A photo scavenger hunt makes for a creative activity centered upon interacting with the world and people around you. In group settings or even during time spent at home alone, this pictorial take on a classic pastime prompts active engagement. It's all about noticing and appreciating the little things you might normally pass right on by.
Here, we highlight some of the everyday sights you may want to capture around the neighborhood or maintaining a safe distance in the city. (But really, there's no limit to your list of photo scavenger hunt ideas.) So grab your camera and slip on some shoes for a photo-based adventure — even if it's just outside your front door.
Fun fact: Almost all of the photos in these lists were taken by members of our team!
Creating the shot list itself can require just as much creativity as searching for the photos! For a child-friendly activity, keep the subject matter simple and commuting to a minimum. Adults can be given more abstract or challenging concepts to capture, resulting in a variety of clever and artistic interpretations. Ready to get started?
Colorful patch of flowers
Put the focus on the flower-filled foreground with a shallow depth of field using Portrait Mode.
A wild critter, like a squirrel or bird
Go out on a drive or hike to find other not-so-little creatures!
Light peeking through the trees or window
Bonus points for sun rays or lens flares giving your photo an extra glimmer.
Reflections in the water
Look for the calm, still water of a pond, lake, or even a bird bath.
A cloud shaped like something familiar
Your best bet for spotting creative shapes in the sky is on a day with cumulus clouds (the big fluffy ones!).
Sunrise or sunset
Just before or after the sun is visible on the horizon is the time you'll enjoy the most vivid colors.
Wildflowers in bloom
You don't have to be in the wild to find wildflowers — they might be growing just on your block!
A big tree giving lots of shade
Look for a shot showing contrast between the tree's shadow and the iluminated ground that surrounds it.
Your own shadow cast on the ground or wall
Don't forget, the lower the sun, the more exaggerated your shadow will be.
Whoever you're with
If you have company, take a moment to document the people you're spending this time with — and have fun with the pose!
A park picnic
Overhead shots are the perfect way to picture the full spread of food and drink you brought along to enjoy.
Someone or something in motion
Think cars zooming, kids cartwheeling, the dog running — the more blur, the better.
Street musicians playing
If you'd rather take a video to hear the music again later, that works too!
Houses, buildings, and bridges can exude so much character in the little details, like symmetry and angles.
Treat to go from the local sweet shop
Take a first bite or sip before you snap your photo for a more naturally derived moment.
Local, outdoor artwork
Whether it's sidewalk chalk, graffiti, or a full-blown mural, it counts!
Landmark in your area
While you're at it, get to know a little history when you stop by the state capitol or an iconic monument.
Maybe it's vivid colors or an interesting shape that sets one apart in your neighborhood.
American or state flag
If you aren't as familiar with your state flag, this could be an opportunity to learn more about what it represents!
Bonus points for spotting foods ready to harvest.
Photo Scavenger Hunt List for Adults
While adults will enjoy plenty of the ideas above, we're including a handful of more abstract ideas that can add a layer of complexity and creativity to your scavenger hunt.
Go for an action shot of your subject(s) moving to create blur or a dynamic composition.
Capture feelings experienced by people or a sense created by a scene (e.g., calm).
This can be from a natural or artificial source, creating interesting shadows or effects.
Look for combinations of warm and cool, setting a mood or sparking a creative palette.
Play with negative or positive space to make a statement. (Hint: the rule of thirds can be helpful here!)
Light, shadows, and depth of field help illustrate or highlight three-dimensional figures through photography.
What might be a representation of society around you or at large? It could include social habits, beliefs, arts, music, language, or cuisine.
Identify a repeating or decorative design that catches the eye.
How to Set Up a Picture Scavenger Hunt
This activity is handy in many cases, ranging from an afternoon wandering solo to a full team-bonding challenge. To make it more personalized to any instance, you can cater your shot list to your location, age of participants, nature of the group or event, and more.
Note: We understand that a photo scavenger hunt may not be possible for all of the occasions below in these times. However, we're including them because we know they'll come in handy in the future.
Days at home with the kids
Entertain the family and enjoy sunny weather while you safely explore locally.
Workplace team outings
Team up colleagues to compete cross-departmentally.
Take in the culture and landmarks of a new city.
Engage the extended family with a challenge that's fun for everyone.
New hire onboarding
Help new employees become attuned to the office space.
College campus orientations
Familiarize freshmen and new students to their home away from home.
Acquaint fellow group members with each other through collaboration.
Get attendees up and out of their seats while reinforcing new knowledge.
Introduce new concepts to learning children with a photo-driven field trip.
Setup and Suggested Rules
When thinking of a location, you have a world of choice. Depending on the type of picture scavenger hunt you're hosting, the setting may come naturally — say, a foreign neighborhood, the college campus, or even your own backyard.
There are a handful of ways you can set up your activity. If it's for an individual person or family, make a day of it with no time limit to attempt capturing them all collaboratively! For groups, encourage interaction by breaking into teams, and make it a competition to see who can finish first or snap the most in a certain period.
For added challenge and accountability, try not to use the same photo for any two prompts, and we recommend that all photos are taken on the same device for ease of tallying.
And Once You're Back Home
Picking Your Favorites for Print
No matter the intention with which you set out on your photography adventure, you're sure to have come back with a few that surprise or delight you. The joy doesn't have to stop as soon as you stop clicking the shutter — printing your favorite photos will bring back the memory and even remind yourself of that artistic eye, just when you need it most.
Create a Print Set
Choose the ten photos you love most, and gift a set of Everyday Prints to anyone who was there with you.
Frame Your Favorite
Have a surprisingly striking photo from the mix? Hang it in your home with a Modern Metal Frame.