Photovoice: Purpose and Background
As part of a statewide effort from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), the Wellness Health Promotion and Prevention Team of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board partnered with a local group of BIPOC young adults, who served as co-researchers, to capture and share their personal vision of wellness through the Photovoice project.
Photovoice is an empowering way to elevate the voices and experiences of those who are often marginalized. A research technique, Photovoice, is a method in which community members are provided cameras to photograph their personal challenges and success in relation to an identified issue or research question. The community members then collaborate to discuss the intentions of their photographs, distill their stories into photo captions, and investigate overarching themes relating to the identified issue. The aim of the photovoice is to empower participants and promote social action by providing a visual platform that brings their photos and stories to policy makers, relevant stakeholders and the larger community.
This local project took place between August 2021 through February 2022. A local photographer served as a technical consultant providing skill-building and ethical photography guidance. Throughout the project, group members met to discuss the photos and built upon each other’s perspectives to help shape the identified needs and strengths of the community. Select photos were then submitted to DBHDS who will review the photos as a part of a larger statewide wellness campaign.
The question the researchers focused on was: