Four years ago, Karen Alsop started The Christmas Wish Project with a goal to make Christmas happier for sick children in Australia. The project has since gone global, and this year it included volunteers, photographers and composite artists from all over the world. They all joined forces to create magical Christmas-inspired art and put a smile on children’s faces during this holiday season.
This year, Karen and her team had a series of workshops in Australia to train volunteers for future projects. There were also several shoots in hospitals around the country. For the first time, the shoots were also held in the US. The project had a group from Idaho run Christmas Wish in November, and another group from New York had a shoot early December.
The shoots were finished earlier this month. There was Karen with her team of photographers and volunteers, there was an improvised studio in every hospital, and of course – there was Santa. But most of all, there were lots of smiles and a whole lot of love. In the video and photos below, you can see what it looked like behind the scenes. But if your heart is soft, have some tissues at hand.
It’s impressive how Karen and the rest of the folks were organized. Between workshops and shoots, an amazing team of 50 editors edited the photos 24/7 as they were uploaded by the photographers. The team of editors is headed up by Charm Hauraki from New Zealand, and they were also in charge of creating the backgrounds for final artworks. There were quite a few famous photographers and editors involved, such as Colin Smith, Renee Robyn, Jesús Ramirez, and Richard Wood, to name just a few. With great organization and coordination, they managed to edit over 400 images for this year’s project. Wow!
Needless to say, the children were thrilled when they saw their finished Christmas Wish artwork. None of them knew what the final photo would look like, and they were amazed to see themselves in dreamy, surreal, and even humorous Christmas scenes. After all, Karen and her team kindly shared finished artworks with us, so check them out:
Ben Shirk shared his editing process, too, so you can see what it looked like:
You can read more about this year’s Christmas Wish project on The heART Project’s blog. I’m happy to see that the project is growing bigger every year, and I’m already excited to see how much it will grow next year!