From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The concept of photography has appeared in many Pokémon games as well as in the Trading Card Game, manga, and anime. Starting with its introduction in Pokémon Snap, photography has appeared in several other games since.
In the games
In the core series
Pokémon Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal
Pokémon Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal are compatible with the Game Boy Printer accessory. By talking to a character labeled as a "photographer," players are able to print out stats of any Pokémon in their party. Also in Gold, Silver and Crystal, although photography isn't mentioned, there is a Mail called Portraitmail that has the silhouette of the Pokémon holding it as its design.
In Pokémon Yellow, it is mentioned that the Kanto Pokémon Fan Club Chairman has taken an interest in photography.
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
At the Rocket Game Corner in Celadon City, there is a "Pokémon Printer" where a player may have their current party photographed and displayed on the back of the Trainer Card for a fee of 50. The photos can be taken in four different colors: normal, black, pink, or sepia.
Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
The player can get a picture of their Pokémon taken with Accessories on in Jubilife City at the Jubilife TV building. This is also done when a player's Pokémon wins a Pokémon Super Contest, but only when the rank of that category has not already been achieved.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
A photo of Ethan with his party
In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, there are many areas in Johto and Kanto where players may take photos of themselves and their partner Pokémon, although the player will often be able to photograph themselves with their entire party. These photos are recorded in a Photo Album, which stores up to 36 photos in the PC.
After the player arrives in Goldenrod City, a man named Cameron will periodically be found in both regions at varying times. He will take pictures of the player's party and the surrounding area. Cameron's house is in Cianwood City, which has an automatic camera beside it for use at all times; however, Cameron cannot be found here.
With the entire party
If the Gym Leader is currently in the Fighting Dojo, the player cannot take a picture with the Leader.
Pokémon X and Y
In Pokémon X and Y, players can find multiple black signs with white camera icons on them called Photo Spots. Upon examining them, the player can summon Phil the Photo Guy, who will offer to take their picture. The camera takes advantage of the Nintendo 3DS's gyroscope controls, and its zoom, shutter, and natural light can be adjusted. Upon taking a picture, it will be saved on the Nintendo 3DS Camera, where it can be viewed on the 3DS's photo album. The player can also upload their latest photo to the Pokémon Global Link via Game Sync.
Locations of Photo Spots
A Backpacker in Lumiose City's Shutterbug Café (on South Boulevard) will give the player items depending on how many photos they have taken.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, players may take pictures of their Pokémon throughout a Pokémon Contest Spectacular. The most recent photo taken can be saved onto the Nintendo 3DS's SD card, and if saved, the photo is displayed on the ground floor of the Contest Hall. During the Talent Round of a Pokémon Contest, the 3DS camera can be used to provide a real-life background. This option can be turned on or off by speaking to a man in the Contest Hall who describes this special effect as projecting a "hologram" through the entire hall.
If the player wins a Master Rank Pokémon Contest, a photo of their winning Pokémon taken during the Introduction Round will be automatically displayed on the second floor of the Contest Hall. Only the most recent winner is displayed, with one photo spot available for each Contest condition stat. If the player won with at least 800 points, the same photos are displayed on the second level of Lilycove Museum. Unlike the Contest Hall, in the museum, the last three winners are shown for each Contest condition stat.
Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- Main article: Rotom Pokédex → Poké Finder
In Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, players may take pictures of Pokémon using the Poké Finder (Japanese: ポケファインダー Poké Finder) function of the Rotom Pokédex, in various locations throughout the Alola region. The icon on the player's bottom screen will turn into that of a camera in locations where photographs may be taken. It can be activated by pressing the R button or tapping the camera icon in those select locations. Pictures are then evaluated with a "Thumbs-Up" score. As the player racks up their total "Thumbs-Up" score, more features are unlocked, such as the ability to zoom.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- Main article: Alola Photo Club
Found in Hau'oli City and Konikoni City, the Alola Photo Club allows players to take photos with the Pokémon in their party. These photos can then be edited with stickers, posted to the Pokémon Global Link, or saved to the 3DS's SD card.
The player also has the option of doing an impromptu photo shoot after a Pokémon in their party evolves.
In spin-off series
In Pokémon Snap, the entire game is based around the concept of photography. In Pokémon Snap, the player (as Todd Snap) must take the best possible photographs of the 63 Pokémon findable on Pokémon Island for Professor Oak's Pokémon Report.
The player controls the camera from a first-person perspective. To view through the camera lens, the player must hold the "Z" button. The shutter button is operated with the "A" button. In the game, the player can receive tools to aid their picture-taking such as Pokémon food, Pester Balls, and the Poké Flute.
For a period of time after the release of Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Snap Sticker Stations were available at Blockbuster Video stores, which allowed a player to print out their photos on stickers for $3. These Sticker Stations were available in the United States and Canada. In the Wii Virtual Console version, players can post them to the Wii's Address book.
