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Camera Fiend

Some characters use a camera. These characters love their camera. They'll have the device with them everywhere they go and they'll use it well, usually sticking it in the most unwelcome of places - they'll take the most inane pictures they can, record everything they see or all of the above. Something embarrassing happens? They'll snap a shot. Important plot event? They caught it on tape. You can always expect this character to wear their camera on their sleeve for any important or non-important moment that may arise, often feeling uncomfortable without the object at near. It's possible that they derive some kind of strange pleasure from watching people, though its best not to get into that.

On the bright side, they'll provide the scrapbook Montage of happy times near the end of the series. May themself be annoyed by being caught on film or having their picture taken. Expect one of the cast to use this to their advantage at some point.

Unlike Going for the Big Scoop, these characters are motivated by the simple act of taking pictures compulsively and occasionally (read: often) using them to their advantage while characters Going for the Big Scoop are motivated by getting a good story (they can occasionally overlap). Also, this character isn't necessarily a reporter.

An Intrepid Reporter off duty tends to fall into this. Sometimes referred to as a Shutter Bug.

Because this character is often a budding film or media student, s/he is very likely to be an Author Avatar of the production's writer, director, or producer.

See also the Japanese Tourist, who will more often than not be one of these. For the darker side of this trope, see The Peeping Tom.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kensuke Aida from ''Neon Genesis Evangelion' usually directing it at military paraphernalia, but capable of pulling it from Hammer Space at any place or time.
  • Fate/Apocrypha originally had Saint George amongst the summoned heroes (he was later cut), who had taken a liking to modern cameras.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Kyoko, who's been known to take pictures of everything from random interactions between her friend Kaname with strangers to grease stains that look like George Washington.
  • School Rumble has Akira Takano, whose shutter finger can catch every embarassing shot she sees, and she has at points manipulated her friends into oddball activities so she can record and make money off of them. Unlike her School News Paper News Hound rival (from his point of view) Takeichi Fuyuki, she actually does catch some of the more impressive photos that he only wishes he could manage. Plus, she is skilled in the use of firearms.
  • Kazumi Asakura of Mahou Sensei Negima! likes to use her Wacky Class' antics to her advantage whenever she can, or otherwise obsessing in some way about Going for the Big Scoop. Her class panics when being attacked by a ghost? She pulls out her camera immediately.
  • Code Geass
    • Anya Alstreim records anything and everything with her handheld computer/camera device. Subverted in that she has a fairly legitimate reason for doing so: she doesn't trust her own memories due to Geass-related tampering.
    • One of the Britannian students in episode 5 of the first season at one of the Shinjuku gravesites is seen taking pictures with his friends, until an enraged Tamaki approaches him
  • Tomoyo Daidouji in Cardcaptor Sakura, who follows the titular Sakura through her battles, often making her wear strange outfits in the process.
  • Yotsuba from Sister Princess, as part of her "checking up on Big Bro" (i.e. stalking the protagonist) personality quirk.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, episode 26, Miu decides that now that she has a video camera, she's going to record everything. This includes her morning soup, what happens when you attempt to deprive Nobue of smokes, having Matsuri try to find her glasses when they're on Nobue's face, and finally, seeing for herself if the 11-year-old English-born girl actually is... er... noticeably developed (she is, but as she is only 11, they're still almost nothing). (See also episode 9 for the text equivalent.)
  • In Vandread, Paiway Underberg, the female nurse aboard the Nirvana is constantly recording interesting moments with her camera, with her catchphrase "Gotcha!", all part of her "Pai-checks."
  • Tsutako from Maria-sama Ga Miteru is pretty much defined by: "Carries a camera everywhere."
  • Lisa Vanette in the final episode of Bubblegum Crisis 2033, who nearly gets herself killed trying to "reveal the Knight Sabers' true identities".
  • Ranko Hata from Seitokai Yakuindomo, who was shown to carry an entire TV studio's worth of equipment with her in episode 3, and carries relatively normal cameras almost every other time she shows up. "Relatively normal" not counting the time she Golgo 13-ed Tsuda in an epic camera set-up scene.
  • Makoto the School Newspaper News Hound eats, breathes, and at least sleeps next to his camera, always ready to get pictures of the Ultimate Girls.
  • Todd Snap from Pokémon, who was first introduced in the anime, would later be the main character of the spinoff game Pokémon Snap.
    • Trip, Ash's main rival in Unova, is usually seen with his own camera. He explained in his first appearance that he's keeping a scrapbook of his journey.
  • Saiga of Speed Grapher, who gets sexual pleasure from taking interesting photographs.
  • Ritsu and Mio of K-On! are a far less extreme example. They both share two aspects of the trope; Mio usually snaps shots of the proverbial "Kodak moments" while Ritsu focuses on taking the more embarrassing or invasive pictures; essentially they play double-duty providing most of the scrap-book shots throughout the series. One odd contrast is that Mio uses film while Ritsu is primarily digital.
    • This trait of theirs is anime-invented. The manga's final chapter however has Yui sparring some of her meager extra cash on a high-end camera to take pictures of the band, Mio while she was sleeping (and presumably Ritsu and Mugi as well). This is later revealed to have been the basis for a set of T-shirts they would wear on stage, which Yui had Sawako design using their silhouettes. Ritsu meanwhile worried about what Sawako would do with the pictures now that the shirts were finished and sent.
  • Yoshinori Ikeda, the main person in Yubisaki Milk Tea often takes pictures of him self crossdressing as his alter-ego Yuki. Some of the pictures are used for display by the protographer he work part-time at, while other are for him self as memory, knowing that he won't be crossdressing forever.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! OAV, Tenchi's dad was shown to be a bit of a Peeping Tom and a pervert. In Tenchi Muyo In Love, it becomes clear that Tenchi's dad was a Camera Fiend when he and Tenchi's mother were in school.
  • In Rosario + Vampire Ginei, the club president, is the only member of the Newspaper Club to be seen with a camera. His photos become a plotpoint in the anime, twice.
    • In the anime, he uses his camera to make sexy or panty shots.

