The Interview – The Student Becomes The Master
G2G: First, can you tell me your in-game Trainer name, level, and your favorite Pokémon? Is there a reason it is your favorite? Also, what do you do in your daily life?
Ash: Hi everyone! My name is Ash Ketzchup and I am currently at level 39 (almost 40!). My favorite Pokémon is Raichu This one has been my favorite since the first time I saw Ash fighting Lt. Surge in the anime. That Raichu was so well designed and it looked enormous in that episode, qualifying it early on as my favorite. Raichu likes ketchup too, right?
In my day-to-day life, I am a Ph.D. student in Economics! I try to do my daily editing during my commute to university
G2G: What got you into Pokémon/Pokémon GO? Were you into Pokémon before GO was released? What do you like the most about Pokémon in general? Do you have a favorite feature in PoGO?
Ash: I got into Pokémon very early on. I remember playing Pokémon Red during school lunch breaks and asking the bigger kids for advice on how to progress in the game. My most memorable experience must be Pokémon Snap. Linking this to Pokémon GO, the AR function is probably the part of the game that got me hooked the most and is still my main used game feature to date.
G2G: What made you start uploading Pokémon GO focused AR photos? Was it just something you wanted to do, or is there more to it?
Ash: The AR community is really the driving force to keep doing AR photography on a continuous basis. From weekly challenges to planning special birthday posts for each other, the community keeps it vivid and interesting.
I remember back in 2017, dedicated AR photographers could be counted on two hands. Comparing this amount today, it’s easy to give a list of 30 photographers who put their heart and soul into providing new content daily. Every single one of them looking for their own style!
In the future, I really would like to work together with more AR photographers, or even meeting them in real life! So far, I had the opportunity to meet new people in Spain and Singapore solely through AR photography!
So before Pokémon GO, I did not have any experience with photography at all, nor editing. The fun part about Pokémon photography is that you actually can make the Pokémon interact with its surroundings. With the release of GO snapshot, it became quite an adventure to search for places where a certain Pokémon would have its natural habitat!
I think I really learned a lot through AR photography in terms of framing the photo and trying to get a good shot. Certain editing techniques which I have learned through PoGo photography, I am even applying to normal photography today.
G2G: How did you come up with the idea for the animated imagery and will we be seeing more of those?
Ash: Those little videos are inspired by the Japanese AR community! More in particular, it was actually @19akira71 on Twitter who I first saw doing these little animated videos. I love how moving elements on a still image can build a beautiful contrast! However they do take some time to make, I will sure be doing some new ones in the future!
G2G: Is there anything else you want to share?
Ash: The most important thing is to just have fun. I think it is more a thing of ‘doing by learning’ and in the end, you will find a unique style of your own!
If you are into sharing your content on social media, I highly recommend collaborating with other photographers! If you would like to have more tips on how to get started with Pokémon AR photography or advice on editing apps, don’t hesitate to send me a message!
Want Some Fries with your Ketzchup?
Ash’s AR Snapshots show just how amazing discovering Pokémon in the real world, and how truly exciting exploring for Pokémon wherever you are can be. Each photo proves just how immersive an AR game can be – whether it’s getting to know your Buddy, finally finding a Tropius in its natural habitat, or just walking your neighborhood park. Be sure to Ketzchup on all his AR Photos and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter as well!