Snapshots of Joy


Snapshots of Joy encourages youth to explore and find their voice artistically, verbally, and through the written word. The program helps students develop patience; they learn to wait and when their photographs don’t turn out as expected, they sort through disappointment. They look at what is in front of them, learning to see something joyful, positive, hopeful. Our belief is that this process develops adults who are kinder, more caring, and better able to withstand the impulsiveness and sense of urgency so prevalent in today’s world. They discover the joy in waiting, slowing down to uncover something deeper than what is visible on the surface or through a sound bite. Students also learn to listen respectfully to one another, no matter how different they might be, while the seed of tolerance for listening to those with different opinions is planted. The opportunity for self-discovery through self-expression lays a foundation for the students to develop confidence and the inner fortitude to choose grace, kindness, and compassion as they lead their lives.

Purpose: Social Emotional Learning

Students learn:

  • The uniqueness of working with a disposable camera—real film, let’s go retro!

  • How to take pictures that capture what they find joyful

  • To explore, discuss, and write about their emotions, how they felt about the process


  • Minimum 10 students, maximum 20 students

  • Runs for one-hour sessions weekly for three-successive weeks

  • Final exhibit of students’ work at least two weeks after final session

  • Can be taught anywhere with tables and chairs


  • There is no cost to the program for participating organizations and their students.


  • After-school programs

  • Recreation programs

  • Schools during the academic day

In their own words

"Dear Ms. Ann, I thank you for letting me express my feelings through art. The reason I was crying is because not every person does this for us, takes their own time to do this for a school. I am very thankful and grateful that you came."


“I liked how mysterious and nerve racking it was to not see my pictures!”

-Sacred Heart participant, Fall 2018

“I enjoyed the chance to take pictures of my surroundings that had a message.”

-Mother Caroline participant, Fall 2018

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