The Sims 4 Photography Skill Guide

Controls, Taking Pictures, Photo Studios, and Memories

Sims 4 Photography in Get to Work
Two Sims pose for a Photographer to take their picture

The Sims 4 Get to Work features a Photography Skill, which lets you earn some money or decorate your home with photos of your Sims' lives. This guide will cover the controls, money-making potential, and mechanics of photography to help you make the most of the Skill.

How to: Photography Cheats
Press Control + Shift + C then type testingcheats on and press enter. You can now set your skill level with stats.set_skill_level major_photography x (fill in 1-5) - we also have a full listing of Skill Cheats and a master list of Cheats in The Sims 4

The Sims 4 Photography Patch and Game Health News

News on the health of the player base. We also have a new patch for The Sims 4's photography skill that allows players to make adjustments and stand photos on tables.

Getting Started
You may want to make your Sim Creative so that they'll randomly get Inspired buffs, which helps with the Photography Skill. Buying a Camera is as simple as going to Buy Mode > Objects by Room > Study > Hobbies & Skills. There, you'll find the 3 Cameras offered. They're compared below. In general, the more you're willing to pay, the better quality your photos, which affects price.

Sims 4 Photography - different cameras are available
Three different Cameras may be purchased in Buy Mode. You can also use your Sim's phone to get started, but don't expect much money with bad pictures.

  • Barely Better Digital Camera ($) - Barely better than a phone. Landscape and Portrait modes, flash control. No zoom, small pictures available. Lowest quality.
  • Appreciably Average Digital Camera ($670) - Landscape and Portrait modes, flash control. Zoom functionality available, medium pictures available. Medium quality photos.
  • Crystal Clear Digital Camera ($2,015) - Landscape and Portrait modes, flash control, Zoom functionality, small to large pictures available. Best likelihood of 'Outstanding' Photos, even at low Skill.

Taking Pictures
Taking photos is done by either clicking the phone and going to the Entertainment tab, or clicking the cameras in your inventory. Each use will give a base amount of experience, more if your Sim is Inspired. You have a few options - 'Take Photo With', which will be a selfie with another Sim. You can 'Take Photo of..' to select a nearby Sim to have them pose for you. Finally, you can just 'Take Photo' to use the camera to take pictures of whatever you like.

Pictures can be hung on the wall to decorate your home, or to be sold at retail. You may add a frame to the picture once taken, or apply filters to alter how it looks.

Sims 4 Photography Conrols
The left mouse is used for most of Photography's Controls

Photography Controls
How to control the camera was a point of confusion for me, so here's how you change options on your camera to take pictures. When in Photo mode, use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out (or else + and - on the keyboard). Also, you may left-click to switch from moving the camera to controlling the mouse. This allows you to change the orientation of the photo (landscape or portrait), change the picture size (small, medium, large photos), or disable the flash.

Sims 4 Photo Size
Photo sizes may only be adjusted using the camera's interface with the mouse

Click 'Show Filters' to the left of the photo control panel to apply filters to your picture, which can also be done once a photo has been taken. Pressing 'C' will take a picture instantly, or else you can zoom and pan to your target with the arrow keys and use the left mouse button to click the take picture button.

Sims pose for a photo
Sims will pose for you when you use the camera to take their picture

Getting Inspired
You may Cloudgaze if you own Outdoor Retreat. Take a Thoughtful Shower, Admire Art while having the Art Lover Trait, and Browse Art on Computer. These all give Inspired moodlets that can help.

Gaining Levels in Photography - Using the Skill
Be sure to be inspired to ensure you have fewer pictures to take to max the Skill at Level 5. Sims may earn Skill simply by taking selfies with their phones in order to begin building experience. A higher grade camera doesn't seem to affect skill experience - you can gain XP taking selfies with the phone. When you start to take a picture, you'll get five shots. You can hit escape to cancel after taking only one, but take all five. This is best because it will give you a bit more money per usage of Photography. You'll also have a higher chance of taking high quality pictures, because each shot is a roll of the dice.

Sims 4 Photography in Get to Work
Anything you take a picture of will get you skill experience. Shoot all five times to get higher quality photos.

Photography Skill Unlocks
As stated before, the Skill caps at level 5. There are no skill unlocks, meaning this Skill simply scales in picture value and quality as you level up. Photos range from Poor, to Normal, and Oustanding. The odds of Outstanding photos grows the more you have leveled, and being Inspired helps with that.

Sims 4 Photography in Get to Work
The Photo Studio in The Sims 4 Get to Work

Making Money with Photography
Photos' value are independent of size, and are not affected by the Marketable Reward Trait, so don't bother. They can be worth up to $30, but are generally in the upper 20s when outstanding. This means you can expect to make $130-$150 with 5 Outstanding photos if sold directly. With regard to retail, restocking a picture costs $10 flat, no matter its size or quality. So, if you can move your markup higher and ensure you are maximizing profit on each sale, you can earn a bit selling pictures. Just stock those that are closer to $30 and avoid those that are worth only $10, and go without employees unless you're also selling something else.

