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Some of my favorite photos of my kids are from Disney parks, and I have HUGE scrapbooks to prove it! I'm one of those moms who will plan an outfit based on where we'll be, what characters we might meet, coordinating colors,... I also enjoy taking candid photos - photos when they're looking somewhere else and all you see is the joy in their eyes, photos while walking behind them, and the simple things that make up what a Disney vacation means to our family. I am in no way a professional photographer, but I do like to pay attention to my shots.

1) Get down to their level. Sure, have some fun taking some artistic shots looking straight down at your kids or looking up at them from the ground, but the best photos are those that are at the same level as the subject. Experience things from a child's perspective, and you'll be amazed what comes into focus!

2) Mind the background! Sometimes what is behind your subject can be totally distracting when looking at a photo. Make sure that plant won't look like it's growing out of someone's head! On the other hand, maybe you'd like to include something or someone in the background to show where you are. Offset your subject to the side so you can include the background in the frame!

3) Watch them when they don't know you're watching! Kids will get lost in the parade. They'll be in awe of the castle or in seeing their favorite characters. Those are the moments to fill the frame with that pure joy!

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4) A great photo doesn't necessarily require the subject's face to be in the picture. Walk behind them and take a photo of their back, and show what they are walking towards!

5) Don't be afraid to get up close! I always try to snap several different shots of a scene - zoom in, zoom out, portrait, landscape,.... I am drawn to images where I can really see someone's face. While it's good to be able to know where your subject is in a photo, sometimes it's the expression on his/her face that is more important.

6) And lastly, what I struggle with - Learn when to put away the camera and just enjoy the moment. Dark rides and nighttime photos can be difficult with a point and shoot camera. Take a few photos if you must, but then sit back and enjoy the rest of your time.

7) Let's not forget - Disney's PhotoPass photographers can be found all over the parks and even at select resorts! Be sure to get a family portrait and, if you're up for some fun, have them do a special pose with you!

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Friendly reminder - Don't be "that guy!" Although many of us are tempted to take photos on dark rides, please refrain from having the flash go off at every scene. It ruins the magic for everyone else, and unless you've got a great DSLR camera, it's very difficult to get a good, clear shot worth taking.

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist