A picture is worth... ? Photo elicitation interviewing with formerly homeless adults

  • Padgett D
  • Smith B
  • Derejko K
 et al. 
  • 63


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 23


    Citations of this article.


We report on the use of photo elicitation interviewing (PEI) with 13 participants in a qualitative study of formerly homeless men and women with serious mental illness. Following a respondent-controlled approach, participants were asked to take up to 18 photographs visually portraying positive and negative aspects of their lives and to subsequently narrate the meaning of the photos in a one-on-one interview. Thematic analysis of the photos (N = 205) revealed two approaches to PEI: (a) a "slice of life" and (b) "then vs. now." Examples show how PEIs yielded deeper, more elaborate accounts of participants' lives compared to earlier verbal-only interviews. Participants spoke of the benefits of PEI and preferred taking positive as opposed to negative photographs depicting their lives. Implications of PEI as a means of complementing verbal-only data are discussed. By moving away from predetermined content and meaning, respondent-controlled PEIs enhance empowerment and enable creativity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • homelessness
  • mental health and illness
  • photography / photovoice

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Deborah K. Padgett

  • Bikki Tran Smith

  • Katie Sue Derejko

  • Benjamin F. Henwood

  • Emmy Tiderington

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free