Deb Takes Your Picture

Written by Jeff Heimbuch. Posted in Disney, Features, From the Mouth of the Mouse, Walt Disney World

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Published on October 09, 2012 at 10:54 pm with 1 Comment


The flash goes off and a fantastic moment from your vacation is forever captured on film. Well, digitally, nowadays. This, of course, makes it easier for you to see all your great photos when you return home.

That’s the beautiful thing about Disney’s PhotoPass: it’s convenient, and the PhotoPass photographers are always there when you need them.

If you’ve been to a Disney theme park during the past few years, you’ve definitely seen these shutterbugs in their khaki vests snapping pictures all over the park. I usually use the service, just to get some great photos that I usually am never in!

And so today we talk to Deb, a PhotoPass photographer!


JEFF: How long have you worked for Disney’s PhotoPass?

DEB: About 3 years at this point. I love it!

JEFF: Were you always a photographer?

DEB: I was. Never professionally, though. Always just as a hobby. It was a great little hobby for years. I took it up as a child, and just never really grew out of it.

When I was old enough, I took the photos for the school newspaper, then did a short stint as the local newspaper’s photographer. When I wasn’t in school, or at my real job, I was always in a makeshift darkroom, developing negatives.

JEFF: How did you become a PhotoPass photographer?

DEB: Like most people my age, sometimes you look for a nice place to retire. And sometimes, you get a little restless, so you look for something to do part time. In case you haven’t noticed, I already had a love of photography. I also had a love of Disney. So, combining those two together would be a good match, no?

I was in the Magic Kingdom one day with my grandkids, and saw the PhotoPass people. Never gave them much thought before.

But then it clicked in my head, and a little voice said to me: “Hey! That’s a great idea!”

I applied the next day, and here I am now!

JEFF: What are some of the benefits of using Disney PhotoPass?

DEB: For starters, there’s no charge for us taking the photos, so what do you have to lose? A few minutes out of your day? Just because we take the pictures doesn’t mean you have to get them later on. We’re always camped out in some prime locations to get the best shots for you.

Many of us are actual photographers, and people who enjoy taking pictures, so we know what we’re doing. A few of us don’t, sure, but mostly we’re good with a camera.

Even though Disney is trying to hawk their own photo service, we don’t mind taking photos of you using your cameras, too! Plenty of times, you go to Disney, and the person with the camera is never in any of the photos. We’re a good way to get you in them, without having to ask strangers to take photos for you.

JEFF: Where can we find you, usually?

DEB: Nowadays, I’m at Animal Kingdom, bouncing around. Not all in one place, but all over there. Even though I like the hustle and bustle of the crowds right in front of the Tree, I enjoy the out-of-the-way places even more. There’s a spot right by Everest that’s somewhat hidden, and you can get a great view of the Tree there. I take a lot of good photos of people right in that spot.

I used to be at Magic Kingdom, though, bouncing around there, too.

JEFF: Tell me about those little special surprises that guests sometimes find on their photos.

DEB: You mean with them adding in Stitch and balloons and such? Those are fun. People look at us like we’re nuts when we ask them to pose a certain way, but that’s what our guys look for when adding in those special touches.

A lot of folks know about it now, but the ones who don’t surely get a kick out of it when they see it later on. My personal favorite is adding in the Hitchhiking Ghosts!

JEFF: Mine is, too! But, of course, I’ve never seen a PhotoPass person by the Haunted Mansion before!

DEB: Really? Maybe it’s just seasonal, around Halloween, but they do have them. You’ll just have to keep coming back until you find them there!

JEFF: Any special memories to share?

DEB: I’m not sure how many of my other fellow PhotoPass buddies get to experience something like this, but I have a really good one. It was back when I was still at Magic Kingdom. I was stationed to the right of the Castle, close to Tomorrowland and Liberty Square, taking photos of people with the Castle in the background. I had a pretty decent sized line going, too.

This young couple comes up to me, and the girl goes to stand in the spot for the photo. The guy hands me the PhotoPass card, and then whispers to me real quick: “I’m going to propose, please just keep snapping photos!”

And sure enough, I take one, two, three photos, and next thing you know, this guy is down on one knee. I must have taken at least 50 photos of the whole thing. I thought I captured it quite nicely. He sent me a letter in the mail, a few weeks later, that went to my boss. It was really nice, and I’m glad I was able to capture that moment for them to remember.

Thanks, Deb, for sharing, and for taking some great pictures!

And be sure to check back every week to read more directly From The Mouth Of The Mouse!

By Jeff Heimbuch

If you are, or know, a Cast Member who would like to share some of their stories and possibly be featured right here on MiceChat, please email me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!

You can read older columns of From The Mouth Of The Mouse here! 

Jeff can help you plan your perfect Disney vacation with Fairy Godmother Travel! Call him at 732-278-7404 or email him at [email protected] for a free, no-obligation quote for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani or Adventures By Disney.

Jeff also writes a MiceChat column titled The 626. We invite you to check it out!

Jeff also co-hosts the VidCast Communicore Weekly on MiceTube.

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About Jeff Heimbuch

Jeff has been in love with all things Disney since a very early age. He writes From The Mouth Of The Mouse and The 626 every week for MiceChat. He also collaborates on The Disney Review every weekend. Aside from that, he is one half of the devastatingly good looking duo of the weekly vid/podcast Communicore Weekly (the other half being fellow MiceChat columnist George Taylor), which you can find at Jeff is also writing a book with former Imagineer and Disney Legend, Rolly Crump. You can find out more about the book at

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  • Dusty Sage

    Thank you for capturing the magic Deb. Sounds like a wonderful job.