In Pokémon Stadium, there is a "Gallery" mode where players can take photographs of their Pokémon. A player may photograph Pokémon from their Generation I Game Boy game (using the Transfer Pak) or they may photograph the game's rental Pokémon. The controls are identical to that of Pokémon Snap, but without the extra items such as the Pester Balls. Photos taken in Gallery Mode could be printed on stickers at the Pokémon Snap Sticker Stations.
My Pokémon Ranch
In My Pokémon Ranch, players are able to take photos of their Pokémon during any of the random ranch events (such as the Clock and the Totem Pole) or when they are playing with any of the toys that a player may buy for their Pokémon. The quality of the photo can be increased with the "Focus Lock" function.
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure
A photograph of Meowth
taken in-game from first person perspective
PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure gives the player the ability to take pictures from the game similar to previous Wii and WiiWare games.
After Pikachu has met Misdreavus in the Meeting Place, she gives them a camera with which to photos on. Each film roll can hold up to 30 pictures. These 30 pictures can be sent to an SD card purchased separately by the player so that they may put the pictures on their computer as well as free up a new film for 30 new pictures.
Photos can be taken from a third-person perspective or from first-person Pikachu's view.
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond
A photograph of Raichu
taken in-game from first person perspective
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond has a similar photography feature to the one in the first game. As in the first game, the ability to take photos is given by Misdreavus, found in Cove Town. Photos can be taken from a third-person perspective or from first-person view of the player. In PokéPark 2, the player may store significantly more photos on the Wii's memory: up to 72 photos may be stored without the use of an SD card.
Super Smash Bros. series
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Players of Super Smash Bros. Melee are able to take pictures of certain battle scenes in Camera Mode. Photos take up 4-12 blocks from the GameCube memory card. Camera Mode requires two controllers (one being put in port 4)—player 2 takes a photo of player 1's battle.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
A snapshot of two Ivysaur
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Players of Super Smash Bros. Brawl may also to take pictures of certain battle scenes if the game is paused. Photographs typically take 1 block of memory from either the Wii's memory or from the SD Card memory. Photos taken in Brawl can be transferred to a personal computer and converted to JPEGs using various programs or websites available online. The players can also take pictures of stages they created. Because the player cannot pause during online multiplayer, the player cannot take photos in that mode.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, players can take pictures in a manner similar to Brawl. However, the photos, which are saved to the console's SD card, are not encrypted and do not require third party programs to share. The player cannot pause during online multiplayer, and therefore cannot take pictures.
Surprise encounter with Smeargle
In Pokémon GO, players may take pictures of Pokémon when they are encountered them in the wild, or once they are caught and kept in the player's storage. Initially, players were only able to take pictures of Pokémon encountered in the wild. With this feature, players may choose to take the photographs with or without the AR mode activated. When a photograph has been taken, the pictures will be saved on their mobile devices' internal storage or external memory card.
GO Snapshot is a feature introduced on February 25, 2019, which enabled players to take photos of their Pokémon in storage. This feature can be accessed through the camera icon on the individual Pokémon's status screen, or by accessing the camera through the items list, and photos can be taken with or without AR+ mode activated. Without AR+, the Pokémon will be remain fixed in position facing forward in the center of the screen, while AR+ enables the player to keep the position of the Pokémon fixed relative to its background and therefore players can move around the Pokémon to obtain a greater variety of photos. Once the photos are taken, the player will be able to review the photos taken, and can directly share their photos to social media. The photos will also be saved automatically to the devices' internal storage or external memory card.
Occasionally, the photo will be intercepted by a Smeargle which will appear in front of the photo taken. Smeargle will only appear in the first few images taken per session, and the image with and without the photobomb will be saved. Once this happens, a wild Smeargle will appear around the player, and is currently the only method of obtaining Smeargle. Smeargle's moveset will be the identical to the moveset of the Pokémon of which the photo was taken.
On April Fools' Day till April 3, 2019, Smeargle was replaced with Ash or a Pikachu wearing Ash's hat as the photobomb character. A wild Pikachu wearing Ash's hat would spawn near the player after this had occurred.
During Pokémon Day 2020 event, Smeargle is replaced with Pikachutwo and Ash's Pikachu as the photobomb characters. A wild Pikachutwo spawns near the player after this had occurred.
These surprise encounters enable players to earn the Cameraman medal depending on the number of photobombs they have had.
In the anime
The concept of photography is also present in the Pokémon anime, first appearing in The Battling Eevee Brothers, where Misty's Psyduck took a picture of Ash and his friends. Todd Snap debuted in Pokémon Paparazzi, which later inspired the release of Pokémon Snap. In the episode, Team Rocket hired photographer Todd Snap to "capture" Pikachu, not realizing that Todd meant to capture Pikachu on film. Todd appears in a number of subsequent episodes, in which he tries to photograph other Pokémon, including the Legendary Articuno.
