Welcome back any and everyone to my second part of the Disneyland Photo Ops! I am drinking my favorite french roast coffee out of my Starbucks Disneyland mug realizing that the most iconic portrait spot is quite possibly the worst.
Not because of its looks obviously! Its a perfect princess castle. But it is SMACK in the middle of everything. As a photographer it makes me cringe thinking about taking photos there only because its difficult. Since it’s in the middle of everything that causes two problems:
2) Harsh lighting. there’s no even shade from a tree and even if you shade yourself the castle will be over exposed.
So NO MORE negatives! Let’s get to the positives!
First Spot: front and center. The best way to get good front and center photos are wait for the sun to not be soooooo bright. Try for right before dusk like this one:
*my husband is Grumpy, my sweet pea is Snow White and I of course was the evil queen. This photo was taken about 6 pm, 30 minutes before sunset. We also waited for about 5 minutes for the 10 second window where not a ton of people were walking through.
The other option is winter time. Those “chance of rain days are perfect for photos because the slight cloud layer provide even shading for the whole area like this photo: (excuse the instagram filters)
The benches are also great! This little darling sat so low no one could photobomb her portrait. With adults its easy to sit higher up and have kids stand on the bench.
Second Spot: To Your Left (Stage Right) *best in the afternoon
If you walk slightly to the left (on your way to the Fantasy Faire) there is the green railing/gates that line the greenery that lead to the castle’s moat. This spot is great because of the lack of people and during certain parts of the year the trees are so big they provide plenty of shade. As you can tell from this picture of my little sweet pea, you still get the full view of the castle.
Third Spot: Farther to your left!
If you follow the trail a little bit farther, as if you’re going to the Bibbity Boutique, stop right before the bridge. In the portrait taken from a farther distance, I am standing on the mini bridge between Main Street and Fantasy Faire. It the closer up portrait I am using a wide angle lens and standing just down the walk way from them. So depending on where the camera operator stands will dictate how much of the castle detail makes it into the portrait. Again you can see I picked a spot with shade covering that avoids harsh unflattering shadows on the faces.
Fourth Spot: To the right (stage left) *best in the morning
So as you face the castle an walk to the right you will see this clearing in between two trees BEFORE you hit the bridge to the Snow White Wishing Well and Waterfall. Again there is slight shade covering (by now you know to ALWAYS look for that covering) as well as enough distance to mute out any people walking on the draw bridge.
Fifth Spot: The Wishing Well
At the wishing well is more of an implication of the castle, but still some of my favorite photos of my family. My handsome husband and our sweet pea making wishes at the well. Plus our family portrait (with a typical 2 year old’s face!Because even us pros have toddlers!).
Sixth Spot: Walking to the backside of the castle
This one too is more of an implication of the castle’s presence. So if you’re a pass holder like me these are more for you. If you’re a One Timer skip this one! If you’re on the right of the castle by the wishing well you can cut though the castle’s side to the back instead of walking around to the front. This is in that short cut and the bench is right when you’re through.
Seventh and LAST Castle Spot: The Back
Always in shade, not as crowded and a lot more freedom to set up groups and poses.
I hope you have enjoyed part 2 of my Disneyland photo op blogs. Please leave comments or questions! I’d love to hear what you think or if you want to meet up and see all these in person!!