Mythical Lae Snaps is an incredible AR photographer. From adorable smiling Pokémon to realistic settings and scenery, her work is sure to inspire! From Ice types in the most stunning snowy locations, Alaetra is dedicated to the art of AR and risks even the chilliest of conditions to celebrate her love of Pokémon.
Hi Alaetra! First of all, tell us about yourself and where you are from.
Hey! As you said, my name is Alaetra or better known as Mythical Lae online. I am from Ontario, Canada!
How did you first get into Pokémon?
Back in the 90’s when Pokémon first came out I remember watching the show and my dad buying me cards from time to time. What really tied me to the series was Pokémon Snap. I was addicted to getting the perfect photos and finding all the Pokémon to shoot. I believe that’s what lead me to want to be a photographer later in life!
When did you start playing Pokémon GO, and who was your starter?
I started playing Pokémon Go January 9th, 2017. At first I didn’t want to play and thought it looked foolish but all of my friends were playing it (can we say peer pressure?) and I eventually caved! I honestly can’t remember who my starter was but knowing me it was probably Charmander!
What level are you currently, and which team did you pick?
I am very recently level 44 (where I’ll probably be for months) and I am team Mystic! That choice was also because all my friends were Mystic but I wouldn’t change teams now. I’m loyal!
Who are your favourite Pokémon and why? Are they also the Pokémon you like to use in AR?
Kanto and Alolan Vulpix are my absolute favourite Pokémon! Close second would be Mew. No real reason why besides cuteness, though Mew may be because of the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back.
I like to AR Alolan Vulpix a lot. She is so adorable, especially in the snow that we get in Ontario. I wish I would AR Mew more, but I’m sure I will once her shiny comes out. I mostly AR shinies. That’s what I was known for before Go Snapshot came out so we could AR any Pokémon from our pokedex. I would risk losing a shiny to take a photo of it before I’d catch it.
What phone do you use, and what apps do you recommend for the budding AR photographer?
I use an iPhone 11 currently. My first phone for AR I got was the iPhone 8, that I specially upgraded to so I could AR in Pogo.
I am a huge lover of the App Snapseed. I don’t overly edit my photos and I think that app is perfect for doing little touch ups that you need. If I need to do a more intense edit I like Photoshop Mix. It’s great for when you want to add a second Pokémon in your photo or any other extras in your scene.
What are your favourite techniques to use in AR photos?
I love ARing in Buddy Mode. I love seeing the happy expressions from the Pokémon and making them seem a little less menacing than their attack expressions. I also love that Buddy Mode lets the Pokémon’s eyes always fix on you when you walk around it. Even still, I like sneaking photos of Pokémon when they’re about to do their attack and they have their eyes closed or their wings for example are wrapped around them. Timing is everything!
As Ash and Zoë brought up, I really adore Bokehmon. I use that technique a lot and think everyone should be trying it out!
Do you have your first ever AR photo, and if you do, can we share it and hear about it?
Yes! I took a photo of a Moltres in front of a space themed poster. I thought it looked so cool. Also, a fun fact about this photo is that Moltres no longer breathes fire when you click it to attack. This is sort of what you’d call a ‘legacy’ photo.
What are your favourite type of locations to work in?
I am all about the nature aspect in my photos. I don’t like to have other people or really any buildings in my photos. When I first started ARing, I lived in Nova Scotia and taking photos by the ocean was my favourite place to shoot. I still like to get near the water when I can.
If you set me free in a forest I could be gone for hours photographing Pokémon.
What is your favourite AR photo you’ve ever taken?
The first photo that comes to mind is my Ninetales on a block of ice seemingly howling at the sun which is covered by clouds. This photo I took for the Niantic Go Snapshot Challenge and they actually shared it on their page which got over 20k likes which is very overwhelming to think about lol!
Where do you hope to see Pokémon GO and AR go in the future?
I hope that the AR technology continues to grow. I would love to be able to pick up the Pokémon and place them where I would like once they’re on my screen. I’d love to be able to resize them as well. And I’d really like to be able to get those flying types high in the sky! And possibly the ability to actually take a photo with your cameras lens and not just a screen shot, so we could get higher quality snaps!
Which other AR photographers do you recommend following?
What a loaded question! There are so many wonderful artists and though I’ll name a few I recommend checking out my following tab on Instagram and just hit follow on the whole list!
hex_manifesto has been leading AR zoom calls helping artists reach out to one another and learn new techniques.
Pkmn.trainer_joe takes the best Pokémon selfies and incredible videos with them.
Pokemonartographer makes great edits of photos with multiple Pokémon but he takes all the photos at the same scene and pieces it all together.
Risaharada97 takes photos and makes them look dream like and it’s beautiful.
That’s a small taste of who I’d recommend!
And finally, where can we find you on social media?
My Instagram: https://instagram.com/mythical_lae_snaps