Photo Elicitation Interview (PEI): Using Photos to Elicit Children’s Perspectives

  • Iris Epstein University of Toronto
  • Bonnie Stevens University of Toronto
  • Patricia McKeever University of Toronto
  • Sylvain Baruchel The Hospital for Sick Children


When conducting photo elicitation interviews (PEI), researchers introduce photographs into the interview context. Although PEI has been employed across a wide variety of disciplines and participants, little has been written about the use of photographs in interviews with children. In this article, the authors review the use of PEI in a research study that explored the perspectives on camp of children with cancer. In particular, they review some of the methodological and ethical challenges, including (a) who should take the photographs and (b) how the photographs should be integrated into the interview. Although some limitations exist, PEI in its various forms can challenge participants, trigger memory, lead to new perspectives, and assist with building trust and rapport.