Community Spotlight: Let’s talk virtual photography with Sarokey!
Welcome to another Community Spotlight where we feature members who share their love of our games and contribute to our many fandoms online! Today we’re spotlighting Sarokey, an incredibly skilled virtual photographer and an active member in the community. You can find her uploading shots from PlayStation games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Horizon Forbidden West, Days Gone and The Last of Us: Part II, among many others. Her virtual portfolio is expansive, which also includes a collection of jaw-dropping illustrations and real-life photography!
Let’s meet Sarokey in today’s Community Spotlight!
IG: Hey, Sarokey! Like many, you express your fandom through photography – virtual and otherwise. Can you tell us a little about your history with virtual photography (VP)? How long have you been doing it and what do you love about it?
Sarokey: I believe my first time taking a photo was in Horizon Zero Dawn. I opened Photo Mode by accident and was instantly confused. I took like two shots and paid it no mind, but then everything changed when Marvel’s Spider-Man came out – my love for Spider-Man is endless. Seeing Petey Reilly & El Firescorpio’s work on Insta/Twitter made me want to experiment and try it out for real. And ever since, I started to use Marvel’s Spider-Man Photo Mode as practice. Even though I wasn’t sharing anything back then, I slowly had the confidence to share my work and get the feedback that would help me grow. I believe in late 2019 I started to take it more seriously and started to post my work on Twitter. I love photography in general and love video games, so when I found out something like virtual photography existed, I just wanted to be part of it. I’m able to show my love for video games and photography at the same time.
IG: Very nice. It’s an awesome way for people to express their love of games and photography! It certainly seems like Photo Mode exploded in recent years as a result, with more people discovering they have an eye for photography on top of their passion for games. Is there anything that fascinates you about the VP community? Anything you love about being among a talented community?
Sarokey: OH! For sure! I’m always so fascinated by people’s work and their passion for it. We have so many amazing people to always inspire us, like @TheFourthFocus aka Mik who created The VP Awards and brought so many studios to participate. Or @shinobi_space, a photo mode consultant for other games, and Kevin (@vikingdad278) who now works as an Online Community Specialist at @BendStudio. With Evey (@eveygamephoto) and Jimmy (@MindJackedJimmy) collaborating with Naughty Dog, it’s just so humbling and inspiring at the same time. The future for virtual photography is bright and people like that make it possible.
IG: That’s a lot of inspiration and talent you just listed! You play a lot of games, including the ones we’ve made. Mind showing us some of your photos? Are there any shots from our games that you’re proud of?
Sarokey: Yes! All of them, haha! I really love the Spider-Man shots that I created in the game inspired by the Raimi films and The Amazing Spider-Man posters. So many shots from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart make me happy but nothing like that shot of Rivet smiling. She’s just so adorable. My favorite shot in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales has to go to the lightning photo in the 2099 Suit – I used the remote mine gadget to get this effect.
IG: Incredible shots! There are several tools and features in our Photo Modes, and it seems like you really put a few of them to use here. Do you have any advice for virtual photographers? Anything you’d encourage other VPs to use more?
Sarokey: Never be afraid to play around with Photo Mode. The game has everything available for you to create your canvas so why not take advantage of it? From the lighting tools to gadgets – take advantage of everything! Sometimes, to get really unique poses, just put the controller down and watch your main character. See their movement. You have Miles humming to music and sometimes playing air drums, or Peter adjusting his suit or saying hello to civilians. There’s always opportunities to take great photos, especially with how much detail Insomniac puts into these games.
IG: Speaking of our games, we’ve made quite a few of them – do you have a favorite?
Sarokey: Spider-Man has always been my favorite Super Hero. He’s just some kid who got bit by a spider, but has such relatable qualities. It makes you care and cheer for him. Insomniac created something special with Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. If anything, my love for the character grew even more because of these games. Especially with the talent behind the character who brought a new level to it. Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 was the start of something amazing for VP in my life and it will always be my favorite game.
IG: We’re really happy to hear we were able to get you started in the realm of virtual photography! And big thanks for chatting with me, Sarokey! If people want to learn more about you on social media or check out your content, where’s the best place to find you?