The optical properties of two kinds of photochromic antiferroelectric liquid crystal (AFLC) containing an azo group have been examined. Depending on the substituting group at the chiral centre, these AFLCs showed different photoinduced phase transitions by Ar+ laser light irradiation. This phase transition has led to a new form of optical switching controlled by a bias voltage. In addition, it was found that these AFLCs caused an azimuthal photoalignment effect regulated by linearly polarized Ar+ laser light irradiation. These phenomena were applied to image storage.