PhotoVoice, or Photo Novella, is a creative approach to participatory action research. The PhotoVoice method brings the voices of those traditionally less heard to the forefront. Through the use of images and connected stories, patients/public/communities can empower themselves by sharing their stories and realities. Also, the photos and stories help to shed light on their lived experiences. The images and stories also become a tool to raise awareness in the community by helping community members see the world through the lenses of the patient/public/community partners.


PhotoVoice can be useful for:

  • Representing real life stories and voices of patients/public/communities, which can be used to help inform research decisions such as health outcomes that matter most to people with lived experience.
  • Empowering patients/public/communities to reflect on their strengths and concerns; in turn helping to inform research decisions around areas of priority that the community believes should be investigated further in the research project.
  • Promoting critical dialogue and knowledge sharing about important community issues through large and small group discussions of photographs and attached stories.
  • To reach policy makers and others who can mobilize for change.


Additional Resources:






Photovoice Examples:

Homelessness (Wang and Burris 1997)

Indigenous research (Castleden et al. 2008)

Mothers with learning difficulties (Booth and Booth 2003)

Social and health issues of women (Krieg 2008McIntyre 2003)

Social and health issues of youth (Strack et al. 2004Wang 1999)

Youth with disabilities (Whitney 2006)