Can you take a photograph without a camera or smartphone?

Find a safe place to do this activity.

Try to find somewhere with interesting views, ideally outdoors.

Download the activity plan (PDF, 491KB)


  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • Cost: Free
  • Suitable for: Pairs or small groups
  • You will need: Scrap paper, pens or pencils

How to run this activity

Lights, camera, action

  1. Everyone should get into pairs. Make sure everyone knows the area for the activity, and that it is safe. In each pair there will be a ‘camera’ and a ‘photographer’. The camera must keep their eyes closed and there must be no verbal communication.
  2. The photographer should walk around the area with their camera and find interesting sights and views. They should position the camera and then double tap on their shoulder for them to open their eyes. After three seconds the photographer should tap the camera once more to close their eyes.
  3. Once the photographer has taken three photographs, the players should swap roles.
  4. After everyone has taken three photographs, bring the group back together and distribute drawing materials. Ask everyone to ‘develop’ their favourite photograph by drawing what they could see.


This activity was about learning to take care and valuing the outdoors by capturing photographs of the area looking its best. Why did you like the photograph that you drew at the end? Why did you choose to photograph certain things? When you were the camera, did you trust your photographer at first?

Activity outcomes

Care - help other people, think about their feelings, and care about the impact of your actions.

Value the outdoors - enjoy being outside, feel comfortable in nature, and feel connected to the natural environment.

Safety guidance

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk.

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

Level up

Encourage the participants to think creatively and use different angles, lenses and camera modes. Move the camera back and forth for zoom, lay them on the ground for an interesting angle and slowly spin them around for a panorama.

Take it further

Ask the young people to take three photographs in their own time and bring in their favourite to show to the group.

Get the young people to research famous nature photographers. Find their favourite images and present them to the group.

Access guidance

Use an area that meets all your access needs.

Other activities

Taking time to appreciate the beauty of nature is one of five things that can help people build a better relationship with nature.

Explore our free resources for more activity ideas.

Free resources