Before you go kicking yourself because you didn't collect all the optional photos on your first playthrough, fear not! Life Is Strange lets you replay through sections you've already beaten in "Collectible Mode". Your decisions won't matter, but you will be able to wander around and guide Max to all her side photography projects.
It's highly likely you are using this guide after you've already completed an episode. So don't play through everything again. Just use Collectible Mode.
Accessing Collectible Mode
It's easy. From the main menu, choose the save file you'd like to access.
Then choose "Play Episodes".
Select the episode you'd like to collect photos from.
You'll have the option to choose what scene. Note that all scenes with optional photos will have an icon and an X/Y count beneath them. That shows how many photos you found, versus how many are in the scene. This saves a lot of time trying to hunt them down.
Finally, select "Play this chapter in collectible mode". The game will bring up a prompt informing you that your decisions will not be accounted for if you progress in this mode. Just click "Confirm". Now we're in business!
Episode 1: Chrysalis
Macro Eyes // Optional Photo #1
You've probably already found this one, honestly. When Mr. Jefferson dismisses class and Max gets up from her desk, go over to the table just ahead of you.
Wide Angles // Optional Photo #2
When Max leaves the school building after the fire alarm, there will be a large statue straight ahead. Just walk around so that Max and the Statue are facing one another. Click. You're done here.
Telephotogenic // Optional Photo #3
This one is a little more complicated. Head over to Justin's skate posse on the far edge of the green. Talk with him, rewind time after he brushes you off, and ask again to see some tricks. He'll ask what you want to see. Choose "Tre Flip" as the option. Trevor will attempt to do one, knock himself right in the crotch with his skateboard, and you will have one great photo opportunity.
Close-Ups // Optional Photo # 4
This photo op is outside the dormitory. Once Max has finished up her business on the campus green, head to the dorms. All the way across from where you entered you'll see Kate Marsh sitting on a bench,and Samuel cleaning. There is a tree in the corner, and to the right of that is a squirrel looking at a discarded can. Break out the instant camera and add another photo to your collection.
Red Eye // Optional Photo #5
Inside the dorm, go to your room to get Warren's flash drive. Turn right once you enter your door and snap a mirror selfie for this achievement.
Focused // Optional Photo #6
You've gotta be vengeful to get this photo. (Don't worry, you can rewind time.)
Turns out one of the other girls, Dana, borrowed the flash drive. When you go to her room, however, Juliet has locked her inside. Offer to help resolve the drama by sneaking in to Victoria's room, which will be open at this point. Victoria has a display of photographs on her wall. Rearrange it to send a message, and snag an achievement.
Zoomed In // Optional Photo #7
With the current intradormitory drama resolved, head outside once again. Zach is pretty♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥off, and spikes a football into the ground. WHAM! Alyssa gets it right in the back of the head. Be an everyday hero, rewind time, and warn Alyssa to duck. The football will sail right into one of the dorm's windows, and all you need to do is photograph the evidence.
Focal Pointed // Optional Photo #8
Episode 1 is really an epic saga about trying to return a flash drive, when you think about it. Head to the parking lot, but before you meet up with Warren, stop by the dirty RV in the far corner of the lot. Doodle on the window and photograph your efforts.
Maximum Aperture // Optional Photo #9
Things go south at Chloe's house. Once she and Max blow the joint, they head to a very familiar place. From the entrance, turn left as if you're going to head back instead of trekking up to the lighthouse. Head down the path a little. Just before the sign with the map and fliers, on the left, is a large stone with a bird perched on top of it. Save the moment.
Light Leak // Optional Photo #10
You've made it! When Max climbs the hill up to the lighthouse, she's greeted by a breathtaking sight. Snap a photo, and catch up with your old friend.
Episode 2: Out of Time
Field of View // Optional Photo #1
Just play through the dormitory and eventually you will be able to enter Kate Marsh's room to return her book. To the left there is a bunny cage. Hop on over, snap a photo of its inhabitant, and do your best to console Kate.
