If you want to plan an epic team meeting or group bonding event, look no further! The photo scavenger hunt combines exploration, out-of-the-box thinking, and teamwork.
A photo scavenger hunt has all the perks of a traditional scavenger hunt, except your mission is to capture those items or moments with your camera.
In this article, we’ll give you a bunch of pre-made scavenger hunt lists and guide you through planning, organizing, and executing a photo scavenger hunt that’s nothing short of epic.
What Is a Photo Scavenger Hunt?
A photo scavenger hunt is an adventure game where participants are given a list of items, tasks, or scenarios to capture with a camera. Unlike a traditional scavenger hunt where you physically collect objects, the objective is to snap photos to prove that you’ve completed each challenge.
Each item or task on the list can range from simple (“Take a picture with a dog”) to more complex or creative (“Capture a photo that encapsulates the essence of summer”).
How does a photo scavenger hunt work?
The process is simple. You start by creating a list of items or tasks participants must capture on camera.
Then, you split into teams or go solo, each group or individual setting out to complete the tasks within a predetermined time limit.
Teams can then return to a central location to share their photos, tally up points based on their criteria, and determine a winner.
The beauty of a photo scavenger hunt is its versatility. You could organize your event in a park, around your neighborhood, within a city, indoors at a mall or a museum, or even over Zoom.
Below is a list of photo scavenger hunt ideas. You can take one of these lists item-for-item or use them as inspiration to craft your own.
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19 Different Idea Lists For Your Photo Scavenger Hunt
Fun conversations with strangers
This scavenger hunt is one to push you outside of your comfort zone. Each photo is also a social interaction. It’s a social experiment and game all in one! If you are with this one, ask permission before taking a picture with someone.
- A selfie with a stranger who has the same color shirt as you
- A group photo with a tourist and a landmark in the background
- A picture petting someone’s dog
- A selfie with a local store owner or employee
- An image of someone wearing a shirt with an interesting or funny slogan
- An image with a street performer
- An image of a couple kissing
- A selfie with someone who’s taking their selfie
- Have a stranger draw a quick portrait of you on paper and take a photo of it.
- A selfie with a barista or waiter after they’ve served you
- A photo with someone who is at least a generation older or younger than you
- Get a stranger to teach you a few words in a language you don’t speak, and then take a short video of you saying those words to them
- Ask a stranger to swap hats or accessories with you for a photo
- Ask a stranger for a book recommendation. Have them write it down and take a picture of the written note
- Get a stranger to do a funny dance with you and capture the moment
Navigate the nuances of remote life with our work-from-home scavenger hunt, where your home office becomes the ultimate playground. Some people have used these remote scavenger hunts1https://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2020/11/09/psychological-scavenger-hunt-helps-alleviate-zoom-fatigue/ to help with Zoom fatigue.
- A picture of your workspace set-up
- A selfie with your “work attire” (be it formal or pajamas)
- A photo of your coffee or tea mug
- A picture of a home-cooked lunch or your meal prep
- A photo with your pet “coworker”
- A picture of your view from the window nearest your workspace
- A selfie with a stack of work-related books or reference materials
- A photo of your to-do list or planner for the day
- A picture of a tool or gadget that makes your work-from-home life easier
- A photo of a handwritten motivational quote or affirmation
- A selfie featuring your “video conference” backdrop
- A picture of your designated break area or relaxation spot at home
- A photo capturing your exercise or stretch routine between work tasks
- A screenshot of a virtual meeting with colleagues, if they’re okay with it
- A picture of a DIY project or home improvement task you’ve undertaken to improve your work-from-home environment
A nature adventure
Here’s one for the nature enthusiasts, where the great outdoors is your playground!
- A blooming flower
- A feather on the ground
- A squirrel or other small mammal
- A unique-looking rock
- A body of water
- A tree with multicolored leaves
- A bird in flight
- A trail marker
- A sunset or sunrise
- A spiderweb
- A footbridge
- A mushroom
- An insect on a leaf
- A waterfall or cascade
- A camping tent
Navigate the concrete jungle with this city scavenger hunt, perfect for urban explorers at heart.
- A yellow taxi
- A skyscraper
- A historic landmark
- A public sculpture
- A bustling café
- A city bus
- A mural or graffiti
- A pedestrian crossing
- A subway station
- A street vendor
- A rooftop bar or garden
- A fire hydrant
- A street musician
- A fountain
- A food market
Unleash your inner explorer with this eclectic scavenger hunt, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and there’s a surprise at every turn.
- Two or more dogs playing with each other
- A funny license plate
- Something that represents “hope.”
- A building over 100 years old
- A street musician
- Someone reading a book in public
- A neon sign
- A food truck
- A mural or street art
- A selfie with a stranger (always ask for permission!)
