One of the world’s most respected photographers, Anne Geddes creates images that are iconic, award winning and beloved. Like no photographer before, her imagery singularly captures the beauty, purity and vulnerability of children, embodying her deeply held belief that each and every child must be protected, nurtured and loved.
Anne was born and raised in Queensland, Australia. At 17, she travelled to New Zealand and took on a variety of jobs before returning to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia where she met her future husband, Kel Geddes who was Channel BTQ7’s programming director. Kel was then headhunted to become President of Programming for RTV in Hong Kong where Anne and Kel married in 1983.
It was while living in Hong Kong that Anne first professionally picked up a camera, when she set up a small portraiture business, photographing the children of her neighbors and friends. Self-taught, she began developing her signature style of simple structure and immediate visual impact. After two years in Hong Kong and having built up an extensive portfolio, Anne and Kel returned to Sydney, Australia for Kel’s career move to ATN7, and there they welcomed their first daughter, Stephanie in 1984. Working from their home, Anne also created her first photographic holiday card for her family, which led to cards for friends, and soon, the launch of her small personalized greeting card business.
As Kel’s television career continued to advance, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, when Kel was appointed Programme Director of GTV9 and in 1986 their second daughter, Kelly was born. The same year, Anne set up her first studio, reclaiming an old run-down garage at the back of their garden, and developed her skills working in a studio environment. In 1997 Kel was commissioned to launch the first independent television network TV3 in New Zealand, and the family moved to Auckland, New Zealand.
Anne set up a tiny new studio in Auckland and in 1988, Anne’s image of Gemma, a little girl standing in a tutu, became her first published photograph, appearing in a local magazine. The feature on Anne and her photography and this image of Gemma created an interest in what was at the time a very different style of portraiture, and led to Anne’s decision to specialize in children’s portraiture.
Anne’s portraiture business was thriving, and in 1990 she decided to take one day a month to explore her inspirations and create an image purely for herself. The first and second images from these personal shoots were “Joshua” and “Rhys and Grant,” twins who became known as her “Cabbage Kids”- one of her most recognized photographs around the world.
Kel was headhunted once again to return to Australia to become the President of Programming of Network 10. He commuted for six months from Auckland, then decided to leave his highly successful television career for family considerations.
In 1992 he became Anne’s business partner, and the first Anne Geddes card collection was introduced in New Zealand, becoming an instant success. Anne was placed 1st in two sections at the AGFA Photokina in Germany, among other awards and accolades. It was this level of professional recognition, coupled with a request to help raise money for the prevention of child abuse and the success of Anne’s greeting cards, that led to thoughts of producing a calendar.
It was ten years between the time Anne first photographed friends’ babies in Hong Kong and the publication of the first Anne Geddes calendar, released in New Zealand in 1992. This opportunity to reach a wider audience with her images went hand-in-hand with her desire to help others and support children, the most vulnerable in our society.
Anne and Kel were unable to attract a publisher and distributor, so they sold the calendar door-to-door from the back of their car and in camera store outlets, collecting more than US$20,000 to help prevent child abuse and neglect. Their charitable giving formed the basis for what later became the non-profit Geddes Philanthropic Trust.
Anne and Kel took a leap of faith to publish her second calendar, available in 1993 in New Zealand and Australia. They had sold their home in New Zealand and invested their life savings to self-publish 20,000 copies in Australia. The calendar sold out within three weeks. Using the profits, they printed another 20,000 copies, which also sold out. Soon afterwards, they received a call from an interested publisher. Anne’s calendars continue to be extremely successful, and the charitable side of Anne and Kel’s life extended to include donations from all products sold under the Anne Geddes name.
Around this time, Anne and Kel were reading bedtime stories full of fantasy characters to their young girls, and Anne began to envision a fairy tale told through photography—leading to the creation of her first large-format gift book, Down in the Garden. The book was published in 1996 and led to Anne’s first appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Oprah’s chat with Anne and her enthusiastic appreciation of Anne’s imagery ignited interest in Anne’s images in the United States.
The success of Down in the Garden changed the face of family and children’s portraiture globally and launched Anne’s international career as a bestselling author. Her work has since been published in 83 countries spanning North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Anne’s books have sold over 19 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 25 languages.
Down in the Garden (1996) – Down in the Garden took the world by storm and received broad international acclaim as the world fell in love with Anne and her distinctive imagery. It became a runaway New York Times bestseller, rising to #3 and remaining on the list for three months. Down in the Garden was released as an eBook in 2011.
Until Now (1998) – Printed in eight languages, this large-format photographic retrospective was a London Sunday Times bestseller and was the #1 Bestselling Illustrated Book on the Livre Hebdo list in France. It received the “Kodak Fotobuch Preis 1998,” called “the most prestigious award an illustrated book can receive in Germany.” Until Now was released as an eBook in 2011.
PURE (2002) – Five years in the making and launched simultaneously in Europe and the US, PURE was an impressive visual statement of the new directions Anne was pursuing in photography and received international acclaim. It remained at #1 on the Barnes and Noble Best Photographic Books bestseller list for 10 straight weeks. PURE was also released as an eBook in 2011.
MIRACLE (2004) – Published simultaneously in 22 countries, Miracle was an instant New York Times bestseller and remained on the list for six weeks. This large-format book was also a Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and BookSense bestseller and was awarded the “Family Choice Award” as “Best Picture Book 2005” by the Family Magazine Group. In Germany, Miracle was a prestigious GEO magazine bestseller. It was also a Livre Hebdo Illustrated Books bestseller in France. Miracle was packaged with a companion Miracle audio CD by premier contemporary pop singer Céline Dion (Sony Music) and the making-of-the-book DVD.
A Labour of Love (2007) – Published simultaneously in eight countries, Anne’s eagerly anticipated autobiography, A Labour of Love was released to international acclaim. She shared her personal story, family snapshots, the magic behind the scenes, and a select portfolio of never-before-published images.
Beginnings (2010) – Described by Anne as her most personally rewarding work, Beginnings captures the simple and elegant elements of nature alongside her signature imagery of newborns and pregnant women. A beautiful gift book of more than 140 never-before-published photographs, Beginnings is Anne’s most awarded book to date. It was named the winner in the Photography category of the USA ‘Best Books 2011’ Awards, and received the Gold Medal for best coffee table book in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The German edition of Beginnings was also the Portraits Category Winner in the FEP (Federation of European Photographers) European Photo Book of the Year 2010. Beginnings reached #11 on the Bestselling Photography Books of 2011 list in the USA. Anne’s Beginnings eBook — her first — is available exclusively via the Apple iBookstore, and in November 2011 was announced as the winner of the eBook non-fiction category in the USA ‘Best Books 2011’ Awards.
The Geddes Group has also published several other bestselling books featuring Anne’s iconic images:
My First Five Years™ (1995) – initially published in 1995 and reprinted ever year since, Anne’s baby journal is considered by many, the baby record book of choice. With more than 4.6 million copies sold, it remains a treasured keepsake for families worldwide. My First Five Years™ was released in digital format in April 2012 on the Apple Mac App store and shot to the top of the charts, reaching number 1 on the Top Paid Lifestyle Apps chart.
Little Thoughts With Love (1998) – A book that combines Anne’s remarkable images of children with her specially selected quotes from such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, Hans Christian Andersen, Mother Teresa and others.
My Pregnancy Journal (1998) – A beautiful keepsake journal that encourages a mother-to-be to record her thoughts and feelings throughout her pregnancy, charting the journey from the earliest days of pregnancy to the baby’s birth and first precious days. My Pregnancy Journal has been reprinted three times since its release in 1998.
Cherished Thoughts with Love (2005) – this gift book paired Anne’s classic images with her favorite quotes on childhood.
Be Gentle with the Young (2008) Anne created a new book of captivating images celebrating the beauty and innocence of two of nature’s miracles – newborn babies and flowers.
Today, Anne and her husband and business partner, Kel jointly direct their company Geddes Group Holdings Pty Ltd. As an integral part of this company, Kel Geddes Management Limited has the responsibility for all marketing, promotion, business administration, operations and the production of books, calendars and other items. Anne and Kel now reside in Sydney, Australia; their two daughters have joined the Geddes Group team and are both University graduates in Fine Arts and are avid photographers. The Geddes Group maintains offices in Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Seattle, San Francisco and New York in the United States.
The Geddes Group has always prided itself on being innovative and in touch with all the latest developments in publishing. The company has embraced the world of digital publishing, and in the last two years has expanded into this new territory to deliver Anne’s beloved imagery to her fans in new and exciting ways. Implementing the latest, groundbreaking technology in partnership with Apple, they have released Apps for the iPhone and iPad, and launched a successful iPad game, Anne Geddes MatchUp™. In September 2011, Beginnings and two of Anne’s bestselling books, PURE and Until Now were released as eBooks, followed by Down in the Garden in December 2011; and in April 2012 Anne’s classic baby record book, My First Five Years™ was released in digital form on the Mac App Store.
