Disney Shares Photography Tips From a Cast Member’s National Geographic Expedition

Travel and photography go hand in hand. This is even more true for guests who go on a Photography Expedition from National Geographic. Recently, Kyle Raser, a Senior Manager for the Trip Operations Land and Cruise team for both Adventures by Disney and National Geographic Expeditions, went on the India by Rail Photography Expedition and learned firsthand from National Geographic photography expert, Jonathan Kingston. Disney shared that “Photography expeditions feature a limited group size who attend mini lectures each day for tips and settings to capture the best images along their journey. Whether traveling with multiple lenses and expensive equipment or armed with only a mobile device, the trip focuses on all levels of photography.”

Kyle Raser shared some of the takeaways he picked up from his Photography Expedition to India from Jonathan Kingston. Check them out here:

Tip #1: Storytelling – Try to think about the story you are telling and how you will want someone to experience your photos.  

“Just as you watch your favorite film and different camera angles help set the scene, you can do that with your photos as well,” Kyle said. “Consider giving your photo collection a sense of time, place and culture to help tell the story.”

Tip #2: Capture what’s interesting. 

“This may sound simple, but if it’s interesting to you, it will likely be interesting to those viewing your photos,” Kyle said. “At the same time, if it’s not interesting to you, that will definitely impact the photo and how it’s received. Consider taking a subject from multiple angles, lighting and depths.”

Tip #3: Learn your equipment. 

While many professional photographers may have equipment and lenses to help get the perfect shot, a large number of everyday photographers have turned to smartphones as their main tool. Look at your device’s camera settings and try different ways to capture the perfect photo. Using mobile tools like exposure, portrait mode and burst can help get the frame you’re looking for — and with most smartphone cameras, these same tools can be used during the editing process to help enhance what you’ve already taken! 

Tip #4: Have fun!  

“Cameras are a great way to capture the amazing places and wonders around the world – whether it’s the Taj Mahal or your kids playing in the backyard. The key is just making sure that you get yourself out there to experience it,” Kyle explained. 

Kyle’s taken trips with Disney to Egypt, Italy and Switzerland, but the trip to India opened his eyes to the theory behind the lens. Understanding the culture is the key to taking the best photo. 

“There were some technical tips, but a lot of it is about the philosophy behind why you’re taking the photo, and if it effectively tells the story of where you are,” Kyle added.

Kyl is a firm believe in the positive effect that travel has on a person and their wellbeing.

“No matter where you travel or how you travel, it changes you,” Kyle said. “Traveling as a tourist is great, but traveling as a local is so important. It gives an appreciation of the culture and the location, but it also makes me appreciate what I have and my own experiences. Ultimately, it gives me an appreciation for the company where I work.”

He know that he wanted to work for Disney from the first time he could remember visiting Disney Parks. His Disney career began in college when he worked at the Disney Store. He would go on to work different roles in attractions, guest relations, resorts, and the Disney Vacation Club. Through this, he learned about the guest experience.

Throughout his life and career, he has continued to visit Disney destinations and experience Disney through the lens of a cast member and also as a guest. This has given him a unique viewpoint on these trips.

“I’ve often said I feel lucky to have loved something that has so many professional opportunities. You can’t necessarily make a career out of the things you love, but I just happened to fall in love with a company that offers experiences and joy to people around the world.”