Whether it’s capturing photos, creating Magic Shots, innovating with technology, managing projects or leading cast members (plus many other roles in between), there are so many talented and dedicated women who work hard every day to keep Disney PhotoPass Service running smoothly.
While it’s impossible for me to share all of their stories with you today, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’m excited to introduce you to one of Disney PhotoPass Service’s leaders, Tai McEachin!
Tai is the Proprietor for Disney PhotoPass Service at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, managing the team of photographers and leaders there who give guests exceptional experiences while capturing their vacation memories.
I recently caught up with her in the park, and hearing her speak about what that team of cast members means to her was inspiring.
“When I think about my role as a leader, it’s so much bigger than just moving our business forward. We have a huge responsibility to influence the lives of our cast members,” Tai said. “They are more than just photographers. I am honored to be part of their role, part of their journey, part of their lives.”
Tai talked at length about how interacting with cast is the best part of her day, and as we walked around the park, it was clear how genuine that statement was. She stopped to chat with every photographer we saw, asking if they had the equipment they needed, ensuring they had enough water, inquiring how their day was going and giving out enthusiastic high fives.
Between breaking out into dance multiple times and plentiful amounts of infectious laughter, I asked how she maintains such a positive environment for her cast. “I’m just a human striving to share the best of me so they can be the best versions of themselves,” she replied.
Tai shares that her mom has always encouraged her to be the best version of herself. As we chat more about her family, she expresses how being a working mom has expanded her empathy, emotional intelligence and ability to handle challenges. “Working moms – and moms in general – we have the ability to multitask. We have the ability to understand other people’s perspective coming from a sense of compassion,” she emphasized.
She elaborated that she grows from teaching her children and constantly learns from them. This helps her adjust her perspective and be a better leader to such a large group of people from many backgrounds and experiences, because she realizes that development, behavior and communication are unique to every individual.
Tai is incredibly insightful, so I was eager to ask her how women like myself who aspire to be leaders should follow that dream. She shares the advice she would give to her younger self: “Do not count yourself out. Do not second guess yourself,” she asserted. “You belong in every room you walk into. You are there for a reason.”
There’s so much to learn from someone as special as Tai, but I think it’s best summed up by her response when asked how she makes magic. She laughed, “I’m just me, that’s how I do it.”