Interview with Brett Kiger

By Paul on December 1st, 2011

Below is our interview with Brett Kiger.  Brett won a photography contest we sponsored at DisneyPhotoBlog.com.

Where are you from?
Always a loaded question, as I’ve moved around quite a bit. I call North Carolina home, but I was born in Mountain View, CA.

Where are you currently living?
Atlanta, GA

What’s your day job?
Mechanical Engineer

The Lobby

Married? Family?
Married, 3 “kids” (only they are furry and have four legs)

Any upcoming trips planned?
Not to WDW, but we are headed to Disneyland in two weeks!

When was your first trip to WDW?
College graduation trip in 1999. First visited Disneyland when I was two.

What is it about WDW that keeps you coming back?
There is just something very magical about Disney properties. Every time I enter the parks or resorts, the real world just melts away. I really am just a kid at heart, and Disney is a place where I can just be a kid. I’ve used this line before, but I sum it up this way: Disney Parks are an amazing tribute to a time that probably never was, but will always be…

When first time WDW visitors ask you for a tip, what’s your best advice or tip for WDW?
Don’t try to take it all in in one day, or even one trip! Take your time and enjoy the day. I’ve been to the parks many times, but I am still guilty of running around trying to fit in every attraction in one day. There are some real hidden treasures in the parks if you just slow down and absorb everything around you.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge

What’s your favorite WDW memory?
My favorite memory was entering the Magic Kingdom with my wife during her first visit. Her eyes just lit up as she finally experienced Main Street for the first time! Another favorite was being allowed to set up my tripod and being locked in the lobby of the Tower of Terror after closing with nobody around. It was a very surreal feeling to be in there completely alone. I so wanted to go sit on one of those sofas, but I’m sure alarms would have gone off!

If you could work at WDW, what’s your dream job?
I would love to be a Disney staff photographer! We saw them with huge crates full of equipment setting up for a shoot at Animal Kingdom, and it looked like so much fun. I’m sure it’s hard work, but the experiences would be amazing.

What’s in your camera bag in the parks?
I travel heavy at Disney. I usually carry a DSLR, 3 – 4 lenses, and a pocket camera. The three lenses that I find essential are an ultra wide for taking it all in, a fast prime for dark rides, and a telephoto to capture the details. For me that means a Canon 10-22mm, Simga 30mm f/1.4, and a Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. I also carry a 17-55mm f/2.8 as my walk around lens.

What other photographers inspire you?
I am constantly inspired by the Disney community of photographers on Flickr and follow quite a photostreams. As far as big name professionals, I follow the work of Joe McNally and Jay Maisel.

When and how did you start shooting photographs?
Like most, I started just taking snapshots with the intent of capturing memories. I got very interested in creative photography a few years ago when I bought my first DSLR.

What made you start taking photographs at WDW?
I would say the Flickr community is guilty of that one! I loved what I was seeing online and couldn’t wait to try it for myself. Disney is a photographer’s playground with opportunities for portraits, landscapes, details, action shots, …the list is way too long!

What is your advice for the average tourist photographer at WDW?
Capture what inspires and intrigues you the most. One of the most interesting things about photography is experiencing how someone else views the world. Sure, it’s fine to be inspired by someone, but share your vision! Oh, and take advantage of the PhotoPass system and get in the picture!
Wishes Finale  [Explore]

What’s your favorite time of year to visit WDW? Why?
Spring and fall to avoid the heat!

Do you and your family have any WDW traditions?
The only tradition we have so far is eating at Earl of Sandwich before the drive home.

Does your non WDW friends and co-workers know about your passion for WDW? How do you explain it?
Yes, they do! I stopped trying to explain, and I just show them my images. They usually get it then. :)
Tomorrowland at Night

Rapid Fire Questions

On Property of Off?
On

Ferry or Monorail to Magic Kingdom?
Whichever is faster! :)

Mac or PC?
Mac

What’s your favorite park?
That’s a tough one! Magic Kingdom with Hollywood Studios a very close second.

Favorite Resort?
Pop Century. I love visiting the other resorts (especially the Wilderness Lodge), but for the money, Pop is awesome!

Favorite park for photography?
Another tough one! Magic Kingdom with Epcot a very close second.

Favorite Attraction?
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Favorite restaurant?
Liberty Tree Tavern

Favorite snack/dessert?
Any type of ice cream (preferably on Main Street)

View more of Brett’s photography.

This Be the Key to Yer Treasure

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