Tomb Raider Corner - Scion Jay Interview
Interview and Article by @laraglasses
Scion Jay is a name I’m sure everyone knows in the Tomb Raider community. He is an extremely talented virtual photographer and has brought so much to the world of VP as well as the world of Tomb Raider. He is part of the official Tomb Raider fansite program, which means he even has the stamp of approval from Tomb Raider itself. Jay is most well known for his beautiful Lara shots as well as his gorgeous shots from other games, but I also know Jay for being an incredibly sweet friend and an infinitely supportive member of this community. Some of you may not know that Jay is actually the reason I have the opportunity to write articles like this. He recommended me as someone who could manage Tomb Raider Infinite well and that will always mean the world to me. Jay supported my VP in its early days, and gave me advice which helped me improve. People like Jay are so important, especially in communities like this where it can sometimes be hostile and vicious. Jay is an extremely talented, kind hearted and supportive person who we are all lucky to have. With all that being said, thank you Jay for giving this interview. We're excited for you all to read it!
(Link: @scionjay96 , Official ScionJay VP shots)
What initially inspired you to start vp?
-Before I even knew what vp was I would see these photos by DeadEndThrills(@deadendthrills on twitter) for Rise of the Tomb Raider and be blown away by them. I had no idea how they were taking them but always loved seeing them. When Shadow of the Tomb Raider was coming out I was so excited to try out its photographer mode. I started just taking a bunch of photos really with zero goal outside of wanting to save memories of the game I’ve been so excited to play. From there I made an instagram and quickly learned there was a whole community out here doing the same thing and fell in love.
2) What is your favorite aspect of vp?
-My favorite aspect is the peace I get from taking them. It has been a great way for me to calm down anxiety. Whether it’s the slow process of taking photos while listening to music or just editing photos on my phone whenever I need to get out of my head. It’s been a huge benefit to my mental health.
3) What is something you look for in other people’s VP?
-I look for creativity. Nothing will get me to stop scrolling like a shot I’ve never seen before.
Something that is unique to them as an artist.
4) What is a feature in a game’s photo mode that you always love to see?
-LIGHTING. It’s so important I’m always amazed when a new photo mode comes out without one. Lighting is such a huge factor in IRL photography and it’s the same in the virtual space
5) Which of your shots was the hardest to take?
-I have this one shot of Lara holding a pistol up with her muscle fully flexed giving ultra powerful
Tomb Raider vibes. It took me so many attempts to get it right. Not only was I fighting over in
game lighting conditions that weren’t in my favor but also trying to pause in just the right
moment to be able to capture what I was picturing in my head.
6) Which of your shots is your most favorite?
-it has to be that same photo. I’m not sure if it’s because of the struggle to get there but
everytime I see the shot still I feel so proud of it.
7) Tomb Raider has recognized you many times and you're a part of the official fansite
program!, how does it feel to have the stamp of approval from the franchise?
-It feels unbelievable really. I think every vp dreams of having just a simple like from a
developer just to know we are doing a good job or making them proud. So to have gotten to be
able to get close to the franchise I love in an official capacity is a dream I never knew could be a
reality for me.
8) Part of your online identity is being Lara’s photographer, what is it about Lara that
-there’s just so many aspects to Lara that are inspirational. But I think her determination to keep
going no matter the odds is so admirable. Whether it’s to save others or to accomplish
something for herself. It’s truly something I admire, look up to, and aspire to be more like myself.
9) What would you like to see in TR12’s photo mode?
Again, LIGHTING. I think Shadow's photo mode is so good and holds up extremely well to this day.
But it desperately needs virtual lighting, especially with all the dark tombs we find ourselves in.
Outside of that a dream would be to have cover/ render poses we are all familiar with to be
options in the game. Would be so nice to recreate some of Lara’s best photos
10) What is some advice you would give to newcomers to VP?
-I think the first thing is to have fun with it! We get to create art from a game we already love and
have an excuse to spend even more time in it. If you are enjoying what you are doing and
having fun others will enjoy seeing what you are doing. And never to stress about online
numbers. Numbers aren’t a reflection of what you are doing and more often just algorithms. If
you are having fun that’s all that matters at the end of the day
11) What currently is your favorite platform for VP?
-That’s so hard to say since I’m on them all! So this is how my social media is organized now.
Follow me on Twitter for everything, instagram for my favorite pieces, and threads to read my
thoughts/ seeing photos that I second guess posting on the other two lol
Thankyou, Jay for this wonderful interview. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer our
questions and We're extremely excited for people to read this. Thankyou all for reading!