Family Photo Scavenger Hunt

by Candice Stringham


photo scavenger hunt

Photo by Candice Stringham


As I thought about writing about photo scavenger hunts for the May 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes, I decided to try out the lists with my family. I wanted to see if I could get the kids excited about the activity. Having a camera out and about is a part of their daily lives. In fact, they probably would say (as they roll their eyes) that they're constantly waiting around for me to shoot a picture of this or that in our daily activities. And yet, they rarely get to use the camera themselves. So, they were actually excited when they found out they would be taking their own photographs!


The List

For the article, I chose the "Community Search" list. Since our family lives in a large city, it was much easier to pick one or two of the hunt's questions instead of doing the whole list at once. We started with the "favorite restaurant" item. Our answers were all over the city, so just the couple of questions took the majority of the day. For those of you who live in a small town, you could probably get one list done in a day. It would be perfect for when the kids are on summer break and lying on the couch whining that they're bored!


The Locations

Our hunt started on a rainy Saturday morning. I informed my family that we were going to go out and take photographs of our favorite things in the city. I had predetermined that the restaurants would be best because it was cold here (we shot for the article in January), and it would give us a nice break from the cold to stop and get lunch. Grant (8 years old, going on 30) took a minute to think about his restaurant choices. He's very intellectual and wanted to make sure he chose one that would be his favorite for a while. He made a list and determined that Max Brenner, a chocolate restaurant, had the best overall appeal, and therefore would remain the highest on his list.

Cole (age 5) yelled, "McDonald's! McDonald's!" before I could even finish asking the question. (Cole has an addiction to the chicken nuggets that I just can't break!) I didn't include my husband, Mark (whose age will not be listed), because I didn't think with his busy schedule he would be able to come. But he yelled from the office that he picked Republic, and that, yes, he wanted to come too, since eating would be involved.

I reminded my boys that there would be much stopping while we took photos (something that can sometimes annoy them) and they actually enjoyed the idea . . . now that we were stopping for lunch! (So there you have it-photography and scrapbooking start to look very appealing to the whole family when food is involved!)


The Hunt

We went to my favorite restaurant first: Trattoria, an amazingly romantic, candlelit Italian place in the village. It took me a few seconds to wait for it to be clear of people, and snap-I got the photo.

photo scavenger hunt

Photo by Grant Stringham


We then headed to Max Brenner for Grant's photo. He did a great job! I put the strap around his neck and let him get to it. A lot of people were walking around, so he couldn't see the restaurant. He came up with his own solution of looking up and shooting the sign. I think he did a really great job!

photo scavenger hunt

Photo by Mark Stringham

Our next stop was Republic in Union Square, where we stopped to get out of the cold and eat lunch. I handed the camera to Mark, and he snapped several photographs, including this one that I love! I like the reflection of the city in the window-I think it adds a lot.


photo scavenger hunt

Photo by Cole Stringham

Happily, McDonald's was just next door to Republic! We handed the camera to Cole, and at first he took a few careful shots of the building. Then he wanted to approve his shots by judging them in the viewfinder. "There's not enough 'M'," he said. I wasn't sure what he meant, but then, he photographed this shot of the sign. He was looking for the arches! Kudos to the marketers of McDonald's, I guess.



After Cole's shot, we stopped for hot chocolate and headed home. It was actually a really amazing time with the family. Everyone got to go to his or her favorite place, everyone knew what would be going on that day, everyone had their tummies filled. We experienced no whining or complaining as each family member took photographs!


Join Us!

We enjoyed doing this so much that we created a group on CK's website where you can share the results of your scavenger hunt and see other people's adventures as well! I loved seeing the choices that each of my family members made. Some were predictable and some really surprising. I think it would be really fun to see what your family favorites are, too! Please share some in the gallery!




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