Full Exposure // Optional Photo #2
Clear the air by getting out the dormitory. Out in the yard, over by the maintenance closet, there's a bench with a waste basket nearby. Take the Food Waste out, Max will set it on the bench, and then all you have to do is step away from the bench a few paces. Within 30 seconds a squirrel should clamber down the tree and hop up to get a bite. Walk over (don't worry it won't make a beeline back to the tree), and photograph the donut-filled beauty of nature.
Processor // Optional Photo #3
Take a photo of the sign above the Two Whales Diner. You'll have this achievement unlocked before you can say "Instamatic".
Image Stabilizer // Optional Photo #4
Before you enter the Two Whales Diner, work your way around to the back. Through the fence you'll be able to see the RV from the first episode, as well as the dog who guards it. Hold the camera steady and frame a shot through the chainlink.
Compressed // Optional Photo #5
In the bathroom of the diner Is what you need to see. Written on the mirror there... "Fire, walk with me."
Pixelated // Optional Photo #6
This one is a bit tricky. You have to take a picture of the bus in the junkyard. However, most angles aren't going to give you the option to snap a photo. This was frustrating, because I use the sketches in Max's journal as hints to find the photos, and "142" matches the number on the bus, but it took me a long time to get the shot.
Position yourself toward the front of the bus next to a stack of tires with a blue bucket on top of them. That should give you the option. It's a bit finnicky, but you can do it! Take that bus to school and show it who's the boss with a photo and an achievement.
Dynamic Range // Optional Photo #7
Wander over to the other side of the bus, and you'll see a hazy, translucent doe. That's pretty bizarre. Approach it, and it will dash off. Give chase, and you'll be able to snap a shot to mark the occasion.
Colorized // Optional Photo #8
Piece of cake. After assisting Chloe with her target practice, you'll find that constantly reversing time takes its toll. Chloe nurses you back to health, then takes a moment to chill on the hood of a rustbucket and aim at the sky. Pull out your camera and aim lower.
Meter Made // Optional Photo #9
A bit of careful chemistry is necessary to get this optional photo, which is probably the one most likely to make you tear out your own hair.
After you head back to campus from the junkyard, Warren will ask you to hang out for a bit in the science lab. Head there, and he's working on an experiment. He asks you for your input: does he add sodium, or potassium?
While adding "lots of potassium" will produce an amusing result, it isn't what you're looking for. Rewind time. You'll have kept a dialogue option regarding Warren's experiment. Now head to Ms. Grant, and you'll see that you can talk to her about the experiment. Turns out, neither sodium nor potassium is the answer, but chlorine.
Go back to Warren with your newfound knowledge, and EUREKA! He will produce a strange pink mist. Celebrate the moment with an impression of light left upon chemical film.
Resolution Revolution // Optional Photo #10
With your impromptu chemistry class out of the way, head to Mr. Jefferson's class. Once you make it inside, you'll see Alyssa gazing out the window, staring at the bleak day and lost in thought. You can't help her find those thoughts, but you can capture the moment. It will be the last peaceful one for a while at Blackwell Academy, so make it count.
Episode 3: Chaos Theory
Hello again everyone! Episode 3 sure was something, wasn't it? Six weeks is gonna be a long time!
If you're reading this now and haven't finished the game, then consider this a MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT. I write this guide with the assumption you've already played through the episode on your own and are just looking to pick up any photographs you missed.
Without further ado... I give you what you came here for.
Parallax View // Optional Photo #1
This photo op is waiting for you in Victoria's room in the girls' dormitory. In order to get there, you'll have to talk to Taylor or Dana to learn that Victoria has sneaked out in the middle of the night just like you're trying to do.
In the far corner of the room you'll see a little action figure of a blue girl holding a gun. That's it, that's the shot!
However, you won't have the option to take a photo when you approach. Why is that? Well if you dug around in Victoria's trash you'd have discovered this little gem.
