It’s a cliché, but the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words holds much truth. Photography in research can prompt stories and immediately make invisible experiences visible while ensuring that participants felt seen and heard.
Our team completed a national, interdisciplinary research project using photography as the basis for a poster and a video about First Nations and Métis peoples’ experiences with cancer. Participants engaged in photography, journaling, interviews, and sharing sessions to convey their experiences.
Funding for this project was provided by the Canadian Cancer Society. Related projects are now underway.
For example, Dr. Chad Hammond (a CIHR postdoctoral fellow with Roanne Thomas) has completed a research study building on the National Picture Project. He studied the experiences of both informal (e.g., family members, friends) and formal (e.g., health professionals) First Nations caregivers who support people with cancer in Kahnawake. His work used photography to create digital stories to document caregivers’ experiences.
Workshops on visual methods are offered through the Creative Practices Centre at the University of Ottawa. Sign up for Roanne’s newsletter for updates and current offerings.