How To Capture Great Character Photos

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Do you race around the park looking for character photo opportunities? Or are you a bit more strategic?

If you've discovered the magic of Goofy's Kitchen, you have a head start on great character photos. Goofy's Kitchen is THE SPOT to bring your dSLR and have some fun.

Here are a few tried and true tips for capturing great character photos.

When you arrive request to sit near a window.

Place your back to the window. (Even if you don't get a window seat, place your back to the strongest light,)

Make sure your subjects are facing the window.

Test your settings before characters begin to arrive. Since the restaurant can be a bit on the dark side, even close to a window, use a wide aperture and a high ISO to let in the most light. Watch to make sure your shutter speed is 125th of a second or faster.

When characters arrive, let them take the lead. They know how to pose for a photo and have a knack for getting kiddos to be in the right spot.

Notice how blurry my son is? For the sharpest focus, keep your subject and the character parallel to your body. If your subject and the character are in different planes of view, one of them is going to be blurry.

Close is good! Fill your frame to eliminate the kitchen extras. It helps if your subject and the character get close to each other.

Have fun with your breakfast and with the characters!

 Who is your favorite character and what's your best tip for capturing a photograph with them?



  • Jen L

    awesome tips! thanks so much!

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the tips, I’m dreaming of the day I can own a SLR camera. Until then I have my point and shoot, and usually just end up pointing and shooting then hope for the best. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes I don’t – but I guess that’s what photoshop is for 🙂

    • Glad you like them Michelle,
      Even with a point and shoot, consider the direction of light and placement of your kiddos. You’ll be so happy with the result.

  • Nicole

    Wish I had seen this last month, we were in DisneyWorld the first week of November & I was stuck because there were 14 of us so we really didn’t have many choices on where we sat for our Princess Dinner & Character Breakfast. I did manage to get a few nice shots but the one that I really wanted to get I missed because of the lighting. I got a few blurry shots of my son with Snow White (I think he had a crush on her). I did much better with some of the characters inside at Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom when they had the meet & greets more controlled. The outside shots were the easiest obviously because of the light, I got an adorable shot of my 4 year old hugging the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland & Jake from the Neverland Pirates.

    • Steph

      How FUN!!! So many great shots and memories!

      Even though it’s late for this last trip, now you will be ready next time!

  • These pictures are amazing. They look like you had all the time in the world to create them and the background is not distracting – rather it adds to the photos! Haven’t really gotten photos I’m happy with photography wise (although I am happy memory wise). Great inspiration of what is possible. Thank you!

    • Thanks Heather.

      Once you begin to really look for your background and put your back to the light, it really does speed up the process.

      You can get there!

  • Gela

    Katrina can I say you have the perfect photographer’s child. His expressions are priceless. Thanks for the great tips

    • Steph

      He is adorable, isn’t he!?

    • Thanks! He is a good sport! He has a good relationship with the camera and was IN LOVE with all of the characters so he made it easier on me!

  • Gorgeous photos Katrina!

  • Alodie

    These are great tips! I’m going to Goofy’s Kitchen for my bday in a few weeks!

  • Lauren

    Where is goofy’s kitchen? I’ve been looking to make reservations and I can’t find it! The pics are awesome and this little boy is absolutely adorable btw!

    • Steph

      Goofy’s Kitchen is in the Disneyland Hotel in, of course, Disneyland 🙂

    • Thanks Lauren! He’s a great sport in front of the camera too.

  • Lauren

    Great pics. What lens did you use? I love my 50mm, but I dont think it will do well considering its a fixed lens & the pics will be too close.

    • Hi Lauren!
      These were all taken with my 50mm lens! Notice a few of the jaunty angles? With a quick tilt of my lens I was able to get all of my son and goofy! The ability to get the extra bit of light in makes all the difference for sharp photos!