|Jeff hangin' with Mickey & the gang!|
Jeff runs a beautiful Disney photography blog on Tumblr, and he's also a really sweet and nice guy! I'm so happy he was able to take the time and share with you about his experience as a PhotoPass Photographer in Epcot the semester before my college program!
What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
During Fall Advantage 2012, I was a PhotoPass Photographer at EPCOT!
What was a typical day like at work?
I would start each day by setting up all of my camera equipment. After getting my first assignment, I would go onstage! One of the benefits to PhotoPass is having the chance to take pictures in a few locations during each shift (unless you’re scheduled for something otherwise). I was able to work with Characters and take pictures with Icons (like Spaceship Earth in EPCOT) during a single shift! At the end of the shift, I would head back to base, check my work schedule, and talk to my coordinators and managers at base. It wasn’t very complicated really - I was always put in areas with lots of guests so I had the chance to interact with people from all over the world constantly!
Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
It was my second choice behind being a Character Attendant. I’m very happy that I got the chance to be in PhotoPass ‘cuz it’s a mixture of everything in Entertainment!
What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
Being a part of the Disney Entertainment family was the best! There’s nothing better than getting to capture magical moments for all of the guests in the Parks & getting to hang out with the characters at work! Taking pictures of proposals is one of the most memorable experiences as well and I was lucky to capture four of them!
It’s very hard physically and emotionally to be a Cast Member sometimes. Carrying 10 lbs. of electronics can be tiring after awhile if you don’t exercise and stay healthy. Closing shifts and longer shifts can be rough at times.
Any specific magical moment you want to share?
One of the most magical moments of my time in the DCP happened at the entrance of EPCOT. I was taking pictures of the guests with Spaceship Earth in the background. I watched a large family with “Make A Wish” shirts come through the turnstiles and smiled and waved to them. They approached me with their PhotoPass card out and assembled near the flowers. There was a young princess in a wheelchair whose wish had come true to go to Walt Disney World with her entire family (who were the most kind, funny, courteous and gracious people I’ve met). She couldn’t speak due to her condition but it was impossible not to see the sun shine through her ear-to-ear smile!
I took a ton of pictures with the whole family! I took the normal family pictures then asked if we could have some fun with it. We took ones with hugs, funny faces, superhero poses, princess poses and so much more. They were laughing and having the best time and that made my heart soar.
I turned to the young princess in the wheelchair and asked if she wanted to take some very special magical pictures, to which she smiled even bigger and nodded. I told her Tinkerbell was flying around and she would join us for some pictures. We took some pictures with her and the young princess couldn’t stop smiling.
|Jeff and the Great Goofini!|
When we were done and ready to part ways, the mother came up to me and thanked me by name for making the beginning of their day magical. She also pointed out to me that her daughter, the young princess, was saying that she loved me in Sign Language. It broke my heart in the best way ‘cuz I was able to help that family and that young princess start the day on a good note that would only get better. They left smiling and waving to me and the young princess smiled at me until they passed out of sight.
That moment in time will always have a special place in my heart.
What made you want to do the DCP?
I’ve always wanted to work for Disney. One of my best friends had applied for the DCP before and that got me interested! I was tired of being in school so I wanted to try working in my dream job while taking some time off of classes!
Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
I wish I had known not to bring so many things for downtime in my apartment. I brought quite a few things with me from California to Florida and barely used them! I was out in the parks and hanging out with people most of the time!
What advice would you give to those who are going to be participating in your role?
You have the chance to help people capture the magic of their time in the parks! You get to hang out with characters like Mickey! You can work in a lot of different places in the resorts! Make the most of your time in this role. It is very rewarding on every level. You’ll be able to incorporate your skills in the Arts and many other areas. Have fun and make every moment magical for those around you!
What advice would you give to people who are interested in doing the DCP?
Be honest with yourself! If you’re trying to be a part of the DCP, you should be very honest with yourself and the Disney CM’s who interview you about your strengths, weaknesses, abilities, experience and desires for the program. If you go into the program with weak or false intentions, you will be crushed by the pressure of working in the Disney Parks. If you’re honest (while trying to make a good impression), they’ll recognize that and you’ll enjoy your time in the DCP so much more! Just stay open to the countless opportunities to grow while you’re going through the entire experience ‘cuz it’s something you will never forget!
If you want to get in touch with me to talk about the DCP or being a part of PhotoPass/Entertainment, you can reach me at any of these places:
If you're a current or past college program cast member and would like to share your experience, email your name and role to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate!