An innovator and recognized leader in the television industry, Kel began his career in 1965 at BTQ Channel 7 in Brisbane, Queensland, and over the next 27 years successfully held a wide range of television positions, including directing, producing, and management in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Conscripted in 1967 by the Australian Army for two years compulsory service, Kel attained the rank of Bombardier, Artillery Surveyor. He served in Vietnam on active duty within the specialized American and Australian Artillery Tactical Centers.
In 1969, he returned to television in Brisbane BTQ Channel 7, taking on a number of different roles including Cameraman, Floor Manager, Coordinator, Director, Production Manager and Producer. Kel also worked closely with several charitable organizations, producing a succession of 36-hour fund-raising Telethons. He was awarded the British Empire Medal (B.E.M.) in the Queens Honors List in 1979 for his dedicated service to charity.
A partial list of Kel’s other credits in television include Program Director for BTQ 7 in Brisbane, President of Programming for ATV in Hong Kong, Associate Program Director for ATN 7 in Sydney, and Program Director for GTV 9 in Melbourne. In each of these positions, he was acknowledged for his ability to create highly popular programming formats and winning ratings.
In 1988 Kel and his wife, Anne, moved to New Zealand, where he was commissioned as President of Programming to launch the first independent television network in New Zealand, TV3, in November 1989. Following the successful launch of this network, in 1990 he was approached and appointed as Network President of Programming for Australia’s Channel 10.
In television terms, Kel had ‘reached the peak’ in his industry. For six months, he commuted to Australia from New Zealand.
Concurrently, Anne was running her thriving photography studio, Anne’s first calendar (1992 edition) featuring her distinctive images of infants and toddlers was about to be published. A line of Anne Geddes greeting cards had also been introduced in New Zealand, and the demand for her work was increasing.
With their household goods packed for Australia in a container on the dock, Anne and Kel re-examined their career paths and determined that the next best step was to remain in New Zealand, where the family had established its home and Anne her studio. Deciding that the time was opportune, Kel left his outstanding television career to apply his considerable marketing and management expertise toward launching Anne's popular photographic images internationally.
Tapping into his television expertise, Kel launched a web site for Anne’s images in 1999. www.annegeddes.com went on to win many awards from the Web Marketing Association. The website enjoys more than 2 million unique visitors per year from more than 213 countries.
In addition to the website and in order to cater to Anne’s growing online community, the Anne Geddes online presence has since expanded to include Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, now with over 221,000 fans and growing exponentially.
Kel is the publishing producer of Anne Geddes Publishing, a division of Geddes Group Holdings. Working with Anne and her beautiful and inspiring imagery, Anne Geddes Publishing has produced six international bestselling Anne Geddes coffee table books: Down in the Garden, Until Now, Pure, Miracle, Anne’s autobiography A Labor of Love, and Beginnings; with two becoming New York Times bestsellers (Miracle and Down in the Garden). With Miracle, published simultaneously in 22 countries in 2004, Kel applied his expertise to a new area. In this celebration of the bond of love between mother and baby, Anne for the first time blended her images with a musical element, adding to her book a companion audio CD by the world renowned singer Céline Dion. Kel was one of three Executive Producers of Céline’s Miracle album by Sony Music.
Anne’s coffee table book, Beginnings has become 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 — available exclusively via the Apple iBookstore, in November 2011 was announced as the winner of the eBook non-fiction category in the USA ‘Best Books 2011’ Awards.
As well as producing and marketing the book, Kel was Executive Producer and Producer of a one-hour documentary titled “Anne Geddes New Beginning”. The documentary took viewers behind the scenes at Anne’s studio as her new book Beginnings was put together, and featured exclusive interviews with Anne as she described her creative drive and the ideas behind the photographs. “Anne Geddes New Beginnings” is still available on iTunes and was showcased extensively on the global airline entertainment network.
In keeping with this philosophy of innovation and adaptation to a changing market, Kel produced Anne’s “my Pregnancy – A Woman’s Story™” launched in Australia as a high-quality, collectable magazine in October 2011. The magazine featured women’s stories of their pregnancies and births, accompanied by Anne’s beautiful imagery. The publication was complemented by a 6-episode TV series also produced by Kel, 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.
Dedicated to the philosophy of “giving back”, Anne and Kel have arranged for nominated funds from the Anne Geddes’ range of products to benefit charity. Since 1992, designated funds totaling more than US$5.7 million have been donated through the Geddes Philanthropic Trust to help prevent child abuse in Australia, New Zealand, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Anne and Kel are now adding to the Trust’s scope through their work with the United Nations Foundation’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative, 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.
Anne and Kel have received several awards in recognition of their charitable work through the Trust. In May 2011, the Geddes Philanthropic Trust was presented with the prestigious Award of Founder by the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Sydney, Australia 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 started in 1999. In 2010, NAPCAN presented the Geddes Philanthropic Trust with a citation acknowledging 15 years of continuing support. In 2009 the Trust was honored with The Children’s Hospital Benefactor Award for services to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; and in 2007 the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Foundation in the US named the Geddes Philanthropic Trust the 2007 Outstanding Foundation and recipient of CHOC’s highest honor, The Charley Hester Award. In May 2002, Anne and Kel were presented with the Childhelp USA Humanitarian Award for their work to prevent child abuse.
The New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers has also honored Kel with its prestigious Gold Award, given to only one other individual, in acknowledgement of his ongoing contributions and support for photography.
Kel says, “Marketing the incredible imagery of my wife, Anne, has become one of the most satisfying and fulfilling jobs of my life. To be able to realize the potential and ambitions of the pre-eminent children's photographer in the world market has resulted in a terrific sense of personal satisfaction, added to my joy and pride in her accomplishments.”
The combination of talents has proven to be a successful mix, and Anne’s photographic vision and abilities have gained worldwide recognition and accolades. Her award-winning photographs of babies are visual representations of the Geddes’ deeply held belief that we must protect, nurture, and love all children.
Today the Anne Geddes brand is universally respected and loved, with Anne’s work now published in 84 countries.
Anne and Kel have been married for over 30 years and have two daughters. Their extended family also includes Kel's two older daughters, who are both married.