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Walt Disney World with the Johnsons – Fuji Style

heading to disney world colie james

When we booked our Disney family vacation early this year the first thing I decided was not to bring a DSLR, just the Fuji x100t.  Yes I know, all those opportunities for images were just screaming at me.  However, I had confidence I could document the trip in a minimal way and still enjoy it with my family.  Also just let me tell you that when you are walking around the parks with a kid, pushing a stroller for hours, you do not want even one more item to carry.  I have been home for 3 days and my feet still hurt.  I did hand my camera off to my sister-in-law, mother, or even the Disney photographers to get those obligatory vacation portraits.  I just setup the settings and added the facial recognition so that it was focusing on one of our faces.  It was pretty successful.

family portrait at the tree of life colie jamesThe Johnsons do disney


At 180 days you can begin making table service reservations.  I booked all the ones suggested to me except Cinderella’s Table.  I snagged some pretty memorable images from our character meals, but the environment and light are not awesome for anything more than a snapshot.  There were many times sitting at the table that I wished I had my d750 + 24mm for a little more width and a slightly wider aperture, but the Fuji got the job done.  Some of the images we took were with an iPhone 6 Plus or 6s, but those were really hit or miss with motion blur.

Dinner at Chef Mickeys colie james

One character meal that I booked last minute was the Best Friends breakfast at ‘Ohana featuring Lilo & Stitch.  The week before our vacation I had plans to show Chloe a variety of Disney movies to prepare her, but Lilo & Stitch was the first one and she became obsessed.  We actually did this meal twice.  The first one she wasn’t very excited for the characters until they had already left our table, but the second she jumping up and down in her seat waiting for them to come.  It was the morning we went home, so a perfect way to end our vacation.  We got a window table and my photographer heart was so excited.  There was ACTUAL natural light to take pictures.

best friend breakfast at Disney Ohana colie james

We didn’t do that many rides and the ones we did I rode with Chloe.  James attempted to take a few photos with his phone, but they were not pretty.  LOL.  I took a few selfies with my iPhone, but nothing to jump up and down about.  At least the ones that didn’t have motion blur from the spinning or flying  🙂

dumbo ride at disney magic kingdom colie james

I used the majority of our Magic Kingdom FastPasses for Character Meet & Greets.  She was so excited to Meet Anna & Elsa, much more than the other princesses we met at the Storybook Princess Breakfast at Akershus in EPCOT.  I am thinking to make her a collage like the 90 second challenge ones for her wall.

meeting princesses at Magic Kingdom Colie James


Now the only attraction where I would have brought a DSLR and would have been willing to go back to the hotel to drop it back off was the Safari at Animal Kingdom.  We saw giraffes, elephants, lions,  and hippos that would have been awesome to photograph to hang on the walls.  At that distance the Fuji produced rather flat images, but still good for the memories and to print in a book.

giraffes at animal kingdomrhinos at animal kingdom colie jameslion at animal kingdom colie jameselephant at animal kingdom

I will be making a slideshow next week and hope to get all the images I want to include in the book edited and ordered.  Here a few more random favorites and check back for the slideshow  🙂

beauty and the beast disney hollywood studios colie jamescinderellas castle at disney magic kingdom colie jamespicking out christmas ornaments everything pop colie jamesstar tours at disney hollywood studios colie james

on the boat at disney colie james

at bugs life disney animal kingdom colie james

at pop century colie james

at the pool at disney pop century colie james

in the pool at disney pop century colie james

on a disney transport bus colie james

elsa jacket

in the window

For the Frozen Fans Queen Elsa

playing at disney pop century colie james

leaving disney colie james

at the airport colie james


colie james documentary family photographer denver

Colie is a storytelling documentary family photographer living the good life in Boulder, Colorado with her husband of fourteen years, James, and their daughter Chloe. She loves to tell the true stories of her clients, just as they are. While her love of photography started long before the birth of her daughter, it has taken on a life of its own as she strives to capture all of her own moments and now her clients. Colie is also the instructor of the photography workshops: The Art of Telling Stories and The Business of Telling Stories. Besides photography, she loves espresso, Thai food, any movie with Denzel Washington, and traveling.