Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Month-o-Love Day 25: Take a picture, it lasts longer

Day 25: I heart...
Photo Safari Parties

On Monday, when Kasey asked us to list our Top 10 favorite things, I would have been remiss to leave off our Annual Photo Safari Party.  It is something Chris and I look forward to every year.  And though it sounds like a kid-friendly party, this is one event where we get a babysitter for everyone under 21, so they don't get in the way!

In case you're looking for a fun way to kick off the Spring, here are the details of our parties -- maybe you'll want to throw one of your own?

We have everyone show up at the house at 5 PM sharp with a digital camera and a full tank of gas, and for the next 30 minutes we assign teams of 4-5 people, have each team come up with a name, explain the rules, and issue the list of photos to take around town.  We come up with a list of 30 -40 possible pictures, each with a point value based on difficulty, with "bonus" points for taking it a bit further.  For example - 

Picture of team in a church - 5 points
Picture of team inside the church baptismal - 5 extra points
Have a Pastor in the baptismal with you - 3 extra points

So this picture was worth 13 points (the guy in orange is the minister who let us in the church):

At 5:30 we send the teams on their way and give them 2 hours to take as many pictures on the list as possible without going into anyone's home.  At 7:30, everyone is due back at the house (points off for each minute a team is late!), and while everyone is eating and enjoying a drink, Chris downloads all the pics onto the computer, puts them to music, and burns DVDs.  Then we all sit around watching the DVD of pictures, tabulate the scores of each team, and give out prizes.  We have T-shirts printed up as party favors, and everyone gets to take their DVD home.

I have to tell you that it is fun, every once in a while, to run around like we are back in college doing stupid crazy things just for the sake of a picture (I think one team got kicked out of the Target for being a little "wild").  It gets very very very competitive, and for my friends who really really really like to win (hmmmm, who could that be?), it is not fun to lose by 1 point.  But there's always next year...  

Last year we actually combined our party with a moving-away party for our best friends, so all the pictures had to do with things relating to their family.  Great way to say "goodbye".  And as you can see from her shirt, it was Becca's party, so she got to win.  And win she did...

Here are some of our favorite Photo Safari Party pics:

(Team members crammed into a car trunk)

(Picture in a grocery store.  Extra points in the frozen food aisle.  Extra points with a team member in the shopping cart)

(Picture holding a stranger's baby.  That Dad looks pretty reluctant, wouldn't you say?)

("employees must wash hands" sign -- they would have gotten extra points if it was in English AND Spanish)

(Team doing a cheer)

(At a nail salon, extra points in the pedicure chair)

Other pictures:
Getting frisked by a cop, pumping a stranger's gas, switch clothes with a stranger, picture with a Starbucks barista (extra points if he/she is brushing their hair), Team member wearing a girl scout sash, Picture with a stranger showing a tattoo, Team sitting in a golf cart...
The list goes on!


  1. That looks like so much fun! I might have to steal this idea and make it my looks like you are having a blast!

  2. This looks so cool. I wish we knew a big group of people that lived near us so we could try something like this out. We had a friend do something similar except they called it "Amazing Race" and we didn't have to take pictures, just answer questions based on all the different spots we had to go to. And since it was in the Boston area, it was fun and educational since we were visiting all sorts of historic landmarks in our quest. Thanks for posting all the details!

  3. These parties are by far the most fun!! Matt & I enjoy them so much. OUr favorite "picture" we had to take was when we had to switch shirts with a stranger. Poor Justin switched with a random stranger who was working on his car on his front lawn...the guy smelled like cigarettes, beer, and car oil!!

    Can't wait for the next one.....although since the last one was our "good-bye", does that mean we are not allowed to come to anymore??

  4. I SO want to do this! It looks like so much fun! I once got very close to hosting something like this with some friends in Northern Virginia--we were doing it with the young married group at church, but we were going to use video cameras. We had to cancel b/c it was in the middle of the fall of the sniper (remember that?) and it didn't seem like a good idea to have people driving all over town at the time. So, I really think we're due for this!

  5. Hi Christie! Thanks for posting about this! It sounds so fun! We did something like this for a Halloween party when we were first married. I love it!

    The picture of the guy in the cart is hilarious! You guys are so fun - I wish we lived closer so we could be friends in real life!


  6. Those parties sound like a lot of fun. I love the picture of the team holding the stranger's baby. The look on the dad's face should have been worth extra points.

  7. Holy cow...that sounds so fun! I'm totally having one of those parties now! Thanks for the great idea.