Picturing commuting: photovoice and seeking well-being in everyday travel.
Qualitative research : QR 2015 ; 15: 201-218.
DOI : 10.1177/1468794112468472
PubMed ID : 25972763
PMCID : PMC4425295
We used participant-produced photography to investigate everyday commuting practices in Cambridge, UK. Photovoice served as an observational method for producing ethnographically rich data. A total of 19 participants produced over 500 photos about their journeys to and from work and took part in photo-elicitation interviews. Three themes emerged. First, many images depicted 'well-being' in commuting, for example, beautiful landscapes. Second, during elicitation interviews, participants described positive images that they intended but failed to capture in photos. Third, those participants who did not depict well-being described a lack of choice in their commuting, while those who acknowledged well-being seemed to do so in order to make practices of commuting meaningful and habitable. While our interpretations of photos of well-being could be subject to a methodological fallacy relating to a preference for positive over negative images in lay photography, we nonetheless suggest that the rich visual and oral narratives indicate a 'real' experience, albeit elicited through the photovoice.