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We Got Professional Photographers to Judge Our Pokémon Snap Competition

Two Ringer staffers set out to be the very best, like no one ever was, at the ‘New Pokémon Snap’ on Nintendo Switch. But instead of leaving it to Professor Mirror to judge the wildlife pictures, pro photographers determined the winner.

When we heard Nintendo would be releasing a new version of Pokémon Snap, we knew we had to get our hands on it. The latest game, released last month for the Switch, is a sequel to the classic Nintendo 64 title that captivated budding young photographers in the late 1990s. Just like in the original, players take the role of a wildlife photographer tasked with documenting the creatures in their natural habitats. The photos are then presented to a Pokémon professor, who in addition to using the images for research, evaluates the pictures with a score based on factors including composition, proximity, the rarity of the Pokémon’s behavior, and more.

It’s a delightful and compelling premise for a game. But we here at The Ringer thought it’d be even more compelling if we had real-life photographers judge our photos rather than some animated scientist. So we decided to create a New Pokémon Snap competition and have a pair of talented professionals determine the winner. Joe Greer works with commercial clients such as Apple, Cadillac, and Ralph Lauren, and shoots portraits of artists like Leon Bridges and Karlie Kloss. Alexis Hunley has photographed for publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Essence, Women’s Health, and Time. Together, they decided if we have what it takes to be the very best, like no one ever was. Here’s what happened: