Understanding Health Through a Different Lens: Photovoice Method

  • Michelle TetiEmail author
  • Wilson Majee
  • Nancy Cheak-Zamora
  • Anna Maurer-Batjer
Reference work entry


This chapter describes the application of photovoice, a method that enables people to identify, share, and address their lived experiences with photographs and discussions, to HIV/AIDS and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research. The use of photovoice has expanded tremendously over the last decade. The case studies in this chapter highlight the varied and important methodological uses of photovoice in public health. The cases feature photovoice projects that facilitate women with HIV’s expression of their illness narratives, youth with ASD’s accounts of growing up, and HIV patients’ stories of medication adherence. Although the photovoice methodology varied slightly in each case, each project included: (1) introduction and camera tutorial, (2) group photo sharing and discussion sessions, (3) individual photo reflection interviews, and (4) public photo sharing. Theme and story analysis of project session transcripts and photographs revealed projects’ process and outcomes. Across each case example, photovoice proved to be versatile and adaptable to different participants’ needs. Photos enhanced dialogue by giving participants a way to creatively and concretely express themselves and share their ideas. The method served as a way to collect data, but also as an enjoyable and empowering process for participants with HIV and ASD. Photovoice also supported individual and group development and action such as increased self-awareness and education for picture viewers. Photovoice can be a powerful method for vulnerable populations. Care must be taken to match the method to research questions and participants’ needs, create effective collaborations between researchers and participants, and attend to project ethics.


Autism HIV/AIDS Photovoice Public health Qualitative Visual research methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Teti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wilson Majee
    • 1
  • Nancy Cheak-Zamora
    • 1
  • Anna Maurer-Batjer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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