Photo Essay: A Busy Disney Day

By Cory Disbrow on January 10th, 2014   |    Posted in:  Photography 101   |    14 Comments

One of the things that I am constantly trying to improve upon in my photography is the concept of being able to tell a story without having to write a long and bloated caption or paragraph that accompanies it. If you follow me on Flickr, you’ll see that I’ve cut back significantly on my captions, and in many of them simply suggesting that you have a great day as opposed to what the photo is about. One great way to practice this is to come up with little photo essays. With a photo essay, you don’t have to tell your entire story with one image, you can branch it out over several images. So, for example, here is a short photo essay, A Busy Disney Day.






So, for the sake or learning, I’d like to completely contradict my above paragraph and break down the images displayed here and why I included them in this essay. The first image is there to show just how many people were in the park. That image is very accessible to anyone, even a non-Disney person. They can tell that this place is full of people. The second one doesn’t really make sense unless you understand the fact that the Swiss Family Treehouse never has a wait longer than “how fast you can walk through”. The third image shows a queue of people waiting for an attraction to reopen after going down for technical difficulties. The fourth shows makeshift queues because the regular space for people to wait in line was filled to the max this particular day. Finally, the last image showcases the day of a Cast Member who basically turns himself into the attraction entrance with just a little flag.

These might not be photos that you would take if you were on a ‘once every three years’ type Disney vacation. But, if you frequent the parks, finding one common thread across a park and using it to tell a story is a pretty fun way to shake things up. And besides, you can always apply anything photography related that you would do in a Disney park to photography anywhere else, whether you live in a big city, the country, suburbia, etc. Give it a try sometime!

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  1. Bob   |   Jan 10, 2014

    All filler and no substance. The depth of the articles posted anymore is really lacking. Hoping it can return to its norm as seen a year or so ago, but who knows.

    • Adam Hansen   |   Jan 10, 2014

      I agree, this blog sucks! The thing is though, when there is a blog that I feel has been lacking for a year or so, I usually just stop visiting instead of posting comments under a fake name.

  2. Jason   |   Jan 10, 2014

    I don’t take this site as simply a photography site, nor is it just a site about Disney. I receive everything posted here as simply a better way to enjoy your Disney experience for those that have a passion for photography. Sure it’s great when we can learn some tricks or take home a few tips from those more experienced…but this blog was more about photographing the everyday experience of the parks. Still a good blog!

    • Cory Disbrow   |   Jan 10, 2014

      Thanks for reading! We’re going to try to have more articles up about tips and tricks again soon!

  3. j eddiskoch   |   Jan 10, 2014

    Cory, Thank you for taking the time to share with us your efforts concerning all things Disney and photography. Your commitment to doing this is not unwelcome nor is it unappreciated by the large majority of people who read and enjoy your articles. I wish you much happiness and continued success at do something that you love. Your contributions have inspired many of us in many different ways.


    • Cory Disbrow   |   Jan 10, 2014

      Thank you for the kind words, they are much appreciated.

  4. Jessica   |   Jan 12, 2014

    Well, I enjoyed this post not only as someone who enjoys the visual sans text at times (and as someone who tries to reign in her captions) but also a Disney geek who raised an eyebrow at the 15 minute wait for the Treehouse. ;)

  5. Cliff W   |   Jan 12, 2014

    Yes those crowds look familiar on my last trip to Disney during Christmas/New Year. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and it really gave me a lot of inspiration on experiencing Disney through the viewfinder. Hopefully I will be able to come out for Photomagic 2014.

  6. Laura B   |   Jan 13, 2014

    The masking(?)-taped queue took me a minute to figure out (I hadn’t read your explanation yet), but when it hit me….whoa! I’ve been on busy days, but obviously they weren’t THAT busy!

    Thanks for the post. I was talking with someone just yesterday about needing some new ideas for my photography, b/c I need to spend more time behind the lens in between park visits. Themed, wordless storytelling…it’s already got my synapses firing.

  7. Suzanne   |   Jan 17, 2014

    This is interesting.

    I only get to go once a year at most but it’s these views, the standing in line, the crowds that I tend to focus on when I look at my photos when I look back at my photos. Often while in the parks I’ll take a step back and just sit back and watch for a bit. It’s often fairly interesting.

    I think having a few of these in my vacation pictures would add a bit of focus on the daily Disney life and not just the glamour of the castle, or parades or whatever magic is being showcased.

  8. Mark   |   Jan 21, 2014

    Great post. Love your photos.

  9. Joe N   |   Jan 23, 2014

    Life gets busy…. Blog when you can, enjoy your photography, dont feel guilty and ignore the grumps!

    I for one appreciate when you share and that you guys on this blog have thought me and a lot of others a lot about phtography.


  10. D Fratto   |   Jan 25, 2014

    I have been following you for a few years. For someone who only get down every year or 2 you’re a big help. Keep up the good work! I’ll be there in March.

  11. Tommy   |   Feb 9, 2014

    Ignore the trolls. Everyone has an opinion and unfortunately on the internet people generally are negative and cutting.

    I enjoy the blog and appreciate the time you are willing to put into it. I actually really like this post. Storytelling is something that I’m trying to improve as well. I’m guilty of shooting quickly on the run without taking the time to stop, compose, and tell a story. I have a bad habit of simply photographing “things” without putting effort into storytelling. Definitely something I need to work on.

    Thanks for the post Cory!!



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