Plan the Photog Party of the Century in 5 Easy Steps!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1 2 3

We all do it – pass by the same awesome thing everyday and think, “Someday I’m gonna take a picture of that!”

It’s time to admit that our “Someday” list is growing and growing, Jack and the Beanstalk style (no end in sight!).

Instead of tackling that giant list on your own, turn your ‘someday list’ into a group effort by having the most-fun-you-ever-had-with-a-group-of-photog-nerds: a photo scavenger hunt.

Write out your shoot list, invite your peeps, and cue up some Andrew W.K. ’cause it’s time to party.

Plan an Epic Photo Scavenger Hunt Party

p.s. Andrew W.K. is on Twitter, and so are we. (a.k.a. All the cool kids are doin’ it.)

Ain’t No Party Like a Scavenger Hunt Party!

beforeSpring is coming! Your city will be fresh and green, and your friends will probably be a little crazy with cabin fever. 

It’s the perfect time to send your friends on a fun (and hilarious) photo adventure.

You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to plan this heck of a good time.

Follow our steps, and you’ll get awesome photos of your favorite places and your favorite peeps all at the same time!

Par-tay Gear:


  • Friends (obvi)
  • Digital cameras (double obvi)
  • Copies of the shoot list for each team
  • A meet-up location
  • A mode of transportation per team
  • Food
  • A city/town/commonwealth to attack with an army of photogs
  • A laptop or a TV + camera cable to view the photos afterwards
  • A prize for the winners

Step 1. Design the Plan of Attack

beforeThe most important part of any scavenger hunt is the list of things to hunt for. Use our starter list to get your ideas flowing and add things that are specific to your location and your person of honor (if the party is for a birthday or going-away shindig).

Think of 1) places you’ve always wanted a photo of, 2) things that are just fun to do – like jumping in the air, and 3) ways to make your friends interact with strangers – like ‘get everyone in the trunk of a car that isn’t your own.’ Try to have 2 of those 3 things in every task.

Never underestimate what your friends (and total strangers) will do when the request is started by “We are on a scavenger hunt and….”

Step 2. Add in Some Friendly Competition

beforeNow you’ve got to add point values to everything on your list. Things that are harder to do and pictures that you really want to happen should be worth the most.

Some shots can have bonus points for going above and beyond (getting strangers to participate, most creative, being in mid-air, etc.)

Use point values that are easy to add up in your head (multiples of 10) so your friends don’t hate you for making them do math. We started our list with everything worth 10 points and then upped it to 20 or 30 if they were really tricky (or really silly).

Have a super awesome prize for each member of the winning team (mayhaps a photo rope to display all their epic winning photos!).

Step 3. The Devil’s in the Details

beforeLet’s handle those darn logistics. First, decide on a date – Saturdays are good – easy peasy.

Now figure out where you want the party to end (which is also where it should begin) – usually somewhere with food. You’ll want it to be a place where your friends can leave their cars – or bikes/roller skates/Vespas – while they are out on the hunt.

You should give the teams 2-3 hours to attack the city with their cameras.

The two easiest ways to handle the food for this type of party is to A) order pizzas and provide some oh-so-yummy cupcakes for dessert or B) have everyone meet up at a fun, casual restaurant.

Step 4. Find Some Friends & Bribe ’em With Food

beforeOnce you have your shoot list, a date and a location, it’s time to invite all your friends. Once you know who’s coming, break ‘em up into teams. Try to have at least 3 teams, 3 to 5 people per team works well.

Make sure each team has a camera and if needed, a driver (and that the whole team will fit in the designated car).

Give each team a color and tell your friends to dress up in their color for the party to get that team spirit pumpin’! You can even give each team a theme (superheros vs. robots vs. rock stars, for example) if you want to get extra crazy.

Let them know they’ll get some extra points and/or pizza for the best theme-related outfits.

Step 5. Let’s Get it started!

beforeOn the day of the party, get everyone together, hand out the shoot list, tell them how long they’ve got and where they should go once they are done.

Then get out there and start shooting!

Once you’re done shooting, have everyone get back together to eat and to, most importantly, check out the photos. A laptop or a TV with a camera cable are good options.

Don’t forget to share stories of the hilarities that just happened…Like how one team convinced a cop to fake-arrest them, while another team was busy getting 14 strangers to jump off a bench at the exact same time.

Step 6. Repeat

beforeBe prepared for this to be an annual event because, yes, it’s really that fun.

May as well save the date now. Use the next 12 months to come up with an even more amazing (if possible) shoot list for next year. 

Plus, think of all the friendly competition you can build up by then!

Score +50 Extra Points:

  • Print up a book of the best photos from the day to help you remember it forever!
  • Have each team pick up a potluck item (or pizza toppings for a make-your-own-pizza party) while they are out and about. Put their required food items on the top of their shoot list. Then you can have a feast without shelling out all the moola yourself.
  • Start a photo pool on flickr for all the photos so everyone can go comment-crazy and keep the party spirit flowing
  • Get in touch with some local business owners and get them in on the plans – if you talk to them ahead of time they might be willing to do some pretty crazy things in the name of an epic party.