fooling Around

Photo Credit: My Pixie Dust Diary

This is a nice shot because it shows a bit of the personality behind the character. Chip is being silly as he helps his littlest poser obtain the same height as her brother. Mischievous. And priceless!

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Photograph You Being Funny with Characters

Oh no you didn't

Photo Credit: Love Our Crazy Life

Doing something funny with a character is a great way to get a unique shot. Of course, if you want to try the pose above, you might want to bring your own apple. I’m just saying.

Don’t be afraid to really ham it up! Most costumed and face characters love it when they get a ‘live one’ to break up the shift.

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Utilize PhotoPass Add-ons

If you’re OK with spending some extra money to get the professional shots from the PhotoPass Photographers, be sure to check out all of the great add-ons and fun extras available to you.

For example, you can add borders:

Borders

You can add Disney characters, and pretend they are posing with you, or photo bombing you:

Characters

And don’t forget the ride photos. Because a ride is a character too!

Ride Photo

And last but not least, be sure to ask your PhotoPass Photographer if they can add any special elements to your picture in post-production. Like this:

Tinker bell add on

Photo Credit: My Pixie Dust Diary

I hope these tips have given you some ideas for your next photographic adventure at Disney!

For more Disney photography tips, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Disney Photography Tips Loop:

Magical Blogorail: Flower and Garden Festival

A Look Beyond the Flowers and Seminars

FGF Beauty and the Beast Topiary

And beyond the awesome topiaries too!

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Red. Today we are discussing the Flower and Garden Festival held each year in Epcot at Walt Disney World.

My wife and I have only attended this event once, back in 2010. Karen had always wanted to see the flower displays and topiaries but I was unsure if the extra trip was necessary, being as Epcot always had such beautiful floral displays anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much more beautiful the park was, and had to agree that it was indeed worth visiting during the festival. But I’m not here to highlight the flowers, topiaries, seminars, or exclusive merchandise. I always like to see what’s off the beaten path! And when we wandered off that path, here is what we found:

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Butterfly Tent

Each year, just beside and slightly behind the Canada Pavilion, Disney sets up a butterfly tent where you can enjoy interacting with many different species, including the Floral Gigantes pictured above!

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Disney also likes to use these special events, such as the FGF, to promote the latest movie or franchise offering. This particular year, the festival featured the new Fairy series based on Tinker Bell’s early life and adventures:

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Welcome to the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden

This garden area featured many little fairy houses and sitting and play areas. There had been a contest to design a fairy house, and the winner had her entry featured for all to see at the festival. There was also a small area to promote The Princess and the Frog movie, but it wasn’t very impressive:

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Simple flat cut-outs of some of the characters

The theme of the 2010 Flower and Garden Festival was Celebrate the Great Outdoors, and I thought I’d finish my post with an aerial view, taken from the Monorail, of the topiaries just inside the main entrance. These change every year to reflect that year’s theme:

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So if you’re intending to visit the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival, be sure to veer off the beaten path and see what else you can discover!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is DISTherapy.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – Disney Mamas – What’s New at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

2nd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is –  How to Make the Most of Your Day at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

3rd Stop – Rolling with the Magic – Topiary Displays at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

4th Stop – Cool Nouns by Lee Beatens (you are here)

Final Stop – DISTherapy – Best Eats & Drinks

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