Stephanie J is a Canadian artist who began her IGP journey towards the end of 2018. She was always interested in photography as well as fascinated by videogame worlds and the creativity that goes into them, so combining both together came naturally. Inspired by influential figures in the field such as Petri Levälahti (Berduu), Erika Tschinkel, Frans Bouma, SkallEdit, Jim2Point0 and Natty Dread, IGP soon became her number one passion:
Although she is not very present in community discussions and activities due to anxiety, she has become well known for the quality of her images and her constant experimentation.
The stories and themes that she explores vary from game to game and from shot to shot. She never goes into a game with a clear plan and instead simply attempts to bring out the emotions she feels while playing and portray these in her work. Each capture is tweaked individually to reflect these feelings, even if it takes some exploration and patience for the inspiration to come. When that moment arrives and she discovers something worth capturing, she can spend an hour or more searching for different angles and lighting. In her work, she uses a combination of tools and techniques,
She chooses carefully the games she plays based on the camera tools/mods made available by the community of practice and recognises that ‘without them, I don’t think I would be creating what I do today’.
The video game industry has become more receptive towards gamers’ content creation, to the extent that in-game photo modes are now more common than ever before. This can arguably be the most important milestone in the practice. Generally these tools still present important limitations, such as a restricted camera range, the impossibility of manipulating lighting, or using them in cutscenes. Despite the agency that developers give to players with photo modes, Stephanie tends to use tools that expand on them, employing a wider array of options that give her more freedom for creativity. However, Stephanie perceives that game developers are taking into account the increasing number of practitioners, and photo modes are gradually getting better. Likewise, as more in-depth games are released, the community of practice continues to develop and share technical and sophisticated tools and mods which ‘allow us all more creative freedom’, increasing opportunities for capturing beautiful and artistic shots.
theHunter: Call of the Wild © Expansive Worlds
Morels: The Hunt © Abrams Studios
Microsoft Flight Simulator © Microsoft Corporation.
The past is present
FlowScape © Pixel Forest Games
Finding the Soul Orb © Tonguç Bodur