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  1. #1

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    Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I hate to bring up Knott's but it is the most readily available example I can think of. Knott's has a photography shop in Ghosttown that offers period style costumes and sepia style photography. In short an "Old West" sepia or color photo. The crowds vary, sometimes full while other times empty... but it is a souvenir that many families make into a tradition. That made me think... why doesn't Disney offer such a service? Physical shop space would likely be an issue (space for the studio as well as the costume and changing facilities). It would stand to reason that if the space is available a vintage style photograph shop in Adventureland, Frontierland, Main Street, or Critter Country would likely prove popular. I used all those lands as an example, but I think either Main Street or Frontierland would offer the best fit.

    So my question... Did Disney at one time offer such vintage style photography? (I honestly do not know) If they did offer it at one time was it popular? and most important would it work now?
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  2. #2

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I don't know if they ever offered it, but I think I would do it if Disney had one! They always look like so much fun.
    When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Did Disney at one time offer such vintage style photography? (I honestly do not know) If they did offer it at one time was it popular? and most important would it work now?
    In the 80's, when Polaroid sponsored the Main Street Camera Shop, they offered a portrait studio. Since at that time I was only interested in scouring the shop for the early Beta videos of Disney animated features (remember when Alice and Dumbo cost $98, and we were glad to get 'em?), I didn't pay much attention... but I seem to remember a feature article in one of the Disneyland Hotel magazines showing a family at the Camera Shop dressed up in turn-of-the-century costumes, posing for their portrait (IIRC the backdrop and foreground element they were standing on was the end of a period railroad passenger car). Might have been in Vacationland magazine. I'll see if I can dig it out of my incredibly vast and hopelessly disorganized collection of Disneyana.

    EDIT: Okay, from the 1980 thru 1983 Disneyland Guides:
    Camera Center Presented by Polaroid
    Polaroid film, cameras, accessories and cameras-for-loan. Variety of other cameras and film brands available. Rental of still and movie cameras. Camera Service Counter for minor repairs. Polaroid instant 8 x 10 portrait studio.
    From the 1984 Guide:
    Camera Center presented by Kodak
    Kodak film, cameras and accessories. Variety of other cameras available. Free loan of Kodak disc and instant cameras. Camera service counter for minor repairs. Souvenir Portrait Studio.
    ...Still digging for that magazine article...

    ...Whoah, look! A mint Big-15 Ticket Book from 1975!

    ...Yikes! A Sleeping-Beauty-Castle-and-Disneyland-logo ashtray from when evvvvrybody smoked!



    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-16-2009 at 07:24 PM.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    ...and most important would it work now?
    Remember that last shot in The Shining -- the photo of Jack Nicholson at a 1927 ball? Imagine having a photo of yourself in period costume seamlessly Photoshopped into a Disney-specific historical B&W photograph, so it looked exactly like you were there when the photo was taken.

    You could be posing with the crew on the the grounds of the Hyperion studio in the '30's... bashing cymbals together in a sound effects recording session for a vintage Goofy cartoon... sitting at a drawing table in an animation bullpen.

    Historical Studio locations would probably be more suitable to a photo store in the Walt area at DCA, while Disneyland's Main Street version would put you into photos of the early days of Disneyland: construction, riding the early rides, marching in the early parades, etc.

    To be worth the effort and price (this is gonna cost), it couldn't be a 5-minute cut-and-paste job, the digital equivalent of the cheap souvenir photos you'd buy at a boardwalk or county fair -- but more like movie CG. The trick would be to develop the software tools to produce the photos with reasonable speed while still keeping the end product appearing 100% authentic to the eye -- and also to protect the authenticity of the original backgrounds by digitally watermarking the faux ones as modern. You'd have to hire digital artists who know what they're doing, and enough of them to meet the demand.

    With robust enough digital tools and sufficiently facile artists, you might be able to have the digital equivalent of Disneyland's sidewalk portrait artists.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-16-2009 at 05:45 PM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
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  5. #5

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Camera Center Presented by Polaroid
    Polaroid film, cameras, accessories and cameras-for-loan. Variety of other cameras and film brands available. Rental of still and movie cameras. Camera Service Counter for minor repairs. Polaroid instant 8 x 10 portrait studio.
    From the 1984 Guide:
    Camera Center presented by Kodak
    Kodak film, cameras and accessories. Variety of other cameras available. Free loan of Kodak disc and instant cameras. Camera service counter for minor repairs. Souvenir Portrait Studio.
    If anyone is able to provide additional information on the Portrait Studio and/or photographs of or from the studio then it would be greatly appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Remember that last shot in The Shining -- a 20's-style photo of Jack Nicholson at the 1927 July 4th ball? Imagine having yourself in period costume seamlessly Photoshopped into Disney-specific historical photographs.

    You could be posing with the crew on the the grounds of the Hyperion studio in the '30's... bashing cymbals together in a sound effects recording session for a vintage Goofy cartoon... sitting at a drawing table in an animation bullpen. Historical Studio backgrounds would probably be more suitable to a photo store in the Walt's California area at DCA, while Main Street's version would put you into photos of the early days of Disneyland: construction, riding the early rides, marching in the early parades, etc.

    The trick would be to make the photo appear 100% authentic to the eye... but to protect the original photos by digitally watermarking the faux ones as modern.
    I am actually on the fence on the photoshop concept (anything related to early Disneyland would be completely out of theme btw). Part of the charm of these portraits is that you are in an actual studio with actual period specific scenes. Obviously the actual camera would be digital, but the camera could be placed within a period style camera thereby completing the effect. This shop could also work in DCA as you mentioned.

