Did You Go on Vacation?

August 22, 2011
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If you’ve got vacation pictures like mine, they include everyone else on the trip but yourself.  Every now and again my husband will think to grab the camera and take a picture of the boys and I doing something and there will be a picture of me in the Disney memories album.  Now, I’m also always quick to point out that I don’t love how I look, had something on my shirt, was making a funny face or some other silly excuse.  Here’s the thing that always gets me – some day I won’t be here any more.  I want my kids to be able to treasure their scrapbooks, pictures and other items from their childhood and see the fun we all had together.   There’s no excuse good enough not to be included in some of the pictures.  Here are a few tips to get in those pictures:

  • Let the kids take some pictures.  If you trust your kiddos to do this (I’m all for teaching them how to be responsible and my boys love taking pictures), hand over the camera a few times during the trip.  It may not be a “perfect” picture but it will be full of character and spunk.
  • Hand the camera over to your significant other.  No the picture might not be centered just right, but it’s still a memory of your trip.  Besides, there’s always Photoshop if it comes out too bad!
  • Ask a Cast Member or another visitor to take your picture.  Yes you’ve got to get up the guts to ask someone, but trust me, especially with Cast Members, it’s not the first time they’ve been asked.  A great way to ask another visitor is to offer to take a picture for them then ask if they’ll take one of you.
  • Take advantage of Disney’s Photopass service.  For a fee, Disney will give you a CD of your pictures for you to print off wherever you’d like.  You will also have the option of printing pictures (with or without ordering the CD) as well as making other photo gifts and photo books through the Photopass website.
  • Disney also offers photo sessions at select Disney Resorts.  This is a service similar to the Photopass service offered, but it’s a one – on – one session with a Photopass photographer taking place at a Disney World Resort.  These pictures make great holiday cards or gifts for parents and grandparents.
When considering Disney’s Photopass, there are several things to consider – mainly the cost and length of your trip.  The longer you’ll be in the parks, the more chances you will have to get your picture taken by a Photopass photographer.  One way to help cut down on the cost of the CD is to pre-order it before you leave for Disney.  A code will be emailed to you (be sure to keep that email in a safe place!) to redeem when you’re ready to order your CD.  Be sure to let the photographer know when you’re getting your pictures taken that you’ve pre-ordered the CD.  Many times the photographers will take more pictures knowing that they’ll actually be used than for a person who may or may not spend the money on the CD.  Another fun thing to ask for is any special or magic pictures the photograph may be able to take.  These will be a surprise to you when you upload your pictures to the Photopass website (if you just can’t wait, check out the link above for samples).
Using Disney’s Photopass is fairly easy.  Simply find a photographer (they’re usually pretty easy to spot), jump in line (if there is one) and get your picture taken.  If you don’t already have a Photopass card, the photographer will give you one.  Keep your card in a safe place as you’ll need the number on the back of the card to claim your pictures (for an added layer of safety, take a picture of the back of your card so you’ll have the number even if the card gets lost).  Once you’re home from your vacation, simply claim your pictures using the number on the back of the Photopass card and take a look at them!  You’ve got 30 days from the time the pictures are taken to claim them then another 30 days to order your CD, prints or gifts before the pictures expire.  Extensions are available for purchase and purchasing items like the Photo CD will extend the life of your pictures as well.  Disney offers a variety of different things to include on your pictures when you edit them through the Photopass website.  Your edited pictures along with the originals will be included on your CD so make lots of changes – there’s no limit to how many pictures you can get on your CD.  You can also upload your personal pictures to the website to use in the photo gifts and things but they will not be included in the CD if you purchase it, even if you edit the pictures through their website.
Have you used Photopass?  Got any tips you’d like to share?

Lynn Wiltse is the mom of two boys and is always planning a Disney trip.  Find her on Facebook or Twitter.  Lynn is also the creator of My Pixie Dust Diary.

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8 Responses to Did You Go on Vacation?

  1. Donna Marie on August 22, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    So true- I have 20 years of WDW photos sans me! (Thank goodness my memory is still good :D) More recently, Photopass has made a big difference, though now it isn’t easy getting the teens to pose. I’m thinking all future pictures may be just me!!

    • Lynn on August 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      Oh no! Thank goodness for Photopass. Some pictures of just you aren’t bad either! :)

  2. Michelle on August 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    For non-Photopass pictures, I’ve found it works great to walk up to a family who’s taking a picture and offer to take their picture for them so the whole group can be together. Then, I don’t feel quite so uncomfortable asking them to take our picture.

    For Photopass pictures, my brother got one of those nifty waterproof wristband photopasses at the water park a couple years ago. He brings it back with him each trip and it still works like a charm!

    • Lynn on August 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      Great tip about asking other families! We all love to have a picture of our group. Even if you don’t want a picture in return, it’s always nice to offer.

      I want to go to a water park just for one of those Photopass cards! :)

  3. Traci on August 22, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    LOL! I was just thinking about this today when looking at our Disney pics from June. I’m in a total of 5 pictures. Out of 1,200. That is a #fail on a grand scale :)

    • Lynn on August 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      Oh no Traci! I’m in that boat though so don’t feel bad.

  4. Beth D. on August 22, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    The exact thing happens to me all the time – in Disney or just quick trips we take around home. I am in very few of the pictures, but I am vowing that our fall trip will be different. I need to make more of an effort to make sure I am in at least a few pictures!

    • Lynn on August 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      Yes you need to be Beth! :)

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