In keeping with this philosophy of innovation and adaptation to a changing market, Anne’s latest project, My Pregnancy™ was launched in Australia as a high-quality, collectable magazine in October 2011. The magazine features women’s stories of their pregnancies and births, accompanied by Anne’s beautiful imagery. The publication was complemented by a 6-episode TV series presented by Anne, which aired on channel 7TWO in Australia throughout October and November 2011. Both the magazine and the series were released on iTunes on 19 December 2011, with the magazine also available for download on Zinio. In April 2012 the magazine was launched in America, with Anne attending a special launch event at the Destination Maternity Flagship Store in New York. The magazine will be sold exclusively at Destination Maternity, A Pea in the Pod® and Motherhood Maternity® stores in the United States and Canada. In other parts of the world, My Pregnancy™ will either be released as a magazine or a soft cover non-fiction book.
Anne Geddes calendars – annual international bestsellers
Since they were introduced, Anne Geddes calendars have been bestsellers. Her US calendar editions have received special recognition, with the Calendar Marketing Association awarding her 1996 calendars and date books two Gold Awards and one Bronze, and her 1997 “A Collection of Images” calendar ranking #1 in sales, according to the Calendar Club. The Anne Geddes 2002 calendar program ranked in the top 15 of all calendar licensed programs in the US and Canada. Published in 55 countries, there have been more than 14.5 million Anne Geddes calendars and datebooks sold. The year 2011 marked the 20th edition of Anne Geddes calendars to be released.
Collectable postage stamps
La Poste, the postal service of France, printed commemorative birth stamps in 2004 and 2005 bearing Anne’s photographs. Since 2006, www.photostamps.com has offered real US postage stamps featuring Anne’s images that can be used for mailing, collecting or gift giving.
The Anne Geddes website, www.annegeddes.com, remains an international success story, attracting more than 2 million visits yearly from more than 213 countries. When it was launched in 1999, the site was listed as #1 on Yahoo’s New Best of the Week Sites, named a Hot Site by USA Today, and received the CoolSTOP Best of the Cool Award. The site and web newsletter have received numerous annual awards for design and content. An exclusive range of member benefits is available through a premium subscriber service called Free4u.
In 2010, Anne added personal video blogs to her online blogging, and her Facebook page continues to attract more than 87,000 followers, with more than 4,000 visits per week. Fans keep in touch on Twitter and Tumblr as well. On the Geddes Group YouTube channel, videos of Anne have garnered more than 1 million views.
In 1992, Anne combined her interest in creating her first calendar with her commitment to “give back” to the community, and raised more than US$20,000 toward the prevention of child abuse in New Zealand.
Since then, designated funds from the range of Anne Geddes products totaling more than US$5.7 million have been donated through the non-profit Geddes Philanthropic Trust to help prevent child abuse and neglect in Australia, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1998, a Geddes Fellowship program to fund a dedicated primary physician concentrating in the identification, treatment, and research of child abuse and neglect commenced at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia. In 2006, Anne and Kel established the Geddes Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital at Orange County, California, on the hospital’s Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) team. A Geddes Fellowship was established in 2007 at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. An essential part of this Fellowship was a travel grant to enable communication and an exchange of ideas and findings.
Anne and Kel have received much recognition for their contributions through the Trust over the years. In 2002, they received the Childhelp USA Humanitarian Award for their work to prevent child abuse. In 2007, the board of directors of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Foundation named the Geddes Philanthropic Trust the 2007 Outstanding Foundation and recipient of CHOC’s highest honor, The Charley Hester Award. In March 2009, they received the Children’s Hospital Benefactor Award, for services to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia. The Geddes Philanthropic Trust was recognised by Westmead again in May 2011, when it was presented with the prestigious Award of Founder by the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children to honor the significant impact the Trust continues to have on the lives of children with serious illnesses, and for donations to the Westmead Children’s Hospital through the Geddes Fellowship Program. Anne and Kel were also recognized by NAPCAN Australia (The National Association for Child Abuse and Neglect) for the underwriting their organization and for 15 years of continuous donations.
Anne and Kel are now adding to the Trust’s scope by assisting in maternal welfare in the many countries where childbirth is still a major issue regarding the health and wellbeing of both mother and child.
