Disneyland Engagment Photos

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by hassy501, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Has anyone ever photographed an engagement session at Disneyland ? If so, were there any park requirements
    needed in the way of notification or equipment ?
  2. I don't know, but I would be astounded if there weren't. Disney is VERY protective, vigilant, defensive, and concerned with where and
    how their name and imagery is used.

  3. I had a nightmare experience......even after calling and getting an ok to shoot it.........low level gate supervisors were very rude, would not allow me inside the park due to my "pro" camera........( they never gave me a definite definition of what constituted a pro level camera).....as several visitors walked through the gates with the same or better quality camera hanging around their neck...............and as I pointed it out to them yet they refused to even look at what other people were bringing in........guess i just got the bad luck gate keepers that day...........

    It took three levels of supervisors before I was allowed in side.........and after an hour and a half delay..............

    Their policy states "no professional cameras allowed"..........that's it ! Extremely vague..............

    The last supervisor admitted so, after i kept on demanding a literal definition of "professional" as THAT was the criteria for not allowing the camera inside the park...........

    5D, 580 Flash, 24-70 lens............even though THEY had no idea of what kind of gear it was.........

    It just looked "professional".................

    If you ever go there to take engagements, go as Joe Tourist........body, lens, put your flash in your pocket, sling that camera over your shoulder..............look lost and goofy...........that should get you by the gestapo camera police....................
  4. Remember its the happiest place on Earth. ANY ruckus with your client or security will cause you to be removed; since its a place to relax and be happy.
  5. Disney is very controlling. If you work for them they watch what you say; how you dress even while flying out of Burbank on a family vacation trip; maybe you tennis shoes you wore while on vacation were too grubby looking.:) Shooting in anothers business environment where they makes the rules; have hidden cameras; do sweeps for trademark missusage has many issues; maybe a total nightmare. Maybe just being a dumb gluck tourist might be in order.
  6. "look lost and goofy..........." ;-)

    George, why not lead the thread with your experience above rather begining with a set-up question?

    I think the problem resides in using the park for a professional comercial shoot, park staff could have been confused
    with what constitutes a "professional" shoot and attempted to use the equipment to operationally define what
    is "professional". I'm sure people here on the forum will debate the difference between shooting some pro "happy
    snaps" as engagement photos for a couple and a comercial photographer who shows up with models and intentions
    of using Disney as a backdrop for comercial images. Your agenda was to take engagement photos while theirs was
    to protect the comercial integrity of the park and cover their own you know whats,.... in order to protect their jobs and
    feed their families. IMO you could lighten up a bit and see it from their perspective.
  7. "I had a nightmare experience......even after calling and getting an ok to shoot it.."

    You managed to answer your own question in two hours??? Good for you!!! :)
  8. You might want to speak to one of the wedding consultants to clarify park policies, I'm sure that they deal with wedding photographers frequently and you're likely to find resouces for any future wedding or engagement shoots. http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/weddings/index?name=PoliciesGuidelinesDetailWeddingsPage
  9. Here's the link for Disney Resorts Photo policy.


    I suspect these rules don't apply when photographing for commercial purposes.

    Is the event being planned by Disney Resorts?

    If the event is planned they want to have the party use their own photog's.

    If it's not planned, then just make out like you're Uncle George.

    But be warned if Disney finds out you're making money on photos of their property, you will be hit with a cease and desist letter and if you don't comply they will sue you.
  10. To give you an idea of what it's like to shoot on the Disney Properties.

    I was shooting a article for a corporate magazine about an event they were having at Disneyworld.

    The corporate events people got me permission.

    I was escorted everywhere by a Disney press officer.

    She didn't really like me there but I think since the corporation event consisted of a total of 3,000 guest staying on the property for 1 month, they were going to accommodate.

    She told me I couldn't take any pictures of the operations area.

    I had to get permission when using any of the theme park as a background.

    I could shoot anywhere in the hotel.

    She required that I give her a "courtesy" copy of all my photo files.
  11. George's experience runs counter to a number of other discussions of "shoots" at Disneyland. People are in there all the time with "professional" gear. Local photographers have blogs and galleries, etc., of engagement sessions there, etc.

    Disney's emphasis is that the guest is there to have a a great time (fantastic, magical, etc.). The cast is there to ensure the guests do. Outside of looking for freebies or causing problems for other guests, I'm not sure what the problem was or why things got silly at security before even entering the park.
  12. Ahh Dave...always taking the devil's advocate side......can always count on that.......

    Bottom line.......my gear was no different than the people walking in past us.......body, lens auxiliary flash......even saw gear BETTER than mine.............Disney has NO specific policy other than "Well it looks like a pro camera".............based on that, they tried to prevent me from bringing the camera into the park.

    During the Main Street Parade, there were "guests" who had set up tripods on the curb taping the whole fricken parade.........now if anything, that is something that Disney should take issue with........but of course nothing was done about that.............

    Selective enforcement never works.............
  13. Craig, that is exactly what I had read on other forums.....that other photogs had no issues shooting there.......i guess i just got stuck at the main gate with a supervisor intent on proving his authority............live and learn...........

    Just to clarify, WE did call Disney PR dept. and confirmed out intentions.......they stated "over the phone" that there would be no problems........as long as didn't interfere with the guests..............

    We were even comp'd tickets by a big shot to get in...........all four of us..............

    Disney has always had a very strange cult like atmosphere to their "corporation"..........

    "No moustaches"........now that was a famous one......not allowing law enforcement into their park for emergencies...........amazing..........