In Mewtwo Strikes Back, a Fearow soared overhead with a camera attached to its neck. This camera was used by Mewtwo in search of worthy Trainers to summon to the New Island. Photography also appeared in Destiny Deoxys, where a Block Bot took pictures of Ash and his friends for passport IDs that give them access to facilities in LaRousse City.
In A Cacturne for the Worse, Harley was shown to have an instant camera. He took a picture of May and posted it on his scrapbook.
and his digital camera in the anime
Photography appeared again in A Maze-ing Race!, where Team Rocket tried to take a group picture of Ash's, Dawn's, and Brock's Pokémon in exchange for a map. In Jumping Rocket Ship!, Team Rocket disguised themselves as photographers in an attempt to capture the Pokémon of Ash and his friends.
In In The Shadow of Zekrom!, Ash met a beginning Trainer named Trip, who documents his journey through the Unova region by taking pictures.
In The Four Seasons of Sawsbuck!, Ash met a photographer named Robert, whose goal was getting a picture of all four forms of Sawsbuck together. His grandfather was also a photographer who had accomplished that and had taken pictures of Pokémon outside of Unova.
In The Journalist from Another Region! Ash met a reporter named Alexa who makes articles about Pokémon living in the wild, and even about famous legends, and landmarks. Alexa joined Ash on his adventures until Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!. In A Blustery Santalune Gym Battle! Ash met Alexa's little sister Viola who is also the Santalune Gym Leader, and a fantastic Photographer. Viola is mostly known for her talent of taking photos of Bug Type Pokémon.
In The Cave of Trials!, Ash, his friends, and Korrina, who was traveling with them at the time, had a photo of themselves together taken by a photographer named McGinty in Geosenge Town.
Trevor is another Pokémon photographer appearing in the anime. In A Legendary Photo Op!, he visited Mt. Molteau to take a picture of the Legendary Pokémon Moltres, having previously photographed the other two Legendary birds.
In Loading the Dex!, Ash obtained a Rotom Pokédex, which has a camera function, from Professor Kukui. Throughout the Sun & Moon series, Rotom is often shown taking pictures of wild Pokémon performing activities described in Pokédex entries. It also likes to capture important moments of Ash's journey, such as Ash receiving a Z-Crystal.
In Showdown on Poni Island!, Lillie started taking pictures of the Pokémon at Poni Island while exploring.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Ruby likes taking photos of his Pokémon. In Ring Ring Goes Beldum, he was seen taking pictures of his Nana and Kiki evolving and said that he was up to his 36th album at the time.
Todd Snap appeared in the Emerald chapter as a reporter. At the end of the chapter, after looking at Todd's pictures of the events at the Battle Frontier, Professor Oak asked him if he could work with him and if he could go to an island where there are lots of Pokémon, and take pictures of them.
In the Pokémon Battle Frontier manga
Anabel is disguised as a photographer taking photographs around the Battle Frontier.
In the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga
Shu once took part in Pokémon photography competition in Get a Pokémon Shot!. He was lent a camera to take part, but thought he had used his last shot stunning an Ekans to save the Pidgey eggs it was about to eat. He won, however, thanks to his Slowpoke, who used the last shot to take a picture of the hatched Pidgey while he had his back turned.
In the TCG
Though not prevalent, photography has appeared throughout the TCG multiple times. The first involved two contests, the CoroCoro Best Photo Contest and the 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest, which challenged players to take interesting pictures of Pokémon from Pokémon Snap and submit them. Five entries from each contest were chosen, with the winning images used on extremely rare reprints of cards that originally appeared in the Base Set. The exact number of these cards is unknown.
Imakuni? and Poké Dude feature actual photographs of people (Tomoaki Imakuni and Hironobu Yoshida respectively) and were released as promotional cards. The individual top three winners of the Neo Spring Road and Neo Summer Road Best in Japan tournaments, and the top four ranking players of the Battle Road Summer 2002 Best in Japan tournament also had their photographs featured on Trainer cards with the respective event logos superimposed on the image. The Neo Spring Road and Neo Summer Road players were awarded either a No.1 Trainer, No.2 Trainer, or No.3 Trainer card. The Battle Road Summer 2002 players were awarded an Elite Four Trainer card.
The Pokémon Rumble card collection also used photography as illustrations for the cards. This nineteen card collection was released in conjunction with Pokémon Rumble, and used screenshots from the game as their illustration. They were not credited with the normal Illus. by <name>, but simply as Pokémon Rumble.
Any cards with a Pokémon Pikachu copyright are considered to be photographs of the anime. These copyrights have been used for movie promotions ever since 2003, and are mostly used to represent anime characters or their Pokémon.
As part of a number of different activities at the Spring 2012 Battle Carnival events held in Japan between May and June 2012, a person or group could have their photograph taken at the Commemorative Photo Service Corner and have it printed on a jumbo-sized card.