Fairytale Photos ~ Put the Camera DOWN! Or Maybe not...

I think that the magic of a Disney vacation exists in three wonderful parts: the dreaming of planning, the pixie dust moments during trip itself and the memories you take with you for years to come.
Since I can't live in the Cinderella Castle Suite or even on property year round, pictures help bring a bit of the fairytale back into my everyday life.
In my enthusiastic pursuit of remembering the Magic, I take hundreds of my own pictures every vacation and hope to share a bit of my experience with you.

Sometimes it's time to just put the camera down!
(Or at least refocus.)

I love my memories, but there are recent studies out in Psychological Science that suggest that taking photos of whole objects may make it, in fact, harder to remember than merely observing an object.

So should we give up on photography entirely and just pay attention to our surroundings?
Maybe not.

The study goes on to point out when the subjects took the time to focus their photo on a small detail rather than a large picture, they remembered a great many details they had not photographed.
The idea behind this is that observing small details and taking a photograph helps you to pick up on other small details and commit them to memory when they would otherwise forget those details.

In other words, a standard vacation photo might not trigger your memories later.


Le Prince Charmant
Photography as a memory trigger.
Instead, if you take the time to photograph a few little details (say the book on his table) in Maurice's cottage it may later help you to remember other details in the room without the benefit of a photograph.

Remembering details like the cool Leonardo da Vinci style flying contraptions hanging from the ceiling or the Mrs. Potts inspired teapot or how much fun your son had measuring up against Belle's growth chart is definitely what makes vacationing magical.

“So are you going to watch that when you get home to see if you had a good time?”
~Cowboy wandering the audience, Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Revue circa 1996
So get out there, make mistakes, take a few detailed photos then put the camera down, try a shot that shouldn't work, but might and see what fairytale photos follow you home.

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