About PhotoVoice's Activities
PhotoVoice works in the UK and internationally with individuals, local communities, and partner organisations, to design and deliver tailor-made participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects for underrepresented or issue-affected groups.
While the organisation’s origins have roots in the academic theory published by Wang and Burris in 1997, PhotoVoice has developed its own approach to community engagement, including a unique set of proprietary methodological procedures, a demonstrable track record of social change, a robust and public Statement of Ethical Practice, and a fundamental commitment to participant wellbeing; all of which are informed by our history of delivering nearly 130 projects worldwide.
Our expertise, and the ongoing evolution of the adaptations to our own methodology, have been gained by informed community-led learning, acquired through practical projects, activities, and engagement
We refer to the broader methodology we apply to some of our activities as ‘participatory photography’, to distinguish them from the name of our organisation, which is protected by trademark. We are proud of the fact that we have delivered more diverse and successful projects using participatory photography than any other organisation (that we know of), and have won numerous awards for our activities over the years.
How PhotoVoice Works
Since first being established in 1999, over the course of its history, PhotoVoice has developed skills in a range of different areas, which have led to demonstrable outcomes for communities and project partners. We have won multiple accolades and awards for our work.
We categorise different elements of our activities and approaches into three key areas.
- We design and deliver participatory photography projects, which explore, highlight and share community perspectives on a range of issues. You can find out more about our categories of engagement here.
- We provide training and consultancy to organisations and individuals who want to use participatory photography within their own work or projects. Find out more about our training and consultancy.
- We develop and publish documents and methodology guides on the use of participatory photography, based on our extensive experience in delivering PhotoVoice worldwide. Some resources are only available for our supporters, with some released under Creative Commons licensing.
- We champion ethical photography which celebrates diversity of community, thought, identity, and circumstance.
- We celebrate and promote the work of photographers who are committed to the ethical use of photography for social change.
- We provide training and consultancy on some of key considerations around ethical photography, which include representation, inclusion, consent, copyright, data management, curation and exhibition.
- We can deliver ethically-grounded photography projects or engagements, which can be used for a variety of purposes.
- We champion the importance of lived experience informing decision making processes and policy development
- We support and can provide guidance on activities such as consultation, research, commissioning, and co-production. These principles go beyond the use of photography, and extend to how community voice should be central in the design and delivery of policies, services, and activities
- We promote and support principles of co-production and resource development, working with the belief that community voices should be heard by those who are making decisions which affect them.