Baking cookies together, decorating the Christmas tree, family road trips and attempting to take photographs of your children at Disney world.
All of these things have something in common for me. In my head I envision that they will be the most idealistic and lovely experiences. We will each have a role in the kitchen and taste batter from each other’s fingers, we will decorate the tree as a family by a roaring fire with carols playing in the background, we will sing songs and enjoy the scenery from a car full of happiness and we will visit the most magical place on earth and have the most magical photographs to show for it.
In reality we fight over who will get to stir and complain about the fact that we only have white icing, the children will be interested in decorating the tree for exactly two and a half minutes and then they will start playing with the family’s heirloom ornaments as if they are going into battle, they will complain about the sun in their eyes in the car and that they have been sitting for too long or that the music is too loud or too quiet or that they never want to sit in the car again.
I’m sure you can see where this is going. After much debate I decided to lug my professional camera to Disney. I worried that if I went equipped with only my iPhone that I would be sad about so many missed photo opportunities and a whole heap of regret. I thought I would be able to get the most amazing images of my children at the happiest place on earth. ’I'll have so many fantastic images’ I thought.
We started our trip at Epcot. It was FREEZING by Florida standards. Of course I really wanted my kids to be in some super cute outfits for all of the photographs I was going to take, but they insisted on crocs with socks and athletic pants and mismatched gloves. At least Ivy’s boots were cute……. ;)
Our first ride of the trip was “Living with the Land”. After both Eli and Ivy had to be dragged onto it screaming because they were worried it was going to be scary (It’s a giant green house) we were off to the races. I was ready to start taking some amazing pictures. Hmmmm – this is going to be harder than I thought.
“Oliver – you had your arm in your brother’s face. Can you guys just look at me again.”
When all else fails. Just take a photograph from behind. That’s cool, right?
After many more attempts like the ones above during our morning at Epcot we were ready to hit the world showcase! This part we were (at least my husband and I) really looking forward to! I was so frustrated with my photography experience so far that I started to fall apart a bit. Harsh light? Midday sun? Whatever. They are all in the frame right?…..
Morocco was my favourite pavilion. The colours were so rich and warm. I could have had a field day in here with my camera – if it weren’t for the models. hee hee.
In this particular shot, Eli was reflected in the mirror, which was super cool – but then he moved and I got…..that lady.
Super cute bench. Sure they sat on some fabrics that were for sale, but I was going to seize my opportunity. If they could just sit for a moment I could get a nice photo of them all together. Wrong again. (notice the crocs and socks)
Germany was next. Again so much lovely detail, but I always do prefer to have people in my photographs. Even if they do look like this….
Groan. After this point I think I put my camera away. My hands were freezing and I give up. Magic Kingdom tomorrow! So many fabulous photo ops there!
Here we go!!! Looking cold. Notice even the little one in the stroller is questioning the crocs and socks.
We were let into the park an hour before everyone else for an early breakfast reservation. An empty park! Perfect for photos! Unfortunately three of my crew took off running to the restaurant. Only Eli and I were left behind. I did manage to snag this one. Not bad.
Carousel photographs would be super cute!!!! Ivy and I went on Prince Charming’s carousel. But of course she looked anywhere but at me. And FYI looking through a lens on a moving carousel. Not good.
Okay. This is not going at all how I planned. Feeling queasy we head to the parade, which is incredible and has some great colour – and random elbows.
Finally something decent.
The Story book circus area of the park is SOOOOO amazing. I was so excited by it. But nobody wants to stop for photographs while they’re at Disney world. So you get this….LOL
Over at Winnie the Pooh I had this great opportunity, but unfortunately Simon’s butt decided to make an appearance.
Damn! It would have been super cute too. ”Simon – you got your butt in the shot. Move it quick so I can try again!!!”
Wa wa waaaaaaaaa.
Ivy went to the Bippity Boppity Boutique to get her hair glued to her head with copious amounts of gel and hair spray and glitter. Notice yours truly in the background with the IPHONE!
And with that I’m calling it a day with the ole’ camera. Maybe Animal Kingdom will provide more luck.
Animal Kingdom is BY FAR the most beautiful park in my opinion. The theming was amazing and again my eyes were as big as saucers taking it all in.
Finally Oliver agrees to pose. He’s so happy about it.
We found some drums. That was fun!
I waited for ever for a family to move away from this cool drum structure thing so I could get my kids in front of it for a photograph. Then one is missing and the other refuses to look. Amazing. Time for lunch.
The kids are hungry and our table at Tusker House isn’t ready. We are in a waiting area with nothing to do. Perfect time to wrangle them into a photograph or two. Not bad when there are no other distractions. The theming in this park truly was lovely.
A quick iPhone snap from inside the restaurant. I think I may have been “enthusiastically” asking the kids to look at the camera hence the audience from the lady in the background. But seriously. Can’t they just LOOK for goodness sake?!?!?!?!?!? LOL
After lunch I decide to turn my attention to objects that don’t move, speak run around, or have eyes that don’t look at me.
Of course at that point the tiny humans decide they’d like to be in on this photograph thing after all. Hallelujah for a few half way decent images.
My best images were done at the end of the day when they were more cooperative….
Oh Disney. I had such high hopes, but until I can have an empty park with any other family but my own, I doubt I will be able to create the kind of images I dream of.
However all kidding aside – we had an amazing trip this January and seeing my kids (and husband) enjoy the parks so much was worth every penny and minute of planning. While the images that I got were not beautifully composed and certainly won’t stand up to any critique I love them all the same.
I did manage to get ONE that is making the wall in the house. It’s not perfect, but it perfectly represents my little ones and our first trip to Disney World. It will be printed large and hung on our gallery wall right where it belongs.
* I have edited this post to give a big shout out to Carolyn at Pure Magic Vacations. We really wanted to work with a specialized Disney agent for our first trip to the World and she certainly didn’t disappoint! I would recommend her to anyone!*