In [GTA Online] he’s begun to play as a “war photographer,” using GTA Online‘s passive viewing mode to follow other players around and snap pictures. He even started his own crew called (appropriately enough) “Media Lens” in order to invite other like-minded GTA players to contribute their own “firsthand images of the war zone that is San Andreas.”
Edited to have a sepia-like filter and the boxy shape of a medium format camera, his images look like a cross between the work of the famously macabre portrait artist Diane Arbus and a seminal war photographer like Robert Capa.
Grand Theft Auto has incorporated an in-game camera in its franchise since 2002, growingly giving importance and expanding the capabilities of photography in the gameplay and as a free photo tool independent from the game missions. Camera simulation in GTA is always a first person view, with the frame of the camera viewfinder. The player has the ability to zoom, but no other control (like focus, aperture…) is available. Alternative to the camera, there is also a smartphone with a camera app, in more recent GTA editions (GTA IV and V).
[…] The device was also available in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, albeit with more functionality, allowing Carl to use it freely. It can be used in San Fierro to collect snapshots, which is required to achieve 100% completion. The camera has a capacity of 36 pictures per film, and pictures taken can be saved. If the player recruits a gang member, the player can give the camera to him by walking up to him and pulling the left trigger. After that, the game is viewed through the perspective of the gang member and pictures of CJ can be taken. The player can also aim the camera at a girlfriend and CJ will say something related to photo-shooting and she will wave. If you aim the camera at a gang member, CJ will say something like he says to his girlfriend, but the gang member will not respond or wave unless the player has recruited him.
[…] [In Grand Theft Auto IV] The camera is used in certain missions where a picture is required. Outside of missions, snapshots can be taken, but there is no way of saving them.
In one mission in GTA IV called “Photo Shoot”, the player has to take pictures of gang members and send it to another character, to individuate the target for an assassination. The photo is taken with the character in-game camera phone, which allows zooming.
GTA V – “Paparazzo photo missions”
In GTA V, all of the three main character has a smartphone with camera capability, and the player has the ability to take pictures freely and indipendently from missions and gameplay objectives. Photography however is also integrated in missions related to the “Strangers and Freaks” side storyline. Here the player works with a Paparazzi to get pictures of specific targets.
This mod makes possible take some “selfies” in GTA IV, something similar to what we have in V, but here the photos are not related to the mobile phone, all script action. The photos are saved in the game Scripts folder (sElfie files folder). This mod was started some time ago by Josemar Santos.