Former Lead Photographer, Family Planning Voices
Digital Marketing Specialist, INFORMS
When [the Family Planning Voices team] first sat down and started thinking about these interviews and these portraits and how they would appear and be used, we were focused on building a community. A clear aspect was really providing a headshot or a professional appearance, and so that dictated the approach that I was going to take. Because I know that we weren’t making lifestyle or narrative art photography, we were focused on more of a commercial portrait style so that they could have sort of a dual use– not just be a powerful portrait of an individual, but also something they could then reuse as a reflection of their own professional development. The other aspect is that we’re limited to this small time frame. Most of the portraits we make happen in about five to ten minutes, which from a photography standpoint is just super fast, and so I had to figure out a way to technically create really pleasing images that could happen really fast.
Click on the photos to explore the stories.
Sarah V. Harlan
Former Project Lead, Family Planning Voices
Senior Technical Writer, Pathfinder International
[on taking inspiration from HONY for FP Voices]: I thought, wow. We have those stories too - can we find a way to do something like it? And I was also thinking about the fact that we’re just inundated with information and part of [K4Health’s] job is to reduce the noise and pick out what’s really important. So I liked that style - a simple portrait and a brief quote that takes a minute to read but says something really important. People can actually do that…
…Almost everyone that I talked to, when you ask them how they got into [family planning], the majority go back to an experience they had or something that they saw growing up. The situation of their mother, or friends in the community, who had a different path than they did. I feel like everyone is motivated to work in family planning by things that they’ve seen and would like to change.
Sarah V. Harlan
Advisor, Family Planning Voices
Partnerships Team Lead, Knowledge SUCCESS, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
Family Planning Voices is capturing stories that are coming from this immense global family planning movement. But it’s also this incredible story bank for people to use as they’re doing advocacy, or as they’re doing education, or talking to providers. So in addition to the importance of actually collecting the stories, the stories can be used in a number of different ways. So that’s what makes the collection so exciting for me. We can slice and dice it. If you’re visiting a country and talking to people about IUDs, you can look for those stories in the collection and use them in your work. And what I’ve found, especially in some of the advocacy work that I’ve done, data doesn’t always convince someone on its own, whether to change a policy or to change behavior. But if they’re actually hearing in someone else’s own words why that’s important to them, or what difference it’s made for them—or even from a provider in terms of what they’ve seen from their patients—that can really change someone’s mind.