We were probably crazy to try this on a sweltering summer day with three boys under the age of five in tow, but it worked, sort of.
In all the Kodak snapshots documenting my childhood, I could only find four ruffle-edged prints that bore testimony to many many happy hours at The Magic Kingdom. Growing up in Orange County, California did have it's perks, especially when Mom could get free tickets with her job at the local newspaper.
I'd forgotten how tricky it is to get a good Dear Photograph shot. The last time we tried was a few years ago on an anniversary visit to Santa Barbara, and I should have gone back to reread 5 Tips for Snapping the Perfect Dear Photograph Picture. Actually, I need to add one more BIG tip -- do not try this with children! They move too fast.
At any rate, this is an instructive post on what works, what doesn't work, and maybe you can pick up a few more tips from my latest Dear Photo adventure to inspire your own Past is Present contribution to the Genealogy Challenge for World Photo Day:
Dear Photograph: We Love Sleeping Beauty's Castle
When Disneyland opened the gate to The Magic Kingdom on July 17, 1955, Sleeping Beauty's Castle was the star attraction. I loved walking through the dark halls and gazing through the glass windows at scenes from the tale of Sleeping Beauty. At the end of the hallway, we blinked into the bright light and the color and music of Fantasyland and the Carousel.
1. Hold the photo close to the camera and focus on the photo. It helps to have three or four hands for this step.
2. Wait for background distractions to move out of the picture.
3. Try to line up the picture with the building or whatever. The pole is not very interesting (except to note that it is STILL present years later!).
4. Turn around and enjoy the scene! P.S. I didn't crop this on purpose because I thought you'd want to see the interesting pole.
Dear Photograph: Goodbye to the Skyway to Tomorrowland
What every happened to the Skyway to Tomorrowland? The sky-buckets were definitely a premium ticket ride to a little girl who had never ridden a ski tram over the snow. I still remember the icy cold air that blew from the Matterhorn Alps as the skyway passed through the gigantic mountain tunnel. We always waved at the tobogganers shrieking as their sled careened through the mountain pass, and were sad when the ride closed in 1994.
1. Try to line up the image in the photo with what you are seeing through the camera viewfinder. Remember to focus on the photo.
2. Try to focus on the photo, not the handsome assistant.
Dear Photograph: Where are the Chairs on the Mark Twain Riverboat?
Confession time: this ride is really pretty boring. Climb aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat if you are tired and need a break, or hot and hope to catch a breeze on the Rivers of America. Plus you can see Tom Sawyer's Island and the settler's cabin. Just look at all those folding chairs on the deck of the boat in 1956. Too bad there's only a few places to sit down on the boat today. The little kids and tired parents liked it anyway.
1. Look at the background for clues to help line up the photograph. It's kind of lined up here with the dock.
2. Getting the right perspective is tricky.
3. Sometimes the subject is completely hidden by the photo. Even if it's as big as a steamboat.
4. Use landmarks to align the image. Looking for that dock on the "other side" of the river"? It was behind the hand holding the photo all along! Oh well.
These photos are a lot of fun, but more successful when you have enough time to really set them up and enjoy the photo shoot. Why not give it a try for the Genealogy Photo Challenge for World Photo Day 2014? Send a link with your entry to The Family Curator, and/or post it on The Family Curator Facebook Page.
Read more about creating Dear Photograph images: