Fortunately, there are many simple tips you can follow that will help you take great pictures and still have a fun Disney World vacation. Here are my favorite 8 tips on how to both take great pictures and have a great time Disney World, thanks to some experiences of my own and some great ideas on a post from our friends at the Touring Plans blog.

1 – Take a picture of everyone standing in front of the Castle

Yes, every family has a picture of everyone standing together in front of Cinderella Castle. It’s not very original. But it is one of those “must do” photos, and probably one you will look back on and enjoy for many years to come.

There are so many great things to photograph at Disney World.

There are so many great things to photograph at Disney World.

You might already have lots of expensive and heavy photographic equipment at home. If you are traveling solo or as a couple, it might be just fine to bring it along. But if you are traveling with a large group or smaller children, it can be a hassle to lug around extra bags of equipment – not to mention making sure you don’t forget or break it along the way.

3 – Mix it up

Often times we get the same photos of the same people – just in different places. Dad takes a picture of the two kids. Wife takes a picture of the husband. Try to get new and different combinations of different people. Take photos of individual people and of people together. And be sure to ask a friendly Disney Photopass photographer, or a trustworthy-looking passer-by, to take a shot of everyone in your travel party. Oh, and make sure you get into the picture too. Even though your hair might not be perfect or your belly might not be a toned as you wish, your family still loves you and will enjoy the memories of seeing you in the future.

4 – Give your kids a camera

Since the days of expensive film and always-fragile cameras are behind us, pick up an inexpensive digital camera for your kids. You can even get waterproof varieties these days. They will enjoy framing and planning pictures, keep themselves occupied, and might even take a few good shots. Just be sure to put some rules around this. My daughter likes to take plenty of time to frame her shots – which if we allowed that to happen every step of the trip, we wouldn’t make it off of our street.

5 – Kids are cute

I think that God makes kids cute so that parents would be able to make it through 18 years of trials. Get plenty of pictures of your little ones – with Mickey and Minnie, but also running along, petting animals, or eating an ice cream cone the messy way.

6 – Use the power of digital

Now that we all use the power of digital photography (you do, don’t you?) be sure to use it to your advantage. Take many, many pictures. A professional once told me that the key to taking good pictures is taking lots of pictures. Use your camera not just to take pictures of your family – the primary purpose – but also to take a picture of your parking space and your admission ticket, in case they are forgotten or lost, respectively. And, if your child has her heart set on a souvenir, sometimes capturing it with a photo is a tricky substitute for acquiring it with your credit card.

7 – Put your phone number on your camera and memory cards

Be sure to put your cell phone number on both your camera and your memory cards. It’s all too easy to leave these things behind. Something in the water makes people at Disney nice – even those who normally aren’t – so you want to provide a way for a Good Samaritan to contact you so that you can retrieve your memories.

8 – Back up your pictures, please

Having the ability to take lots of pictures in the form of digital files presents a new-fangled technical problem – the ability to lose them with an equipment failure. Our wedding photographer told us that he made two backups of our wedding photos before he even left our wedding. And a friend once lost his entire inventory of family photos when his computer crashed – and his wife is still mad. So keep peace in the family and be sure to back up your pictures. An easy and relatively inexpensive way to do this is by copying them to your PC, and then subscribing to an online backup service like Carbonite or Mozy.

By following these 8 simple tips you can have more fun, take better pictures, and look 5 years younger. Or, at least you have a better shot at getting just a few good shots.