A photowalk combines photos and exploring a specified area. It allows photography enthusiasts a chance to meet, share their hobby and have a great time together. This is not just about taking photos, but making friendships. This can be a low-cost event for troops.
1. Before you begin.
Make sure everyone is familiar with their cameras before you accept participants. You want to enjoy the photowalk as well, not spend time helping others figure out their equipment. To do this, feel free to explore the Enrichment Project badge programs:
- Digital Photography: Basics
- Digital Photography: Improve Your Photos
2. Participate in a walk.
Before planning a walk, participate in one. Find out how a photowalk works.
Planning your photowalk
3. Pick a date and time.
Depending on your group, you may choose to do one time on a specific day, over a weekend or even over a week. Choose more than one date before confirming your event with others.
4. Set a participant limit.
Limit the number of participants. Age will be a huge factor here. If you are limiting your participants to adults, they are more likely to stay with the group, move around crowds and generally be self-sufficient. Limit adult groups to 50.
If kids will make up the majority of participants, you’ll want to make sure each group is a good size to handle as you’ll probably be spending time making sure no one wanders away, stops to window shop, and more. Keep a ratio of one adult to three for younger kids and up to ten for older kids.
5. Determine a location.
Pick a specific area for the photowalk, a place to start and an ending location. This is where you will meet, where you will be taking photographs and where you will end up. If people in your group will be driving, plan on completing a circle so they don’t have to walk back to their cars.
Because you will probably be outdoors taking photos, you can start at a coffee shop to give everyone time to arrive and have something before you start. You might choose to have refreshments afterwards to discuss your photowalk, what you saw or even to plan another photowalk. If you have a large group, ask your local establishment if you can meet there before doing so.
Limit your route to 1-1.5 miles. You’ll be moving slowly to make sure everyone has time to take photos. It should take about two hours. Provide a map, if possible.
6. Research your location.
Whether it is to help with Step 7 or just to provide additional information during your photowalk, researching the area you’ll be photographing adds to the experience. You can share the information you find during the photowalk or provide information via PDF or print beforehand.
As part of your research, walk the area you’ll be photographing before the event. Note any hazards in the area or special historical items you may want to share with your participants.
7. Pick a topic.
You can have a general topic like “people in the city” or perhaps you want to focus on architecture. A topic allows people to focus on one item instead of randomly taking photos . . . or perhaps not taking photos at all.
In addition, the topic allows more skilled photographers to decide what gear they need to bring beyond their standard equipment. Brainstorm topics.
8. Share your photos.
The result of your photowalk is sharing. You can compare your photos with those of the other participants. A site, such as Flickr, allows your participants to upload their photos to an area you set up. You can use your Yahoo! ID to sign in. Check out Flickr for photowalks or other sets of images taken by a group of people.
During your photowalk
9. Group photo.
Before you start the photowalk, take a group photo. This is the only time everyone will be together.
10. Photo release.
If you are doing this for an existing group and wish to publish any of the photos in your group’s newsletter or other publications, you’ll need a release for them. Find or create a photo release form to be filled out before going on your photowalk.
11. Safe and comfortable.
Remind all participants about comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing and water bottles. What other items can you think of that you might need?
12. Any camera.
Don’t penalize anyone because they don’t have a great camera. Even camera phones can take photos. Be as inclusive as possible. If someone doesn’t have the ability to share digitally, find a way for the photos to be scanned and uploaded to your sharing site or a site where they can get free Internet access.
This is something to think about with kids. You don’t want to haul all their extra items around. Make sure everyone is aware they will be carrying their own equipment. If necessary, create a packing list.
14. Be aware of other photographers.
You don’t want someone wandering in front of your perfect shot. Be courteous to others. What other ways can you be considerate during your photowalk?
15. Have fun.
If you think the photowalk will be work, it will be. Focus on the fun. For a few more ideas to incorporate fun, check out some of our ideas to make a photowalk into more of an event, read below and pick one of the following events to run or create your own and share it.
Similar photo events
16. Photo scavenger hunt.
Adjust your photowalk into a scavenger hunt. Just like a photowalk, have a starting and ending place. Limit the area where participants can find items to photograph.
17. Property activity.
Set up photowalks as an activity at your camp, local park, zoo or other contained area. Change the theme to coincide with seasons, organization or as part of a fun patch program.
18. Badge based.
Create a theme based on a badge you are working on. You might want to concentrate on specific shapes, colors, plants or even three-dimensional art. Look at badges beyond photography. For example, photographing invasive species can help others identify them.
As a council event
19. Featured properties.
Set up a photowalk at each property owned by council over a weekend. Provide a short photography workshop beforehand. Use the photos the girls take to share how they see the camp with other girls and volunteers. Make sure to give each girl credit for her work.
20. Girls in action.
Ask the girls to take photos of their troop / group over the course of a month, highlighting their activities. Feature photos online with stories of why that shot was taken, what was happening, etc. Allow the girls to show the world through their eyes.
21. Share your community.
Ask girls and volunteers to photograph their community. Share the stories that make your community a unique part of your council.
NOTE: The Enrichment Project badge program “Field Trips: Sharing My Community” further explores Step 21.
Sites to Explore