15 Fun Photo Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Team Building in 2021

Home » Resources » Photo Scavenger HuntsUpdated: September 16, 2021

You found our list of the best photo scavenger hunt ideas.

Photo scavenger hunts are activities where participants must submit answers in picture form. For example, a work from home safari or bucket list photo scavenger hunt. The purpose of these exercises is to make the activity extra visual and hands-on.

Picture hunts are an example of a team building activity. These ideas can be used  with virtual scavenger hunts or scavenger hunt apps.

This list includes:

  • outdoor photo scavenger hunt ideas
  • funny photo scavenger hunt ideas
  • photo scavenger hunt ideas for adults
  • Christmas photo scavenger hunt ideas
  • photo scavenger hunt ideas for work

Here we go!

List of photo scavenger hunt ideas

From selfie challenges to work from home safaris, here is a list of fun photo scavenger hunt games to engage employees and help teammates learn more about each other.

1. Work From Home Safari

Work From Home Safari Template

Work From Home Safari is one of the most fun photo scavenger hunt ideas for work. This game provides an opportunity to see coworkers’ pets and to bond with teammates over adorable animals.

To play the game, give participants a list of animal-related photo challenges. Most of the prompts should revolve around pets. However, to encourage players to leave the house, you can also include some non-domesticated animals on the list.

The photos can be recent or from past adventures. Since pets are often one of the most important aspects of many folks’ lives, this exercise can serve as a great get to know you game.

Note that players should never endanger themselves or others by approaching potentially dangerous wild animals, and stuffed animals are acceptable stand-ins for exotic creatures.

For more work fun with animals, check out this list of the best office pets.

2. Selfie Challenge

Selfie Scavenger Hunt Template

Selfie Challenge is one of the most straightforward photo scavenger hunt ideas. In this game, participants must take a series of selfies according to a list of challenges.

Given the simplicity of this game, it is a good idea to judge submissions and award points based on the creativity of the photo rather than by the quantity of pictures.

3. Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas is one of the simplest Christmas photo scavenger hunt ideas. There are two main ways to play this game.

Song Style: Teams re-enact the twelve days of Christmas in photo form. For example, two turtle doves, five golden rings, and twelve drummers drumming. The pictures do not need to be completely literal. Participants can dress up like or act out the objects in the song using improvised costumes and props.

Seasonal Style: In this version of the game, participants act out general holiday clues over the course of twelve days. Each day, players get a new prompt. For instance, smooch someone under the mistletoe, wear a hideous sweater, find a Santa in the wild, snap someone who is definitely on the naughty list this year.

For more festive fun, check out this list of virtual holiday party ideas.

4. The Great Reenactment

The first step of this exercise is to ask teammates to submit baby photos or older photos. The pictures should be at least ten years old. Once you gather all the photographs, then share the pictures with the group and challenge participants to recreate the scenes. Players can choose to recreate their own photos or teammates’ pictures.

At the end of the activity, collect the before and after pictures, edit all the photos into a slideshow, share the results, and ask the audience to vote for the most convincing, creative, or moving recreations.

5. Hometown Showdown

Hometown Showdown is a photo challenge that encourages employees to compare and contrast their current cities or childhood homes.

Participants receive a series of challenges and must produce a photo that fits each category. We recommend giving out a prompt a week and running the hunt as an ongoing team building activity.

Here are some example prompts.

  • Most delicious dessert
  • Best festival
  • Sporting game
  • Time-tested traditions
  • Regional dishes
  • Best place to get a sandwich
  • History
  • Tourist spot
  • Locals-only spot
  • Sunset
  • Cool architecture
  • Local wildlife

This exercise provides a way for teammates to get to know each other on a more personal level and gives a glimpse into surrounding environments. While this hunt works well for any team, it is an especially good fit for remote teams and teams made of folks from different backgrounds.

6. Social Media Scavenger Hunt

Social media scavenger hunts can serve as a get to know you game and can be the start of ongoing team bonding.

The first step of this activity is to have players opt in. Some folks may not be comfortable sharing social media accounts with fellow group members, so this game should be voluntary.

To create clues, scan participants profiles and look for standout posts and photos. Then, create prompts based on images or information found on the social media pages. For instance:

  • Which teammate once shared fries with Barack Obama?
  • Which teammate has an 8-ft python for a pet?
  • Which teammate won a bodybuilding competition?
  • Which teammate is a triplet?

You can also create number-based prompts, for instance, “How many teammates have pictures at Machu Picchu?”

7. Travel Scavenger Hunt

Travel Scavenger Hunt Template

A love of travel is a trait that many coworkers share, and travel scavenger hunts can double as connection games.  For this exercise, participants use photos from past trips.

You can also award bonus points to teams based on how many categories teammates have in common, or the most amazing coincidences.

At the end of the activity, each participant can choose a favorite photo and tell a story or anecdote about that picture to the group.