    Just to be perfectly clear in regards to the concept, the individual(s) in question would actually be dressed in a period specific costume (provided by the studio). The only "photoshop" involved (if that is the method chosen due to lack of space) would be the location behind the individual(s). This would not be anything like the cheap "face in place of someone else" locations like the one found in DTD. Personally I think the photoshop would break the theme... but I can see it's usefulness in saving space and allowing for additional locations.
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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Just to be perfectly clear in regards to the concept, the individual(s) in question would actually be dressed in a period specific costume (provided by the studio). The only "photoshop" involved (if that is the method chosen due to lack of space) would be the location behind the individual(s). This would not be anything like the cheap "face in place of someone else" locations like the one found in DTD. Personally I think the photoshop would break the theme... but I can see it's usefulness in saving space and allowing for additional locations.
    I see people wearing mo-cap tracker dots over their street clothes, not a costume. You'd be placed in the pose (rods would help you hold it) in a booth-size version of a mo-cap space and scanned against greenscreen. The costume and lighting would be digital.

    Personally, my instinct is that putting on costumes and standing in front of backgrounds wouldn't have much of a draw with the public. I'm seeing more of a virtual reality time machine -- something that not only looks like you were there, but feels like you were there.

    I think the success and longevity of the thing would depend heavily on the story sensibility of the people who select the historical location photographs -- the combined spirit of fun, history and reality -- the sense of "plausible impossibility." It would have to appear not only as if it looks like you were really there, but that it makes sense you could have been there.

    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-16-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
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  7. #7

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Remember that last shot in The Shining -- the photo of Jack Nicholson at a 1927 ball? Imagine having a photo of yourself in period costume seamlessly Photoshopped into a Disney-specific historical B&W photograph, so it looked exactly like you were there when the photo was taken.

    You could be posing with the crew on the the grounds of the Hyperion studio in the '30's... bashing cymbals together in a sound effects recording session for a vintage Goofy cartoon... sitting at a drawing table in an animation bullpen...
    Oh my gosh, I would love that. Me behind Walt at the opening day speech, me in the Skycabs and the real rockets, riding shotgun in the train with the man himself.

    I bet it would do really well.

  8. #8

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I almost remember a studio on the east side of main street. but it could be knotts that i am remembering, but it seemed like it was disneyland.

  9. #9

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    I see people wearing mo-cap tracker dots over their street clothes, not a costume. You'd be placed in the pose (rods would help you hold it) in a booth-size version of a mo-cap space and scanned against greenscreen. The costume and lighting would be digital.

    Personally, my instinct is that putting on costumes and standing in front of backgrounds wouldn't have much of a draw with the public. I'm seeing more of a virtual reality time machine -- something that not only looks like you were there, but feels like you were there.

    I think the success and longevity of the thing would depend heavily on the story sensibility of the people who select the historical location photographs -- the combined spirit of fun, history and reality -- the sense of "plausible impossibility." It would have to appear not only as if it looks like you were really there, but that it makes sense you could have been there.

    Actually with todays advancements in digital technology, I can see something like this working better than the standard dress "up in costume" photo op, as much fun as that is to do and as nice as the output is. You wouldn't have to worry about room to keep multiple costumes, or worry about sizes because everything is simply pixels.

    You would have so many more options and opportunities doing something purely digital. You wouldn't be limited to one time frame, one theme or backdrop.

    And it would be so much faster than having say a family of 4 or 5 get dressed in actual costumes and pose... all you need do is pick out what you want each member to wear, where you want it to take place... pose and *click*... picture taken next family please....

    There could be one or two CM's doing the picture taking, and a small highly trained crew doing the digital work. Take the pic in the morning, come by on your way out and pick up the finished product on your way out.

    Some bugs would certainly have to be worked out, and it would be a pricey souvenir, (intensive labor for the digital CM's to put out the finished product) but I could see it being a very popular option.




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  10. #10

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    If we're gonna get all digital about it, couldn't it be done like the photos at the star trader? insert your face here....
    When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.
    ~Walt Disney~

  11. #11

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I know they used to have something in the 80's. My boss and his family had a photo done wearing vintage clothes and it looked like they were standing at the back end of a railroad car. I don't know where in Disneyland it was taken, but it said something like Disneyland RR on the back. It looked pretty cool.

  12. #12

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I really don't know if they offered it...
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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymom View Post
    I know they used to have something in the 80's. My boss and his family had a photo done wearing vintage clothes and it looked like they were standing at the back end of a railroad car. I don't know where in Disneyland it was taken, but it said something like Disneyland RR on the back. It looked pretty cool.
    It was on Main St., across from the arcade. On my last day of work in 1984, all of my Main St Foods friends (and Rod, the piano player) went over and had our picture taken on the back of the train. We didn't dress up, just stayed in our costumes. If I ever stumble across it, I'll post it. It was an 8x10 color picture.

    There also used to be a western dress up photo studio across from Big Thunder Ranch on the walkway between FL and BTRR. My hubby used to work it in the early 80's.
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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoofyWife View Post
    It was on Main St., across from the arcade. On my last day of work in 1984, all of my Main St Foods friends (and Rod, the piano player) went over and had our picture taken on the back of the train. We didn't dress up, just stayed in our costumes. If I ever stumble across it, I'll post it. It was an 8x10 color picture.

    There also used to be a western dress up photo studio across from Big Thunder Ranch on the walkway between FL and BTRR. My hubby used to work it in the early 80's.

    This is where i thought it was.

  15. #15

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    Re: Vintage photography in Disneyland?

    I love the idea! I just have a bad feeling a crappy churro cart would bring in more revenue than a special photography studios.

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