A photo scavenger hunt can be a versatile, fun game for a variety of occasions and players of all ages. Simple, exciting, and providing just enough of a challenge to make players want to go for gold, a photo scavenger hunt can become a fun staple activity for any parties you might be planning to throw in the future.
As a new game concept that only made it on the scene after the dawn of camera-equipped phones, the photo scavenger hunt might not be a familiar game format to most. So if you want to learn how to set up an exhilarating game that your guests will love to be a part of, then here’s the ultimate guide on preparing a fun round of a photo scavenger hunt.
What You Need?
There are a few things you’ll need to prepare if you want to set-up a super fun game of photo scavenger hunt. Keep in mind that you should consider the number of teams playing so you can prepare the right amount of essentials to let everyone play without a hitch.
A camera – Smartphone cameras and digital cameras can be great for photo scavenger hunts. If your players already have cameras in their pockets, then you won’t have to prepare any for them. Each team should have at least one camera, but it doesn’t hurt to have more.
Checklists – What’s a scavenger hunt without a list of things they need to find? Prepare a list of stuff that your players need to look for in order to complete the hunt. Print out one copy of the list for each team so they can carry it around while they search.
Maps – This is an optional item that you can add to your list of essentials. Some photo scavenger hunts are set over large venues, so it can be hard for guests to figure out where a specific item might be hidden. You don’t need to mark out the pieces of the hunt on your map – just offer it as a guide so your guests won’t get lost!
How to Play Photo Scavenger Hunt?
Now, the fun part – setting up your game! There are some variations to the photo scavenger hunt game, but for starters, we’re going to talk about the basic game format. Keep in mind that you can tweak whatever part of the game to best suit your standards. This outline should serve as a guide as to how you can prepare the structure of the game for your unique event.
Prepare Your Lists – Before your big game, make sure you prepare your lists of items. Print out enough copies so that all of the players or groups involved in your game have one each. What you put in the list depends on what you think would be fun, interesting, or challenging to find. Some examples include:
A woman in a black pair of heels
Five orange flowers in a cluster
Kids laughing on the grass
A five-person pyramid
A man in funky sunglasses doing a spit
Some of the items on your list might not have to be found. For example, the picture of a man wearing funky sunglasses while doing a split can be one of the members of the group. The five-person pyramid can be the group as well! What matters is that they have the picture to prove they ticked the item off of their list.
Think About Your Venue – Where are you planning to have your players complete their photo scavenger hunt? Sometimes, your venue will be able to provide you some ideas as to how you can tweak your photo scavenger hunt.
For items on the list that need to be found in the surroundings, make sure they’re hidden in areas that your players wouldn’t easily find. For instance, the five orange flowers in a cluster should be tucked away in a bush or up in a tree to make it a challenge for players to tick items off of their list.
Another way you can make it tricky is by making it hard to take a picture of a certain item on the list. For example, you can include a distant blue window on a cottage that’s just slightly visible from the only vantage point in the area to make it even more fun for your players to complete their lists.
Prepare Your Players – On game day, you should take some time to brief your players on how the game should be executed. Give them the ground rules, the time restrictions, and the penalties for any cheats that they might try to pull off (you’d be surprised how competitive some people can get!)
While briefing them, you can use the following points to explain the rules of the game:
You’ll be given lists of items that you need to find but instead of collecting them and bringing them back here, you need to take pictures of them.
Before we start the game, you have to register which cameras you’ll use! Only registered cameras can be used for the photo scavenger hunt. Any photos captured with unregistered devices will not be qualified!
When you find any of the items on your list, take a picture and move on to the next item. If there are any items on the list that you think you can create yourself, then feel free to do so.
The first team to complete the list, take pictures of all the items, and to head back to the starting point to present all of their proof will be crowned the winner!
The objective is to complete the list in the shortest time possible. Teams who exceed the designated playing time (for example, an hour) will be disqualified from the game UNLESS all teams fail to return within the time. In that case, the first team to return with complete pictures regardless of how long after the time it took them will be the winner.
No cheating! No Googling images to tick off items on the list. Invalid pictures will be penalized by adding 20 minutes to your total time.
