The snapshot icon itself will not be visible to the player unless he is looking at it through the camera's viewfinder. In normal 3rd person view, the player will be able to see a white glow where the snapshot should be, and this is particularly noticeable at night.
The photograph can be saved, if desired, by taking the photo using the save mode on the camera, however the snapshot icon will not appear in the photograph (unless the shot is composed so the snapshot doesn't successfully register).
Most of the snapshot icons can be easily photographed as soon as San Fierro is opened, with the exception of one on the Garver Bridge that can't be seen until the bridge opens for crossing, but it is still possible to capture this snapshot before the bridge opens by using a boat to go under it. Another snapshot icon is located within the Easter Basin Naval Station. Accessing the area and getting too close to the icon will trigger a 5-star wanted level, so the player can keep their distance in a boat and still get close enough to take it without attaining a wanted level.
Snapshots are one of four collectibles along with Tags, Horseshoes, and Oysters, and as with the others, completing all 50 grants the player a significant reward. The reward for each snapshot correctly taken is $100, making a total of $5,000 for collecting the set. The reward for capturing all 50 snapshots is 4 weapon spawns becoming available at the Doherty Garage; namely the Micro Uzi, Grenades, Pump Action Shotgun, and Sniper Rifle, and the player will be awarded a bonus of $100,000.
- There is a minor glitch involving the snapshot icons; sometimes, CJ can be too far away for the icon to be visible but it will register as a snapshot if the camera viewfinder is zoomed in enough and pointing towards the general location of the icon.
- It is possible to catch a glimpse of the icon without the need of a camera if the player speeds towards one, it will be visible for a second before disappearing.