So you’re pregnant and visiting Disney World?! Why not bring home some amazingly whimsical and gorgeous maternity portraits from your trip?
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Anyone would be hard pressed to find a location with more variety and architectural beauty than the atmosphere Disney imagineers have created for guests at the Disney theme parks. In this post i’ll show you my favorite spots for maternity photos in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World as well as some technical tips and creative ideas you can incorporate even as a novice photographer!
My husband David and I have been wedding and portrait photographers in North Carolina for over 7 years. So naturally, when we started taking trips to Disney World photography was a huge part of our vacation experience. A couple years ago we traveled to Walt Disney World with some great friends who were expecting. This mama-to-be was braving the parks at 7-8 months pregnant and she did amazing- all while looking gorgeous at the same time- i don’t know how she does it! >jealous<
Of course, when she said she’d like to do a quick maternity session at the parks i was over the moon excited! Disney of course has rules about bringing in your own photographer/selling services in the parks but we’re friends traveling together so i think we’re in the clear 😉 If you have extended family coming with you and someone with a DSLR this is completely doable! If you are only traveling as a couple or with immediate family/children i’ll add some tips at the bottom as to how to pull this off.
Let’s look at some maternity goodness!!
This set was taken at the entrance to the new Fantasyland from the original Fantasyland it’s near the carousel and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The little squirrels on the pillars are completely adorable and the architecture of the arches adds interest and a feeling of grandeur.
One thing that you can try to work around but ultimately have to accept is people in the background of your images. Using depth of field to only have the subject in focus will help keep the background less noticeable.
Playing around with different angles and allowing your subject to fill the majority of the frame also helps cut down on background clutter. This location is particularly good for it because guests rarely seem to walk through these arches so the closest people will typically be sitting down and not doing too much crazy stuff. You can also turn so that the wall is the main background- and on the plus side- it’s pretty gorgeous as far as walls go. Win!
You’re having a baby… so take a rest- you can look gorgeous doing it! 😉
This is on a bench still in the original Fantasyland area- maybe 50 steps from the archway and it’s in front of Pinocchio Village Haus. If the bench is available grab it! It’s a gorgeous building, often has blooming flowers, and unlike the other locations no one will be in the background. This means you and your partner can take a quiet moment together and have an image that doesn’t necessarily scream Disney but takes advantage of the top notch design sense of the Disney team.
Bring an ultrasound photo and baby shoes if you’d like! They are small and easy to have with you in the park.
The above were taken in that same area of Fantasyland but turned so that Cinderella’s Castle is in the background.
I thought the Winnie the Pooh ride area was the perfect setting for a maternity portrait- the colors are really vivid and it’s just adorable 🙂
On to the next spot!
Pregnant with a little boy, we thought that a portrait with Sir Mickey’s in the background would be great- if you are having a girl you could always use the area in front of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Next we ventured to the New Fantasyland area- it’s bright colors and over the top design are such a fun addition to the maternity photos. It was also the perfect opportunity to steal their oldest son away briefly from all the cotton candy eating and Barnstormer riding for a few family shots.
For the next set we went BEHIND the splash zone in the New Fantasyland. Most of the kids are concentrated in the splash area and this portion backs up to a wall so it shouldn’t be too crowded.
And just like that their little man was back to having fun with my husband and son! I was thankful we could keep him for a few minutes- he did great! 😉
Candids are beautiful, don’t feel like you need to stare into and smile at the camera the entire time. Capture the real moments too <3
Don’t forget about fellow round bellied characters!
Character meet and greets are great opportunities for fun maternity portraits. This worked out perfectly- Eeyore is her favorite! How cute are they together!? We spotted Eeyore at a pop-up meet and greet, likely for training, in Epoct near the America pavilion. Eeyore and Pooh can also be found at the character meal at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. Pooh is also present at the character breakfast 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian.
On the technical side…
All of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D700– our favorite camera to bring to the parks. This DSLR is no longer the newest kid on the block so prices have become much more reasonable. It is a great camera that we shot weddings with for years and it performs well in low light situations so night shots are also an option. My favorite portrait lens is a 50mm but in the Parks it can prove to be a challenge at times, a wider angle like a 24mm or 28mm will allow you to be physically closer to the subject and get more in the shot.
All the editing was done with Adobe’s Lightroom. This editing software is very easy to use and adobe often offers a free 14-day trail on their website.
If you are traveling as a couple/no one will be with you to take photos
Disney’s new Photopass service may be a good option for you. PhotoPass photographers are Disney photographers positioned in many different locations throughout the parks. They are in obvious areas like in front of the Castle, the Tree of Life in animal kingdom and other major icons, but I’ve also seen them near lesser know attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid. These photographers seem to really love their job and would be happy to get great photos of you and your partner but are restricted to the area they are assigned. They will even take your photo with your camera as well as long as it has a strap- be sure to ask nicely 😉 If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of lugging around your own camera (you are carrying a baby inside you after all) purchase the Memory Maker at least 4 days before your trip! This will save you $20 over purchasing and having immediate use of the service. More information on Memory maker can be found on Disney’s site here. The great thing about Memory Maker is you can use it as much as you want and will receive all the digital downloads rather than purchasing each individually. It also includes ride photo and video as well as some dining photos.
If you have any questions about photography leave them in the comments!
Happy baby bump capturing!!!
To see the original post on our photography website with a few extra photos click here.