You want the best photos from your Disney family vacation, not the worst, right?
Yes! For sure you do!
Disney World is one of the most photographed places in the world. People from all over make the voyage to enjoy the magic and the whimsy of the most magical place on Earth. Everyone wants to take some of ‘magic’ home with them by capturing it in pictures!
With so many people and so many pictures happening, we are bound to get lots of cringe worthy images. Tons of people make some of the worst photo mistakes (listed below) when taking pictures at Disney World.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the picture being taken rather than not. Even if it’s not perfect.
Yet, as a photographer, I know from experience that you can take way better photos at Disney World.
I want to share that knowledge with you! So you too can walk away with tons of great shots from Disney World!
By first sharing the 7 worst photo mistakes people make at Disney when taking family photos.
Knowing what not to do is one of the first steps in learning what TO do when it comes to taking photos at Disney World. Then when you are done, head over to this post full of tips of how to take GREAT photos at Disney World.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and learn the worst photo mistakes people make at Disney.
1. Not Knowing Your Camera Before Your Disney World Trip
The biggest novice mistake people make when taking family photos at Disney World is not knowing their camera. This is especially true if it happens to be a new camera that was purchased right before the trip.
With so many buttons, dials and settings, it’s easy to understand why anyone might get confused.
If you find this is you, someone in the camp of buying a new camera right before the trip, try and learn it the best you can before you head on vacation. You don’t need to know every single in and out, but how to adjust the basics is going to be super helpful.
Plus, while a blurry photo is better than no photo, a crisp photo makes for a better memory!
2. Not Taking Pictures of Your Kids at Disney World
Many of you might be scratching your head on this tip. Trust me I know, why would someone be reading about what mistakes to avoid when taking family photos at Disney World, if they don’t even take photos to begin with?
Well, truth be told, busy parents, possibly much like yourself, might forget to do this simple thing while on vacation with your families. You are so caught up in running from point A to point B, that you forget about stopping along the way. Stopping to capture those cute cheeks, chubby arms and little smiles.
I’m not encouraging parents to be behind their cameras 24/7 while in Disney. Yet, I am encouraging to try and stop and capture the little moments along the way. You’re going to remember a lot of your trip, but there are things you’re going to forget until you look back at photos.
Like how tiny your little one was and how they clingged to you when they say how tall Goofy really was!
3. Not Being in the Disney World Photos is a BIG Mistake (That means YOU Mom or Dad!!)
While there might be families that forget to grab photos of your kids, there might also be moms or dads that forget to be IN the photos. It’s so, so, so easy to forget to include yourself in your photos. Handing off the camera, while it might not be a ton of work, can be easily forgotten.
You’ll come home from vacation, take a look through your photos and realize that you’re in 3. 3 out of 500. Ekk.
This is not a new phenomena. I challenge you to look back at photos of past generations in your family, if they are available. Odds are, one person in your family was the designated photo taker. It’s probably that that person most likely wasn’t in very many of the photos. Take a look two generations back, if you can. You’re probably going to see the same thing.
Let’s break the cycle!! Be in the photos!!
Even if that means handing off your cell phone to a cast member and asking them to take a picture. Or you can set up the shot just how you want it and then trade places with one person from your group. That way you know you like the photo before it is even snapped.
Be present and be lasting! Be in your Disney World family photos!
4. The Mistake of Cutting Off Heads and Limbs in Disney World Photos
Have you ever seen a photo that looks just a little off and you aren’t sure why?
Take a look at the photo again.
Could it be because someone’s hand or foot is cut off?
Or even their head?
You might not realize it at first, but cutting off limbs (at weird spots) and chopping off the top of a head, throws your photo off some.
Try to recompose your photo before you snap the shot to make sure you have everything you want included in the shot. Take a close up or cutting off limbs intentionally is fine, but just make sure where you are cropping the photo makes sense.
5. Having a Hundred Guests in the Background of Your Photos
Walt Disney World is a super crowded place. Depend on the day you go, it can sometimes feel like everyone and 30 of their closest friends and families members have joined them. This makes for not a ton of wiggle room and lots of people in your photographs.
If you can, find a background that doesn’t involve a ton of people. Meaning, head over to one of those infamous instagram walls or stand right up again a ride before you take a shot.
Having your background be a stationary thing instead of crowds of Disney World people will make for a better photograph. Lots of people make for a busy background, which can be really distracting.
Even if you can’t get the whole ride (or the castle, per say) in your shot, odds are you (and others) will know what it is just by seeing part of the thing!
Head to this post to learn how to get crowd free castle photos!
6. Shooting with Your Subjects Looking into the Sunshine
Aww, the sunshine state!
Florida is beautiful, but it’s also sunny.
Sunshine is bright.
So bright that if you’re looking into it, it’s going to make you squint. Squinty faces in photos aren’t great.
They usually look like someone is in pain.
(You learn a lot from this blog, don’t cha, eh?)
Instead of having your subjects look into the sun when it’s sunny outside, seek out some open shade. The shade creates an ‘even’ light over everyone’s faces and makes for more pleasant expressions.
If you can, and it’s not exactly noon, when the sun is directly overhead, try and position the sun behind your family. This way, they aren’t looking into the sun. Just make sure everyone’s face isn’t too dark from the backlighting!
If you’re in the open shade and you notice everyone’s faces are just too dark, turn your family to face the sunshine instead. Yet, keep them in the open shade at the same time. If there is enough shade they will be able to look at your photos.
As long as it’s not direct sunlight on in their faces (making them squint and returning you to square one), the shade and indirect sunlight will make for really nice light. A quick change in direction can really help you correct this photo mistakes people make at Disney.
If you’re in a pinch and you can’t get out of the direct sunlight, throw some sunglasses on everyone. Not only do the sunglasses protect everyone’s eyes, but you can’t tell if anyone is squinting!! Win-win!
7. Using a iPAD to Take Pictures of Parades and Fireworks
IPads are amazing. I love them just as much as the next person.
Expecept in Disney World.
In Disney, they are big and always in the way.
Especially when they are blocking your view of fireworks and parades.
You might not agree with me here, but let me explain…
You know at a wedding when the bride walks down the aisle, everyone whips out their iPad? How you end up watching the ceremony from behind a screen.
Well, it’s kind of the same at Disney World. No one wants to see Happily Ever After through a screen. It takes away from the magic!
If you absolutely must use your iPad, using it for a second or two is totally fine.
In the end, the footage you have on your iPad is never going to be that great. It doesn’t have the technological capacity to capture what you’re viewing justice.
If you take a quick search on YouTube, I’m sure you’ll find a real high quality shot of what you were trying to record. Someone else has done the hard part of recording the show or event already. Most likely in a much higher quality!
Therefore, instead of trying to use your iPad to record, sit back and enjoy the show instead. Then, when you’re back home, look up the show online. I’m sure you’ll find it!!
Conclusion of the Worst Photo Mistakes People Make at Disney
There ya go! The 7 worst photo mistakes people make at Disney.
Now that you know what the mistakes are, use the tips provided to ensure you have the best photos possible from your Disney World vacation!
Following even a few of the tips and tricks will help improve your Disney photos dramatically!
Be Sure to Follow-Me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest: @magicformiles
Now that you’ve learned more about what mistakes to avoid when taking photos at Disney World, check out these posts on how to improve your Disney taking photo skills. Learn how to capture Cinderella Castle without crowds, Hidden PhotoPass Opportunities, the Best Disney Photo Props, What Rides Not to Bring Your Camera On and More!
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I wanna take tons of photos when I go!
I hope you do!!