Looking Back on PhotoMagic 2013
It’s already over? After all that planning and counting down, it is hard to believe that PhotoMagic 2013 is now in the books. We had an incredible week at Walt Disney World and from the feedback we received, it seemed that everyone who joined us had a great time too. Today we wanted to take a moment to share our own thoughts on the week and invite you to share your memories in the comments below.
It was a great week and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year. Before we can start planning for PhotoMagic 2014 though, lets look back on PhotoMagic 2013!
So, we’re sharing our thoughts on PhotoMagic today. This is something that I never thought we would ever do, or be able to pull off. When Adam and I first started the blog over three years ago, it was just a fun idea to share our photos in a way that was a little different than Flickr. I never thought we would end up having an event where there would be 32 tripods lined up at a dessert party at Epcot waiting to shoot Illuminations!
But aside from all of the amazing photos that were taken (or if you’re Adam, not taken) during the event, the thing that I will carry with me forever was seeing friendships, both old and new. Looking at the list of attendees the week before the event, Adam and I only knew or had met a handful of the people that were coming in person. Seeing so many people who were both passionate about Disney and photography in person was awesome. We also ate a ton of great food, which was pretty great as well!
I have to thank Adam, Alan, Ryan, and everyone else who helped contribute to the event. I also have to thank everyone who showed up, even if you were only there for a half a day, or for some strange reason you decided to hang out for the entire week. PhotoMagic was some of the most fun I’ve had at WDW, and I can’t wait until we do it again, hopefully on the west coast!
I can honestly say that PhotoMagic was the best time I have had at Walt Disney World in a long time. Photography at Disney parks is great. It’s what has brought us all together. But what I enjoyed most about PhotoMagic was getting to meet and spend time with so many new friends. I didn’t come home with as many photos as I would have liked, but I came home thinking, yeah I’d do that again!
I may not have used my camera as much on the trip, but I really enjoyed answering questions and helping a few of you get set up for various shoots. It’s important that we all learn from each other, and one of the best ways to learn is to spend time enjoying this hobby with others in the community. I have seen some amazing photos posted so far and I cannot wait to see more!
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who attended for making this such a great event. I’d also like to thank Adam, Alan, and Cory for the hard work putting this event together. For a first event, I think it went really well. I look forward to getting feedback from everyone and so that hopefully we can put together an even better event in the future!
It’s hard to believe that the inaugural PhotoMagic has come and gone. Ryan, Cory, Adam and myself started planning this event so far in advance that it seemed like it would never get here. Now, two weeks post-PhotoMagic it feels like it all went by in a blur. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come out and pal around with a bunch of very peculiar photographers for a couple of days. Meeting everybody in person was the absolute highlight of PhotoMagic for me.
Like I said on the first day, I feel photography is all about sharing. We share our images with each other on-line, and in person we share our enthusiasm as well as our vast collective, photography knowledge. I believe that growing as a photographer requires both learning and teaching – and I was fortunate to be able to participate on both sides during PhotoMagic.
While PhotoMagic 2013 may have come to an end, I look forward to continuing these discussions with everyone via the blog, forums, Flickr, Twitter, what have you.
I’ll be the first to admit that not everything went as planned and there were a few areas where we humbly learned from our mistakes. I spoke with a lot of people during PhotoMagic to get their feedback on what they liked/disliked and what we can potentially improve upon next time. To further address this, a short survey will be going out to everyone to get more input on what you are all looking for in future meetups. There are even a few questions about “testing the waters” and gathering our group outside for the parks for a change.
Hopefully we will have that survey out soon. In the meantime, don’t forget about the contest we have going and be sure to share your images in the PhotoMagic Flickr Group. I’m hoping everyone had fun, shot some wonderful photos and maybe even learned a new trick or two.
While I may not have come away from PhotoMagic with a library of new images myself, I did come home with some fantastic memories, as well as plenty of new friendships. We absolutely must do this again – and believe me, we will.
Thanks again for making PhotoMagic great.
“It was a great week!”
That was the line I heard from many people that last morning during breakfast at Kona Cafe, and I have to agree with everyone who said it. We spent almost a year planning Photo Magic 2013 and before we knew it, the week was over and we were all hoping to start catching up on our sleep.
What was planned as a week of photography turned into much more than that. It started with a special moment at Epcot when a few of us got the chance to photograph the engagement of Jeff and Janea in front of Spaceship Earth. Then there was the impromptu cupcake meetup at Splitsville that night (first of many late night meetups for a group of slackers that week), while others got together for dinner at Trails End and photographed Wishes as a group. That was all before the event officially started and we were already having a great time!
I’m sure everyone has their own memories from the week that they will look back on, and we hope you will share them in the comments below. One moment in particular that I will always remember will be the night at the Magic Kingdom when a small group of us got off Big Thunder Mountain and realized that the park was open for ten more minutes, so we raced over and made it to Space Mountain just as they were getting ready to close the gate. Then we suddenly heard someone yelling “I’m Coming!”, and we saw Dan Gifford folding up his tripod as he raced to join us for one final ride that night. It may not have had anything to do with photography, but that night was one of the most fun nights I have experienced at the Magic Kingdom.
The highlight for many that week was the Illuminations Dessert Party at Epcot. It was an awesome sight to see all of those tripods lined up along the railing ready to photograph the fireworks. For some of us, it turned out to be one of the best ways to watch a World Series game while fireworks were going off and the game was streaming on an iPad! To be honest, a normal viewing of Illuminations will seem boring from now on.
With all the planning we did, we will be the first to acknowledge that everything didn’t go as planned. We tried to create a schedule for the week that would allow people to come and go as they wanted. While we did our best to stick to that schedule, we know that there were times that it was just not possible and we apologize if people had a hard time finding us in the park. That is something we have already discussed on how to improve the next time we have one of these events and hope to make things easier for those attending.
Who would have thought that a trip based around a photography event would be the trip that I barely took any photos, but it still ended up being one of the best trips I have ever taken to WDW!
So, who is ready for PhotoMagic 2014???
What was your favorite part of PhotoMagic 2013?
If you attended PhotoMagic 2013, let us know your thoughts and feel free to share any memories in the comments! It was a great week and we are looking forward to doing it all over again. While nothing is official, who would be interested in a Disneyland version next fall?