Monthly Archives: August 2017

There is nothing that screams summer more to me than underwater photography!  Ok maybe it’s the wrinkled squishy little fingers, the smell of sunscreen, the forever imprinted goggle marks and the runny drippy goodness of ice cream and popsicles melting into those beautifully bright colored bathing suits!  I just LOVE summer!  I love it forever and ever and that’s probably part of the reason I love Florida so much;  it’s constantly summer here!

A while back Tuck and I invested in underwater housing for my big girl camera and it was one of the BEST decisions we ever made personally.  I schlep that bad boy with us to the pool and beach almost every time we go and it is a BEAST!  You should see the looks I get at the community pool!  It’s comical but since I started bringing the burly girl along, we have had more fun as a family just playing together.  Canon balls take on more meaning now!  Playing with friends is ten times the fun because we get to have actual documentation of how AMAZING their splash was, or how silly their “silly face” was underwater or (my absolute favorite) what that back flip looked like underwater with all those bubbles!

You know my personal believe on photography and you know my “why” from this post here where I talk about magic and legacy!  Being able to capture my little guy underwater just adds even more depth to his story!

Here are some of my absolute favorite underwater captures so far from this summer!  We may already be back to school but it doesn’t mean we aren’t still swimming whenever we can!  The majority of ours are from the pool because Linc is still warming up to the ocean!  Who would have ever known that fearless Linc who comes from a family of ocean dwellers would want to stay on the shore! underwater photography, orlando child and family photographer brooke tucker

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I just love this next one… it’s so weird and captures so much of his motion!  Linc NEVER EVER stops.  EVER!

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Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker

Have you got your fast pass yet?!

It’s Monday and believe it or not Monday’s are becoming my favorite because it means… MAGIC MONDAY!  The day we get to share all things DISNEY and today we are talking about our most favorite rides, the ones we love that we can just head to the park and hop on without needing to schedule that oh so coveted fast pass!

If you haven’t heard of the fast pass yet, oh my gosh please go download the my disney app onto your phone now and get familiar!  This beautiful, golden ticket so to speak allows you and your family to choose 3 rides (per person) per park, per day to stand in a special “faster” line!  Only a certain number of fast passes are given out so as you can imagine they can run out pretty quickly on some rides!  Pandora right now is just nuts for example!  Anyway… since we have moved here to Florida and are fortune to be annual pass holders we have learned some valuable information when it comes to these beautiful fast passes!

  • Not All Rides NEED a Fast Pass!  There are certain times of the year where more rides are popular than others.  There are also times of the days where more rides are popular than others.  It all depends on small little details like these that determine whether or not we might book a fast pass for a certain ride.  Your My Disney App is amazing at letting you know about these details, especially wait times!
  • What my child absolutely LOVES and what he doesn’t care for!  This seems like a no brainer but I’m telling you, if you it will save you!  If you have paid attention to those small details I mentioned before and you know you are going at a peak time and lets say your child just adores the Buzz Lightyear ride, go ahead and book that fast pass!  You get 3 and if you aren’t going to be hanging out at the park for a huge amount of time, please make one of those fast passes something your child will adore!  (P.S.  when I say 3 fast passes per person, that means if you want to go on all 3 as a family,  you must book all 3 for the same rides.  Otherwise, you have to plan on splitting up!)
  • Keep in mind that Disney understands and planned on having guests wait in lines so you can plan on those lines being interactive if they can be!  Lines are unavoidable and Disney is magical!  Some of those “lines” are worth ditching the fast pass and experiencing! Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker

Now that I’ve given you some things to think about, let me tell you about some of our most favorite rides that we always make sure to visit every time we head to Disney!  The best part:  we never EVER book fast passes for these rides!