    Comics 
  • Rewind of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye an Autobot historian who transforms into a flashdrive. He is always recording events as they take place around him believing that any moment could have some measure of historical importance.

    Film 
  • A 1903 film called The Camera Fiend gives us a title character who would rather take pictures of a drowning boy than help in any way.
  • Cloverfield: "Let's follow a giant monster on our camcorder through New York. See if that's a good idea."
    • Give them some credit, they were trying to get away from the giant monster. With a camcorder.
  • Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blowup is about a fashion photographer who thinks he has captured a murder in the act in the background of one of his shots.
  • Brophy from Mel Brooks' Hitchcock homage High Anxiety. In a parody of Blow Up, he finds proof that an imposter commmited a murder that the main character is accused of by blowing up one of his candid photographs to wall-size.
  • Pecker from the John Waters film of the same name is all about this trope.
  • One Hour Photo had Robin Williams in the unusual role of an obsessive film developer, to the point that he was practically stalking one family through their pictures that he was developing.
  • Micah from Paranormal Activity qualifies as this, as he is obessed with that camera, calling it his baby at some point in the movie, and refusing to get rid of it, even when he knows the camera only makes the demon angrier.
  • Katsuji from Gremlins 2: The New Batch. "Work a camera? I AM a camera!"
  • Nicole in Crazy/Beautiful took tons of pictures with her vintage Polaroid camera. There was even a scrapbook montage at the end of the movie containing her photos.
  • A Truth in Television example, Thierry Guetta from the Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop films absolutely everything. At one point it shows that hundreds of unmarked tapes that he's filmed over the years.
  • The Skydivers has a minor character who is this trope. He's asked what he does with all the pictures he takes: "Sit home and look at them."
  • Peeping Tom is a definitive example.
  • Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, the High School Musical spinoff/sequel, has film student Peyton Leverett making a film about Sharpay. When he doesn't have a camera in his hands, he's probably on his laptop editing the footage.
  • Ricky in American Beauty is always videoing and has a large collection of homemade tapes in his room.
  • Doug Hastings in Strictly Ballroom always seems to have his old film camera in someone's face.

    Literature 
  • In 1911, Arthur Conan Doyle's brother-in-law Ernest Hornung used The Camera Fiend as the title for a novel about a mad scientist obsessed with documenting the human soul. A la Peeping Tom, he designs a device to kill and photograph in the same instant. Unsuccessful, he turns the device on himself, hoping that his suicide will yield the evidence he was unable to obtain in life. It may be read here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30096.
  • Colin Creevey in Harry Potter. Since he's also a Hero-Worshipper, his first scene consists of him asking Harry for a signed photo, much to his exasperation. Carrying his camera everywhere saves his life, however - when he runs into the Basilisk, its stare doesn't have quite the same power when seen through a lens.
  • Twoflower and Otto Von Chreik in Discworld. While Otto doesn't constantly take pictures of everything, he still qualifies, because only a Camera Fiend would get a job as a professional photographer when every camera flash has a good chance of killing him (Otto being a vampire), forcing him to rely on someone else to bring him back to life (after which he does it all over again). Eventually he takes to wearing a small vial of blood around his neck; he takes the shot, turns to ashes, the blood breaks on his ashes and he gets up, cursing.
  • Navidson from House of Leaves, who sticks his special Hi-8 cameras everywhere in the house, and uses them in every exploration of the house

