Just the words spark such big emotions of both good and bad things doesn’t it?
You just spent a boatload of money, like actually a yacht full, on a Disney vacation. Your brain starts thinking about all the fun the kids are going to have and how you’re going to photograph your way through the Seven Dwarves Mine, Peter Pan’s Neverland and the Mad Hatter’s teacups.
Then it hits you:
You won’t be in any pictures.
You’ll have to lug camera gear around or, at a minimum, break out your phone on a regular basis. Most of all, will you be able to turn your photographer brain off and your parent brain on?
What if you just want to be a parent: enjoying the fun and tantrums, like other non-photographer parents?
Is this even possible?
Disney is a place like no other. It involves a magic that can’t be described. It grabs a hold of you and throws glitter on your brain. Kids (and parents) run through a mixed bag of emotions that have more colors than skittles. The highs of meeting our favorite princess to the lows of lack of food, heat, and overstimulation.
The pressure for us, as a photographer, is so great it makes our eyes bulge, and here’s the thing…
We can’t photograph it and be IN the images.
I want to be IN the big moments — not seeing them through a little viewfinder.
Imagine you’re standing in line and one of your children spontaneously hugs the other child out of pure joy! Or, same situation, but one kid pushes the other into a giant cone of cotton candy!
What if you, as mom, can be involved in the memories, not trying to photograph them? What if the whole family can just enjoy their time meeting Mickey, riding rides and just being together PLUS have those moments photographed?
I’m there for those moments with mom and dad. The quiet moments. That moment you realize the day is almost over and IT. WAS. AWESOME. The grand hurrah of the fireworks. The last moments of ultimate, magical awe.
Disney isn’t a cheap venture (and I’m totally the one to talk about the huge elephant in the room). Even being cost conscious, it takes a payment plan… BUT it’s also a super bowl moment.
It’s in videos of kids screaming on Christmas morning, because they find out they’re going. It’s where people go for honeymoons, anniversaries and mega vacations.
Disney is a big deal.
Why not have those memories (with you in them) set in stone?
I mean it’s Disney. Go all in, do it right, be in the magic, not just watching it from the behind the lens. Be in the pictures, be present, and just be. Stop trying to do it all and delegate some things: use the concierge to book your dinner reservations and fast passes, ask for directions and hire a documentary photographer.
You’re on vacation.
Writing and photographs contributed by Kelly Haymes.
About Kelly Haymes: Hi! I am a cool documentary photographer here in west central Florida. I only photograph real life, because I tried the fake stuff once and almost choked to death. Life is too short to fake it.