Just position yourself so that Max's cell phone light is on the figure for a few seconds, and it should begin to glow. Then you're free to claim your prize.
Lenscrafted // Optional Photo #2
This one is probably the trickiest to figure out, since it is sensitive to timing. You've got the power to rewind time, though!
Come out of the girls' dormitory, and off to the right will be a squirrel on the bench, dancing with some fireflies. If you've played the previous two episodes, you know exactly what bench I'm talking about. Have Max hustle over to the squirrel, which will attempt to make a break for it. Rewind time a bit, and you should buy yourself an opportunity to capture this mystic scene on film.
The Reflex // Optional Photo #3
After you break in to Blackwell Academy with Chloe, you'll have to make your way to the science lab. You can do this on your own before you talk to Chloe while she attempts to pick the lock, but no matter what you'll have to head that way anyway.
It doesn't matter what door you pick to enter the science lab--toward the center of the far wall there's an aquarium. Take a look at it, turn it on, and photograph all the fish as they scurry from their hiding spots!
Histogrammar // Optional Photo #4
While you're in the science lab, you might as well grab the next photo. In the corner where you find the sodium chlorate (weed killer), there's one cool skeleton chilling out and having a smoke break. Take a picture! You might want to report it to campus security too, smoking in the science lab is dangerous.
(If you entered the lab through the door farthest from the school entrance, the skeleton will be immediately to your right. Watch out!)
Bokeh // Optional Photo #5
Once Max and Chloe have MacGuyvered their way into the Principal's Office, Chloe will put you on the case and start rummaging around on the principal's computer. Photograph her. It might take a little positioning to get it right, but you can do it!
Pinholed // Optional Photo #6
Wearing Rachel's clothes is kind of sweet in a creepy way. But you're still Max! After you get dressed at Chloe's house in the morning after the break-in, head to the bathroom and take a mirror selfie to reaffirm your identity.
RAW Strength // Optional Photo #7
Phew, still Max! Head downstairs for some breakfast. If you poke around a bit you'll hear wings fluttering, and Joyce will ask you to help get the bird outside.
First, make sure you open the window so that the bird can leave.
Then scare it from its perch on the porcelain cabinet. It will fly over to the fireplace. Go harass it a little there, and it will take off out the window. If you pay attention, you can see it circle around to the backyard and land on the fence over the mural Max and Chloe made when they were kids.
Viewfinder // Optional Photo #8
Across the street from the Two Whales Diner is a pretty sweet tractor trailer cab. If you try to take a photo, though, that crankypants trucker from Episode 2 will tell you to back off. Strike up a conversation with him; it doesn't matter how it goes, he'll just complain about kids these days and how none of them can do any work. Why, he's willing to bet none of them could run his 1977 Needham 18-wheeler.
Rewind time, chat him up about the truck. Make sure you tell him you heard about it from Rachel Amber and he'll let you photograph it. Otherwise he'll just offer to let you ride along next time. No thanks.
Optican // Optional Photo #9
Brace yourself 'cause♥♥♥♥♥♥s getting weird. You've probably noticed a lot of dead birds littering Arcadia Bay, and the Two Whales Diner is no different. But you see nature taking its course in a very unnatural way. Head to the right side of the diner, as if you were going to visit the homeless woman (and you should visit her anyway). There you'll find a bird corpse being eaten by ants... that have arranged themselves into a spiral.
Flash! // Optional Photo #10
Well, there just aren't words for this, are there? Get your bearings after the world flips upside down and use William's camera to take a photo of Chloe and her father. Max has taken the 10th optional photo in the episode... but at what cost? At what cost?
Thank you for reading my guide! I hope it was helpful. It's my first one, so if you have any suggestions I'm open to making this guide more accessible.
I'll be updating as new episodes come out. I encourage you to play through the story first, then worry about the collectibles later (don't miss them, naturally, if you have a chance). Collectible Mode really makes things easy, and saved me a lot of stress when I realized I wasn't going to have to restart the game and play with a fine-toothed comb.