What is Photovoice ?            

Photovoice puts cameras in the hands of people with valuable lived experience so they can explore and share their perspectives on health, family, community, and their futures. Photovoice is a participatory approach to photography, discussion, writing and outreach for patients and community members to investigate their experiences and collaborate for change. Patient photographs can illuminate factors that influence access to healthcare and quality of care, and can contribute to decision-making in respectful ways. Photovoice helps to unite service providers, payers, and patients to address health and healthcare as shared endeavors. Photovoice is an innovative approach of value to organizations, patients, providers, policymakers, researchers, and communities



 With Photovoice, patients, clinicians, researchers, and/or community members work together to:

  • Decide on a project topic
  • Take photographs to show their thoughts and experiences
  • Discuss photos and experiences with others
  • Identify common themes
  • Prepare exhibits or other outreach.

Exhibit posters, ‘Talking with Pictures’: Community Integration of
Older Adults with Brain Injury, Carey Memorial Library, Lexington, MA, 2016

Photovoice is:  An innovative way to reflect, talk, learn, share, and make a difference for yourself and others, and a straightforward method fostering patient, family, and community dialog.


History of Photovoice:

Caroline C. Wang and Mary Ann Burris developed Photovoice in 1992 as a way to bring daily life experiences  of  village women in Yunnan Province, China into decision-making for regional development. Photovoice participants have included:

  • youth

  • people living with chronic health conditions

  • people who have disabilities

  • homeless

  • pregnant teens

  • and many others.

Informal exhibit, ‘Brain Injury X-Posed’: The Survivor’s View, Framingham Public Library, Framingham, MA, 2007

Projects often seek to create awareness, foster dialog, bring real lives into practice and policy conversations, and plant seeds for change.


'A Photovoice Path'

Laura Lorenz, PhD, MEd developed a series of symbols and descriptions to a illustrate the Photovoice process and steps, which she calls “A Photovoice Path.” The path helps with planning. It provides a useful tool for participants to understand the Photovoice activities and track their progress. Below is a visual depiction of the steps of Photovoice, from learning to be a a visual researcher to reaching target audiences.

 View a (B&W) Downloadable PDF of 'A Photovoice Path' - here.   (PDF) 121 Kilobytes  

What We Will Do

A brief descriptive (companion document) of the steps depicted in 'A Photovoice Path' shown above.

 Download (B&W) PDF - (Click Here)134-Kilobytes
 Download (Color) PDF - (Click Here)127-Kilobytes

Other Areas of interest:

See Photovoice on Wikipedia  


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