NDM332 (3 Posts)

Serena was born in Florida, so going to Disney World was a regular part of her early childhood. Since then she has had an ongoing love affair with anything and everything Disney. It was only natural, therefore, that Serena and her husband (a fellow Disney fan) made it a goal to bring the magic of Disney into the lives of their children when they started their own family. Serena's children have been exposed to Disney since their days in the womb. After 14 years of marriage, Serena has never deterred from this path. Serena currently lives in Virginia as a graphic designer. She has many interests, including blogging, photography, video games, and psychology. She is no longer close to her beloved Walt Disney World. However, this has only served to sharpen some of her vacation skills, for now she has learned to pack a trip of epic proportions into an itty bitty week. It is no small feat, but Serena knows it is worth the effort when she sees her family enjoying the fruits of her labor. Seeing Disney through her children's eyes has helped her find a new level of joy, and it is why she goes back to Disney again and again.

We all know that traveling to Disney World is a memorable experience; however, there is no better way to ensure that those great memories last forever than taking pictures to capture them. How do you feel about your trip pictures? Do they tell the story of your vacation? Do they show the best moments of the trip? Well, if not, we’re going to change that. This is part one of a series that will give you some great tips you can use on your next trip.

Think about the shots you want BEFORE you leave. We may have good intentions of taking tons of pictures, but then we get busy and distracted. So look over your schedule, and think about where you will be going. For each day, I want you to think of two shots that you definitely want to get.  If you keep a printed schedule, make a note of the shots on there as well.  If your shots involve your whole group, it’ll help if you tell them beforehand. That way, everyone is ready and expecting it, and there are more people to help remind you of the shot in case you forget.  Some possible ideas:  your whole group in front of the castle, Epcot ball, Sorcerer’s Hat, and Tree of Life;  the whole group with Mickey; each person with their favorite character; or your kids in front of their favorite ride.  If you don’t get any other shots the whole trip, you can at least be guaranteed to get a few important ones.

Be realistic about what kind of camera you need and will use. If you are not the type to want to be bothered to dig the camera out to take a picture, then don’t invest in a big digital SLR camera. It’ll end up staying in the bag or worse yet, get left home because you don’t want to lug it around. Get yourself a compact point and shoot that you can whip out easily. You’ll be more likely to actually use it.

Do not, I repeat, do not use your cell phone camera as your primary way to capture pictures. Yes, they have come a long way, and yes, some even have a flash now, but there is still no comparison to a real camera. Your pictures will not turn out nearly as good.  And if you’re going to go to the trouble of taking pictures–especially if you’re getting people to pose–you might as well take a good quality camera.  If you want to be able to quickly share the picture with others on your cell, then take a picture with your phone after you use your camera.  Last week we were having dinner at 1900 Park Faire with Cinderella. There was a darling little girl sitting next to us in her little princess dress. She ran over to Cinderella and gave her a big hug- cutest thing ever. I look over, and there’s her mom trying to catch it with her cell phone.  Well, the cell phone didn’t like how dark the restaurant was, and she missed all the candid shots. She finally got a posed shot of her daughter with Cinderella, after they posed for a while waiting for the phone to take the picture. I wanted so badly to snap some pictures and tell her I’d email them to her! These are the magical moments, folks- you blink and they’ll be gone.  That having been said, using your cell phone camera is still better than nothing.

Don’t forget to get in some of the pictures. Many times the primary picture taker is left out of all the shots. You don’t want your family to look back on the trip years later and ask if you were there. Maybe you don’t like to get your picture taken, but at least get a few of the whole group together.  Not too crazy about how you look in pictures? Here’s a great secret to getting a picture you will like: do the old, “take a picture of yourself” trick.  Stand outside so you don’t need the flash.  Hold your camera up slightly higher so you have to tilt your face up to it, and snap the picture. You may have to try a few times to get the hang of holding it to fit everyone’s face. The uplifted angle and the natural light are universally flattering.

Next time we’ll talk about how to capture those fun rides, and how to get kids to cooperate when posing for pictures.

Contributed by: Serena Skretvedt (NDM#332) Serena is the DDL Psychology, Sociology, and Photography Blogger.


  1. Great article again, Serena! Without good pics from the vacation, you can relive it over again. Especially when you capture the joy and delight in your children’s eyes……priceless!

  2. I love taking pics! When we 1st went to WDW I used dispoable camera’s but I got the the point I did not like the quality, so then I purchased a digital point and shoot, after a few trips I got disappointed with it becasue during certain events I would miss a shot becasue the shutter speed was just to slow, so finally my hubby went out and purchased me a little more expensive one and I like it alot, but so much to learn on using it.

  3. There are a lot of settings on some of the fancier cameras. On trips, I really don’t use a lot of the manual settings, just the basics. Glad you got a camera you like. That’s half the battle. And thanks so much for reading!

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