Captivating photography that prompts conversation and reflection
The power of photography can be profound. Photographs communicate so much in an instant without words or sound and transcend traditional forms of communication.
Picture This is a set of 75 full-colour photographs capturing different aspects of our journey through life. The versatile resource uses evocative and interpretive imagery to reflect universal themes, settings and experiences.
Picture This utilises contemporary photography instead of traditional therapeutic linguistic tools. The benefit of this is that it allows participants to draw their own connections between the images and their values, beliefs, emotions and stories.
The cards can be applied to many of life’s situations, enabling reflection, introspection, and change. They can also be used in various settings and may be particularly useful for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Picture This is a vital resource for participants to see the world rather than just look at it.
- Social work
- Child and Family services
- Personal use
- Life coaches and mentors
- Culturally and linguistically diverse communities
Stories and Reviews
Using Picture This with young people
‘I recently used the cards with an adolescent who was very troubled and had been threatening to kill himself. The Picture This cards he chose elicited some powerful responses:
Hands lifting hay bales—No matter what I do I can’t please Dad.
House burning and crashed car—I feel like my life is crashing and burning.
Shredded paper—I feel confused and all messed up.
Walking down the road in snow—I am always going on walks alone.
The crowd—I want to be the person being focused-on in the crowd.
I found it to be a really successful session as it clarified how much he was internalising. For a young man he was such a deep thinker and very aware of his feelings. He is now being referred for further counselling.’
Janine Mitchell, Youth Pathways Advisor
Using Picture This in staff development
‘I used the new edition Strength Cards this week in an introductory workshop I was asked to do at Leeds Metropolitan University’s festival for staff development. My session was on the subject of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership. I used the cards to help stimulate participants to identify five talents and to share these in small groups. This helped open up a discussion about why it is so hard to talk about what we do well and the implications of this for our management style.
I used the beautiful Picture This cards later on in the session when I asked the participants to identify images of self-control. The cards were great at moving them beyond the normal brainstorming of words into a more creative space—and the cards looked great as a display! I had to stop people taking them home with them. Several participants commented about how wonderful the cards are.
So a big thankyou for producing such beautiful resources. I will be recommending and using them at the Advanced Facilitators programme I am running later in the year. I hope this will stimulate some more interest in the UK!
Christine Bell, Director, Real Life Learning (Leeds, UK)
Picturing Community Aspirations in the Western Downs, QLD
My research into ‘Understanding Community Aspirations’ explored the social and economic aspects of coal seam gas development in the Western Downs of Southern Queensland. We used Picture This with several focus groups in the rural community, including a local craft group, a Landcare group, social service providers and a group of young people. We also supplemented the cards with some images compiled from an existing Community Development Plan.
To introduce the cards, we invited people to imagine themselves in a future 10-15 years from now in which they were content with the way things had turned out. We spread the cards out on the table and asked people to select two or three cards that captured a sense of that future. Then we invited participants to take turns talking about the images they had selected and what the pictures represented.
People were pretty comfortable with the exercise and seemed to enjoy the process of finding the images that they wanted. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the selected images captured aspects of life that are important to them now, such as a rural way of life where farming persists, incorporating community spirit, family, recreation and a healthy environment. Economic stability was also important and there was acknowledgement that an influx of new families and cultures brought benefits to the area.
Many of the cards selected were fairly literal representations of what people chose to talk about. But there were a few used more as metaphors too. For example, the image of the overlapping umbrellas was used to talk about the need for an overarching structure, representing a desire for development efforts in the region to be interconnected in order to provide stability.
The findings of this work and other research being conducted by my CSIRO colleagues have been presented at a local forum where we invited discussion and feedback on what we’d presented. Currently I’m preparing a more extensive collation of the images, organised into themes, with quotes illustrating what the images represented for the people who selected them.
Rachel Williams, Social Scientist in CSIRO’s Division of Ecosystem Sciences (Australia)