More information is available further down the page.....
These programmes are provided at NO COST to the school (thanks to your local COGS - Community Organization Grants and Creative Communities).
How do I register?
A Visual Poetry Jam is a free full-day visual storytelling workshop
A Visual Poetry Jam
For your most gifted young visual storytellers
Help create a national exhibition of youth photography.
Students who attend are able to attend a year-long online innovation and visual storytelling mentorship program for free
Quick Outline of Click Happy in Schools
Your Instructor is a past winner of New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year
Who is the workshop for?
- Students aged 10+
- Creative artsy kids
- Youth with an interest in photography or visual storytelling or filmmaking
What do students bring with them?
- Cellphone, Tablet, or camera (or the school can provide them - we have 8 that we can share out but it is best if students can learn on what they will continue to have access to)
- "A Treasure" is something that is really important to the student that they will photograph against multiple different coloured backdrops
Where are the workshops held?
- Either in a local library with other schools or in your school.
What does the school need to contribute?
- A room that we can use the whole day (if it is held at your school)
- 10 students if held in a library out of school or 20 students if held at your school
- a teacher, teacher's aid, or parent helper for the day.
What does it cost?
It is free thanks to funding from the Local COGS and/ or Creative Communities Committee.
When are there spaces available?
We travel the country in a vintage caravan filled with our treasures and tech. When we are coming to a region we will contact schools at least a month in advance and let you know that there is a space available. If the times and dates work for both you and us then we get booked in for a session. To get on the waiting list you just need to fill in the form at the bottom.
What happens on the day?
3 mini innovation workshops:
What happens on the day?
- 9:00 Arrival - Karakia + Pepeha -
- Karakia and introduction of Gritty and Mandi
- We hand out wipe boards and ask the kids to tell us about themselves ( This is part of Ikigai which is a way of finding your own superpowers)
- 0930 til Morning Tea-
- Selfie Compassion workshop-
- Where wellbeing, composition, and photography meet.
- Part motivational talk about self kindness part art lesson on composition, visual storytelling and perspective taking.
- Understanding what is visual storytelling and why it is so important
- Camera Hacks / Post production techniques
- This is where Gritty is most useful and we take a dog's eye perspective of the world and if weather permits we also have a bit of fun playing with the drone to get a totally different perspective on ourselves.
- After Morning Tea - Lunch - The Monochromatic Rainbow
- Boxes of colourful fabric and props are brought out and turned into creativity stations.
- Students are invited to photograph their treasure amongst the items.
- After lunch - Postproduction
- Students are taught how to improve their images in Lightroom.
- They are asked to submit their top 5 images to the exhibition.
- 9:00 Arrival - Karakia + Pepeha -
You learn how to:
- Change exposure on your camera - helps to keep people from being silhouetted against the sun when you don't want that.
- Blur the background in portraits
- Composition techniques to improve people's response to your work.
- Edit your work for the "wow" factor.
- All through creative experimentation
We are making a national rainbow exhibition of creative student work.
Selected work from your students will be included in that exhibition.
What happens after the workshop? - Click Happy Online
Click Happy Online - Lemonade from the Lemons of the Pandemic
A year-long creative mentorship program by youth for youth + a pro photographer.
Thank the Pandemic for this little bit of awesomeness. Click Happy itself was co-developed from a youth program but was impacted by the first lockdown. Since then we took the program online and it is now available across the country. Originally run solely by Mandi Lynn the lead facilitator. It has now been taken over by the kids and made their own. But Mandi still hangs out with them and gives them mentorship but the lion share of mentorship is between the students using techniques Mandi has taught them to give compassionate constructive feedback on images. The more advanced students help the ones starting out who then rise up in their skills and help the next lot that come through.
In Click Happy Online you can:
- Advance your manual photography skills through photo challenges.
- Learn to give and receive creative compassionate feedback on your work.
- Learn an award-winning creative wellbeing framework
- Join the Create Happy Magazine Crew (they are in the process of launching a national by youth for youth magazine with a 13-year-old editor)
- Create a Passion Project photo essay to develop your skills and build your portfolio.
- Join a local group meetup to go on photographic adventures.
- In the final term you will find a non profit that you can support with your newly honed photography skills.
By registering your school even if we don't make it to your school this year 15 of your students will be able to join Click Happy online starting in term 4.
