Sawyer's First Visit - Disney World Documentary Photographer

You know what I’m a sucker for? A “First Visit” session. Talk about magic! And a couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to capture a small piece of Sawyer’s first trip. It was magical. And it was rainy. And I was incredibly impressed with Taylor and Jeremy, because the rain did not bother them one bit. They rolled with it and we had a great morning exploring Fantasyland, Storybook Circus, and Main Street USA. Also worth noting, bubble wands are always a good idea. :)


Magic Kingdom with the Lester Family - Disney Family Photographer

I’m a planner. Type - A personality through and through. That being said, I squeal with delight anytime I get an inquiry for a vacation within the next few weeks. There is something about communicating with someone while they’re in the midst of packing for their vacation… the excitement is palpable!

So when Sam reached out to me and the perfect Magic Kingdom morning fell into place, I could not have been happier. It included an impromptu breakfast of Mickey waffles outside Casey’s, Fantasyland classics, the every popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Storybook Circus and Main Street USA.

And there were Mickey balloons. Not just one. But three. Enough said.

Magic Kingdom with the McMahen Family - Disney Documentary Photographer

Do you know what’s fun? Being given the opportunity to hang out with a family whose children have a similar age gap as my own. Especially when they’re just a little bit older than mine, because it’s this great glimpse into my near future. And I’ve got to say, hanging out with Eli and Lizzie, the future is looking bright!

We started out on Main Street, hopped over to Fantasyland for a spin on the teacups and some frozen lemonade, and then made our way to Frontierland via Adventureland. Top priority for the day was to conquer some “big kid” rides now that Lizzie meets the height requirement for the mountains. The girl has no fear! And the squeals of delight and laughter on Big Thunder were, hands down, my favorite moment of the morning.

Casey planned the perfect trip for her family, full of surprises and excitement around every corner. And I’m thankful she invited me to capture a small part of their magic!


The Nelson Family's First Visit - Magic Kingdom Photographer

When Maria first emailed me to inquire about a session, she told me she and her husband were planning their family’s first visit to Walt Disney World. She also told me they had triplets plus one, and kindly gave me an out in case the thought of four girls, ages four and under, may be a little too chaotic for my liking. :) Little did she know, I love to document families with multiple children. Sure, it can get a little chaotic, but that’s often where the goodness lives!

We started our morning with some Fantasyland classics, made our way to Storybook Circus, and met Mickey Mouse, before ending our time with a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad. I have a lot of favorites from this session, and as I was pulling the blog post together I realized something, there’s a common thread to my favorites. It’s the look of genuine wonder and joy on these girls as they experience this place. Not just on their faces, but in their gestures and actions, as well. And that is where the magic lives!

Zoey's Second Birthday at the Magic Kingdom - Disney Documentary Photographer

As you know from my last post, nothing makes me happier than saying “YES!” to an invitation to photograph a family again. And what do you know, I got to do it twice in one week. Someone please, pinch me!

I’ve been lucky enough to spend not one, but two birthdays with Zoey at the Magic Kingdom. And the best part of the experience is watching how much love and joy she brings to her family. It still boggles my mind that it’s been an entire year since I last spent the morning with this amazing family.

This year we took our time on Main Street, toured some Fantasyland favorites, and made our way over to Adventureland, all before a Friendship Day Birthday Celebration with Win Win Pooh and the gang at the Crystal Palace. I’m so thankful to be able to capture these memories.

Early Morning Magic with the Garrett Family - Magic Kingdom Photographer

You guys! I don’t even know where to begin with this one… but what I do know is that this trio is so dear to me. When I received an email from Sara about a year after the date of our first session, inviting me to join them for another magical morning, I was ecstatic, and could not type “YES, please!” fast enough.

This time I joined them for the Early Morning Magic Hour in Fantasyland and it did not disappoint! From Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel to the Hundred Acre Wood, Goofy’s Barnstormer to the Tomorrowland Speedway, and everything in between, it was magic. And I’m not just talking about the pixie dusted kind. Because, for me, the magic is in being given the opportunity to capture a family from one vacation to the next, being trusted to turn little moments into big memories, and being witness to the speed at which our children grow. And, boy, do they ever grow.

More from our first session, which was less than eighteen months ago, HERE.


The Ambrosie Family at the Magic Kingdom - Disney Documentary Photographer

I finished up my 2017 sessions with the Ambrosie family a few days before Christmas. It was a crazy month, one that actually resulted in losing my voice the day before our session and I could do hardly more than whisper when I met up with them.  Thankfully for me, they were incredibly kind and willing to embrace my miming and ridiculous gestures.  And luckily, my approach to photography is of the observe and capture variety, so all was well. ;)  We had a blast making our way around the park capturing the fun and festive atmosphere. Early morning sessions are always a win, in my opinion. But especially so at Christmastime.

Magic Kingdom with the Turner Family - Disney Documentary Photographer

Occasionally I get asked how I feel about photographing larger families, or even extended families, and to be completely honest, I love it.  More children means more interaction, more interaction means more opportunities for connection, and more connection means more moments.  And I eat the moments up!

My morning spent exploring Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street USA with the Turner family was no exception.  And to top it off, their oldest son, Jaxon, had me from the start.  Watching him interact with his younger siblings and witnessing the bond he has with his dad, had me thinking about the future with my own young man.  

Magic Kingdom with the Reed Family - Disney Family Photographer

Last year I got to kick off my December sessions with the sweetest of families.  I met up with these three at their resort, the Polynesian, and we hopped on a monorail bound for the Magic Kingdom to enjoy an easy evening in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.  MJ was a bit shy with the camera at first, but eventually came around and gave me so many natural and easy direct looks into camera.  These environmental portraits are some of my favorites from the session.  That and all the LOVE.  So much love.

Harper and the Magic Kingdom - Disney Family Photographer

I met up with this spunky little girl and her perfectly laidback parents during the last week of November last year.  And I spent the whole morning marveling over their adorableness (and over the fact that we had what felt like an empty Magic Kingdom to explore).  We packed in so much, from the classics in Fantasyland to the mountains in Frontierland, and still had time for ice cream on Main Street.