Anne Geddes, (born 13 September 1956) is an Australian-born photographer, currently living and working in New York.
Geddes’ books have been published in 83 countries. According to Amazon.com, she has sold more than 18 million books and 13 million calendars.
In 1997, Cedco Publishing sold more than 1.8 million calendars and date books bearing Geddes’ photography.
Her debut book, Down in the Garden, made it to the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been translated into 23 different languages.
In her 2007 autobiography, Labor of Love, Geddes talked about her difficult early years at their family cattle farm in Queensland, Australia.
She dropped out of school at 17 and left home. Later she met and married Kel, and moved to Hong Kong in 1983 for his work in television.
There at age 25, she taught herself photography using her husband’s 35 mm Pentax K1000 camera. By the time the couple returned to Sydney two years later, she had built a small portfolio. She started specialising in baby photography, after using photographs of her two daughters for a family Christmas card proved popular.
Geddes became a photographer at age 25. After she moved to Melbourne due to her husband’s work, she assisted a local photographer before starting her own studio from her garage.
She had always had an interest in photography in general, but the schools she attended did not offer photography classes. She chose babies as her subject because of her love of them.
“I had seen the way children and babies were generally being photographed. It just didn’t seem realistic to me that people took their children along to photographic studios all dressed in their Sunday best, photographs that didn’t really show the personality of the child.”
During the progression of her career, Geddes created her own philanthropic program named “Geddes Philanthropic Trust”. Its primary focus was to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect.
Her philanthropic program raised many opportunities for not only her community, but also for her business. Her philanthropic work has been very successful.
In 2013, she created a series for the survivors of Meningococcal Disease. The photographs depict families and children that have been affected by the disease and honours those who have survived.
She shot photographs of 15 child survivors of meningitis for the Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease campaign.
Geddes believes that “emotional content is an image’s most important element” and that people are drawn to her work because of its simplicity and personality. She prefers black-and-white to colour photography as she feels that colour distracts from the image and the natural beauty of life.
Geddes does not audition babies for use as models because she believes all babies are beautiful.
Instead, she keeps in touch with multiple birth and twin clubs and has thousands of photographs on file that parents have sent her. Geddes currently resides in New York with her husband Kel.
A typical sitting takes place in the morning when the babies are well-rested and lasts about half an hour, otherwise the babies get too bored or fussy.
“You have to be really fast,” Geddes says about getting good shots. She sets up her studio in advance—props, lighting, cameras and equipment —so that all the baby or babies have to do is sit. Many of her props are custom made, such as oversized shoes and flowerpots. She keeps the babies’ parents nearby for extra assistance with expressions.
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