• Heroin Users Help Us See Photos Of Addiction Differently

    After a year taking photos of three long-term heroin users, I turned to them to help interpret the images

    "We need for you people to see we're not just stereotyped monsters. We're people just like you, just with an addiction."

    Cheryl says heroin-assisted treatment has made a major impact on her life. In responding to photographs, she says she needs to continue accessing the treatment

    When a Drug User Looks at Photos of Himself

    Heroin-assisted treatment has improved Johnny’s life. Through photographs he reflects on new-found stability



    "A Needle in My Arm is Only 10% of Who I Am"

    Heroin-assisted treatment allows Marie to inject drugs safely, away from the streets. Through these photos, she explains that she is more than her addiction

  • Personal narrative

    news junkie

    A digital story that recalls my mother's disappearance in my youth and my relationship with my father that led me to work as a journalist. 

    home again 

    A digital story focused on struggling to  rebuild a relationship with my mother after her long absence.

    let the water do the work

    After years of not knowing, I finally asked my mother how she faced her greatest challenge in life. (Outfront, CBC Radio, 2005.)

    nina & arne

    When my cousin Arne was looking for love, he began caring for Nina, a woman with a rare and debilitating form of Multiple Sclerosis. (Outfront, CBC Radio, 2004.)


    Winner of the Gabriel Award from the Catholic Academy and the Dave Rogers Award from the Association of Electronic Journalists (RTNDA) for Best Short Feature, National Broadcast.

  • Research

    My current research focuses on creating visual counter-narratives about long-term heroin users through social documentary photography and digital storytelling, the representation of natural death and dying in documentary, and slow, long-form multimedia journalism focused on critical social issues.

    Challenging photojournalistic

    representations of heroin users

    Is it possible to photograph drug users in less stereotypical ways?

    Over the course of a year, I produced a photo documentary about three long-term heroin users taking part in North America's first heroin-assisted treatment program in Vancouver, B.C. I also led a digital storytelling workshop for 10 heroin users. The goal of these projects was to attempt to create visual counter-narratives that challenge the dominant tropes of drug genre photography. I learned it's much harder to do than I expected.

    Exploring natural death and dying in documentary

    And producing a documentary about my mother's recent death

    We're bombarded with images of gruesome and violent death in Hollywood films and news media, yet there are relatively few representations of natural death and dying in documentaries. This may be because death has become a significant taboo in contemporary Western society. While most people used to die at home, many of us now die in hospitals and often alone. Death has been medicalized and institutionalized and many are reluctant to speak openly about it.


    I analyzed 25 documentary films, including Allan King's seminal 2003 documentary Dying at Grace in order to inform my documentary practice producing a multimedia story about my mother's recent death from pancreatic cancer that coincided with the birth of my first child.



  • Find out about our storytelling workshops:



    StoryTurns collaborates with organizations around the world to facilitate innovative and  empowering digital storytelling workshops. Trained facilitators support participants in script writing, photography, storyboarding and video editing. By the end of the workshop, each participant has created their own film.


    StoryTurns: snapshot

    A short video about our digital storytelling workshops.

    My Mother's Light

    By Lenee Son

    Lenee Son explores how her mother's Cambodian origins have shaped their relationship. The story was produced by StoryTurns and Aaron Goodman.

  • About Aaron

    Aaron Goodman is a documentary photographer, multimedia producer, researcher and instructor specializing in under-reported social and humanitarian issues around the world.

    His stories have been broadcast by PBS/Frontline WORLD, VOA, Al Jazeera English, CNN, CBC and Associated Press Television News. He has reported on the search for tens of thousands of people forcibly disappeared by government forces in Sri Lanka, the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, the civil war in Nepal, the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan that claimed more than 70,000 lives, the legacy of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, and Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, India.


    He is a faculty member in the Journalism and Communication Studies department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C. and a doctoral student in the PhD in Communication Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal, QC. He’s the founder of StoryTurns (www.storyturns.org), an organization that facilitates innovative digital storytelling workshops around the world.

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