Get great pictures and no melt downs at character dinners!

I found that when looking at other peoples pictures from character dinners at Disney there were a few things that I wanted -
1. No food or a dirty table in the pics
2. Not a bunch of people eating in my background!
3. No crying scared children!
4. Great pictures!
Here's what I did to make sure that my pics looked like this -
1900 Park Fare
Tusker House - After a few visits she let him touch her, which was progress for her!

- not this!
I don't want to torture her!

Food is distracting!

1. Decide where your kids will sit to get the best pictures, that meant that sometimes I sat in the corner to be across from them for the best shot.Think about your background and foreground!
2. Move the dishes or have the child get up from the table to get a better shot!
3. Zoom in to get rid of the others in the shot or the table if need be!
4. Get down on their level - if Pluto gets on his knees to visit and give hugs, shoot from there too!
5. If you have a child scared of the characters let them sit facing where the characters come from. Your server knows which direction they come. This way they see them and know it's about to be their turn. We also sat our reluctant one on the inside so she was further away.
6. Don't force them -  if we wanted the hesitant one in the pic we got up with her and held her. She was much more relaxed that way. So as long as she was in some of the pics somewhat happy, I was happy! I wanted to avoid her having a meltdown as shown above! She cried when Pooh came to our table, but by Tigger's visit she was ready to give him a high five! At least she touched him! This was at our first character dinner, after our 7th character dinner she was a pro!
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