A page from my life: My favorite family vacation game

My husband and youngest daughter are the game players in our family. They are always trying to convince us that games are the best thing to do on vacation. In order to convince me to play yet another game, John suggested that the family do a photo scavenger hunt. YES! What an awesome idea. I was immediately on board and began to make a list of items for the hunt. I planned to make the list somewhat conceptual so that we could all interpret the items any way we wanted and take a picture that represented the item literally, or conceptually.

After the list was created, we presented it to the rest of our family. We wanted to include as many people as possible. Since we didn’t plan to play this game before left for vacation, we had to scrounge around for things to take pictures with. We gathered cameras and cell phones so everyone could have their own device and contribute independently. We formed small groups so the children would not have to explore alone. My dad, affectionately known as Pop Pop, was nominated to be our judge.



Some of us (the photographer and the second shooter) have professionally quality cameras and lenses so, in order to make it fun for all ages and skill levels, we made a rule that photo quality was not to be the main point to be judged. We wanted the judge to focus more on creativity and how well the photograph conveyed the concepts represented by the items on the list.

With the ground rules in place, and everyone loaded with their equipment, the teams set off in search of photos. Me and my youngest daughter grabbed the beach bikes and cruised down to a tourist area a few miles down the road. My husband and my oldest daughter headed to the beach. The third group, my sister and her husband, stayed near the beach house.

It was awesome to see the way my youngest daughter approached the game. Like I said earlier, she loves games and takes competition seriously. Armed with my iPhone, she was systematically knocking out photos and evaluating them on the fly instantly deleting the ones she didn’t think was worthy of the competition. I was enjoying my time with her and secretly hoping I would beat her when judging rolled around.

Even though we all agreed to return to the house after one hour, it took closer to two hours for all of the teams to return. When we got home everyone gave their cards and phones to my husband and he downloaded all of the pictures to his laptop and organized them by list item and team.

After dinner we connected his laptop to a flat screen television so that everyone could see the results of our hunt. Pop Pop set his chair in front of the TV and began judging. We didn’t tell him who the photos belonged to so that didn’t influence his decisions. He did a great job recognizing concepts and humor. He even picked the picture that my sister took of a computer screen on the Dictionary.com web site with the word “up” in the look up field. She and her husband were injecting humor and cleverness by by looking up “up” for the list item titled “looking up.” This wasn’t quite the idea I had in mind when I created the list but Pop Pop thought it was clever enough to win that round.

In the end my husband tallied up the votes in each category and I, the professional photographer, was not the winner. After everything was counted up, my youngest daughter won! I was really excited for her and she was very proud of herself. Everyone commented about how much fun they had and we settled in for desert.

We had such a great time with this, we thought that we would share our list with you. You can download our list for you to use for your family fun.

Happy Snapping,


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