Picture Ideas for a Digital Camera Scavenger Hunt

A digital camera scavenger hunt adds a 21st-century twist to a time-honored mainstay of parties, classroom activities and just-fun days. The classic scavenger hunt sends individuals or groups out on a quest to find and bring back an odd assortment of items. The first participant or team to return with all the items on the list is the winner. In the digital version, winning requires pictures, not tangible items.

How It Works

From school activities to bachelorette parties, family reunions to fun get-togethers, scavenger hunts combine active fun with imaginative competition. The digitally enhanced version of the scavenging quest requires a photo of each item on the list instead of the item itself, and opens up the competitive nature of the event to include images that interpret rather than capture reality. These events can pit individuals against each other or group them into teams, optionally requiring the entire team to appear in every picture it takes or every team member to photograph every item on the list.


You can limit your group's scavenger hunt to using digital cameras, camcorders or smartphones, or simply require a digital picture-taking device of any kind. If the culmination of your event requires participants to upload their photos to an online destination, contestants who lack Internet access on their camera-equipped technology compete at a disadvantage. To equalize the odds for everyone involved, set up a notebook computer with a memory-card reader attached to it at the finish line and use the time stamps on digital photo files to resolve questions about who finished first. You can use social media to share the best-composed, funniest, most imaginative or silliest images with the wider world.

Literal Objectives

When you formulate a list of digital camera scavenger hunt images, keep the ages of your participants in mind as well as the targets they can find within a reasonable radius of your starting point. Limit your participants to remaining on foot to add another level of complexity, given that the amount of time you allow them determines how far they can range in search of images. You can use a mixture of street names and geographic features, a specific number of colors of brick in an architecturally diverse neighborhood, types of trees, flowers, a yard-gnome quota, makes or models of cars, stained-glass windows or geometric shapes. You can also send your scavengers out to find specific numbers—through the house numbers on buildings, for example—or words in signage.

Thematic Objectives

Along with literal things, include some figurative items to give your participants a chance to take imaginative pictures. These thematic objectives should offer the same kinds of challenges as the clues you expect on a good crossword puzzle, in which plays on words intersect with the words they spell out. For example, if your immediate area includes a bakery, ask for a picture of "what a ghost might eat," knowing the answer can be "angel food cake." If you start near a home products store, "how light is led" could lead to a picture of an LED bulb. Depending on your group and the amount of time you allot for the hunt, you can mix these brain-teaser items in sparingly or liberally.

Photo Credits: Describe the Fauna/Demand Media

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