Photovoices empowers people through photography using a specific methodology and
working in partnership with organizations that seek local information in order to make better decisions.
1. Length of Projects. Each Photovoices project lasts between six months and one year with each photographer taking 30-50 digital photographs each month.
2. Training. The local photographers receive training in how to use the camera and the basics of good photography.
3. Taking Pictures. Through their photographs, the people create visual documentation about nature, culture, village life and other issues of interest or concern such as agriculture, health care and water resources.
4. Stories behind the Photographs. The value of the photography is greatly enhanced by the stories the people tell about their pictures. Facilitators, working in pairs, meet with the Photovoices photographers each month to discuss the pictures–writing down the stories and downloading photographs along with the stories on the computer. Others in the community are also engaged in the conversations and encouraged to give their ideas about the pictures.
5. Providing Local Information to Decision Makers. The photographs and the information produced through the stories are provided to scientists, government officials, international NGOs, economic development experts, anthropologists and others to help ensure that local views and indigenous knowledge are available to inform discussions and influence decisions.
6. Meetings Between Local Photographers and Experts. One effective strategy is to have the local people present the photographs and stories at a joint meeting with decision makers and other experts so questions can be discussed and the information elaborated on through direct conversations.
7. Village Exhibitions. At least once during the project, exhibits are held in the village to honor the local photographers, and to provide the opportunity for others in the community to add their own stories about the pictures.