Disney Photography Tips For Amazing Vacation Photos

We partnered with photographer Michael Owens to compile a list of Disney photography tips! Owens is a WDW Annual Passholder and has been going to the parks since 2003. Read on to find out more!

If you follow our Instagram, you may have seen that we hosted a photography contest. We had two winners who tied in first place, and their photos were amazing! We asked them to write up their best photography tips for Disney, and a little about them! This article features Michael Owens, one of our winners!

Michael Owens

This is Michael’s winning photo! He captured the moving Monorail during a sunset, and we were blown away by this shot!

Monorail at WDW at Sunset


Michael’s Instagram handle is @Michael.s.owens . The following is his backstory and Disney experience, written by him! For a shortcut to photography tips, click here!

My Account Backstory:

I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember. You know, back in the day when you loaded film into your camera; had only one chance to get everything just right and waited for the film to be developed.  The original Polaroid cameras were around and Kodak was competing against Fuji for the top film.  Looking back now, I can credit those early years for building a foundation in photography that has transitioned well into today’s “Instant World.”

My Instagram account is rather new having started it in early August 2017. I was looking for a way to share the pictures I was taking and gain inspiration from other photographers.  I can easily say that it has been a huge source of inspiration and has, in a sense, re-ignited my passion for photography.  I find it amazing how a simple social media App can bring strangers, from around the globe with similar interests, together.

Tomorrowland Fireworks

My Disney Experience:

While growing up, my wife Brandy’s family would spend Spring Break in Florida every year. It was on one of those trips that I first visited Magic Kingdom with them.  I also had family in San Diego, so trips to Disneyland were mixed into those early years and of course every Sunday we would have the Wonderful World of Disney movie on the TV.

It really wasn’t until Brandy and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in the spring of 2003, that Disney became a normal part of our routine. We became WDW Annual Pass Holders shortly after the move and would spend most weekends making the trip from Jacksonville to Walt Disney World.  We would try to stay at a different resort each time and our children would collect the “pin” associated with that resort.  That tradition soon would change into the “pin” associated with what ride they had last conquered.  These seemingly little traditions are really what makes each trip to the parks special.

In 2010, I accepted a promotion which required a relocation to the Orlando area. This move brought us to, “The Town that Disney Built”, Celebration, FL.  We’ve been residents of Celebration since and basically live on Mickey’s front doorstep. We are fortunate to have the ability to run over to a park and soak up that Disney magic at any time.

Cinderalla Castle and Lagoon in Winter

My Photography Tips:

Brought to you by Michael!

By no means am I a photography expert. There are many people out there that are more qualified to give advice when it comes to photography.  I continue to learn different things almost daily and recommend anyone wanting to be a better photographer to do the same.  Here are a few tips I follow while shooting any subject, be it Disney, Landscapes, Sunsets or Portraits.

1. Consider your Composition: While it may seem as simple as just standing there snapping away; great composition takes more than that. By improving composition your pictures will mean something and show something more. They’ll tell the story and mood of that moment not just be another picture. Take a moment to consider what would make the shot look the best. Don’t just stand there and “shoot from the hip” so to speak. Put some thought into your set-up. Maybe frame your shot or change your vantage point, move right or left, even up or down. Try to find a new perspective for what you’re shooting.

2. Use a Tripod: Use a Tripod anytime you can. The added stability will greatly improve the clarity of your pictures. Even if you are using a cell phone camera buy a small tripod. The improvement in your picture quality will be noticeable. Add a remote shutter release for an added plus.

3. Equipment: Don’t get fixated on equipment and gear. I’ve heard people say; “If I had the newest, most up to date, camera my pictures would be better.” We all dream of having that “pro” camera and lens but better equipment doesn’t always mean or make better pictures. You can create amazing images with the simplest of cameras. What you should do is learn to use the equipment you have to its fullest capabilities.

4. Think about Lighting: Pay attention to the light you have and from where it’s coming. Try to avoid the mid-day Florida sun; early morning and late afternoon tend to have the best lighting. With the light (sun) lower in the sky, your subject will be more evenly lit which helps bring out the details. Keep in mind that we take most pictures of the side of things, not the top. Practice shooting at different times of the day; each has its own difficulties and advantages.

5. Have FUN: Most importantly is to have fun with your photography. Try new things and don’t worry about doing something wrong. As long as we learn from those mistakes.

Wrapping it Up

We want to thank Michael for participating in our contest and helping us write this article! Don’t forget to check out his Instagram and throw him a follow! We hope you enjoyed learning about Michael’s Disney experience and learned more about photography!