Remember when I told you 5 cool tips (and a fun bonus tip!) for how to handle autographs at a character meet and greet? That happened. Well pop off your lens caps and turn on your flash, because today our topic is getting pictures with characters!
1 If there’s a photographer present, tell them what photos you want up front. Do you want a group shot and then one picture with Peter and Buzz Lightyear alone because Buzz is Peter’s favorite? Let your photographer know. If you’re organized, they can be too and are more likely to be able to capture the shots you want.
2. That said, don’t immediately launch into photos. Upon meeting a character don’t immediately launch into a description of what photos you want (at least not to the character, you can tell the photographer while your child interacts), and don’t immediately try to get your child to pose. The memories behind meeting a character are more important than getting a photo right away. There’s pressure to get the perfect photo but honestly, let your kid talk to Jasmine about also wanting a pet tiger first (or you! So many adults immediately hit picture pose – please don’t be shy about chatting first!). That’s what is going to stick with them, and then the photo will mean something instead of just being another check off the to-do list. Plus spontaneous candids are usually the best photos anyway – they capture the most genuine emotion.
3. Plan to take any photos using your device (camera/ phone)? Have your camera ready. If you’re just going to take photos of your child, having your camera set up might mean the difference between having that cute first hug photo, and missing it. If you’re going to ask the photographer or attendant to get a photo with your camera so you can jump in too, then have it turned on and ready to go. Or alternately, have your camera pulled up on your phone. Also note: with a lot of smartphones, such as iphones, you don’t have to unlock your phone to take a photo. If your phone gets shut off in the process of handing it to the photographer, you don’t have to unlock it, just pull up the camera function.
4. You don’t want an individual photo of every member of your party with a specific character. You really don’t. The only exception to this may be Mickey Mouse because he is the BIG ONE. But otherwise, you don’t actually want individuals. You will think you do, but you do not. Save individuals for when you or your child is meeting one of your favorites. Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire interaction sending one child up and then tugging them out to scoot the next one in. The best arrangement, in my opinion, is to get a photo with all of your children together, and then maybe one of the whole family (and if you’re going to jump in and don’t want your bag/ ears/ pirate sword in the photo, start shedding those items beforehand so you aren’t scrambling last minute). This gives you plenty of time to interact, but still get your photos.
5. Please don’t tell your child to smile. Or more specifically, don’t tell your child to smile 800 times. If they aren’t smiling, ask them to once or twice but then let it be. Please don’t be the person who shouts at their child to smile for two minutes. This rule also applies to getting babies to look at the camera. Babies don’t always look at the camera. That’s okay. Try a couple times and if they still aren’t looking, be like Elsa and let it go.
6. Stay Disney appropriate. Don’t flash gang signs or try to sneak in a middle finger. Don’t grab a character’s hair (this is big in Rapunzel, please don’t), or grab a character’s tongue or ears (hi Pluto).
7. Pro bonus tip: If you have a phone, and each of your friends also has a phone, you don’t have to take a picture on each of your individual phones! Crazy, I know. But there is this thing called texting and with it you can send a picture taken on one phone to another phone. Or you know, there’s email and facebook if you prefer. Either way, there’s really no reason to take the exact same picture on four different phones.
Like with autographs, characters will do their best to accommodate your wishes, but spending too much time on photos means missing out on creating real memories!
Stay magical, readers!