Photo Scavenger Hunts

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The Idea

A photo scavenger hunt is one in which the teams collect photos rather than objects. Just like in a regular scavenger hunt, the team is given a list of targets, and they try to take pictures of the group at each of the targets within a given time limit. Points are given by judges for each target achieved, and silly prizes are awarded.


  • a camera for each group, with some kind of process that will allow the pictures to be available quickly, such as:

    • an instant camera1 with film

    • a digital camera with a memory card large enough for photos of all the targets

    • a regular camera (often a disposable one) and film that can be dropped off at a 1-hr processing station
  • a list of targets for each group, with point values assigned2
  • a list of the rules for each group3

The Rules

Probably the most important rule is the time limit. Generally, teams start from a common location, and must return there by a given time with their pictures. Depending on the groups, photo scavenger hunts often last 2-4 hours, although they may be shorter for young children or longer for an especially enthusiastic bunch.

Another important rule is that the whole team must stay together.


While creative interpretations of the targets are generally allowed, the judge(s) have the final determination as to whether each photo receives points. In some scavenger hunts, the teams are told in advance that the judge(s) may award bonus points for especially creative photos. It's also common for the point values to differ between targets, with the more difficult targets receiving more points.

Common Targets

Good targets for a photo scavenger hunt include pictures of:

  • the group in a boat4
  • the group on a merry-go-round
  • the group in a human pyramid5
  • the group in a public fountain
  • everyone in the group sitting in one chair
  • the group with a pig6
  • the group in a jail cell
  • the group on a swing set
  • the group in pyjamas
  • the group in a police car
  • the group 'working' at a fast-food restaurant

Traditionally, at least one of the targets involves getting the participants soaking wet. To add an extra challenge, the targets can also be given in the form of a riddle.

1such as a Polaroid2Point values are generally decided in advance by the judges, and often range between 10 and 50 points per target, with the more difficult targets receiving more points.3This is commonly printed up on the backside of the list of targets.4This is an especially fun one if you live in a completely landlocked area.5You know, like the ones the cheerleaders make!6Alternatively, any animal can be substituted, as long as it will be difficult but possible to find in the area.

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