My Hobbyist to Pro Journey

Hobbyist to Pro:

How a photo scavenger hunt changed

the way I took photographs.

I have been a hobbyist photographer for most of my life. I have always enjoyed capturing the moments that are happening around me. I originally went to school to be a Medical Technologist and I enjoyed my work, but then I had the opportunity to stay home with my son after he was born and I loved it. As a result, most of my photos have been taken on family trips and vacations.

The way I take pictures when on trips with my family was forever changed when I came upon Kevin McQuade’s photo scavenger hunt. It was available at the hotel where we were staying in Charleston, SC and it seemed like a fun way to spend the afternoon.  Kevin’s goal with this was to get people off the beaten path and help them to see the beauty of his city not related to the tourist areas.

Kevin gave specific directions for a walking tour of the residential section of Historic Charleston and the unique way he looked at things was inspirational to me. He didn’t have me photographing area attractions or popular sites. He showed me the beauty in the alleys, the architecture, and even a cemetery.

For example, for the image I included here, he gave directions to walk to a specific church, go to a specific step at a specific entrance, and then aim a specific direction. I know I would not have found this particular composition had he not given me directions, and I loved the outcome. We didn’t have enough time for me to take all of the shots on the list, but I was ecstatic over the ones I did get. 

How did Kevin’s scavenger hunt change my life? I started looking at my surroundings differently for the rest of that trip and all subsequent trips. I started looking for the beauty in the common places we went. I no longer aimed to get only the popular or famous shots, but looked to find interesting ones as well. I have been collecting these photos for years now and really want to share them with others who might appreciate them as much as I do.

By the way, if you’re ever going to be in Charleston, SC, Kevin now has his own business guiding people who visit to find the hidden places not found in guidebooks. You can find Kevin at

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