About the lead facilitators
Mandi Lynn the Photographer + Gritty the Irishdoodle + Frankie the caravan
Mandi Lynn is a past winner of New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year and Click Happy is a passion project that got out of control. It started in response to a statement of body shame in her 5-year-old niece. There is a national photographic exhibition on self-compassion, a film, a youth program, and a TEDx talk in between her niece's comment and Click Happy. Over the pandemic, Click Happy has grown from a codeveloped local workshop to a national program. Mandi has been grabbing the tiger by the tail and going on a wild ride with it. She is currently on the road half the year putting on workshops, and co-running Click Happy online with the student leaders in the program. She is doing her Masters of Social and Community Leadership on the subject of educating for an innovation mindset at the University of Auckland.
A two-year-old Irishdoodle (Irish setter with a standard poodle) with a wicked sense of humour. She LOVES kids and bunnies and balls. She is a photographic service dog that loves to teach kids how to photograph moving objects and is a practised model. She also is a social lubricant bringing kids together and creating a safe space for kids who just need a cuddle with a walking teddy bear. (for schools that don't allow dogs we have alternative means of teaching her part and she will stay in the caravan or will go to doggie daycare)
Frankie (Lil' Frankenstein)
Frankie was brought back from the dead by Craig our tech guru and apparently caravan renovator. She was a tin shell full of holes of a 1960 Lightace that leaked like a sieve. But Craig poured his heart and soul into her and brought her back to life and into a snug office and sleepout on wheels for Mandi and Gritty to use on the road.
Click Happy Students have taken out the top Young Photographer prizes in New Zealand
New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year 2022
Matteus won New Zealand Geographic Young Photographer of the Year.
Matheus was in our first intake of students online and even thought he is still in high school he is already getting commercial gigs. He is one to watch with an absolute obsession and flair for current urban storytelling.
He tinkers, experiments, and really pushes the medium to see what it is capable of.
Ava is one of those dark horses. A quiet observer of life combined with a work ethic that is second to none. She has already shot for Shepardess magazine and her calm nature allows her to blend in and really catch the reality of a scene. She specializes in pet photography and portraiture.
Sophie (14) aka Dr. Doolittle is often found with her hand reared menagerie following her on her shoots (a duck, a starling, a deer). She is a country girl living on a sheep and beef farm in the Waikato. We met at a library workshop in Te Kauwhata where Sophie was so excited to join in because she loved photography. She was an active member of our online program for the last year and has just taken out Auckland Festival of Photography's Young Photographer of the Year. Her passion project is focusing on a Wildlife park in Hamilton that is at risk of being destroyed due to road construction. She is trying to use her photography to impact change for the non profit.
All photography on this site has been taken by Click Happy Students in the online master class. Many of the students didn't know how to photograph before they started.
Get on the waiting list for the spaces in your region. We will contact you when we have confirmed the days, times, and venues.
For me Click happy was a great way to extend further outside my comfort zone. I have never really been somebody who liked posting pictures of myself but Click Happy has been a really great space in experimenting with self portraits and other various skills. I have learned that perfection isn’t everything and that even if I don’t finish something, tomorrow gives me reason to try harder and create something new and inspiring. I am not afraid to fail, I am more experimental and I have gained more experience through this course.
Kriya - 14 - Carmel College
Thanks to Click Happy, I'm not afraid to be myself, and to express my creativity through photography.
Jun - 18 - Graduate of Papakura Highschool
Now when I take photos I think more about the story, angles, composition and lots more that makes a good photo instead of just pushing down the button.
Hazel - 12 - Royal Oak Intermediate
I've of course become more confident in my photography skills but also I have learned persistence and becoming a more strong and independent person.
Amber - 13 - Caramel College
Mary Londt – 16 – Waikato
Click Happy is an inspiring course, not only encouraging students to face their fears about photography and art, but also helping them to understand what makes them think and feel, and how they can show that through art. Thank you so much.
I've developed my creativity and grit and learned more about some important concepts in photography.
Humaira - 16 - Zayed College for Girls
Neha Arunkumar – 17 – Lower Hutt
If I could describe this course in one word, I'd have to say, "inspiring". Mandi really opened our eyes to the wider world of photography and how it's more than just "taking a picture". Furthermore, we have learnt skills that allow us to adapt our thoughts and ideas, allowing us to create art that we were passionate about. All I can say is, THANK YOU 🙂
I've become more confident in my photography skills. I am grittier. I am not afraid to fail forward, and I have met a lot of new people who are passionate about the same things I am.