For more work-related wanderlust, check out this guide to corporate travel incentive programs.

8. Bucket List Photo Scavenger Hunt

Bucket List Scavenger Hunt template

The Bucket List Photo Scavenger Hunt helps participants achieve life goals. The challenges can be easy to achieve, such as, “bake a fancy cake from scratch,” or as aspirational, such as, “win a marathon.”

Participants must submit pictures of themselves doing the deed. You can either rule that the photos must be taken after the start of the hunt, or allow players to use old photos so that the team can applaud past achievements as well.

This exercise works better when done over a longer period of time, such as a quarter or a year. To boost participation and staff’s dreams, you can also provide a small stipend to help cover costs. Also, since this activity is experienced-based, players can substitute videos for photos as well.

To end the hunt, ask each player to reflect on the experiences and talk about lessons learned.

9. Nature Hike Photo Scavenger Hunt

Nature Hike Photo Scavenger Hunts are one of the best outdoor photo scavenger hunt ideas. These games encourage participants to get exercise, bond with teammates, and hone powers of observation.

First, plan a nature walk or hike with your group. You can take the stroll together as a group, or, if remote, then commit to taking a hike at some point during a two week period. While on the walk, participants look out for a list of clues.

Prompts:

  • Interesting looking tree
  • Bird of prey
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset
  • Waterfall
  • Baby animal
  • Squirrel
  • Chipmunk
  • Footprints
  • Animal Tracks
  • Plant growing out of a rock
  • Wooden bridge
  • Trail marker
  • River
  • Cave
  • Gorge
  • Wildflowers
  • Berries
  • Spiderweb
  • Snakeskin
  • Names or initials carved into a tree
  • Cool clouds
  • Face in a rock or tree
  • Mushrooms
  • Frog
  • Fish
  • Interesting insect
  • Scenic overlook
  • Arrowhead
  • Fossil

For more outdoor-themed fun, check out this list of virtual campfire ideas.

10. Conference Photo Scavenger Hunt

Conference Scavenger Hunt Template

Conference Photo Scavenger Hunts are one of the more interesting photo scavenger hunt ideas for adults.

This exercise can give attendees a reason to step out of their shells and network with other guests. However, be sure to specify that players should always ask permission before snapping a photo of a fellow event-goer.

For more activities, check out this list of virtual conference ideas.

11. Photo Effect Scavenger Hunt

Photo effect scavenger hunts focus on style over content. This game challenges players to capture a series of pictures with special effects. To do this exercise, give players a list of photo techniques and a time frame to complete the challenge.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Panorama
  • Mirrored image
  • Double exposure
  • Ghostly image
  • Black and white
  • Time-lapse
  • Fantasy without photo altering
  • Vintage-style photo
  • Slow-motion live photo
  • Light-painting
  • Artistic blur
  • Ultra zoomed-in with high detail
  • Before and after
  • Looks like a drawing
  • Birds-eye-view
  • Mid-action
  • Silhouette
  • Extraordinary timing

It tends to be best to leave the prompts vague and up to participant interpretation. For best results, have teams upload the creations to a shared photo album or folder and encourage coworkers to admire each other’s work.

12. Landmark Scavenger Hunt

Landmark Scavenger Hunts are games that encourage participants to take photos in recognizable places such as parks, monuments, and in front of famous buildings. Since it is unlikely that players have the budget to travel across the country or world in the span of a week or two, we recommend doing this exercise over a longer period of time, such as a couple of quarters or a year. You can also allow participants to use older photos.

Or, to make the game funnier, players can recreate fake versions of famous landmarks in photoshoots. For example, a photo of three folks gawking at a running shower with the caption “Niagara Falls,” or a housecat in a Sphinx-like pose.

This exercise is also a great way to discover more niche, local-landmarks in participants’ surroundings, and learn more about other players and places in the process.

13. Beach Photo Scavenger Hunt

Beach Scavenger Hunt Template

Beach photo scavenger hunts give participants something to do on the sand beyond soaking up the sun. This activity is especially useful for team outings and retreats or company trips.

Give the players who take the most photos, the best photos, or the most interesting photos a prize. When you return to the office, send out highlight pictures in an email or team photo album.

14. Museum Picture Scavenger Hunt

Museum Picture Scavenger Hunts take place during team outings to museums or galleries. Players must snap photos of exhibits around the building to fulfill the requirements of the game.

There are many options for this kind of photo hunt. You can make the game educational and make up riddles and quiz-type questions that players must answer via picture. For example, “X artist painted this portrait as a picture for his mother.”

Or, you can leave prompts open-ended and give the clues a personal touch, with commands like “find a piece that speaks to you….” or “find a painting you would like to hang out in”

Pro tip: Make sure that the museum you play in allows pictures!

For more museum-based activities, check out this list of virtual tours.

