|The Sims 3 World Adventures|
|China||Egypt||France||Martial Arts||Nectar Making|
|Photography||Mummies||Pangu's Axe||Tomb Raiding Tips||Tomb Building|
The Sims 3 Photography Guide
Getting the Most Money out of Your Sim's Photos
This guide was authored by Carl with significant help from RCHaynes from our forum. Thanks Robin!
Photography is a new skill introduced in The Sims 3 World Adventures expansion pack. While Photography's not a good way to make money early on in the game, it can provide a nice steady income later. With this skill, you'll direct your Sim to photograph landmarks, Sims doing different things, and objects in the game. It's certainly not the best skill in the Sims 3's World Adventures, but it's very accessible to any Sim in any profession. Children can even learn to take photographs. The Photography skill comes with University Life, but does not provide cameras. Sims are able to level Photography using their smartphones. If you want big profit from this skill, you'll need to have WA installed and buy a good camera.
Learning the Photography Skill
There are two avenues for learning the skill. First and foremost, taking pictures. Head to one of the new locations in World Adventures and buy a camera from the general store there. While all three destinations sell the cheapie, Al Simhara, Egypt is the "home" of photography. They offer two additional, more expensive cameras (more on that later). Also at the Al Simhara book store, you'll find a skill book to raise photography to up to level 3.
I actually recommend using the skill book for this one. Read it until level 3 then chuck it. Taking poor quality, small photographs can actually run you at a loss due to the base cost of a photo. Using the skill book will get you closer to level 5, where photographers tend to stop making errors when taking pictures. Additionally, you'll unlock new camera modes on the more expensive cameras which helps to increase income.
Photography Skill Self-Employment Table
The Sims 3 Ambitions brought us the ability to label Sims self-employed in any of the money-making professions. To register as self-employed, simply gain a level in the skill and head to city hall. Here are the levels for this skill:
|2||Dark Room Destroyer||$50||-|
|3||Awkwardly Close Zoomer||$150||-|
|4||Social Network Profile Photographer||$750||-|
|7||Titan of Timeliness||$10000||$1500|
Note that you can't keep photographing the same subject and expect to gain skill. After two pictures it's time to move on. This resets after a day, and you can get decent money and skill gains from the 'New Today' photos you take. After that, it's bunk and you should find something else to photograph.
How Photography Works in the Sims 3
Press Shift+C with a camera in your Sim's inventory to take a picture. You can click the camera to do this as well, but it's not recommended. As your Sim takes pictures, they'll work toward filling photo collections. Some photos are more valuable than others, but in general as you approach the more rare shots the price multiplies. The first time your Sim snaps a particular photo, that picture will be worth more money. That's why I recommended actually using the skill book -- photography skill and higher quality cameras and camera modes will result in higher first-time prices for these pictures.
You will run at a loss if you photograph the same thing twice in a day. After midnight, you can start snapping pictures of the same old stuff and earn a little profit. The real money is to be made by going out and seeking the more rare shots. Travel photos of landmarks and dungeon objects tend to be worth more. I recommend you develop the skill some before you do this, that way you'll get the most cash for your time.
Photo Value Comparison
Forum Moderator Ricalynn shared this list of Photograph values, which tells you relative values for the different pictures before skill/photo quality price modifications.
Pointers for Early Level shots
I recommend you work your way around Sunset Valley or Riverview at first when working on photography. You can pause the game through the camera interface to ensure your Sim doesn't miss the shot. This is helpful for things like cars and Sims in action where you could miss the shot with the game time clock running. Save the really good photos for later to get maximum profit. Take photos of strangers to work on the Paparazzi challenge. This will also count toward how many unique Sims you've photographed. Look for objects like plants, different types of household items, and other types of objects detailed below. While it takes a certain level to "unlock" a photo collection, you can get it revealed early by taking only one photo out of that particular collection.
