Capturing Those Who Create the Magic

By Cory Disbrow on October 26th, 2011   |    Posted in:  Disney Photo Tips   |    5 Comments

Hello readers!

“Capturing the Magic”. Ah, sounds familiar. Oh right, that’s the tagline we use for the site. Well, in today’s article, I want to talk about capturing photos of those who create that magic we love so much and keep coming back for. Those are the Disney Cast Members. If it weren’t for them, we really wouldn’t have Disney Parks.

For the longest time, I would be afraid to take photos of Cast Members. I mean, who wants a huge, white Canon 70-200 lens aimed at their head? Instead, I would just go crazy taking photos of all the amazing architecture in the parks. But, in reality, the Cast Members are the life of the place. They create just as much magic as the buildings do.

If you want to get photos of Cast Members and you are a little timid, you can absolutely shoot them from side profiles, or even in action. Catching them giving a smile in the direction of a guest is something that completely captures the embodiment of a Disney Park, and memorializes it forever.

And if you’re comfortable enough to take a CM’s photo from straight in front of them, chances are that 99% of the time, you’ll get a smile.

When taking photos of Cast Members, I like to use a slightly longer lens. For all of these shots, an 85mm prime was used. I recently got a Canon 70-300mmL lens, and I’m very excited to put it to work on my next visit. I also tend to photograph Cast Members with a wide aperture, like f/2 or f/2.8 to isolate them. I think it really helps the story of the photo. It simply just gets rid of the busyness of a background full of guests.

I hope you all enjoyed this, and I hope that the next time you’re in the parks, you take to the idea of capturing the Cast Members in action! Thanks for reading, see ya real soon!!


  1. Hilary   |   Oct 26, 2011

    Funnily enough, I found myself paying more attention to cast members on my last trip and this photo ( is probably one of my favourites, unremarkable though it may be, as its just something different to the photos I used to take when I first visited the Park (Sleeping Beauty Castle, BTM etc etc!).

  2. Hilary   |   Oct 26, 2011

    From what I’ve seen most CM’s have no problem posing for a camera when asked, most are flattered and a little confused.

  3. Katie Marino   |   Oct 26, 2011

    Great post, Cory, and so true. The cast members are great and help create such a magical environment. Many of them really enjoy having their pictures taken. Just last week, I was contacted by the woman in this photo:, asking for a copy of the picture. It was an exciting find for her and for me! So snap away and you may be able to create some magic for the people that created magic for you.

  4. Annette   |   Oct 26, 2011

    For awhile, my kids were really into getting photos with and autographs of regular cast members – bus drivers, ride attendants, etc. Once, at the end of the day, they asked a lady who worked at the entrance of Animal Kingdom for an autograph – she was so happily surprised that she cried. It is fun to make the less-noticed people who do so much to make vacations special feel special and appreciated.

  5. Mike   |   Oct 26, 2011

    Great post! I love this idea. The Cast Members really do make it a magical place especially for those of us with children.



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