This past April, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island set out to celebrate its 40th anniversary of wish granting, with “The Why Behind the Wish” campaign. Sleek Machine, a full-service agency, reached out to Miami-based photographer Sonya Revell for conceptual portraits of five “wish kids” who had experienced improvements in health after their respective wish was granted.
Here’s how the project got started.
About a year ago, I received a call from my old friend Sean Cunningham, a super-talented art director, inviting me to participate in the campaign. After several months of preplanning, my photo assistant and I found ourselves on a plane heading to Boston, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to create enchanting portraits in the studio.
The Sleek Machine agency shared with us the concept behind its campaign.
The “why” behind all wishes is linked to medical professionals citing improved mental and physical wellness after children receive a wish. Often, these kids wish for very simple things – like meeting a penguin or being a UPS driver – and even the smallest donations can make their wishes come true.
Our concept shows you the magnificent power of a granted wish through the eyes of children by turning a photoshoot into a larger-than-life extension of some unique wishes!
Taking the concept to heart, the goal of the images was to capture some of the magic and hope Make-A-Wish can bring to children in need and their families.
We wanted to highlight the cause, encourage the community to donate, and make the kids feel like the shining stars they truly are. As a team, we aimed to capture the essence of each child and showcase their unique personalities and wishes in the photos.
Make-A-Wish is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that grants hundreds of wishes to children diagnosed with critical illnesses every year. The meaningfulness of this photoshoot and the organization was not lost on Sonya and the team.
For these children, a wish come true can be a crucial turning point in their lives. It can be the spark that helps them believe anything is possible and gives them the strength to fight harder against their illnesses. This is why the “Why Behind the Wish” campaign was so important to us.
Sonya leaves us with her reflections on this remarkable cause.
The “Why Behind the Wish” campaign was an unforgettable experience that highlighted the power of a wish. It showed how a single wish can have a profound impact on a child’s life and inspire them to keep fighting. As a photographer, I feel honored to have been a part of this project and to have had the opportunity to work with such inspiring children. I hope that this campaign will continue to raise awareness and encourage more people to support Make-A-Wish and the incredible work they do for children with critical illnesses.
See more of Sonya’s work on her website.
Producer: Eric Montague
Creative Director: Sean Cunningham
Retoucher: Rhymes with Pixel
Digital Tech: Lockinvar “Lock” Denis
Lighting Assistant: Joel Laino
Studio: High Output, Inc.
Anchor Artists Wardrobe Styling: Julie Paquette
Anchor Artists Hair & Makeup: Sarai Martinez
Read more about Sonya on our blog.