**This is NOT a sponsored post. Just sharing our experience!**
We spent a week at Walt Disney World and Universal, thanks to my parents. What an adventure! After scouring Pinterest, I learned that there was no post, anywhere, that could really walk me through planning an entire trip to Disney. Throughout the series, I shared our days at the parks, tips and tricks, taming the souvenir beast, money saving ideas, things we learned and photos we captured. They’re all linked below. Enjoy!
Day 1: HDYDI – Plan a Multi-Generational Disney Vacation
Day 2: What We Wore to Disney
Day 3: EPCOT: A Mom’s Guide
Day 4: Magic Kingdom: Plan a Visit That’s Fun for All Ages
Day 5: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal: A Family Guide
Day 6: Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios: All in One Day!
Day 7: Character Meals & Meet/Greets: 13 Tips to Make Them Awesome
Day 8: 10 Things to Buy/Borrow/Make For Your Disney Vacation
Day 9: 6 Tips to Capture Your Disney Vacation on Film (this post!)
Day 10: Meeting Anna & Elsa: An Honest Account
For our family, this was one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips. Of course we’re hoping we can go back someday, but for the foreseeable future, we are resting in these beautiful memories. While we returned with great souvenirs and a few blisters, its those memories we cherish. That’s why the photos we captured are so important. And, I’m betting your vacation photos are important to you, too. Let’s chat cameras, photos and photographers.
DSLR or Camera Phone?
I posted that question to my Facebook fans and the answers varied widely. It’s probably best to answer this question first: What camera do you enjoy taking photos with the most – fancy or phone? And then: How badly do you want to carry said camera around the parks? For me, it was an easy decision. I do take phone photos, but I much prefer my DSLR. Was it heavy and sometimes cumbersome? A little. But the photos I captured far outweighed (no pun intended) the extra weight of the camera. I was also allowed to take it on most rides. Whichever camera you choose to take, make sure to have extra batteries and camera cards. The last thing you want is a dead camera! (Below, you can spy me on the right, snapping away.)
Get in the Photos, Mom (and Dad)
You have heard me say this before, but Mom, Dad? Get thyself in the photos. You will regret taking photos of only your kids on vacation. Trust me. Your hair probably looked better an hour ago, that shirt may not be the most flattering but gosh dang it, girl. Your kids will only have photos of you someday. Let them see you having fun and loving the moment.
Consider Memory Maker
This isn’t a paid advertisement of Disney’s photo system, Memory Maker. I really did love this service. But, just like taking your camera, if you take it and don’t use it, what’s the point? It’s easy to say you’ll “grab the next Disney photographer” and then you don’t. When you see a photographer, stop and get your photo taken. They’ll even take a photo with your camera, for free. Just ask! Some even take “magic shots” where they add in a Disney character to the final photo. Don’t forget to ask the photographer if they do one. We loved the convenience of having the Disney folks capture memories at the “big” things and then using our cameras to capture everything in between. Memory Maker costs $199 ($169 if you purchase it three days or more before you use it). We linked all our Magic Bands to it, thus making it something we could all use. You have 45 days to download your digital photos and that’s all included within the price. For us, it was a steal. With MM, we took more than 700 photos and I took an additional 1,000. I know. That’s crazy. But, by the time I cull through the repeats and bad ones, we probably got close to 1,000 photos of our trip. Priceless.
Capture the Little Stuff (because it’s really the big stuff)
Did your brother just treat your daughter to ice cream?
Are your kids having a blast on the teacups?
Was Harry Potter just as cool as you imagined?
It’s all those little moments that made the trip. Capture them and for the ones you don’t? Commit those to memory!
Call in the Professional
We used a professional photographer to take family photos our first morning at Disney. I’m so glad we did. Just look at these! You can see highlights of the whole session here.
We opted to schedule these for our first morning at Disney, at 8am, right next to EPCOT at Disney’s Boardwalk area. The heat wasn’t bad and the crowds were gone. Kim captured some great moments. Communicate with your photographer about what you want, that way you walk away with a boatload of photos you love. To add a dose of cute to the photos, we included these Disney photo booth props from Clever Marten.
Do Something with Those Pictures!
Don’t just let them live on your computer. I’m working on a few projects to showcase our memorable week. We’re printing out photos for the kids’ autograph books using my favorite site, Mpix. And, I’m fairly certain the professional family photos we took will be adorning our walls soon. It’s possible they’ll grace some Christmas cards come December and I have a few other projects up my sleeve. Bottom line? Don’t let your hard drive be the only thing that enjoys your photos.
Disney Photo Booth Props: Clever Marten
Professional Photographer: Portrayable Photography
Photo Books: Montage
Photo Printing: Mpix (they’re currently offering 20% off everything thru 6/10/15!)