Three Examples of Engagement through Photovoice


  • Catherine Etmanski Royal Roads University
  • Alison Kyte
  • Michelle Cassidy
  • Nikki Bade



Photovoice, Organizational Engagement, Participation, Creative Leadership


Addressing the complex challenges of today’s world requires our collective creative capacity. As such, arts-based methods which promote creativity are increasingly important means of engaging people in the issues that matter most to them. This article focuses on one arts-based method, Photovoice, which is a “process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique” (Wang & Burris, 1997, p. 369) where participants take photos in response to a question or topic of inquiry. To explore this engagement method, we draw from the methodological insights gleaned from three Master’s Arts in Leadership capstone projects that employed Photovoice (or variations thereof) as one method of inquiry.

The article is organized as follows: We begin by reviewing Photovoice as a research and engagement method and then summarize the three projects, which occurred in two nonprofit organizations and one public sector institution. In the discussion, we then compare and contrast the methodological insights emerging from these projects, including the extent to which each project: (a) enabled workers at various levels of organizational hierarchies to share their voices; (b) required careful attention to ethics; and (c) generated relationships among participants. As this is a methodological paper, our emphasis here is to highlight the process and impact of using Photovoice as a method rather than sharing each of the study findings and conclusions. In each example, Photovoice as both a research and engagement method enabled participants to play a leadership role in participatory engagement, thus deemphasizing top-down decision-making and promoting more integrated approaches to research and leadership as engagement.

Author Biographies

Catherine Etmanski, Royal Roads University

is a Professor and Director of the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University. Catherine has a passion for facilitating arts-based approaches to research, leadership and learning as a means of facilitating the transformative changes needed today. Email:


Alison Kyte

is a Practice Lead with the Mental Health & Substance Use Network at Interior Health. She is passionate about strengthening and expanding the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience of substance use in healthcare planning and delivery. As well as fostering innovative approaches to wellness. 

Michelle Cassidy

is a lifelong learner currently working within the healthcare sector. She is a mental health clinician who is passionate about mental health with particular specialties in the areas of suicide prevention, stigma reduction, and designing and implementing mental health strategy within large systems. 

Nikki Bade

is driven by her passion for creating remarkable and engaging workplaces. Professionally, Nikki is the Director of Human Resources at Sundial Growers Inc. and academically, Nikki is completing her Doctor of Social Sciences research focusing on how Canadian organizations on Treaty 7 territory can foster Indigenous engagement in their corporate cultures. 


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How to Cite

Etmanski, C., Kyte, A. ., Cassidy, M., & Bade, N. (2022). Three Examples of Engagement through Photovoice. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 8(1), 20–36.

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