  1. The Barnstormer (The Magic Kingdom):  This ride is by far one of Linc’s favorites rides in all of Disney. I would say it makes top 3!  If we head to the park in the morning, we head straight to Storybook Circus in the way, way back of Magic Kingdom.  Usually in the morning, there isn’t much of a line yet!  Either that or we have been the luckiest family every single time we visit because we have always walked right on and then can ride about two or three times waiting in line a total of about 5-10 minutes depending on how many times we ride!  Sometimes Linc will ride the Barnstormer 6 or 7 times!  I would say even in the busiest times the line never grows longer than 20 minutes which is not a long wait compared to some of the other rides and it moves very quickly.  The Barnstormer is situated in a wonderful little spot where if we do find ourselves waiting we can always play a nice game of I spy or watch the train as it pulls in!  It’s such a quick little ride and a pretty quick wait that we feel you don’t need to spend a fast pass on this when you can use it for a ride that has a much longer wait line time or one where the line will move slower!
  2. Dumbo ( The Magic Kingdom):  Please, Please, Please do not use a fast pass on this ride!  Moms… hear me out on this one!  I know this is an iconic ride but there is a hidden gem waiting for everyone inside!  If you can hang on in the line for a few minutes, you will enter Dumbo’s playground!!  Yes, Dumbo has a playground INSIDE and it has air conditioning!! CUE the Hallelujah chorus!  You will be given a pager (kind of like the ones given out a restaurants) and everyone in your group can go play, climb, sit on the bleachers, eat a snack, rest etc!  When they are ready for you to continue on to Dumbo and his magical flying ways, you receive your page and off you go! Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker
  3. Tomorrowland Speedway (Magic Kingdom):  Not everyone will agree with us on this one but we never fast pass this ride and we always ride this when we are in Magic Kingdom!  We also always seem to go at the most busy time for these mini speedway cars!  We just don’t mind the wait and the line always moves extremely fast!  We find that it never matches the time as predicted and it gives us a chance to catch our breath, slow ourselves down a bit, drink a drink (which is much needed in the Florida heat) and honestly it gives us a chance to connect with one another!  Disney is amazing ya’ll!  It is phenomenal but even our family who lives here and visit these parks often gets caught up in the magic and the frenzy of wanting to “do it all”!  It is HARD to slow down when you are in these parks!  It is HARD to be in the moment and just be with each other and enjoy each other on a slow pace.  To tell you the truth, waiting in line gives you the opportunity to check in with your family.  It allows you the opportunity to ask questions and find out what they are loving and what is in their hearts.  To me, waiting in line at Disney is like coming together at the family dinner table.  That sounds ridiculous right?!  I know, typing it sounded silly to me!  But it’s SOOO TRUE!  Just think about it for one second:  you are running around trying to get to all your rides, from one end of the park to another.  You are stimulated from all sides and there are a million things you are trying to take in.  The one time that you are still and with everyone with no where else to go is when you are waiting in line!  It’s a great place to connect with each other!  That is why we choose to just hang out in the Tomorrowland Speedway line.  It moves at a great pace, we can chat while we wait and then before you know it we are in our car! Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker
  4. Disney Junior Live (Hollywood Studios): This is an awesome show and if you have a little one who loves Sophia, Doc or Jake… it’s a MUST!  We have done it both ways:  WITH a fast pass and WITHOUT and it didn’t make on single difference!  The show is inside a huge theater where everyone sits on the floor.  The only thing the fast pass gets you is about a two second head start and honestly, it didn’t make one difference for us!  You can see from anywhere in that theater and the interaction is amazing!  The kids go nuts and that is all that matters!
  5. The Seas With Nemo and Friends:  I’m not sure why but we’ve never had a fast pass for this and its always worked out fine!  I adore this ride!  I love it!  It’s fun, it’s beautiful and it’s relaxing!  We usually just walk right on.  This might be complete luck but I would say that if its not raining outside or peak season, you too shouldn’t need a fast pass!

So these are the rides we ALWAYS skip the fast pass on!  Here are some rides we usually DARE to Disney without the pass!!

Haunted Mansion:  We LOVE the Haunted Mansion as a family but we don’t fast pass it for a few reasons.  The first is because we are never sure if it’s a “haunted mansion” kind of day.  Linc is picky about the days he wants to ride.  Some days he’s all about the roller coasters and so usually all of our fast passes are reserved for those (Big Thunder, Seven Dwarfs if we are lucky enough to get it and one other family ride).  Other days it’s a spur of the moment call depending on who we are with and whether or not they are brave enough!  Linc is kind of a weird kid in that he just isn’t spooked by normal things.  The second reason we don’t fast pass is because I absolutely LOVE waiting in this line.  This line is amazing.  There are so many cool features about this line and so many creepy activities to play with while you wait.  If you have some time, google Haunted Mansion and see what pops up!  We’ve had so much fun talking with cast members and learning all the little details and tricks!  Linc LOVES to play with the walls and the graves!  In short, this line is a blast.  It’s actually more fun than the ride itself!

Buzz Lightyear:  This used to be Linc’s favorite ride and there was a time where we always had to have it on the fast pass queue.  Now, it’s hit or miss for us.  Sometimes we have been able to walk right on other times the lines haven’t been that bad.  It always comes down to those few things I spoke about at the beginning!  We take our chances and usually Linc would much rather ride a coaster.

Enchanted Tales with Belle:  Linc is obsessed with Belle.  He isn’t usually a princess guy but Belle and Tinkerbell we MUST if and when we can!  Here’s the deal with this one:  if this is your first visit to Disney and you have a little one that LOVES BELLE, fast pass this ride!  I say that because waiting in line wastes your time for other fast pass opportunities!  If you are debating about fast passes and it comes between this and another, then hear me out!  Enchanted Tales with Belle is so fun and it has something for everyone.  The longest line is the one you wait in to get to the door.  So whether you fast pass or not, once you get in the door, everyone merges in together and from there everyone gets to experience the part!  The fast pass only shortens your time but soooo much.  Once you get in, you go in with a huge group and you stay together the entire time.  Without spoiling too much, the best part about this experience, every child will get a part and every child will feel special!~  Also every child will have a moment with Belle!

