PhotoVoice Around the World

The PhotoVoice methodology was first developed by Dr. Caroline Wang, at that time a professor of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and was accordingly defused through the field of public health. Professor Wang has published a variety of works related to PhotoVoice:

Wang, C.C. (1999). Photovoice: A participatory action research strategy applied to women’s health. Journal of Women’s Health, 8, 185-192.

Wang, C., & Burris, M.A. (1994). Empowerment through photo novella: Portraits of participation. Health Education & Behavior, 21, 171-186.

Wang, C., & Burris, M.A. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, methodology, and use for participatory needs assessment. Health Education & Behavior, 24, 369-387.


PhotoVoice has since been largely recognized as a participatory action research methodology that could effectively raise the voices of those oppressed by their society, as well as one that could bring about change in government policies and programs, as well as people’s consciousness and actions. Many more papers on PhotoVoice have been recently published. Among them are action research studies that aim to expose social issues from a minority perspective, root out cases of discrimination and prejudice, and improve human rights:

Bananuka, T., & John, V.M. (2015). Picturing community development work in Uganda: Fostering dialogue through Photovoice. Community Development Journal, 50, 196-212.

Beh, A., Bruyere, B.L., & Lolosoli, S. (2013). Legitimizing local perspectives in conservation through community-based research: A Photovoice study in Samburu, Kenya. Society and Natural Resources, 26, 1390-1406.

Bell, S. E. (2015). Bridging activism and the academy: Exposing environmental injustices through the feminist ethnographic method of Photovoice. Human Ecology Review, 21, 27-58,199.

Carlson, E.D., Engebretson, J., & Chamberlain, R.M. (2006). Photovoice as a social process of critical consciousness. Qualitative Health Research, 16, 836-852.

Cornwall, A., Capibaribe, F., & Gonçalves, T. (2010). Revealed cities: A Photovoice project with domestic workers in Salvador, Brazil. Development, 53, 299-300.

Dentith, A.M., Measor, L., & O’Malley, M.P. (2009). Stirring dangerous waters: Dilemmas for critical participatory research with young people. Sociology, 43, 158–168.

Yoshihama, M., & Carr, E. S. (2002). Community participation reconsidered: Feminist participatory action research with Hmong women. Journal of Community Practice, 10, 85-103.


The PhotoVoice approach has also been applied in education. For example:

Peabody, C. G. (2013). Using Photovoice as a tool to engage social work students in social justice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 33, 251-265.


PhotoVoice has also garnering attention as a research methodology that utilizes artistic expression. For example:

“Arts & Social Work” special issue of Social Dialogue (Vol 19, May 2018), the journal of the International Association of Schools of Social Work. The goals, methodology, and process of PhotoVoice are explained in detail in pages 26 – 30. (link)