- A bicycle with a basket
- A “For Sale” sign
- An outdoor café
- An interesting cloud formation
- An analog clock showing the time 3:00 pm
Looking at the color blue tends to evoke feelings of calmness2https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/col.21949, so use that to your advantage with this hunt.
- A blue car
- A blueberry muffin
- A person wearing blue jeans
- A blue mailbox
- A blue balloon
- Blue painted nails
- Blue street art
- A blue book cover
- Blue window trim
- A blue flower
- A blue sign
- A blue bicycle
- A blue umbrella
- A bluebird
- A blue toy
Shapes, shapes, and more shapes! A search for the visually inclined.
- A perfect circle
- An equilateral triangle
- A square window
- A hexagonal pattern
- A spiral staircase
- An octagon
- A rectangle taller than a door
- An elliptical shape
- A parallelogram in architecture
- A diamond shape
- A cube
- A cylinder bigger than a loaf of bread
- A star shape
- A crescent moon
- A heart shape
Beauty in the mundane
Celebrate the aesthetic around you with this beauty-focused quest, a hunt for all things beautiful.
- A beautiful crack in the wall
- Light filtering through leaves
- A smile from a stranger
- An elegantly aged book
- Dew on a spider web
- The patina on a copper statue
- A beautifully plated meal
- A stunning shadow
- A colorful pothole
- A weathered wooden door
- An interesting reflection
- An intricate tile pattern
- A beautiful trash can
- A rusty gate
- A single beautiful flower in a weed patch
Unleash your inner chef or critic with this hunt, taking you from markets to Michelin stars.
- A food truck
- An exotic fruit
- A street vendor selling snacks
- A bakery display window
- A chalkboard menu
- A cup of coffee with artistic foam
- A couple dining al fresco
- A local delicacy
- A foreign cuisine restaurant
- An elaborate cake
- A seafood market
- A colorful cocktail
- A farmer’s market stall
- A child eating ice-cream
- A brunch setup
For the modern adventurer, our tech trail offers a digital twist on the classic scavenger hunt.
- A vintage camera
- A modern smart home device
- A payphone
- An electric car charging
- A QR code
- A teenager glued to their smartphone
- A computer repair shop
- A neon “Open” sign
- A 3D printer
- An ATM
- A robot toy
- A vintage video game console
- A satellite dish
- A fitness tracker
- A digital billboard
A hunt focused on sustainability, finding examples of recycling, composting, solar panels, and other eco-friendly practices.
- A recycling bin
- Solar panels
- A reusable water bottle
- A compost pile
- An electric car
- Cloth shopping bags
- A bicycle commuter
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- A wind turbine
- A rain barrel
- Public transport in use
- A community garden
- A vegan
- Refillable soap dispensers
- A bird feeder
This would involve looking for different art forms—sculpture, paintings, street performances, and so on—in a certain area.
- A mural
- A street performer
- An art gallery sign
- A hand-painted sign
- A sculpture
- A sketch artist
- A film shooting location
- A tattoo parlor
- A dance studio
- A busker’s instrument case
- An artistic cafe menu
- A pottery store
- A sidewalk chalk drawing
- A homemade craft at a market
- A children’s art display
Step back in time with our historical hunt, a quest through landmarks and bygone eras.
- A historic plaque
- A statue of a notable person
- A century-old tree
- An old church
- A war memorial
- An antique shop
- A building with Roman columns
- A vintage car
- An old cemetery
- A historic bridge
- A classic book in a library
- A model ship in a museum
- An old clock tower
- An ancient artifact
- A wax figure of a historical person
The ugly truth
Not for the faint-hearted, you’ll find the cringe-worthy, disgusting, and bizarre in these challenges.
- A rundown building
- A trash heap
- A “haunted” location
- An overflowing dumpster
- Graffiti tags on a wall
- Abandoned shopping cart
- Broken glass on the ground
- Weeds overgrowing a sidewalk
- A “beware of dog” sign
- Cracked pavement
- An old, torn poster
- Rusty metal bars
- A giant spider, slug, or cockroach
- A ruined fence
- A faded advertisement
Embrace your inner Einstein with this scavenger hunt, where hypotheses meet hilarity.
- A periodic table
- A magnifying glass
- Picture of a planet
- Fossil or rock specimen
- Lab coat
- Weather vane
- Solar panel
- A robot or robotic toy
- Something that floats
- Picture of a famous scientist
- Chemical equation
- A science book
- A test tube
- A renewable energy source
Around the world
Travel the globe without leaving your city!