So my friends, I hope this was helpful!  We love the fast pass ability and we just want everyone to know it’s out there and that you can use it to your own families specific needs!  You can even change it while you are at the park!  You can cancel  your choices and switch them around for better times that suit your day!

For us, understanding that some rides didn’t really need fast passes lifted a bit of weight off of our shoulders!  It allowed us to still be able to ride the rides we loved and have scheduled “for sure” times when we could ride the rides that we were really DYING to ride!

What are some of your rides that you love?  What are some of the rides that you ride without a fast pass?

Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker Disney World Tips and Trick Florida child and family photographer brooke tucker

Why do you take pictures?  I really want to know (insert your answer right here?!)  Gosh I wish you could!  I wish you could say it out loud and I could hear it!  I wish I could sit down with you and meet you for coffee and have this conversation with you!  A coke would work too and don’t get me wrong there are mornings where a coke works just as well… come on, I know those mom’s are out there too holla!!!

But seriously… why do you take pictures of your family?!  Is it because you just love taking pictures?!  Is it because you have a truly awesome and amazing camera?!  Is it because everyone else is doing it?!  Those might be some of the reasons (maybe just the first two) but I highly doubt those are the real reasons.

I think it’s because there is something inside you that is just screaming please stop this moment!  Please hold on to this one second and let me have it forever!  Please let me keep them this way just a little while longer before they are so grown up and independent and don’t need me the way that they do now.  Let them be little just a while longer!

I always say that children have a unique magic in them.  A magic that is completely and uniquely theirs.  They see the world in a fantastic way that isn’t bothered by fear or self consciousness.  When they look at the world it is a wonderful place of adventure and mystery ready to be taken on feet first at full speed as soon at the sun breaks the sky!  Everything is more vibrant and every sense is appreciated with a depth that is more intense:  treats are sweeter, colors are more vivid and the smallest detail is magnified and exciting!

We were like that once!  Can you remember?

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I think as adults when we have our own children we are gifted in so many ways but living life again through the eyes of our children is the sweetest experience!  It is indescribable for me and that’s saying something.  I’m never at a loss for words but living life again through my son’s eyes, it’s a joy I can’t express.

Do you ever find yourself wanting to whip out your camera and click away at those moments of magic?!  Where the pool becomes an ocean of sharks and mermaids or the backyard is a jungle to explore and your kids become the wild things?!  Do you ever listen to your child play?  Do you ever want to just go there with them… become that super hero or that fairy princess?

Why do YOU take pictures of your children?

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I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve been keeping for years… I am NOT A FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER!  I am NOT A CHILD PHOTOGRAPHER!

I am just a mom like you who captures your magic!  I am a mom who truly believes that families have magic of their own and it’s that magic where the love lives.  I say I’m not a family photographer because I don’t just meet you in a random spot and take your picture.  NO WAY JOSE!  I could never do that!  I feel deeply!  That is what makes me the mom that I am.  When I am behind my camera I feel even more and I capture the love that exists between parent and child/brother and sister.

I pick up my camera for you because it is my dream that these moments where the love so strongly can be felt leaves its legacy in a tangible way… a photograph.  A photograph can be held on to long after we are gone.  It can be seen and felt and more importantly touched again and again by your son and your daughter and their sons and their daughters and their sons and their daughters.

That love that we show in our every day moments whether it’s a big belly laugh, a tickle fight, a sweet soft hug, or a hand in hand walk will, and should and needs to be held onto!  We don’t get to stay forever!  Our loved ones don’t get to stay forever.  But as a mom I know how important it is to say hey… this one story, this one tradition we have where we make pancakes and Linc is always in his underpants with a star wars gun shoved in the side… THAT DOES get to stay forever!  That gets paused!  That goes in a yearly album with my own written word so we can visit it any time we want.  Years from now when I am 80 and Linc is  50, I will place that album on my lap and with my wrinkled and hard worked hands,  we will rock on his front porch with my grandchildren and laugh about that story!

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You see… I am not a family photographer because I am a mom just like you!  I want the same things that you do which is why I see your family, I truly see your family!  I don’t just capture family portraits for you.  NO that would be a shame.

I capture your true love that binds you together.  I capture your real moments that you will want to stay AFTER you have gone.  Moments that won’t just capture your family for now, moments that will leave your imprint and your legacy for generations to come!  Moments that capture your magic!  Your very own magic that no other family has but you!

I do this for you because this is what I want for myself!

So my friends, I still want to know… why do YOU take pictures?

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  • August 16, 2017 - 1:39 pm - Hey ya’ll…. let’s be BOLD and have a real conversation today! Leave me a comment and tell me FOR REAL why you pick up your camera! What sparks your interest enough to choose YES this right here is enough for me to click!ReplyCancel

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