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Sick Australian children are transported to winter wonderland in a magical photoshoot

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Sick Australian children have been transported to a winter wonderland in a magical photoshoot thanks to a global initiative spreading joy to those who need it most.

A team of volunteers led by Melbourne-based photographer Karen Alsop first started visiting youngsters at the city’s Monash Hospital in 2016 – creating memories for youngsters who could not make it home for Christmas through the power of photo editing software.

The Christmas Wish program, which is now in its four year, has since expanded to hospitals in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Sick Australian children have been transported to a winter wonderland in a magical before-and-after photoshoot
One child in a head brace was whisked away to a wintry scene
Slide me

Sick Australian children have been transported to a winter wonderland in a magical before-and-after photoshoot (pictured left and right before digital rendering)

For Sydney patient Archie, photographers and picture editors designed an Australian-themed photo of him riding a surfboard with Santa Claus

For Sydney patient Archie, photographers and picture editors designed an Australian-themed photo of him riding a surfboard with Santa Claus

For Sydney patient Archie, photographers and picture editors designed an Australian-themed photo of him riding a surfboard with Santa Claus

Before his digital transformation, Archie was simply pictured stood in front of a green screen in his boardies and a pair of thongs

Before his digital transformation, Archie was simply pictured stood in front of a green screen in his boardies and a pair of thongs

Before his digital transformation, Archie was simply pictured stood in front of a green screen in his boardies and a pair of thongs

One young girl was whisked away on Santa's sleigh
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This year more than 200 volunteers came together to whisk children away from their hospital wards to more enchanted locations like a seat on Santa’s sleigh

Another version of the digitally-rendered photo portraits included a young child playing video games with Santa Claus and his reindeers
This young boy was joined by Santa's reindeers for the digital alteration of his video game session
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Another version of the digitally-rendered photo portraits included a young child playing video games with Santa Claus and his reindeers

This year more than 200 volunteers came together to whisk children away from their hospital wards to more enchanted locations like a seat on Santa’s sleigh or a wintry Lapland scene.  

For Sydney patient Archie, photographers and picture editors designed an Australian-themed photo of him riding a surfboard with Santa Claus and a group of seagulls in tow. 

In Canada and the US, meanwhile, sick children were treated to a virtual trip on the back of a polar bear to the North Pole. 

A young child was transported away from  his hospital ward through the help of a green screen

A young child was transported away from  his hospital ward through the help of a green screen

With the help of Photoshop, he found himself instead in a magical French street scene

With the help of Photoshop, he found himself instead in a magical French street scene

A young child was transported away from his hospital ward through the help of a green screen

Volunteers give up their time each year to provide the service free of charge to sick children and their families

Volunteers give up their time each year to provide the service free of charge to sick children and their families

Volunteers give up their time each year to provide the service free of charge to sick children and their families 

The project is part of Ms Alsop's wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The project is part of Ms Alsop's wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The project is part of Ms Alsop’s wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The service is provided free of charge, with volunteers giving up their time to create the photos and Nikon providing equipment and advice

The service is provided free of charge, with volunteers giving up their time to create the photos and Nikon providing equipment and advice

The service is provided free of charge, with volunteers giving up their time to create the photos and Nikon providing equipment and advice

The program is part of founder Karen Alsop's wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The program is part of founder Karen Alsop's wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The program is part of founder Karen Alsop’s wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life

The service is provided free of charge, with volunteers giving up their time and Nikon providing equipment and advice.

The program is part of Ms Alsop’s wider initiative The Heart Project, which creates personal portraits for those who have come up against hardship in life.

‘It wasn’t until I started The Heart Project that I truly realised how powerful and life changing photographic digital art could be,’ Ms Alsop said.

‘From small beginnings of photographing a five-year old girl that couldn’t speak or walk, and freeing her to fly with butterflies, our impact is now making a difference across the world.

'We see children who come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders leave with a magical photo and an equally magically encounter with Santa and the team,' Ms Alsop said

'We see children who come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders leave with a magical photo and an equally magically encounter with Santa and the team,' Ms Alsop said

‘We see children who come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders leave with a magical photo and an equally magically encounter with Santa and the team,’ Ms Alsop said

‘Christmas Wish is all about joy and hope. We see children who come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders leave with a magical photo and an equally magically encounter with Santa and the team.’

For the Down Under version, Santa Claus was flown in his full suit on Virgin Australia planes across the country.

Ms Alsop also ran training for volunteers in each state to support the growing worldwide movement.

The global team now consists of 60 remote editors, 200 volunteers, and 11 different locations.

'It wasn't until I started The Heart Project that I truly realised how powerful and life changing photographic digital art could be,' she added

'It wasn't until I started The Heart Project that I truly realised how powerful and life changing photographic digital art could be,' she added

‘It wasn’t until I started The Heart Project that I truly realised how powerful and life changing photographic digital art could be,’ she added

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