The photovoice process
Photovoice begins with a desire for participation — to be engaged and involved in the decisions that affect your life and your community’s development.
Though photovoice can take many different shapes and forms, there are five core activities essential to a successful photovoice project:
This is your project’s reason for being. This means defining the needs, objectives and ultimate goals for your project. Key parts of this stage include:
- defining your key parties — including participants, community members and partners — and seeking out and collecting their input;
- establishing needs, expectations and priorities; and
- developing and agreeing on a project plan.
Plan and Prep
This is where you’ll plan and prepare for your project’s primary activities. Key parts of this stage include:
- fleshing out specific project activities;
- recruiting participants, staff and volunteers;
- securing equipment and space;
- training your staff and volunteers;
- working out content and timetables; and
- preparing for what’s to come, including running test workshops, working out layout for venues, etc.
The core of your project, here your participants will work with you and your facilitators to learn about photography and digital media usage. This activity involves a large amount of personal discretion as you decide on the content, frequency and length of time of your workshops. Key parts of this stage include:
- working with your participants to build their photographic knowledge and skills;
- initiating photography projects; and
- building the confidence in your participants to increase engagement and produce greater results.
The ultimate expression of what you’ve been working towards. Here the combination of the images and words created for your project are collected, formatted and displayed for any and all to see. This audience may be limited to family, friends and well wishers, but should also include the general public, targeted groups from the community, and politicians and decision makers.
Evaluation and Moving Forward
An important step and too often forgotten in projects, here you’ll evaluate the success of your photovoice experience. Key parts of this stage include:
- collecting feedback on your project from all involved — participants, staff, volunteers and your audience;
- reviewing and filing this feedback for future reference;
- devising plans for long-term or continuing activities; and
- hopefully, planning your next photovoice project.
If you found this how-to guide helpful, here’s a downloadable version.
If you’re interested in holding your own photovoice event, you can contact the ARDN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also want to take a look at "A Practical Guide to Photovoice" provided by the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE).