Photographing your trip to Disney in 2021 is going to look different than it has in the past. We took our very first trip to Walt Disney World recently. On top of being brand new to Disney, we were dealing with COVID-19 restrictions while we were there. The restrictions present unique photography challenges that can feel daunting if you aren’t prepared. As the way things stand now, you can’t remove masks to take pictures. They do enforce this rule, understandably so for the safety of everyone. I will talk about this challenge as well as a few others and how to work around them in this post.
I felt a bit discouraged at first by the thought of all my images in masks. But it’s part of our lives right now, and it’s a reality of the time. So much of what makes Disney special is the delight on your child’s face, and capturing that joy is the whole reason why we record these memories. But the magic is definitely still there, and my kids had the time of their lives. We felt every bit of the awesomeness that is Disney.
Wearing a mask and social distancing forces you to think outside of the box a little bit. Embracing this moment in time will open up a whole different type of documenting experience for you. I spent more time capturing park details including interesting light, landscapes, and the stories behind the rides themselves. Every detail is worth remembering, especially in a place where so much time and energy have been spent on the details than at any other park in the world.
As we walked through Animal Kingdom, I noticed beautiful scenes that magically transport you to Nepal. Incredible, perfectly lit details that made gorgeous images that are ripe for storytelling. Sometimes the story isn’t visible to you right away, and it involves a change in your perspective. Look for leading lines, or that bold pop of color. The gorgeous sky that begs to be captured, or beautiful shadows and textures. It could be a geometric shape or a pattern that catches your eye. Use layers, framing, and create depth with movement to add a storytelling element. Disney is full of these kinds of elements that can help you to create perfectly balanced images.
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I always say that any lens is a great lens, but I only brought 2 lenses with me. My 35mm and my 18mm primes came along for the trip for their ability to shoot in low light as well as capture quick autofocus. I highly recommend investing in a Go-Pro one if you don’t have one. The technology has really improved and having the ability to shoot in RAW is fantastic, plus they take great video. On super rainy days I brought only my GoPro and kept it in my little hip pack. It felt incredible to only have that on me! I might even go as far as to say only bring your GoPro and skip your camera if you’re brave!
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