Walt Disney World is not only one of the happiest places on Earth, but also one of the most photogenic! With so many beautiful spots to take pictures and so many beautiful things to take pictures of, it can be difficult to stop snapping those photos while enjoying your day in the Parks. But what if you don’t have a fancy camera? No worries! We are here to show you how you can take better photos at Walt Disney World with just your phone!
How to Take Better Photos at Walt Disney World
We are strong believers that you really don’t need a fancy camera for great photos at Walt Disney World. Not only can it be an expensive investment; but it can be a pain to lug around, We have found great, lightweight cameras that are easy to use in the Parks but that does come with a price tag.
Let’s face it; phones have pretty great cameras these days! But even if you haven’t invested in one of the latest and greatest, there are still plenty of ways to get the most out of your phone pics at Walt Disney World. Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years to make those phone pictures look a bit more magical. Whether you’re taking pictures at some of the best places in Walt Disney World or grabbing a wall photo in your favorite outfit, these tips can help your photos stand out, even if you’re just using your phone!
Use a Tripod for better photos with your phone at Walt Disney World
Remember that selfies sticks are banned from Walt Disney World parks, but as of right now, you can still bring in tripods! And this is great news for a lot of reasons, even if you are a casual phone photographer. Setting up a tripod won’t always be the most convenient, and isn’t always necessary. But when you can set one up, it definitely helps to keep those pictures as clear as they can be. It can also help keep your photos straight, which is helpful, especially if you are trying to take a video or something that could be a bit of a pain to edit later.
Tripods are also the #1 tool for those who want to take their own photos in the Parks. We love this phone tripod because it’s small and flexible and can be used in a variety of settings. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote, which makes self-photographing super convenient. This is great for solo travelers who don’t have anyone to help them with photos or for people who maybe don’t want to bother their traveling companions to help them get their next Instagram photo. Just set up the tripod, connect to Bluetooth and your phone is ready to take photos of you!
Change your angle
Want to know the difference between a good photo and a great one? Photo composition. This is not a lesson about photo composition, but it’s important to realize just how effective changing your angle can be. Want something to look grand and miraculous? Try tilting your phone upward. Want to include some of the ground in your shot? Turn the phone upside down and take the photo with the lens closer to the ground. Play around with angles and find unique perspectives. Photography really should be fun, even if it is with your phone. And taking photos at Walt Disney World with your phone is no different! If you’re wondering how someone got an interesting and unique photo of a well-known landmark, it’s probably because they changed their angle. Play around with it and see what works for you!
Lighting can be your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to taking Park photos with your phone. Since phones don’t have all of the technology that digital cameras do, it’s important to understand when you should be taking photos and when you should put that camera away and enjoy the day. Your best times of day for lighting will be during Golden Hour, which actually happens twice a day. Right before sunrise and right before sunset, about an hour for each, you can catch the most magical lighting. And if you’re really lucky, Florida can sometimes display the most beautiful sunset colors. It’s also usually cooler at Walt Disney World during those times. So if you’re taking pictures of yourself or an outfit, it might be a bit more comfortable to shoot during that time too.
Other times that are great for shooting photos in the Parks are when the sky has some overcast. This can be a great time to take pictures of people or other objects, but be aware it can also give you that not-so-pretty gray sky that Florida likes to show off. So depending on what you want to photograph, and just how much overcast there actually is, overcast can be great, or not so great.
So when is the worst time to shoot? Usually in the middle of the day, when the sun is high in the sky. Since we always tend to be taking photos in the Parks for the blog while we are visiting there, this is something we really have to remind ourselves of. Not only will the colors be blown out and usually unrecoverable; but the sun at its highest point will also create really awful shadows that even the best photo editors can’t fix. We feel like usually between 10 am-3 pm is off-limits for taking photos because truthfully, it’s a waste of time and none of those photos turn out very good anyway. Save your time and frustration and focus on taking pictures when you can get some good lighting.
Know what your phone can and cannot do
Depending on what phone you’re using, the camera comes with different capabilities. Even on an iPhone 7(which is what I had on our last Walt Disney World trip), you can make small adjustments that can help tremendously. Adjustments like lighting are available even on older iPhones; just tap the screen and you’ll see a little sun come up. On newer phones, there are so many capabilities to help you adjust focal length, lighting, and more. If you’re solely shooting with a phone camera, learn what it can do and understand how that can help you!
In a world where everything may seem ultra-filtered, people can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by the editing process. Wanting to share what’s real and leave out what isn’t is definitely an issue for some people, but editing is really part of the photography process and should be treated that way! Before digital cameras were a thing, remember dark rooms? The film needed to be processed there of course, but some of the post-processing techniques that were used to achieve a certain look are still used in apps like Lightroom and Photoshop for digital images today. So don’t stray from editing; your camera or phone isn’t able to process quite what your eye sees, whether that’s color, dimension, or proportions and editing can help retrieve a little bit of what was lost during photographing.
Not sure where to start? We always edit in Lightroom! Lightroom is a free app for your phone or paid subscription through Adobe for your computer. We sell Lightroom Presets here, and you can also find quite a few varieties on Etsy or a simple Google search. Sometimes the smallest edits can go a long way and bring a lot of life back to a lackluster image! So don’t be afraid to try it.
Keep your lens clean for better phone photos at Walt Disney World
Ok, ok, I know this sounds silly but hear me out. You have your phone in and out of your bag or your pocket all day; that thing gets dirty! Not to mention, when that Florida humidity hits 2000%, it tends to fog up pretty fast. Ever take a bunch of pictures on your phone only to find that they all turned out hazy or blurry? A lot of times this can be avoided by simply wiping the camera lens off before taking your picture.
Try out additional lenses for your phone
Maybe you can’t afford or don’t want to make the investment in a new phone with all of the bells and whistles. That’s ok too! A lot of my photos from Instagram are actually phone pictures and I didn’t have a newer phone until just recently. There is plenty of affordable clip-on lenses for your phone these days, that help you achieve great-looking pictures in the Parks without the cost. We like this bundle of 3 phone lenses, but depending on what you need or want, there are plenty of options out there!
As you can see, you don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos at Walt Disney World or anywhere else really! If you are interested in some of our favorite gear for photography and traveling, you can check out this post about the cameras and equipment we currently use.
And remember, photography should be fun! Be creative, express yourself, and don’t be afraid to try new things. The image is only as good as the photographer who shot it. So your creative eye is the best tool you can use!