- A national flag other than your own
- International cuisine
- A foreign language street sign
- A statue or monument celebrating another culture
- A travel guidebook to a foreign country
- International coins or currency
- An ethnic grocery store
- An international dance or musical performance
- A foreign newspaper or magazine
- A world map or globe
- A religious symbol from a different religion
- An international license plate
- A mural or artwork representing another culture
- A building or structure that is inspired by foreign architecture
- A traditional musical instrument from another country
Back to the ’90s
Crank up the grunge music and dust off your Tamagotchis; our “Back to the ’90s” scavenger hunt is a radical nostalgia trip!
- A ‘90s band T-shirt
- A VHS tape
- A ‘90s toy like a Beanie Baby
- Someone doing the Macarena
- A ‘90s cartoon character
- A floppy disk
- Slap bracelets
- A Game Boy or similar ‘90s handheld game
- A CD-ROM
- A Walkman
- A ‘90s catchphrase written on paper
- A tube of frosted lip gloss
- A bowl cut or another ‘90s hairstyle
- Platform shoes
- A mood ring
Go beyond the material world and snap pictures that embody intangible concepts with our “Abstract Ideas” scavenger hunt.
- An image that represents “Joy.”
- Something symbolizing “Fear”
- Something that embodies “Peace.”
- An image that represents “Chaos.”
- Something symbolizing “Love.”
- Something that represents “Curiosity.”
- An image embodying “Serenity.”
- Something symbolizing “Jealousy.”
- An image representing “Courage.”
- Something that embodies “Confusion.”
- Something that represents “Anticipation.”
- An image embodying “Regret.”
- Something symbolizing “Hope.”
- An image that represents “Isolation.”
- Something embodying “Compassion.”
Roam the wilds of your imagination with our animal kingdom scavenger hunt, where fauna is the focus.
- Picture of an endangered animal
- Zoo map
- Paw print
- Something that can fly
- Animal poop
- Shell or scale
- Webbed foot
- Bird’s nest
- Fish tank
- Tail (real or fake)
- Wild animals in a tree
- Pet food
- Exotic animal
How to Plan Your Photo Scavenger Hunt (Step-By-Step)
Now that you’ve got plenty of inspiration, let’s walk through how to set up your event.
- Create a list of items or tasks to find
Pick one of the lists from above (or make your own!). Pick 10 to 20 items for a shorter game or even more if you want the hunt to last longer.
- Select a location
Decide the location parameters.
Will it take place all inside the same building? Or can people wander about? Or will you conduct it virtually (where each participant does the same tasks from a different city)?
Consider tying your location to your theme. For example, a “historical hunt” could be best suited for a museum or a historical district, while a “geometry quest” might be best on a college campus.
- Set rules and guidelines
Make clear the following:
- Where can participants go, and where are off-limits? (for example, avoid private property)
- How much time will be allotted (an hour is often a good benchmark),
- If a challenge asks a participant to find another person to take a picture with, make sure that consent is involved.
- Choose scoring criteria
You can make every picture worth 1 point, or you could make more difficult concepts worth more points. You could also give bonus points for each category’s most creative or beautiful pictures.
- Decide if you want stakes.
Do you want the winner to get a prize (or, depending on the personality of your friend group, does the losing team get a punishment)? Adding this extra incentive can bring some extra zest into the event.
If you go the “punishment” route, maybe keep it less intense than The Impractical Jokers!
- Set up teams
Depending on your group size, you may want folks to compete as individuals or in teams.
However, remember that a scavenger hunt is notoriously great for team building and collaboration!
Teams can be chosen randomly or strategically based on the age of each group member, experience, or any other criteria you think would add to the fun.
- Deem the winners
Once time’s up, have everyone meet at a designated location to tally scores.
Congratulate the team members who got the most points! (And everyone else too 🙂)
- Share photos
Remember to commemorate the event! Make an album for everyone to share their photos and take a group picture of everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions About Photo Scavenger Hunts
A photo scavenger hunt is an interactive game where participants must find specific items or complete certain tasks and capture them in photos. A picture scavenger hunt is a beautiful way to create connections for coworkers, kids, teens, new students, or friends.
To make a photo scavenger hunt, you’ll need to create a list of items or tasks for fellow group members to find or complete and then capture in photos. You also need to decide on a location, set some basic rules, and possibly add creative twists to make it challenging.
To do a photo scavenger hunt, participants use a list of items or tasks as their guide and then take photos as proof of finding the things or completing the tasks. Teams or individuals then meet at a designated spot once the time is up to determine the winner. You can use a smartphone or a digital camera to take pictures—whichever you prefer!
Takeaways on Your Photo Scavenger Hunt
You now have all the tools to set up an EPIC photo scavenger hunt!
Just remember these steps:
- Pick your list of tasks
- Select a location
- Lay the ground rules and guidelines
- Choose how you want to score
- Decide if you want a prize for the winner
- Set up the teams
- Award the winners
- Share all the photos
Have a great time!
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