What is PhotoVoice?
Photovoice is an innovative way to reflect, talk, learn, share, and make a difference for yourself and others, and a straightforward method fostering community dialogue.
This method is based on the belief that individuals are the experts of their own experience, and that photographic images provide a powerful way for people to help create grassroots community change.
“PhotoVoice is a way to get young people engaged in their communities and be featured as ‘experts on their own lives’ (Wang, et al., 2004).” The process involves giving youth cameras to document the realities of their day-to-day experiences and capture strengths and challenges of their communities through their photographs and interpretations.
Photovoice might be used:
- To change people’s opinions about themselves and their environment.
- When a group’s situation needs to be publicized.
- When a problem needs to be publicized.
- When change is necessary, and PhotoVoice can help inform policymaker’s decision making.
The CADY Junior Action Club (JAC), and the Youth Advisory and Advocacy Council (YAAC) chose to use PhotoVoice to learn new skills which would enable the telling of their stories they have experienced during COVID-19 and communicate these to each other and their community.
Their photographs capture the lived experience of participants and give insight and deeper understanding about their worlds during this unprecedented time. The JACs and YAACs were able capture images that depict isolation/loneliness, the difficulty of transitioning to remote learning, beauty of unknown, inspiration, and hope. These young leaders not only captured beautiful imagery but are sharing their stories of COVID-19 through the eyes of adolescents.
The JACs and YAACs believe visual images can be a powerful communication tool, challenging stereotypes and providing a platform for more intense and emotionally engaging reflection on an experience in someone’s life.