-USE PHOTOS TO ADVOCATE-
Anyone can use pictures to advocate for a group or to promote awareness around an issue. Use photos in
print or online to tell a story, send a message,
or advocate for cause.
Food Youth Initiative
Photos have become one of the best ways to share information and stories online and in print. Taking a picture and editing it in seconds is a skill most young people have, but taking a picture and turning it into a way to advocate for a cause is a skill Food Youth Initiative has mastered.
Food Youth Initiative (FYI) is a collective of high school students, recent graduates, and GED recipients in North Carolina who are working towards food justice in their communities. FYI provides resources, networks, and skill developing tools to help participants create change. One of the tools FYI gives its youth is training in PhotoVoice.
PhotoVoice is a simple tool involving a picture and a brief caption, quote, or statistic on that picture to get a message across or tell a story. Think of it like a billboard: usually a picture accompanied by a short sentence that directly gets the point across. For youth involved with food justice or farm work like FYI’s members, PhotoVoice is a powerful, attention grabbing way to advocate to a large audience.
FYI members’ PhotoVoice project showcased real images of North Carolina food systems. In an exhibit called Reframing Foods, youth told their own personal stories with growing, raising, and harvesting food and the injustices they faced. One picture can tell a whole story, and Photovoice adds a powerful message to support change.
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You can use other methods and platforms to use photography as an advocacy or education tool. Now more than ever, it’s fast, easy, and free to share photos with a message online and through social media. You can make an online campaign or team up with a college, library, art gallery, or school to host an exhibit. If you’re printing pictures and don’t want to have your message directly on them, you can include a plaque next to or beneath it. Youth are usually very skilled in using social media platforms to reach big audiences. If you’re using photos to raise awareness or advocate, make sure you know what story you are trying to tell. Develop and decide on a common theme or issue you want to explain through photography. If you’re working with youth, consider letting them take their own pictures and picking out which issue they want to focus on. Telling a personal story can be difficult; using photos makes it simple, but significant.