Australian photographer Anne Geddes’ imagery singularly captures the beauty, purity and vulnerability of children … embodying her deeply held belief that every child deserves to be “protected, nurtured and loved”.
In 1998, after moving to Auckland, New Zealand with her husband Kel (who launched New Zealand’s first commercial television network) Anne established her first professional studio, specializing in classic portraiture of children and families. She continued her portraiture for the first 10 years of her now 30-year career. In 1992 her first greeting card collection and calendar was introduced in New Zealand. Both became an instant success.
Since the release of Anne’s first calendar, her work has been coupled with the desire to give back. The Geddes Philanthropic Trust was created to raise money for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Since its inception, the Trust has designated funds from a range of Anne Geddes products totaling more than US$5.7 million, which has aided programs around the world. The upcoming 2018 calendar marks the 27th continuous edition.
In 1993, inspired by reading bedtime stories to their young daughters, Anne began to envision a fairy tale told through photography, leading to the creation of her first coffee table book “Down in the Garden”.
Published in 1996, “Down in the Garden” changed the face of children’s photography globally and launched Anne’s international career as a bestselling author. It was a New York Times Best Seller, rising to #3 and remaining on the list for three months; returning again to the list the following year.
In 1997, Anne was awarded Lifetime Membership of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and presented the keynote address at the PPA convention in Las Vegas that year.
Also in 1997, Anne received an Honorary Fellowship with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) in recognition of her unique style of photography and her global success. At the time accumulating the most merits ever granted to an individual photographer within the NZIPP, Anne was the first woman to earn a Fellowship from the Institute through its awards system. Today she is Patron of that same Institute.
“Until Now”, Anne’s 2nd coffee table book, was published in 1998. Printed in 8 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,” … “the most prestigious award an illustrated book can receive in Germany.”
During this time, Anne was also creating her next project. Five years in the making, Anne’s 3rd coffee table book “Pure” was a visual statement of the new directions Anne was pursuing in photography. Published in 2002, “Pure” received international acclaim, remaining at #1 on the Barnes and Noble Best Photographic Books bestseller list for 10 weeks.
In 2004, “Miracle” … Anne’s 4th coffee table book (a collaboration with singer Celine Dion) was published simultaneously in 22 countries. “Miracle” was a New York Times bestseller and remained on the list for six weeks. The book was also a Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and BookSense bestseller and was awarded the “Family Choice Award” as “Best Picture Book” by the Family Magazine Group. In Germany, “Miracle” was a prestigious GEO magazine bestseller, and was also a Livre Hebdo Illustrated Books bestseller in France.
During this time, Anne was honored to be appointed a “Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit” (M.N.Z.M.) “for services to photography and the community” ... announced as part of Queen Elizabeth II ‘s Birthday Honors List.
With the release of many books, greeting cards and calendars, Anne felt that it was time she shared her personal story. Her autobiography “A Labor of Love” was released in 2007. Published in 8 countries, “A Labor of Love” also included family snapshots, behind the scenes anecdotes and a select portfolio of never-before-published images.
Also in 2007, The Geddes Philanthropic Trust was awarded The Charley Hester Award by the Children's Hospital of Orange County Foundation.
In 2009, the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) honored Anne with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Not given every year, this award is only designated on merit to a select few whose body of work has enriched professional photography. That same year, Anne was also awarded The Children's Hospital Benefactor Award by the Royal Alexandria Children's Hospital in Sydney, Australia. She was also recognized by The Children's Hospital at Westmead for her service to children.
Inspired by the inward reflection of the creation of her autobiography, Anne began work on a new book titled “Beginnings”. “I have always been fascinated by elements of nature at the moment of transformation” said Anne. “Babies are the human face of ‘Beginnings’, but all of nature is caught in this insistent stream of seasons … of aging and rebirth … of concealment and bursting forth. ‘Beginnings’ took me on a journey to explore the parallels between ourselves and other everyday miracles of nature, placing these complementary wonders side by side, in an attempt to evoke a deeper appreciation of the simple yet deceptively complex beauty of our existence”.
“Beginnings”, Anne’s 6th coffee table book, is her most awarded to date. “Beginnings”
was named 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 American Independent Publisher Book Awards. The German edition of “Beginnings” was also the Portraits Category Winner in the Federation of European Photographers (FEP) European Photo Book of the Year 2010. “Beginnings” reached #11 on the Barnes & Noble list for Bestselling Photography Books of 2011.
In 2012 Anne announced her partnership with the United Nation’s Foundation’s Every Woman Every Child Initiative, which works to help make the health and welfare of women and children a global priority. Within this Initiative, Anne became the Global Advocate for the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, which aims to provide access to basic life-saving immunizations to children in the developing world.
During this time Anne also returned to the studio, and began to photograph a series of images that embraced the iconic photographic style that originally made her a household name. The catalyst for this project, titled “Heartfelt”, came when Anne was announced an Ambassador to The Woolmark Company, a sector of the Australian Wool Board. Anne also created a new version of the iconic Woolmark logo for their ‘Woolmark Nurture’ campaign, which focused on brands specifically for mothers and babies.
In 2013 Anne was commissioned to produce a series of images by the Qatar Museums Authority, to highlight the country’s high incidence of Diabetes 2. Anne photographed prominent Qatari athletes together with local children and babies … delivering the message that a healthy lifestyle can reduce and/or manage the incidence of this disease. These 12 images are now on permanent display in the entrance corridor of the Hamad Women’s Hospital in Doha.
Later that year, Anne began a photographic series featuring survivors of meningococcal disease. The campaign partnered Anne with meningococcal disease support groups from around the world. Shooting in Sydney, London and Toronto, Anne photographed 15 survivors and their families, who had experienced the impact of meningococcal disease.
Through a series of emotive and inspirational photographs, the campaign aimed to educate parents about the threat of meningococcal disease and the importance of prevention through immunization, whilst also celebrating the survivors and honoring those who have lost their lives to the disease
An eBook of the images, titled “Protecting our Tomorrows” (launched and supported by Apple) made it a “#1 most downloaded” eBook in the Arts and Entertainment section of Apple iTunes for over two weeks in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany.
In 2014, Anne contributed her support and imagery to the March of Dimes campaign. March of Dimes is a US non-profit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Anne has an extensive personal and photographic relationship to premature birth. Her 1993 image, “Jack Holding Maneesha”, continues to be one of her most well-loved photographs. Because of her trusted reputation and experience photographing in Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units in Auckland, Sydney and Doha, Anne was invited to photograph an exclusive new image for the March of Dimes which was used in their 2014 World Prematurity Day campaign.
Her new image of a tiny, premature baby named Alfred appeared across national and international media, including Time Magazine and a billboard in Times Square New York. A public service announcement featuring Anne also aired on CNN International for 3 years.
In 2016 Anne was commissioned to create a series of 6 images to further promote awareness of meningococcal disease. “Win for Meningitis” featured Paralympians from 5 countries who had suffered from meningococcal disease. Each athlete was holding a tiny baby … sending the message that parents should check with their doctor to ensure their child’s vaccinations are up to date.