There are three cameras in the Sims 3, all purchasable from Al Simhara's general goods vendor. Using a higher value camera will result in faster skill gains. I recommend you start with the best camera you can, because boosting skills faster and taking higher value photos earlier will help you to get the most out of photography. The better cameras' photos are more likely to earn profit because they seem to multiply value despite a higher operating cost. So, if you find you're always losing money even when taking decent shots, blame your camera.
Clicking a camera in your inventory will bring up a menu where you can choose to sell your photos. Using erase all photos doesn't seem to be a useful thing to do, because you will just lose all the potential profit or loss recovery you'd achieve by selling. It doesn't make a second photo you snap revert to the first time for that day, so if you flub up a shot by taking a low quality photo on accident this won't rescue you.
The other option for clicking a camera is the settings menu, where you can set the default size and photo filter. Later you'll want to set this to vignette panoramas. Keep it set at the best photo size you have available to ensure you don't accidentally take lower value photos. The worst camera can only default its color filter.
Lastly, you can browse your photos and use them as wall decorations. Panoramas are huge. Take them home and decorate the room with photographs of your travels as well as artifacts and relics you've found along the way.
- Snaptastic Flimsy-Cam ($250) - This horrible camera takes only small size photos and delivers the lowest quality shots. It is however cheapest to operate. Later you can use it to take panoramas but it's a waste to use up valuable first time shots with this camera. Stick with the Hikon for panoramas and large portraits. The price is almost the same if you take a panorama with this camera but the price modifier is base line so you'll often take a bigger loss when photographing the same thing.
- ChannonTek Outlaw SE($850) - This camera can take small photos and medium landscapes. It's the middle of the road camera and good for first time photographers. You'll actually take less of a loss operating this camera
- Hikon QX40di Gladiator($3250) - When I start photography over, this will be my camera of choice. It's worth saving up for as the more valuable photos will help to make up for the cost of the purchase price. It takes the absolute best shots and can do all sizes. Using this advanced tech camera will also serve to raise photography the fastest of all. Because of the high value photos, you can make money taking decently priced shots again and again, although probably at the most around $50 a shot. It's better to keep seeking new subjects.
Camera Photo Modes
Since there are so many photo modes to test, and different combinations available, making solid recommendations isn't that simple. However, it does seem to boil down to panorama shots with the classic vignette filter taking the absolute best photos. Use it for all first time shots when the abilities are available. In general, the more advanced the photo filter, and larger the photo size, the more money you'll make.
- Small Portrait - Default at Photography level 1 - This is your basic getting started photo size. It's the lowest grade photo available, with pictures coming in over 2x lower value than a panorama shot. Move on to better sizes as soon as you can.
- Medium Landscape - A bump in price that comes early on in photography. Best taken with the ChannonTek Outlaw SE or above.
- Large Portrait - Again, use the best available, panorama, but if this your best option use it.
- Panorama - Finally some serious cash can start coming in once you're able to take classic vignette shots with this photo size. Your Sim won't be able to do this until level 10. Sims with this size option will finally be able to make serious cash and vacations can pay for themselves as you take new shots during your Sim's adventures.
- Color - Default. The lowest value type of photograph.
- Black and White - Unlocked by level 2, you can use this to replace color and make some extra cash for your photos.
- Sepiatone - At level 4 you can begin taking photos in the sepiatone filter. Again, move up to this new option for all your photographs
- Classic Vignette - This photo filter is available at level 9 and will be the best option for use in your panorama shots. Use it often and make it the default on your camera.
The Sims 3's Photography Challenges
It's unclear what each of the challenges do, but it seems likely they boost the value of shots in certain categories. Some of these are a bit more ambiguous, such as Paparazzi and Shutternut. When we learn more about these challenges this section will be updated. World Adventures is still new and there's a lot to learn!
- Photolog - Capture 75 different subjects. This one shouldn't be too difficult with the list we have compiled below. Look for photos you've never taken and pursue them.
- Architectural Eye - Capture 10 unique landmarks. This seems to be a catchall for buildings. While the subjects fall into different categories, places in town such as the bistro and school will count, while the Sphinx and dragon cave also count. I noticed a nice increase in photo value for all new buildings once I achieved this challenge.