The US edition of My Pregnancy™ was launched on 28 April 2012 at the Destination Maternity Flagship Store in New York, with Anne in attendance. The magazine will be sold exclusively at Destination Maternity, A Pea in the Pod®, and Motherhood Maternity® stores in the United States and Canada. Anne appeared on various television shows to promote the launch, including appearances on Entertainment Tonight, the Insider, the Today Show, and Fox and Friends.
In April 2012, Anne attended the launch of the Shot@Life campaign in Atlanta, Georgia. An initiative of the United Nations Foundation, Shot@Life aims to provide life saving vaccines to children in the developing world. Anne was announced as the official Global Advocate at the launch, which was also attended by Kathy Calvin, Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation; and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
Anne’s classic baby record book My First Five Years™ was released in digital form on the Apple Mac App Store in April 2012 and quickly reached number 1 on the top Paid Lifestyle Apps charts.
In December 2011 The United Nations Foundation announced Anne’s commitment to their Every Woman, Every Child project to raise awareness about the need to improve the health of women and children in the developing world.
My Pregnancy™ magazine was released in digital format on iTunes and Zinio on 19 December 2011. The 6-episode TV series of the same name was also made available for download on iTunes on 19 December.
In November 2011 it was announced that Beginnings had reached #11 on the Bestselling Photography Books of 2011 list in the USA.
Also this month, Anne joined forces with the United Nations Foundation, ABC News and Disney Baby to launch the Imagine Me & You photo contest for the Million Moms Challenge in the United States. The grand prize was a private portrait sitting for the winning mother and baby with Anne in her Sydney studio.
October 2011 saw the Australian release of My Pregnancy™, a high-quality magazine featuring nine women’s stories of their pregnancies and births, accompanied by Anne’s beautiful imagery. The publication was complemented by a 6-episode TV series presented by Anne, which aired on channel 7TWO in Australia throughout October and November 2011.
In September 2011, several of Anne’s bestselling books joined Beginnings on the Apple iBookstore, with PURE and Until Now released as eBooks. My First Five Years™ will also be re-imagined in digital form.
On 30 August 2011, Anne joined forces with the Woolmark Company to launch the Australian Wool Innovation research and marketing program, highlighting the health benefits of Merino Wool for babies and pregnancy. As Ambassador for the program, Anne created three beautiful new baby images for the campaign as well as a captivating image of a pregnant woman wrapped in wool.
Anne Geddes MatchUp™, a memory matching card game featuring Anne’s imagery and the first ever iPad game from Anne Geddes, debuted on the App StoreSM in May 2011, where it was selected immediately as a staff favorite.
In January 2011, Apple selected Anne’s book Beginnings as one of the first illustrated eBooks to be introduced on its iBookstore, where it joined other significant photography books, cookbooks, and art books, as well as some of the most cherished and popular children’s picture books. Anne’s Beginnings eBook — her first — is available via the Apple iBookstore, Amazon Kindle and the B&N Nook.
The Anne Geddes Beginnings iPad app was selected by Tecca.com as “a must-have app,” its iPad App of the Week in November 2010. Since their release, the apps for smart phones and tablet devices based on the images in Anne’s book of the same name have attracted more than 51,000 users.
Released in conjunction with BEGINNINGS in late 2010 was a visually rich, emotionally moving, and deeply intimate film, Anne Geddes: Beginnings. For the first time, a film crew and production company (Harpullia Productions) was granted unprecedented access to Anne’s private studio, and to her innermost thoughts on her creative process. Candid and unscripted, Anne discusses her work and how Beginnings marked a turning point in her life as an artist. This highly respected, illuminating documentary is available exclusively as a digital download on iTunes.
In January 2010, the Anne Geddes free, feature-rich iPhone App became a new portal into Anne’s world. It has proven popular in the US, Italy, France, Germany, UK, Canada, Spain and Australia, with users who access Anne’s web site, read her blog, connect to her Facebook page, send eCards, and visit her online galleries of images.
On January 12, 2009, Anne was welcomed with a rousing ovation when she walked to the podium to present the keynote address to a standing-room-only gathering at the Imaging 2009 conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. Attendees filled the 2,500-person venue, as well as two overflow rooms set to accommodate an additional few thousand, and bestowed a second standing ovation as she concluded her image-accompanied presentation.
In 2008, Anne was invited by Google to partner on a set of new online themes for iGoogle, Google’s personalized homepage. Today, more than 285,500 Google users have customized their iGoogle home pages with Anne’s themes, created with her award-winning images, and Anne’s have ranked as high as #2 among iGoogle artist themes.