Anne Geddes Album: Adorable Angel Babies.(QP)

When baby photography is mentioned anywhere in the world, one name that often comes up is Anne Geddes. Currently based in New York City, this Australian-born photographer has spent over three decades capturing countless adorable and intricately staged photos of newborns and toddlers. Her work has appeared around the world on calendars, greeting cards, and books.

Geddes developed a deep love for children’s books, recognizing them as a beautiful art form that can be treasured for generations. By the time her own daughters were of reading children’s books age, she was drawn to the idea of creating something for herself after years of photographing babies and two-year-olds for her clients. She longed for a creative outlet where she could explore her own vision without restrictions.

To keep her sanity and fulfill her creative desires, Geddes began dedicating one day a month to creating something exclusively for herself. One of the first and most iconic images of hers was of a baby nestled inside a cabbage.

This black and white image, showing a baby named Joshua hanging from a hook and wrapped in cloth, captivated Geddes and gave him a sense of freedom to express his own artistic vision. This marked the beginning of his foray into the genre of storytelling through photographs.

Her success story began with greeting cards and calendars, which led to her bestselling book, “Down in the Garden.” Geddes incorporated elaborate staging and themes, drawing inspiration from various occasions including Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

However, he had no idea how people would react to his work, as artists often do when they create something truly personal.

Geddes, who sees herself as a storyteller, chose to present “Down in the Garden” as a children’s storybook. In this magical and enchanting book, her tiny baby models portrayed fairies, gnomes, sunflowers, water lilies, field mice, ladybugs, and peas in a pod. The success of the book can be attributed not only to its charming images, but also to the touch of adult humor that resonated with a wide audience.

Her journey took an unexpected turn when she was invited to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which had a dedicated book club. Although Geddes was unfamiliar with the show as she was living in New Zealand at the time, her appearance proved to be a turning point. During the interview, Oprah carried out two newborn babies dressed as bumblebees, and at the end, she picked up “Down in the Garden” and declared it the best coffee table book of the year. The book quickly rose to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, surprising Geddes herself.

However, Geddes felt somewhat confined within that particular genre afterwards and realized she needed to prove her versatility. Her husband, Kel, a marketing guru and television executive, advised her to gradually guide her audience. So, her second book served as a bridge between her previous work and her desire to create something simple and pure. It featured a mix of classic “Down in the Garden” imagery and some nudity, which led to its release in Europe, where this artistic expression is more accepted.

Geddes describes the process of his photo shoots as transforming a blank space into a world of possibilities. She meticulously crafts each set, bringing her vision to life, then dismantles it once filming is complete. This sense of control and the potential for creativity is something she appreciates, possibly influenced by her Virgo nature.

During the first decade of his career, Geddes focused primarily on private family and child portraits, moving from Sydney to Melbourne, eventually settling in Auckland, New Zealand. Her love for young children grew as she realized their inherent promise and purity.

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