- Human Form Expert - Take shots of 50 unique Sims. Photos of two's company or three's a crowd seem to count toward this. This should help with photograph prices for Sim-related photos across the board. Sims in action, Sims around town and unique types of Sims such as firefighters will likely see a price boost.
- Paparazzi - You must not know the Sim you're photographing to work toward this challenge. Locals in the travel destinations in world adventures are good candidates, along with those around your Sim's home town.
- Shutter Nut - Complete 5 photo collections to complete this challenge. Afterward, it will make all future photos free (increasing profit from each shot).
If you complete these challenges, join us at the Sims 3 Forum to post your theories on exactly what they do for your Sim. Perhaps a patch will improve the photography skill journal in the future and give us a hint.
Photo Collections Sims Can Complete
There's a lot of data here. Its purpose is to help you unlock the photo categories easier. Some photos in a collection are inevitably low value, but the first time shots will earn plenty of money to ensure you aren't running at a loss. Be sure to bring the best camera when you're going for rare shots of doubly dead, travel destinations and other odd shots.
Note that there is no bonus money made from completing a collection, and you can feel free to sell photos before you've collected them all.
The Sims 3 Pets adds two new collections to the game, Animal Kingdom and Pets in Action:
|Deer||Pet in a Cage|
|A Dog||A Cat|
|A Horse||Horse and Rider|
|A Zoo!||Baby Animals|
Pets in Action
|Pet Cemetary||Cute Cat|
|Dead Bird||Death Riding|
|Talking Bird||Show Jumping|
|Dog Tricks||Heroic Horse|
|Clever Cat||Tug of War|
Now on to the regular Photography collections. Some of these are updated to include items from other Expansion Packs.
|Nectar & Food||Flowers|
|Couch||Video Game System|
|Box of Tissue||Garden Decorations|
This is one of the easiest collections to complete. Most of the subjects here can be found around Sunset Valley.
Family & Friends
|My Spouse||Family Member|
|3 of my Friends||Housemate|
|Ghostly Family||My Main Squeeze|
|My Child||My Friend|
|Two of my Friends||My Grandchild|
Getting a picture of a ghost family member, love interest and child could be the hardest for solo Sims. This collection encourages you to have a family, that or WooHoo with strangers and visit the baby.
|Child Being Carried||A Sim Gardening|
|Lovers at Night||Sim using a Computer|
|Pizza Delivery||Someone Painting|
|Mail Carrier||Remedy for a Hot Day|
|Political Demonstration||Maid at Work|
|A Sim in the Area||4 Sims Eating|
|A Group of Sims||A Sim Fishing|
|Kid playing with Toybox||Photo of Photographer|
|Repairman on the Job||Three's a Crowd|
|Kid playing with Oven||Babysitter|
|A Sim Cooking|
A large collection that's not as easy to complete because of all the various actions you need to catch Sims involved in. Keep a sharp eye for Sims doing things involved in this list and whip out the camera.
Home Sweet Home
|Gadgets Galore||Kitchen Kitsch|
|A Nice Garden||Toys & Hobbies|
|Cute Teddy Bear||Bathroom Stuff|
|Home Décor (2 objects)||2nd Home Decor (Ambitions sculpture.|
|A toilet||Outdoor Stuff|
|A party (with party objects)|
Another easy collection to complete because the stuff is found all over town. I don't recommend buying the stuff just to get a picture because it will result in lost money.
|A Party||The Gym|
|The Bistro||Grocery Store|
|The Park||The Spa|
|Places in Town||Diner|
Easy, easy collection to pursue. See what you're missing and snag those last shots.
|A Pyramid||Pushable Statue|
|Shower in a Can||Snake Charmer|
|Pile of Ancient Coins||Relic|
|Pile of Rubble||Lovers in France|
|The Great Sphinx||Lovers in Egypt|
|Lovers in China||Soulpeace Statue|
|Treasure Chest||Abu Simbel|
|Giant Boulder||Torch of Anubis|
|Floor Switch||Dragon Cave|
It'll be vital to bring a camera while inside tombs to complete this collection. The soulpeace statue is found within the Sphinx, which seems only accessible if you're cursed by the mummy or able to use tranquil transference or Zeneport from martial arts.
