Saturday, October 10, 2015

Simple Trick to Getting FUN Disney Character Photos

My daughter Brooke and I have been Disney Fans since she was a toddler. We have made many trips to Disney parks and have been on two Disney Cruises. We like to capture happy moments by photographing our time there like many of you do. We have taken our share of bad photos. Some are too dark, some shadowy, and others are just plain boring. A few of the pictures I'll be showing in this blog post were taken by Photopass Photographers, but the majority were taken with my iPhone. After many years of taking "okay" pictures, my daughter came up with a simple, yet ingenuous idea to get FUN Disney Character Photos.

Let me start by showing you a photo of a group of us taken this year at Disney California Adventure with Jake the Pirate:

We always start off by taking the normal picture where we all stand with the character and smile. But as I mentioned, my daughter Brooke came up with an idea to get FUN photos so after we take a traditional photo, we ask characters to "share their favorite pose" with us for a second photo. Characters usually come up with something way more interesting than just standing in front of the camera saying "cheese." This was Jake's favorite pose:


See how simple that was? It only took another 30 seconds or so and we now have two photos to choose from. Here are some other pictures we got by using our trick.

This picture was also taken at Disney California Adventure with the adorable Doc McStuffin. Little Ava didn't quite understand what Doc was going for, but Brooke and Malia were on point with their posing.

My absolute FAVORITE character photo was taken the day after the 24 hour event that launched Disneyland's Diamond Celebration. We were in Tomorrowland and saw Mickey and Minnie walking by in their 60th Diamond Anniversary outfits. We quickly followed them to their picture taking spot. We took a traditional picture first and then Brooke asked Minnie for her "favorite pose." Minnie proceeded to pantomime us blowing kisses towards Mickey and then THIS happened:

This was not a professional picture. We took it with my iPhone. Again, asking characters to be creative can turn boring pictures into super cool shots.

The next two pictures were taken with Pluto. In the first photo, Pluto posed each of us before crouching down front.

In the second photo he motioned for us to "gently" grab his ears. Yes, the picture is kind of silly, but it's one of our favorites.

Here's another pic posing with a DOG: Dug from UP!

Everyone knows that Tinkerbell can be tempermental. So wouldn't you know that her favorite pose would be of the group doing her signature pout. Now granted, some may have done it better than others, but you get the idea.

How adorable is this photo of my daughter Brooke and Winnie the Pooh? It's simply Pooh and Brooke pondering in "Pooh's Thotful Spot"...

And this sweet picture of my mother, who had just told Eeyore that he was her "favorite." Eeyore motioned for her to give him a kiss and then he held his ears out to the sides.

Character dining photos can be tricky. The lighting is usually pretty bad and the interactions take place somewhat quickly between bites of your meal. We aren't always successful, but we usually ask characters to not pose with their backs to windows. Dining areas tend to be cramped but we do the best we can to get a decent photo. This gem came from a random interaction with Captain Hook as we were leaving the Minnie and Friends Character Breakfast. This is what we "got" when we asked the Captain to inspire our posing:

Yep...he tried to block our faces but we were smart and bent down under his arms lol. He then stopped his shenanigans and motioned for us to do the mustache twirl (NOTE: My son Brent and Daughter Brooke followed his lead; I didn't get the memo to do the one-handed twirl...neither did Brooke's roommate Ellen...but oh well, it's still a fun picture).


We also saw the Chip and Dale, Goofy's son Max, and Minnie herself at the Minnie and Friends Character Breakfast:

Have you seen enough? Or do you want a few more examples? You do? Well here you go...

The next photo was taken at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. We accidentally ran into Tarzan near the "Tree of Life." Brooke got a traditionally-posed photo with Tarzan first and then asked for his input on the second picture. Tarzan proceeded to instruct Brooke to crouch down and then he took a whiff of her hair and said: "Your hair is yellow like bananas but you don't smell like bananas." Tarzan funny guy:

I'll finish this post with three more examples from a trip we took to Walt Disney World. This photo was also taken in the Animal Kingdom. We asked Louie for his favorite pose. I gotta admire the ape for being able to stand with one foot up and his arms in the air...because it wasn't easy for us to do as you can see.

