Disney with an iPhone

Hotel and flight, check. Character meals, check. Fast Passes, check. Aside from the other 100+ items on our Disney checklist the one item I struggled with most was, you guessed it, camera. To bring or not to bring, that is the question. For me it meant being fully in tune and intuitively present behind a camera vs. being fully in tune and present with my family. Which lenses do I bring? How does this fit with all the other snacks, water, and wipes. What exactly am I trying to document, the attraction, or my kid’s reactions? Am I really going to whip out a huge DSLR while I’m on a ride? Am I really only going to take pictures with my phone?

“For me it meant being fully in tune and intuitively present behind a camera vs. being fully in tune and present with my family.”

 Eye on the prize Miss Minnie, eye on the prize!

Eye on the prize Miss Minnie, eye on the prize!

I decided to try bringing it along with my smallest lens for one park, just in case. But I quickly was reminded of how being in mommy mode makes it virtually impossible to be in photographer mode. My DSLR came out once to take this photo below. But otherwise pretty much stayed in my bag for the whole day.

 Photographing a walking shot while making sure your children don’t get lost in the mob of people rushing towards Cinderella’s Castle is pretty much impossible.

Photographing a walking shot while making sure your children don’t get lost in the mob of people rushing towards Cinderella’s Castle is pretty much impossible.

I think it was after tripping over my 3rd stroller within 5 minutes of being in the park that I decided that the big camera had to go. If I was going to take a picture, it was going to have to be with my phone.

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“…it was actually quite liberating to just have my phone with me and take selfies with my family just like everyone else.”

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 Some of MANY selfies taken at Disney

Some of MANY selfies taken at Disney

 Though it was exciting to have a royal lunch with the princesses at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall…

Though it was exciting to have a royal lunch with the princesses at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall…

 …these princesses are not above cooler packed sandwiches on a bench in the shade.

…these princesses are not above cooler packed sandwiches on a bench in the shade.

 No matter how you plan your Fast Passes for all the latest rides, you can never ride Prince Charming’s Carousel too many times.

No matter how you plan your Fast Passes for all the latest rides, you can never ride Prince Charming’s Carousel too many times.

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It was hard at first not to want to photograph every single moment, but ultimately it was worth it. I think next time, I’ll hire a professional photographer to document our vacation. But otherwise, it was actually quite liberating to just have my phone with me and take selfies with my family just like everyone else. And aside from the lower resolution, I’m actually pretty happy with the results. Because this mama had a blast being fully present with her family at the happiest place on earth.

 Family of four standing at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World