Oh, the Calamity!
|One Sick Sim||Soaked to the Bone|
|A Social Worker||A Fight|
|Slap Fights||The Repoman|
|A Thief||A Singed Sim|
|Oh No, Snake!|
|Luminorous Gem||Mercury Vial|
|Pink Diamond||China Statue Set|
|White Diamond||Canopic Jar Set|
|Tiberium||Egyptian Statue Set|
|Rainbow Gem||Dangerous Creatures Statue Set|
|Topaz||Dropa Stone Set|
Snag photos of these gems and metals you find to work on this one, before you sell them. Dropping them on the ground seems to work just fine. They'll be easier to capture if you can place them far from other potential subjects.
Architectural & Buildings Collection
|General Hospital||Chinese Garden|
|The Market||French Market|
Again, look for the destinations in your skill journal that you haven't yet covered and head there.
|Mummy Having a Snack||My Dead Spouse|
|A Ghostly Problem||Simply Death|
|A Mummy||A Serious Ghost Problem|
|A Ghost||Wondering Ghost|
|My Dead Enemy||Too Many Ghosts|
|Doubly Dead||It's Haunted|
|Death on Vacation|
A tough category to be sure. Doubly dead will be hard, and getting Death on Vaction may be challenging as well. Be ready to whip out that camera when a Sim dies in a foreign location. Doubly dead requires a shot of a ghost mummy, a tough find. You'll need to get control of a mummy using a sarcophagus of kings and an offering with the canopic jar collection and wait or inspire the mummy to die. Good luck with that one. Share a shot at out our forum.
Best in Class Collection
|A Money Tree||Expensive Stereo|
|A Top Chef||Chief Lifesaver|
|Military Bigwig||Diplomat Extraordinaire|
|Master Criminal||Fancy Tent|
These can be hard. Look for luxury cars parked in town at other Sims' homes. You may need to grow some of these to effectively catch them. Look for Sims leaving work destinations in uniform to try to get the rest. An omni-plant shot should be possible outside the science facility.
Plants & Flowers Collection
|Apple Tree||Flame Plant|
|Cherimola Blan Grape Vine||Life Plant|
|Renoit Grape Vine||Bell Pepper Plant|
|Onion Plant||Potato Plant|
|Cranerlet Nuala Grape Vine||White Rose|
|Tomato Plant||Red Rose|
|Plum tree||Garlic Plant|
|Pomegranate Tree||Death Flower|
|Meloire Grape Vine||Sunflower|
|Averlino Grape Vine||Gralladina Grape Vine|
|Watermelon Plant||Lime Tree|
So many plants to take photos of. It shouldn't be too hard. Find most of them in gardens around town and the travel locations. See my Plant List for World Adventures fruits. You'll likely need to do a little searching if you don't have a garden of your own. If your Sim is adept at Gardening, you can just grow your subjects. Single out plant types in your garden layout to make capturing them easier.
Sims in Motion Collection
|Honing Body and Mind||Get a Room!|
|Refreshing Swim||Pleading to Sphinx|
|Making Nectar||Sim Making the Bed|
|Playing Catch||Great Tunes|
|Pushing Statue||Dumpster Diving|
|Sims Sparring||Solo Dancer|
|Board Breaker||Fighting Flab|
|Fighting a Fire|
You'll really need to keep a sharp eye for Sims doing any of these actions as you go along. Dumpster diving seems tough. Like many of the others that involve other Sims, it might be easiest if you have a Sim under your control. In the previous example, a Journalist Sim could help you get this shot.
|The Sims 3 World Adventures|
|China||Egypt||France||Martial Arts||Nectar Making|
|Photography||Mummies||Pangu's Axe||Tomb Raiding Tips||Tomb Building|
Anyone have a solution? It's highly irritating.
You can support our Sims 3 site by purchasing your next game (digital/hard copy) through EA Origin