Brooke's ONE REQUEST was to get a picture with Gaston. She likes pompous, windbags for some reason ;) Well, you know what kind of poses Gaston likes? Pretty much any pose that shows off his muscles.

The last example is of Brooke and Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty. Her favorite pose? Gesturing sleeping in a very princessy way.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and start using our trick to get some FUN Disney Character Photos the next time you head to a Disney park. Please leave your comments below with links to the creative photos YOU get by asking characters to show you their favorite poses. 

Choose Your Friends Wisely, For You Will Tend to Be Like Them

by Cheryl Jorgensen

By coloring large letters that spell FRIENDS, you will show how friends, whether they are good or bad can easily rub off on you. 

  • Pencil for each student and a piece of paper with the word FRIENDS on it in bubble letters for each student OR
  • Chalk and Chalkboard
  • Print PDF of "Choose Your Friends Wisely" handouts (make sure to choose "Actual Size" under Page Sizing & Handling); Cut into 10 handouts; NOTE: For personal use only
  • Attach to 2" x 3-1/2" adhesive magnets
  • Print copies of "The Sign on the Wall"
  • Print quotes for Reader #1 and #2
  • Before class print out the word FRIENDS in large bubble letters, about two inches high. 
  • During class, give each student a sheet of paper with FRIENDS printed on it and a pencil. 
  • Tell them to use the pencil to color in all the letters completely and very dark with the pencil. This may take a few minutes. 
  • After they are finished, you will have them rub their fingers over the letters to see that the graphite from the word friends has rubbed off on them.
Alternate option:
You may also have someone write the word "Friends" on the chalkboard and then have them rub the letters instead of using a pencil and paper.

Teacher Read:
"The friends you choose in life can have a big impact on the way you act. Friends can influence what type of clothes you wear, the type of music you listen to, what you believe, the words you use when you speak, the way you treat others, and the list goes on and on. In other words, friends can rub off on you."

Pass out 3x5 Cards and ask class members to think about friends they’ve had in their lives. Have them write down one trait they admired in one of their friends and one trait they did not like in a friend. 

I would like us to read a short story from the New Era Magazine that inspired this lesson (Pass copies of the story, “The Sign on the Wall,” around and have class members read a paragraph at a time).

Reader #1
There is a temptation for girls to reach out to the first available friend, settling instead of choosing. Ezra Taft Benson said,

"Have good associates or don’t associate at all. Be careful in the selection of your friends. If in the presence of certain persons you are lifted to nobler heights, you are in good company. But if your friends or associates encourage base thoughts, then you had best leave them.”

(Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 241.) 

Encourage girls to wait for the right friends. This does not mean they can't have friends who are members of a different religion; it just means that their friends should honor their standards. It also does not mean they have to wait for a perfect friend, only that they need to wait for one who will help them to be the best they can be.

Advice on the Selection of Friends:
In the scriptures, we find numerous examples where our Heavenly Father has mentioned traits found in good, and bad friends.
Proverbs 12:26--A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
People You Don't Want As Friends 
  • Gossips - Proverbs 20:19
  • Short-tempered - Proverbs 22:24-25
  • Those who drink - Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink wine
  • The rebellious - Proverbs 24:21-22
  • Liars, those untrustworthy, and those inconsiderate - Proverbs 25:18-20
As Paul said, the wrong kind of friends can be a corrupting influence (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The Kind of Friends You Want
  • Those who display wisdom - Proverbs 13:20
  • Those who are loyal - Proverbs 18:24
  • Those who give counsel - Proverbs 27:9
  • Those who are not afraid to wound you - Proverbs 27:6
Discuss what people wrote on their 3x5 cards and ask:  
What are some positive ways that your friends have rubbed off on you?


Reader #2 
"Friends" from For the Strength of Youth, page 12

Choose your friends carefully. They will greatly influence how you think and act, and even help determine the person you will become. Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other in living high standards. A true friend will encourage you to be your best self.

To have good friends, be a good friend yourself. Show interest in others and let them know you care about them. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Go out of your way to be a friend to those who are shy or do not feel included.

Bear Testimony of the need to have good friends in our lives.

Hand out Magnets to Class Members