Photo Studio
With the Photo Studio object, you can turn your retail store into a photo studio. You have the option to take photos of an individual Sim, which is easy to do, but the Sim AI seems to be rough when it comes to taking group photos and the tend studio interaction. The money earned for taking a photo is small - from $10 for 'Tend Photo Studio' to $50+ when you select a Sim to take a picture yourself. You do keep those pictures in your Sim's inventory, which means you can pop 5 at a time and sell them as usual. The studio just adds a bit of extra income. From a pure profit standpoint, tending the photo studio is a bad way to make money, but when you select 'Take Photo of' with the studio on a Sim that is already on your retail lot, you can earn quite a bit from the commission and then pictures combined. It's not an outstanding money-maker, but it's not too bad either! A Sim can certainly live off the money.

Other Get to Work Guides

Expansion Guide
Retail Guide
Retail: Customers and Sales
Retail: Employees and Managing
Retail Perks in Get to Work
Baking Skill Guide
Photography Skill Guide
Detective Career
Doctor Career, Diseases and Diagnosing Patients
Scientist Career
Planet Sixam (Alien World)

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1 2 > Last
This is great, too bad we can't take family photos. Would love to hang family pictures on the wall.
27th July 2015 6:15pm
I know how you feel I can only take pictures of a couple pre kids and such. Mad
12th August 2015 2:42pm
I wish this skill had achievements like in The Sims 3.
3rd September 2015 6:22pm
I reeeeeeally wish that we could take our memories/screenshot photos and hang them on the wall. Like wedding and birthdays and stuff..
22nd October 2015 8:10pm
I wish i could see the images in the electronic arts folder on my actual laptop!!!
23rd November 2015 9:19pm
Actually, you can:
Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Screenshots
22nd December 2015 4:16am
Mad I wish this was on normal sims 4 Crying
21st December 2015 4:21am
Yeah, it's difficult when you see a feature that a game pack has when you don't have the game pack!
12th January 2016 8:16pm
you can now! no cheats or mods needed!
28th December 2017 8:20pm
I wish you could change the pose of a sim when your taking the photo!Mad
26th March 2016 6:38am
Omg yassssLaugh
18th April 2016 8:37pm
Huck Perry
you can pose your Sims if you have a list of poses and the pose mod Cool Wink
14th October 2016 5:48pm
Do you know the name of the mods?
10th June 2017 8:45pm
Seems silly that we can use "paint from reference" but can't use the photographs taken by a camera as a reference as it would involve exactly the same process. I wonder if some enterprising modder might be able to come up with something.
14th June 2016 4:56am
Be a very popular mod if they did I'd imagine! Smile
16th June 2016 5:30pm
Does anyone know if there is any chance that it will also be included in City Living? UnsureSleepSad
7th November 2016 4:12pm
Not quite sure what you mean as sims can take photos etc just like always whether you have City Living or not, as long as you have Get To Work installed.
8th November 2016 2:06pm
sharon suires
any pics taken with phone or camera can be placed on a wall for all to see if you want bigger pictures you re size them with the resize tool and add a frame they look great in different sizes all over the house
14th November 2016 9:29am
My photos keep coming out black even after changing the background and adding light!!
2nd December 2016 8:24pm
Unfortunately the last patch has cause this bug to appear again in simmers games. There is an open bug report about it for you to add a 'Me Too' if you would like to.
EA Bug Report - Photos Black
4th December 2016 2:11am
Anyone else having an issue with the little yellow plus & smiley face icons that appear above a sim when skill-building messing up their "Take a Selfie" and "Take Photo With..." photos? These floating icons are visible in the photos, which not only looks strange but sometimes mars a really good photo when they are covering a sim's face. I don't really know of any way to make this *not* happen, save a cheat that turns those icons off (though I haven't found one yet). Anyone else having this issue and/or found a way to remedy it?
21st December 2016 8:07pm
Are you referring to the little sparkly icons that occur when a sim is doing something that is positively impacted by a lot trait? If so, just go into build mode and remove the lot trait as those icons do not disappear with a cheat unlike plumbobs etc.
21st December 2016 11:40pm
I didn't realize those came from lot traits. I just started playing again after a months-long break & bought a few packs before I got back into the game and found lot traits as a new thing. Thank you!! Smile
22nd December 2016 10:13am
No problem! They certainly are annoying the way they do not respond to the hide plumbob cheat! Smile
22nd December 2016 6:14pm
Janeen Brown
I have a journalist sim who takes photos of the things she's investigating. She creates story boards on her walls to inspire her writing, but it would be really nice if we could make albums of our sim's photographs, and especially nice if they were high enough quality (and stored) so that we could create CC artwork with them. Basically I'd like to do MORE with the photography skill than is currently allowed. I also am baffled as to why the photos are never worth more than $30! I'm sure someone would pay more for my photographic evidence of the dangers in the Spice Market or teen homelessness in Newport (I play rotationally, and one household is a homeless teen challenge).
1st January 2017 7:20pm
1 2 > Last
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