No sabotaging items! If you sabotage a set-up so that others can’t take a picture of it, your team will be disqualified from the whole game!
Let Them Loose! – Now that they’re all up to speed on the instructions, it’s time to send them out to play! If you decide to allow teams to use up to 3 registered devices to take pictures of the items on the list, then the group may be allowed to split up into 3 different sub-groups to speed up the process.
If you know that your venue is too expansive, then you might want to instruct your teams to split up into smaller groups to finds clues faster. Tell them where they should return at the end of the search so they can have their pictures validated.
If there are enough of you around, you might also want to have the teams guided by one organizer. This person does not play on the teams, and will simply follow around the groups to make sure they’re not straying too far or breaking any rules.
Photo Scavenger Hunt Ideas – Some Variations
If you want to spice up your game format, then there are a load of ways that you can do so. Consider your event and tweak your photo scavenger hunt set up to make it a little more exciting for your players. Here are some photo scavenger hunt ideas that you can try to implement for your next game.
If you’re working with younger players – like pre-school or early elementary school kids – then you might want to consider using lists with pictures instead of words. Use photos of the items that they need to find – BUT make sure the image depicts just the item. Don’t give them any clues as to where the item might be! So when preparing your list, make sure you take a picture of the item on a plain white background to avoid giving away any hints.
Another fun way to spice things up would be to use a riddle list. That is, instead of giving them a description of the item they need to find, give them a riddle that they need to decode in order to determine what you’re trying to make them find.
Here are some riddles that you can try for your photo scavenger hunt:
Sweet celebration? I’m always there. Though up front and center, to be the focus is rare. I sit atop my mighty throne, but when all is said and done, I’m the first to be thrown! Show answerBirthday candle
If you’re camping out in the cold wild world, then it pays to be prepared. Make sure you have this in handy in case you get scared. Show answerFlashlight
It’s not easy to looking for clues especially if you’re not sure where. So for this item, let’s make it easy. Where would you find an apple or pear? Show answerTree
Rev up my engine, it’s time to go! Hear me roar, heavy and low. Oh, wanna ride? Sorry to say, this engine’s only for cutting the hay. Lawn mower Show answerLawn mower
How high can you go? Until you try, you’ll never know. Down on fours, on top of the other. Build a tower as high as you can muster. Show answerHuman pyramid
Your riddles can point people to the actual objects on the list, or they can bring your players to certain places where you have other clues hidden to help them take a photo of the actual item. Similarly, some riddles can also instruct your players to create items on their own. Small human pyramids, poses, and other fun and challenging things they can form with their bodies will add variety to your list.
Here’s a really fun idea for wedding photo scavenger hunts, especially if you’re hosting a big event. People lists are basically photo scavenger hunt lists that consist mostly of people being described by their outfits or personalities. Consider adding people in the list from different sides of the family. This way, your guests will be forced to mingle with strangers, creating the opportunity to forge new friendships.
Here are some items you might include in a photo scavenger hunt list that’s made up mostly of people:
A woman in a beige gown, holding a glass of wine and laughing
Two guys wearing shades and talking
The best dressed woman at the party – anyone except the bride!
Flower girls giggling and playing
The bride kissing the groom on the cheek
The maid of honor holding a wine bottle
The groom wearing heels!
Get creative and make it really out of this world! To encourage people talking and mingling at the wedding, you can make the items so challenging that they’d have no choice to ask the other guests to help them out.
For instance, if you include an item in your list telling your players to get a picture of one of the groomsmen standing on one foot with a rose between his lips, then they’d have no choice but to ask! Plus, it leaves the opportunity for a few guests to make a potential love connection, which is never a bad idea.
A photo scavenger hunt can be a fun, versatile way to get your party guests to enjoy some laughter and excitement. But it does take some preparation! Take some time to consider all the little details of your event – like your venue, your guest list, and your theme! There are endless possibilities with a photo scavenger hunt, and trying out different tweaks and styles can help you create a fun experience that no guest will soon forget.
So, what are you waiting for? Go on and get started on your photo scavenger hunt to give your guests a wonderful party experience that’s definitely going down in the books!
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