What is Photovoice?

Photovoice allows participants to visually document their thoughts by taking photos of their personal experiences guided by specific themes or questions. With these photos, they share how the themes or questions relate to themselves, their community and society.  Photovoice was developed by Caroline C. Wang (University of Michigan) and Mary Ann Burris (University of London) in 1992.

The Imagining Inclusion research team has used Photovoice in both project phases as a method to explore lived experience of mental illness by equipping participants with cameras and asking them to take photos based on our research questions and their personal experience.

Participants are given a week to take photos and fill out reflection sheets based on the research question. The following week, participants meet in a group led by peer facilitators where each photo is discussed with the photographer and then opened up to the rest of the group for further dialogue.

The photos, reflection sheets and group discussion have given us an illuminating look into the lives of people with lived experience of mental illness.