Anne Geddes

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Anne Geddes
Born (1956-09-13) 13 September 1956 (age 61)
Queensland, Australia
Occupation Photographer, artist, businesswoman
Years active 1981–present
Known for Infant photography
Title MNZM

Anne Geddes, MNZM (born 13 September 1956) is an Australian-born photographer, currently living and working in New York.

Geddes' books have been published in 83 countries.[1] According to, she has sold more than 18 million books and 13 million calendars.[2] In 1997, Cedco Publishing sold more than 1.8 million calendars and date books bearing Geddes' photography.[3] Her debut book, Down in the Garden, made it to the New York Times Bestseller List.[4] Her books have been translated into 23 different languages.

Early life

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.[1]


Geddes became a photographer at age 30 After she moved to Melbourne due to her husband's work, she assisted a local photographer before starting her own studio from her garage.[1][5]

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."[citation needed]

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.[1][6]

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.[citation needed]


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.[7]

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.[8][9] "You have to be really fast," Geddes says about getting good shots. She sets up her studio in advance—props, lighting, cameras and equipment[10]—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.[8] She keeps the babies' parents nearby for extra assistance with expressions.[9]


Popular culture

In a skit on The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, Geddes (played by Felicity Ward) helps a Chinese family hide their additional children from one-child policy inspectors, by camouflaging them in conspicuous places, which the inspectors are unable to notice.[citation needed]

McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the humour site of McSweeney's, published a Short Imagined Monologue called "An Anne Geddes Baby Grows Up".[11]

Humor website The Onion spoofed Geddes' style with "Anne Geddes Starting to Lose It".[12]

In an episode of Friends—specifically, the eighth episode of the sixth season entitled "The One with Ross's Teeth"—Joey Tribbiani complains to his roommate Janine about a Geddes photograph she hung on the living-room wall. The photograph depicted a baby "Joey doesn't even know" dressed as a water lily. After being told that Anne Geddes is a famous artist, he assumes that "the baby is Anne Geddes".

On the comedy website called Funny or Die, there is a humorous skit on the adulthood of the babies from her photos.[citation needed]

On the June 26, 2017 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert shows a drawing of Sean Spicer and jokingly showed how Spicer would look as depicted by famous artists, including Geddes.


  1. ^ a b c d Geddes, Anne. "Bio". Anne Geddes. Archived from the original on 16 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Anne Geddes Bibliography". 
  3. ^ Freierman, Shelly (29 December 1997). "Calendar Whirl ; Thousands of Ways to Keep Track of 365 Days". New York Times. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "BEST SELLERS: December 1, 1996". New York Times. 1 December 1996. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Douglas Eby (2007-12-29). "Artistic confidence: Anne Geddes on believing in herself despite her childhood". Women and Talent. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  6. ^ Adriana Barton (24 April 2014). "Anne Geddes turns her lens to a new subject: survivors of meningitis". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Steinberg, Lynn (17 November 1996). "Babies reborn in unlikely photos". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Bashinsky, Ruth (14 October 1999). "Baby-Sitter Anne Geddes' Photos of Infants Are The Shots Seen 'Round The World". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Sleeping Beauties A Closeup With New Zealand Photographer Anne Geddes, Who Talks About Her Wildly Popular Cherubic Images". New York Daily News. 5 November 1998. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Labacz, Liz. "An Anne Geddes Baby Grows Up". McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Anne Geddes Starting to Lose it". The Onion. 25 July 2001. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

External links

  • "World's Most Famous Baby Photographer on the Power of Motherhood". TIME. 
  • "Inside Anne Geddes' world of baby photography". CBS NEWS. 8 May 2014. 
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