    Live Action TV 
  • Ben Sullivan, from Scrubs. In fact, him not having his camera for most of an episode turns out to be foreshadowing to the fact that he died early in the episode, and Cox has been halucinating his continued existence.
  • Canadian teenage sitcom Student Bodies crosses this with School Newspaper News Hound in the aptly-nicknamed character, Flash. At one point she describes cameras as "her babies."
  • Kamen Rider Decade is somewhat obsessed with (and terribad at) capturing the world on photographs.
    • Though Tsukasa's normal pictures tend to be blurry and distorted, they also reveal the true nature of the subjects he photographs; for example, a picture taken of a girl with a missing brother shows a ghost image of said brother watching over her.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, the Doctor has a 24th-century holo-camera that he loves using. It was a key element in at least one episode.
  • Simon films just about everything on his camera-phone during the first season of Misfits. He doesn't do it so much in season 2, a sign that he is actually starting to engage with people rather than standing around filming them creepily.
  • There's two types in Kamen Rider Fourze. We have Mari, a sweet girl who loves taking pictures of smiling people and there's Yayoi who has a Gossip Column in which she posts pictures up to prevent three former Zodiarts from graduating.
  • Several monsters in the Power Rangers mythos are formed from cameras, making them literal embodiments of this trope.

    Theater 
  • Mark from Rent is a documentary filmmaker and films the other characters throughout the story, leading to a touching montage at the end. In "Goodbye Love" Roger accuses Mark of obsessing over his camera to avoid facing reality.

    Video Games 
  • Elena Fisher in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune in the course of the game captures all the important footage for her documentary (for which the network of is providing backing for the exploration). Later in the game a predictably rickety Rope Bridge collapses beneath her and Drake's feet, forcing her to free her hand and climb up by letting go of the camera. Camera or you life indeed.
  • Lotta Hart in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
    • Cody Hackins of the first game falls into this category as well. He refuses to testify unless he is allowed to bring his camera into the courtroom.
  • The player character in Michigan: Report From Hell is a TV news cameraman who hardly ever puts down the camera for anything. Not zombie attacks, not Body Horror monsters, not even to get a kiss from the hot reporter chick whose life you save.
  • Aya Shameimaru of Touhou. She even has her own spin-off game, Shoot the Bullet, which has her taking pictures of spellcard patterns of the other characters. Fandom flanderised this into a specialization in upskirts and Reimu's armpits.
  • Frank West, from Dead Rising can use his camera to obtain Prestige Points to level up, oddly enough.
  • Beat, from Eternal Sonata, carries his camera into battle, where he can take photos of the monsters as they're attacking him - and sell them for cash in shops. His love of photography is frequently ridiculed by his buddy Allegretto.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl "CJ" Johnson has a camera in his Ganton home's bedroom, which he can pick up and even use in some missions.
    • Any photos you take when playing appear in the Gallery. They're basically a different sort of screenshot.
  • While we're on the subject of GTA, Grand Theft Auto IV had Manny's camera man, who definitely fits this trope as demonstrated by this cutscene.
  • Jin Sun-Kwon from F.E.A.R. never leaves her camera behind. She may not carry any sort of firearm, but the camera's there. Somewhat justified since she's the team's data analyst, but that wouldn't obligate her to keep her camera throughout Extraction Point, particularly up to the moment of her death. A weird twist is that the unmanned camera continuously snaps shots of her corpse.
  • One of the optional items in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is the Pictobox. This item is absolutely necessary if you want 100% Completion, as sidequests will force you to use it in such odd ways from snapping photos of paranoid residents to monsters about to eat your face off.
  • One of the gameplay mechanics for Dark Chronicle has you taking pictures of things in order to invent new items.

    Western Animation 
  • Eddie Storkowitz in Birdz often carries a video camera with him to film everyday life, as he aspires to be a filmmaker.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Featherweight, the school's designated photographer. And boy does he photograph: be it hidden, hard to notice, or even out of Ponyville, Featherweight will be there to take a shot of it.
    • When Featherweight replaces Diamond Tiara as editor, Shady Daze (who previously ran the press) takes his place as photographer, a position he's still holding during the Summer Harvest Parade.
    • In "Pinkie Apple Pie", Pinkie Pie takes this role during her trip with Applejack's family to visit Goldie Delicious.

    Real Life 
  • The term "camera fiend" originated around 1900 to describe people armed with such newly mobile cameras as Kodak's Brownie. In 1906, an article called "What Is to be Done About the Camera Fiend?" appeared in The American Amateur Photographer, decrying the fact that First Daughter Alice Roosevelt could not shop without being subject to the flashbulbs of passersby (making the paparazzo Older than You Think).
  • Since all modern cell phones have a built-in camera, and most people own a such phone, most people in the world (at least rich countries) actually have their camera on their person constantly. Also, with the spread of sites like Instagram and the concept of "selfies", it's fair to say that a lot of real-life people live up to this trope nowadays.


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alternative title(s): Shutter Bug
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