When preparing to collect and analyze qualitative data, several issues should be considered. One of them is the cost of the research, as in most cases it will require quite some budget: paying for the interviewers and collectors of the data, the software, specialists to decode and analyze the information. However, even when being short on funds, it is possible to conduct a qualitative study. An excellent option for it is using photovoice – a method of collecting and analyzing data (photographs in particular), created by the participants of the research.
Photovoice is relatively new, but it seems to be getting popular with researchers. It is flexible and can be applied it in totally different areas, for example, it is quite often used with marginalized groups. Since the materials are provided by the population explored, it offers valuable insight into their lives, opinions, thoughts, and struggles. In particular, when it comes to a health care program – it may give the researchers a look at how the participants perceive the program, what are its successes and failures in their eyes. Besides, photovoice does not require such fundamental budgeting. Since the data is created and provided by the population, there is no need for high-skilled, trained interviewers, or for specialists to decode everything received.
Any type of research requires resources – specialists in the field, finances, time, and the participants themselves. However, using photovoice is reasonably economical, and it offers a unique perspective from within the population studied. Regular interviewers from the outside simply might not get access to it, since they do not belong to the community. Photovoice is the preeminent way of collecting qualitative data, as it is very cost-effective, and at the same time, very insightful.