A couple weeks ago, we pondered the question of whether or not Disney PhotoPass is worth the money. If you decided it wasn’t, maybe these tips will sway you or give you a few ideas you can use with your personal camera. If you decided it was, here are a few ways to help you get the most out of Disney’s PhotoPass service.
Take Several Photos in the “Same” Spot
Yes, there may be only a 15 foot difference between cameras, but each photographer has different experience and a different eye, so that second stop may make all the difference. Besides, who doesn’t like a few options when looking for a framer?
Get Park Wise: Speaking of having several options to choose from, I want to reiterate a past tip. Make sure you let your photographer know you have or will be ordering the CD. They are likely to spend a little extra time snapping away if they know you’ve got unlimited photos.
While smiling for the camera in front of Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella Castle probably tops most visitors’ photography lists, take a look behind the photographer and consider getting a great shot on Main Street USA. One of our favorites is Tower of Terror on one side, Sunset Boulevard on the other. Some locations aren’t so exciting (like the flip side of, say, the Tree of Life when entering Animal Kingdom), but take a second to look both ways before moving on.
Come Back at Night
If you’re PhotoPassing outdoors, the time of day can make for completely different pictures. Cinderella Castle is a site to behold in the morning, but it can be absolutely breathtaking at night, especially if you’re visiting while it’s dripping with magical ice during the holidays. Disney does a fantastic job with lighting, and with tripods in tow, PhotoPass photographers can capture a gorgeous nighttime version of a photo you took earlier in the day.
Scan the Area
If a photographer isn’t busy, ask if he’ll come to another area close by and snap some pictures there. We’ve met a great photographer on several occasions in Epcot. If he doesn’t have a line of guests waiting, he’ll do a mini photo shoot with us. He’ll guide us to picturesque spots in his area or follow our lead as long as we remain close to where we found him. Now we try to color coordinate in Epcot. ;)
Photographers, like characters, will usually play if you start the game. By the second or third day, we’re kind of over the “Smile and say Mickey!” typical family pictures, so we’ll make goofy faces or funny poses. On our trip last month, the little guy and I brought a couple of newbies with us and had lots of fun being silly for our photographers. You can also usually get a nice smile out of your kiddos if you promise them a crazy picture next.
Get Park Wise: Don’t forget to ask for the magic shots that we discussed in the last PhotoPass article. Just ask your photographer which ones she can do, and strike a pose.
Take as Many Pictures as Possible
Make like you’re on the red carpet, and stop for all the paparazzi. There is no limit to the amount of pictures that can be on your CD (they’ll send as many as needed for all of your images) or how many PhotoPass cards can be entered into an account. Give one to every person in your party, especially if you’ll be going separate ways. Make sure all of the PhotoPass codes are entered into one account, though, or they won’t be on the same CD(s).
And here’s a bonus tip so you don’t end up doing it all for naught…
Take a Picture of the Back of Your Cards!
I tell all my friends and clients to do this as soon as they get their PhotoPass card(s). Take a moment to snap a pic with your phone. You can even email or text it to yourself as an extra precaution. This way if you lose the card, you still have the code and can enter it online. I recently had a friend on her first trip to Walt Disney World call me almost in tears on the last morning of their vacation because she’d lost her PhotoPass+ lanyard and card. She told me she had forgotten to take the picture despite the numerous times I’d slipped that into conversation. I directed her to the PhotoPass desk at the park they were visiting that day with instructions to show the cast member a photo similar to one they had taken with their card. Luckily they were able to find the pictures and issue a new card. Save yourself the headache and heartache…TAKE A PICTURE OF THE CODE!!
Have I changed your mind on the worthiness of PhotoPass? Any more tips on how to get the most out of it?