    It's like they think they are a separate country within the U.S...........
  14. Dave, how exactly was it that I was in a position to take food out of their families mouths or affect their jobs ? Isn't that taking it to a ridiculous extreme ?

    If they do not want ANY cameras in their park, then have a policy preventing that, and apply it to everyone, not just some ......but to try to selectively enforce a very vague policy based on one person's "feelings" is foolish..........

    They could have just said they didn't want me in there because I was ugly........that would have made more sense than for a gate supervisor to state "That's a pro camera"..........without any definitive criteria of what constitutes a "pro camera"........

    It was NOT about us taking engagement photos within the park................it was about the "camera"........

    "you are free to enter the park, but you cannot bring that camera in"..............

    So they were ok with shooting photos, just not with "that" camera................
  15. With Nikon D200 and 70-200/2.8 VR the monster lens mounted, (looking PRO or not ?) while shooting the parade from a back behind people position, suddenly I was escorted by a Disneyland employee and moved into front raw position. The Disney employee was pushing other people aside while making comfortable and unobstructed view location for me.

    I did not expect that much of courtesy and help, and was nicely surprised, even if that made me change the lens to a shorter range zoom. They usually try to help people take good pictures there.
  16. No... that couldn't have been you. Sorry for the mistaken identity.
  17. I guess you ought to take this up with Disney. After all, if you spent 2 hours discussing something, you had plenty of time to get the name(s) of those that you talked to for that long. They all have their name tags, etc.

    They told you it was OK, forums and blogs suggest it's OK, you had a specific interaction with a couple of individuals. Call or write Disney and complain, be specific, time places, names, etc. Nobody here can help you with a problem that shouldn't have happened.

    They make a huge effort to be accommodating. I wouldn't break the ice by trying to be cute about their dress code or other policies irrelevant to your specific problem.
  18. Ahh Dave...always taking the devil's advocate side......can always count on that....... ;-)

    Often unless I see the "other side" I'll pass on responding to a thread. In this case, it appears that you're flustered that they were treating you like a professional photographer. While you may have an issue with the logic of what is deemed to be "pro" equipment, I think it was secondary to how you were treated by security staff. It's too bad that whoever it was that cleared the shoot ahead of time didn't convey this to security. I never said that you were trying to take the food from their families....just that these poor guys and gals were probably just trying to do their job. I guess there is the outside possibility that several of them met before you arrived and decided that it would be "pick on George day".....but I doubt it.

    The link that Richard posted above appears to be aimed at the general public rather than being directed toward professional photographers. While I've never photographed at Disneyland, I have photographed in places that had restricted policies. The last time I was in Anaheim, I was one of two authorized photographers that had an ID/PASS that allowed me to go everywhere, including backstage to shoot the VIPs with Jay: http://dwesleyportraits.com/Bunchapics/Dave-Jay.jpg

    I still think that the resort wedding consultants could be your greatest asset in getting access assistance within the resort. They would also be a vendor that I'd like to get close to for future marketing purposes....but that's just me.
  19. Maybe it's worse than we all know... apparently "the Mouse" doesn't even like photos in their parking lot!

  20. Remember, they are still taking orders from walt.

    They have his head in a class jar in his old office.

    Seriously, they are avery guardrd about photography in the park. If you are snapping pics with the family and kids, no problem, but if it looks like you are shooting for stock or people for pay, they WILL stop you and question what you are doing
  21. I thought half the people that run Disney hitched a ride on Hale-Bopp after drinking the Kool-Aid...
  22. My family and I have vacationed at Disney for the last 3 years and I've never had a problem... Last 4th of July (2007) we were there and I had my D200 and 70-200 and had no issues whatsoever. Some photos had family in them, other didn't. Never got asked a single question - except by the photopass photographers who were curious about the D200 (they were all shooting D70's.)

    Maybe it's because Disney has a deal with Nikon - They only stop Canon users at the gate ;-)

  23. Dave, that's it !! Damn Canon..........:)
  24. I've been shooting pictures (though not "engagement" pictures) at Disneyworld for years with "professional" equipment. I've never had a moments trouble. I've also seen people shooting there professionally without being hassled. My assumption, though, was that they had clearance to do so.
  25. Geren, did you just walk through the main entrance gate without being stopped and your gear checked ? I still don't understand why security was a bunch of twits.........maybe they didn't get their daily dose of Mickey Bucks or something...........
  26. I realize that others have already said that they had an easy time & that many have blogs on pictures at Disneyland & Disneyworld. But we recently did our first engagement session at Disneyland (in September) and we had no issues & we had a total blast doing it. I hope we can do lots more. They checked our equipment at the security gates and said nothing (I think we had 5 lenses & two professional Canon cameras). I just wanted to share that we had a positive experience. Here's the link to our blog posting on it: http://journal.solorzanophotography.com/2008/09/23/the-happiest-place-on-earth/
  27. I've shot there many times, including about 15 weddings. Disneyland does have their rules. In fact, if you use their wall sockets for powering your strobes, like White Lightnings, whatever brand, you need permission. On the other hand I never once asked for permission, nor has any of the Disney staff confronted me.

    Shooting a wedding at Disneyland is nothing short of perfect. I asked a couple what they paid to have a disneyland wedding. It starts around $6000 just to use the land and with catering, hotel rooms, Disney's own band or DJ, a private reception room, you are looking at $35,000 and up. They paid around $49,000 for 200 guests.
  28. Alex, that is amazing.........i had ONE 5D, a 24-70 2.8 lens and a 580 flash............

    "You can enter the park and shoot engagements, just NOT with THAT camera".................

    I'm still confused over the whole thing...............

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