Jumana - 13 - Hamilton Girls' High School
I feel that I have became more confident in taking photos in general. It used to be quite scary taking photos in public but I have grown the confidence to that now.
Scarlett - 13 - Nga Tawa
Te Kahariki Waitai – 15 – Otaki
I loved the mentor and the environment she created. I really enjoyed having a purpose for my photos, like I take lots of photos but this cause has given them a background story. I want people to be able to feel my images. I feel like I have learnt a lot about how to achieve that during this course.
Khanya Ndebele – 16 – Rodney/North Shore District
Click Happy is a really good course that has really gotten me to open my eyes in terms of photography! I've learnt an extraordinary amount during this course. I appreciate how everyone involved is so kind and welcoming. The constructive criticism is very helpful and makes me think about how I could improve my work in many different aspects. The amount of creativity I have encountered in these people is phenomenal. I really value the opportunity I received to take part in this scholarship course.
Senna Watson – 13 – Waikato
I loved the passion that was put into all of our teaching, and the way you made sure all of us were on the same page. I loved the way you made our mental wellbeing a big part of it! 🙂
Nico Febery – 11 – Waikato
I liked how we had difficult tasks but they weren't super difficult. It has let me start volunteering to take photos for kids greening taupo and made me love photography even more.
I used to be a very shy and nonindependent person, Click Happy helped me learn that I can be myself, I know that i have Definitely grown as a person this summer. I enjoyed Meeting new people, having such a great teacher and student mentors (Mandi you are always so supportive and positive. You give me feedback that makes me so happy and feel like I have accomplished something). I also really liked doing new challenges eg things u would never do.
Jessie - 12 - St Josephs (2021) St Kevins College (2022)
Everyone there is so kind with great positive feedback also to help improve, and i've learnt so much about photography since the beginning
Ariana - 12 - Chilton St. James
"Getting me into the community a lot more than what I'm used to and I loved how it made you more aware of the beautiful scenes around us that we don't realize on a day to day basis. I also like the way Click Happy along with Mandi was so helpful when I was at the bottom of the grit pit"
Jayden - 13 - Te Kura Kaupapa O Pohutukawa MSWA
("the grit pit" is when you stretch out of your comfort zone and find yourself struggling or in a free fall as you transition between what you know and what is unknown but where good growth lies. I showed this in a diagram but the kids labeled it themselves "the Grit Pit")
Elsie Palmer year 10 – New Plymouth
Elsie was in our post COVID intake where we ran our first Click Happy Plus Scholarship program
This is Elsie, and I was just emailing to tell you that I just had my first successful art gallery exhibition! I sold 5 of my flower prints at an art exhibition at a local gallery called The Collaboration. Thank you so much for helping with my photography I don’t think I would have made it this far without your guidance."
I am more confident in my photography skills and less afraid to step out of my comfort zone, to make mistakes and take risks.
Sariah - 16 - TKKM ō Te Kotuku
I am grittier and am more confident that I can complete long term goals and tasks like this course. It made me persevere and find new ways to problem solve and think outside the box. I liked the PAD challenge, & even though sometimes I edited all my photos at once I’m very very proud of myself for taking a photo every single day - 42/42!!
Gin - 15 - Waiopehu College
My skills have definitely gotten better. I found out a way that I can sorta tell a story within photography which I find really useful.
Sydney - 15 - Taupo Nui-a-Tia College
I had a wonderful experience with the Click Happy Program , I didn't expect it would be like this at all , there's a lot of learning and I need to go back to my presentation files and read them again to grasp all the learning as its not just about photography but it teaches you important life skills
Skyler - 11 - Royal Oak Intermediate
I’m more confident in my control over the outcome of an image through using manual settings and have become more free in the way I make my images.
Dani - 16 - Homeschooler
Our wonderfully amazing brilliant funders & sponsors
And Youth Librarians! We had no idea how amazing these community treasures are until recently! Thank you to all of the Youth Librarians who have seen the beauty in the project and have invited us to bring it to their region and who are helping to spread the word. You have halved our work and quintupled the number of youth who get to experience this program. What gifts!
School Visual Poetry Jams 2022
Updated on 2023-05-05T08:09:25+12:00, by .