Mom (and Dads!) It’s Your Vacation Too, Get in the Photos!

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As moms (or as dads!) you wear so many hats: caregiver, cook, housekeeper, boo-boo fixer, family documenter. The list goes on and on and is pretty endless.

Let’s focus on the last point in that list: family documentor.

You’re the one who makes sure the pictures are taken and records all the family events and memories. Without you, there would be nothing to look back on.

Yet, when your family is looking back on these memories and events, where are you?

Most likely, not in many (if any!) of the shots.

Ah! Hopefully that’s not accurate, but it might be!

Quick Photo Experience Through the Generations

Before you read on, can you do a quick experiment for me?

If you can, grab photos from your mother’s or your father’s childhood. I bet you can find at least a handful of great shots of either of your parents when they were young kids.

Now, take a look through those shots and tell me of those shots included your grandma.

Most likely, your grandma was the one behind the camera capturing the photos. Being behind the camera meant she wasn’t going to be in many of the shots. By the time she would have passed the camera off everyone probably would have scattered.

Now, take a quick look at photos from your own childhood. Specifically the ones from when you were a little baby. Are there a ton of shots of your own mother in the photos?

There might be more images of your mom than there were of your grandma, but probably not a ton more.

Odds are, if your mother (and/or grandmother) was the documenter in your family, she isn’t going to be in many of the shots.

Same could be true of your father and/or grandfather. If they were the ones documenting life as it was happening, odds are they won’t be in a lot of frames. There might not have been a lot of opportunities for them to be in their family photos.


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Get In Your Family Disney World Vacation Photos

If you did this experiment and noticed your family photos are indeed missing a key family member, it’s time to change that.

It’s hard being the who does all the documentation, but challenge yourself to start getting into the photos with your family members.

One of the places you for sure want to be in the family photo books, is obviously Disney World. I mean, it’s the most magical place on earth, shouldn’t you be a part of the memories of magic?

Yes, yes you should.

But how? How can you, and other moms and dads, get into your family photos at Walt Disney World?

Much easier than you probably originally thought! Disney World is the BEST place to make sure you get into your family photos.

Setup Your DSLR and Handoff Your Camera to Another Family Member to Get into the Photos at Walt Disney World

If you plan to take a DSLR to Walt Disney World and you want to be in the photos, setting up your camera and handing it off is probably the best thing you can do.

DSLR cameras have lots of features and settings you can change. In order to capture at scene to the best of your ability, the trifecta of ISO, aperture and shutter speed all need to be adjusted just so.

Odds are, if you’re the photo taker in your family you’re going to be the one who knows the controls the best.

Saving yourself and your family a lot of time, adjust your camera’s settings just so and then hand of the camera to another member of your party.

It helps to have that person understand the basics of focusing and looking through the viewfinder (which can be a novel idea these days!). Once they get the camera all they need to do is ‘click’!

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Set Your DSLR to Auto to Get Into Your Photo

If you have a pretty sunny day and you are outside, which, as luck might have it, often happens at Disney World, you can always set your camera to auto.

On many DSLR cameras the auto setting functions great when the lighting is good. It takes away a lot of guesswork from someone who might not be super familiar with how ISO, aperture and shutter-speed all work together.

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There are times, such as when the light in low, when you’re trying to capture a fast moving object and so forth where auto might not work as you want it to work.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the lack of creative control when it comes to using the auto setting on a DSLR camera. Yet, it works in a pinch and I’d rather have a photo to capture a memory of all in a photo at Disney vs not having the photo at all.

If you don’t plan to bring a DSLR, make sure your photo app is open and setup how you like. Specifically make sure your flash isn’t on auto if you don’t want it being used in the photo.

Composing the Shot Before Handing Your Camera Off

Regardless if you plan to hand your camera off with the manual settings all adjusted or hand it off in full auto, try and precompose your shot.

For us this usually means having my husband stand as a fill in for me. I’ll setup the camera, take the photo just how I want it and then hand the camera off to him. Before he takes the shot I can jump into place and he can review the image I just shot.

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This usually prevents me from having to run back and forth after a picture is taken. Let’s face it, if I don’t precompose a shot, we usually end up taking 3 or 4 shots before we get the right one. Plus lots of running back and forth between the shots. This makes for some frustrated vacationers at times.

That’s not saying I do this every. single. time I hand off the camera. Yet, if there is a specific shot and a specific composition that I know I want, a little prep work goes a long way.

This tip even translates well for using a cell phone. Stand exactly where you want the shot to be taken. Once you take a practice shot of your ‘stand-in’, they will be able to see what look you are going for.

Trust me, this tip saves a lot of frustration in the long run!

Cell Phone Cameras Selfies Help You Get in the Photo!!

Whether you love the fact that as a society we have access to just about anything we need via our cell phones at a moments notice, or you hate that fact, cell phones provide a great opportunity to get into a photo.

Cell phones can be handed off to just about anyone. I mean anyone. Even my 4 year old son has created some awesome photos of my husband and I at Disney World.

Cameras on cell phones will help you focus on a subject, adjust your lighting and easily record your shots and memories.

Plus, with a rear facing and forward facing camera, there is no excuse not to be in at least a dozen photos if you have your cell phone. The invention of the selfie makes including yourSELF in photos a reality.

While the qualify is not as great as a DSLR camera, you are beating what seems to be a generational problem, of not being in the family photos.

So, snap, snap, snap away those selfies and make some memories with your family!

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Pro Tip

With a cell phone you can even grab a shot of just you and your significant other. If you’re traveling with kiddos, you can show them how you want the photo taken before they take the shot.

Setup the photo with your significant other in place and then show your kiddo how you want the shot taken. Digital screens make such a big difference in being able to demonstrate what you’re looking for.

Can I get a ‘woohoo’ for technology??


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Photopass Photographers Can Help You Get into Family Photos

One final, tried and true method of being in your Disney World photos is by using Disney’s Photopass photographers.

Disney World really does think of everything don’t they? They know how Walt Disney World is one of the most photographed places in the world.

Perhaps they also knew that it’s important to get everyone in the shot when you are on a family vacation.

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(Spoiler: I’m pretty sure they did know this).

Well, you are reaping the rewards of their genius.

Wherever you have seen a Disney Photopass photographer, be sure to jump in line. The Photopass photographer will grab a shot of your whole family at some of the most iconic locations in the parks.

Plus, if you’re not planning to purchase the memory maker, you can hand them your camera. Disney’s Photopass photographers are more than willing to use your camera to capture your family. You’ll definitely be in your disney vacation photos if you use Disney’s Photopass photographers.

Use the Video Mode on Your Cell Phone

Alternatively, if you want to have the whole group in your family photo but there isn’t a PhotoPass photographer nearby, set your phone camera to video mode.

Set the camera up on a surface (use your backpack if you can’t find one). Put the camera on video mode and let it record.

Once you get back to the camera, press stop and then take a screenshot of your favorite scene from the video.

Be sure to pause the video at that exact moment to get your image.

Concluding Thoughts for Being in Photos at Disney World

There ya go! You have all the tips and tricks necessary for making sure you get into the photos at Disney World. Let’s break the cycle of generations past! There’s now no excuse to for moms and dads to not be in the photos in Disney World!!

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