PACT recently developed a set of HIV "picture codes" (photographic cue cards) for use by peer educators in Botswana. The cards, which feature photographs of real people enacting common situations rather than the more commonly used illustrations, cover a range of topics relating to HIV risk, including abstinence, alcohol, sexual decision-making, gender norms, partner communication, and values and goal setting.
Using photographs rather than drawings can be a good option when developing print materials, as it may help viewers relate to the story being told and internalize messages. Production (including reshoots following pretesting) may also be less costly than drafting, refining, and inking illustrations. Instances when using photographs may be less appropriate include:
- the material will be used with a variety of different audiences or audience segments, and there are clear visual markers of group belonging that may prevent some viewers from relating to a photograph;
- the material will feature members of a marginalized group, such as sex workers - members of the group may not be comfortable being featured in materials, and actors may not wish to portray members of the group;
- the material will feature uniformed services personnel - local laws may prohibit photography of either military sites or use of uniforms by actors.
For more information, including downloads of the full set of picture codes, see: http://www.comminit.com/en/node/269867/347