MELBOURNE, Australia — A team of photographers, artists, climbers and editors came together to help give a paralyzed mother and her son a photo shoot they could only dream of.
Photographers Karen Alsop and Benjamin Von Wong teamed up for a special shoot with the heART Project, a group that uses photography to “spread love to families who have experienced hardship through the financial constraints and challenging scenarios that can come up in daily life.”
They recently completed a stunning series of photos featuring Sarah-Jane Staszak, an adventurous Australian mom, who was left paralyzed after undergoing routine surgery, and her 8-year-old son, Hamish.
In one photo, Staszak is free from her wheelchair — and from gravity — running along a path of floating rocks toward her son.
'Leap of Faith' – 🏃♀️it seems impossible, and in reality it may be. But sometimes you just need to take the plunge and not look down, moving forwards towards your prize. #inspiringmother #mothersday #sjandhamish #bluemountains This project was a collaboration with @vonwong for #theheartproject with thanks to @adobe @eizo_global @wacomanz @cansonpaper @tethertools @wacom @photoshop #mountains #photoshop #photomanipulation #impossible #possible #leapoffaith #aipp #pbxp @aipp_official 📷More info on this project #linkinbio
In another photo, Hamish is pulled along for a wild ride behind his mother’s wheelchair.
'Tunnel of Life' I wanted to show SJ's #fiercedetermination and #strength in this #photomanipulation #readmore #linkinbio #quadriplegic #wheelchair #adventure #adventuremovie #vonwong a #heartproject in collaboration with @vonwong @adobe @wacomanz @kayell_australia @eizo_global @tethertools #helensburgh #sjandhamish #pbxp
The team seemed willing to go to the ends of the Earth to give Stasnak and her son the adventure shoot of a lifetime.
“We wanted to give her another chance to experience the sensation of being high up in her old stomping grounds, so we dangled her off the edge of a cliff in her wheelchair with her son,” Von Wong said on Facebook.
And the results were nothing short of fantastic.
“This project resonated with me so much as a mother. SJ has inspired us all with her determination to push through and give her boy the best life possible, and to continue to live a life of adventure,” Alsop wrote on Facebook.
Alsop shared a look behind the scenes at the massive team effort required to complete the photo shoot and achieve the final, magical look.
Stasnak recently started a GoFundMe page to help make the Blue Mountains more wheelchair-friendly and accessible.