Click Happy In Schools

Congratulations - Your teacher / youth leader / librarian has chosen you to receive a scholarship to Click Happy Academy.  They either saw grit or talent in you.  And Grit and Photographic Talent is what you will further develop in our program.


Learn Visual Story Telling and Documentary and Street Photography Skills

In the Click Happy Academy, you get to learn alongside talented young artists from around the country.

The goal is to develop your photography skills and help you become a powerful visual storyteller.

You will get to learn how to use your cellphone or DSLR camera in manual settings.  This will give you greater creative control over your imagery.

Your tutor is a past winner of New Zealand's Creative Photographer of the Year.


Start date - We work on Rolling admissions.

Students who register before the end of the 2nd week of the school term get into that term's program. Students who register later than that will get into the program that runs in the following term. The online program is free thanks to Community Organizational Grant Funding and Lotteries Community funding.

Runs for 6 weeks as an Online Course.

Photography | Philosophy | Philanthropy

Step 1 Photography

Step 1: Photography

  • You learn manual settings on your DSLR or Phone (to give you more creative control)
  • Composition skills
  • Creative storytelling
  • Documentary Photography Skills
  • Street Photography Skills
  • How to edit your photographs in Lightroom ( a free app)
  • Weekly photographic challenges to help you develop your natural talents and learn image critiquing skills.

Step 2  Philosophy


  • The photography challenges are also wellbeing challenges that help you build creative grit and self-compassion.
  • Our brand of philosophy is called HeArtivism and helps you become smarter in 4 brains, not just one
    • Head (Wairau / Inspiration / Problem Solving / Critical Thinking)
    • Heart (Aroha / Human Connections / Communication / Self compassion)
    • Guts (Mana / Character-Based / Emotional / Intuitive / Skill mastery)
    • Ground (Papatuanuku / Community / Environmental Stewardship / Service beyond self )
  • We help you to understand where you are blocking your best work and give you tools that can help to shift those blocks.

Step 3: Philanthropy


By successfully completing a term of Click Happy in Schools you can earn your pass into Click Happy Impact Academy where you are shown how to use your photography as a philanthropist.  You are also mentored by award-winning professional photographers.

  • A philanthropist is a person who donates time, money, experience, skills or talent to help create a better world.
  • In our program, we learn photography so that we can create content for our favourite charities.
  • The added benefit is that by helping the charities with their creative communication challenges, we make ourselves more relevant in the rapidly changing job market that is in need of creative, resilient, innovators.  Win - Win.



Sounds Great!  How does it work?

Who is the course for?

  • Youth who hope to have a career that involves innovation and creativity.
  • Creative Youth aged year 7 and above (each selected school gets up to 10 scholarships to distribute)
  • Teachers who want a new and creative way to teach wellbeing to their students.

Click Happy 101 is a Hybrid Program

  • Part of it is online
    • The initial lessons (One hour once a week on Zoom plus online reading)
    • The posting of the images on our Signal channel for feedback
  • Part of it is practical
    • You are given a photographic challenge and have to go outside into the real world to answer the challenge.
    • You are challenged to look deeper and see things from a new perspective

How much of a time commitment is this?

  • The reading and watching the course materials will probably take about 30 minutes to an hour a week.
  • The zoom is for an hour and is optional but you will get lots from it.
  • The practical photography experiments can take one second to click one shot to hours to experiment and play your way into an image you love...that is all up to you.
  • As with most things in life you will get out of it what you put into it.  The more curiosity and play the better your photography will become.


If you do the work you will leave with a portfolio of imagery, a deeper understanding of how to use your camera and knowledge of yourself as an artist which will give you power to create cooler work.  Once you graduate you are given an option of joining the Click Happy Impact Academy (also free) and deeping your knowledge of visual story telling and creative wellbeing.

Here is a wee Mural Board (Mind Map) that explains a bit about how Click Happy works


What gear do I need?

  • Access to a cellphone or camera that has manual settings
    • to get manual settings on your phone just download the free version of Adobe Lightroom.
    • manual settings on a camera are usually an "M" on the dial on the top if you aren't sure ask a teacher, camera shop, or local camera club.
  • Access to the internet
    • to upload your images onto the Signal channel and to receive the course materials.  And permission to use Signal from your parents if you are under 13.
    • to access the Mural App which is where part of the program takes place.
    • to Access Google Drive where you will keep your images in folders shared with us.
  • The newer the phone the better the camera typically but an older iPhone 10 or newer will have a very good camera on it.  With androids, you usually need one that is new to two years old to have a decent camera on it.   The more cameras on the back usually the better, but to be honest we can teach you the basics on any cellphone as long as it has at least one camera).
  • also in a pinch, you could use an iPad or tablet with a camera to take the course and then do heaps of chores to save up money to upgrade.


DSC_1859 (2) - Jaydn Ashe(1)

"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")

fav (1) - Amber Lee(2)
“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
Photo Image - Sariah Fyhn(1)

“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


Do I need to continue to the Philanthropy / Mentorship part of the course?

  • Nope, but you will probably want to as you will have made friends and you will be able to continue to develop your creative community if you carry on. You will need to complete CH101 before you could be considered for the advanced course.









I'm in! How do I sign up? (For Students and Teachers/Youth Workers)

We work on Rolling admissions.

Students who register before the end of the 2nd week of term get into that term's program. Students who register later than that will get into the program that runs in the following term. The online program is free thanks to Community Organizational Grant Funding and Lotteries Community funding.

  1. First download this Permission file and have your parent/guardian fill it in (Please do not email the Permission to us).
  2. Once the Permission has been completed and signed by your parent's/guardian's, photograph/scan the Permission.
  3. Fill out the online form below and upload your Permission on the form. Do not email the Permission to us.

Teachers wanting to participate also need to fill out this form

So we can contact you if we have any issues with your registration.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Our wonderfully amazing brilliant funders & sponsors

Funders & Sponsors 2020/2021/2022
Thames District Council
Lotto Scale-Up Wellington Community Trust ANZ

  • Far North
  • Rodney North Shore
  • Waitakere City
  • Manukau
  • Papakura Franklin
  • Kirikiriroa / Hamilton City
  • South Waikato
  • Rotorua
  • Tongariro
  • Hutt Valley
  • Wellington
  • Central Otago
  • Coastal Otago / Waitaki
  • Wairarapa
  • Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga
  • Tamatea / Tamaki-Nui-A-Rua
  • Great Barrier
  • Manawatu / Horowhenua
  • Whanganui / Waimarino / Rangitikei
  • Auckland City
  • South Taranaki
  • Marlborough
  • Mataatua
  • Whangarei / Kaipara

  • Invercargill
  • Henderson
  • Kaipatiki
  • Masterton
  • Manukau
  • Waikato
  • Hamilton
  • Wellington
  • West Auckland
  • Papakura
  • North Shore
  • Waitomo
  • Dunedin
Cossie Club

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!

Click Happy in Schools – 2022

Updated on 2022-05-10T14:45:52+12:00, by Mandi.