15. Phone Photo Album Scavenger Hunt

Phone Photo Album Scavenger Hunts are one of the most funny photo scavenger hunt ideas. For these games, participants can only use photos that are already on their phones. This rule puts players who rarely clean out their picture folders at an advantage, as well as teammates who have an eclectic collection of photos on their devices.

Players are not allowed to take new photos for the game, however, they can try to justify unlikely pictures with creative explanations. For example, the clue “jersey” refers to sports apparel, however a player might show a picture taken in the state of New Jersey, at which point the group can vote on whether or not to accept this interpretation.

To make the game more engaging for all players, make prompts a mix of common and unusual objects.

Here are example prompts:

  • Receipt
  • Sunset
  • Halloween costume
  • Full pizza pie
  • Birthday cake
  • First day of school
  • Grandma
  • Homemade meal
  • Wild animal sighting
  • License plate
  • Wedding party picture
  • Famous statue
  • Cat with a tongue out
  • Dog with a bandana
  • Reflection in sunglasses
  • Inside of a store
  • Parking lot sign
  • Highway
  • Waterfall
  • A spill
  • Airplane window pic
  • Jersey
  • Celebrity selfie

You can also award points based on how many of each type of photo the team possesses, though you may want to limit the possible point values for picture types such as children, pets, or significant others.

Tips for photo scavenger hunts

Here is a list of helpful hints for photo scavenger hunt challenges.

1. Start with the right equipment

Players do not need professional-grade cameras to complete photo scavenger hunts. These days, most smartphones come standard with high-quality cameras. However, you should not assume that all teammates have smartphones or know how to use the camera. To level the playing field, double check that all players have a means of snapping photos and start the game with a basic photo-taking tutorial. It is also a good idea to take time for teammates to download and test necessary scavenger hunt apps before the game begins.

2. Share photos with the group

Part of the allure of photo scavenger hunts lies in sharing pictures at the end of the activity. While you could collect the photos individually and pick the winner in private, it is much more fun to view photos as a group. We recommend either presenting photographs in slideshow form, or uploading pictures to a shared album or social media page. This action sparks conversation, laughter, and camaraderie when teammates compare and comment on the pictures.

3. Ask permission before snapping strangers

Certain prompts may encourage players to take photos with or of strangers. Tempting as it may be to snap a picture of an unsuspecting bystander, it is in bad taste to photograph an individual without consent, especially if the intent is to poke fun at the person. When the clues instruct players to photograph a stranger, participants should explain that they are part of a scavenger hunt and ask permission before clicking away. As an added plus, this best practice boosts players’ people and communication skills.

4. Make an end project from the photos

To double the impact of the team building activity, turn the photos into a project. For instance, making T-shirts, Zoom background, Slack icons, physical photo books, or online photo albums. These souvenirs remind participants of the fun had on the hunt.

You can also feature winning photos on the company website or reshare on social media. Beyond showing off your staff’s camera skills, this action can advertise your organization as a fun company that cares about the employee experience.

Final Thoughts

Photo scavenger hunts put a fun new spin on a traditional team building game. Since most folks own a smartphone with a built-in high-quality camera, participants should have all the materials needed to complete the exercise. Unlike more standard scavenger hunts, photo games leave behind lasting souvenirs that serve as a reminder of the fun time had with teammates. Plus, the game helps players sharpen their photo skills, which can come in handy for marketing and social media purposes.

Next, check out this list of scavenger hunt clues and this one with scavenger hunt templates for the holidays.

FAQ: Photo scavenger hunts

Here are answers to common questions about photo scavenger hunts.

What are photo scavenger hunts?

Photo scavenger hunts are games where players snap pictures of clues to win points. These exercises are often completed in teams and as races, usually by using smartphones and apps and uploading photos to a shared album or drive.

What are some good photo scavenger hunt ideas for teams?

Some good photo scavenger hunt ideas for teams include Work From Home Safaris, Hometown Showdown, and Phone Photo Album Scavenger Hunts.

How do you hold a photo scavenger hunt?

To hold a photo scavenger hunt, first decide whether you want to build your own game from scratch or use a website or app.

If you decide on a tech format, then the program will likely help you generate prompts. If you build from scratch, then you will have to do more thinking and preparing.

The first step to designing your game is to create your clues. Next, upload the prompts into the chosen format, whether using an app or a Google form, or printing out handouts.

Then, split the group into teams, and give each team the list of challenges. Explain the rules and announce a deadline, then let teams begin taking photos.

At the end of the game, count up submission and award points for the number of clues completed, or judge photos based on skill or creativity. You can also combine both of these approaches and award prizes based on quantity and quality.

What are good tips for photo scavenger hunts?

Some good tips for photo scavenger hunts include starting with the right equipment, sharing photos with the group, asking permission before snapping pics, and making a project out of the photos.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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