Anne Geddes is an Australian-born photographer, clothing designer and businesswoman who now lives and works in New Zealand. She is known for her stylised depictions of babies and motherhood. Typical images show babies or young children dressed as fairies and fairytale creatures, flowers, or small animals. She has described herself as "a baby freak". Geddes' books have been published in 83 countries. According to Amazon.com, she has sold more than 18 million books and 13 million calendars. In 1997, Cedco Publishing sold more than 1.8 million calendars and date books bearing Geddes' photography. Her debut book, Down in the Garden, made it to the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been translated into 23 different languages.
Geddes became a photographer at age 25. She had always had an interest in babies 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".
During the progression of her career, Geddes created her own philanthropic program named "Geddes Philanthropic Trust"; Their primary focus was to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect. Her philanthropic program raised many opportunities for, not only her comminunity, but also for her business. Her Philanthropic work has been very successful in the past years. In 2013, she created a series for the survivors of the Meningococcal Disease. The photographs depict all the families, and children, that were effect by the terrible disease, but honours those who have survived. Her campaign is to help parents see the causes of the disease and to help prevent it happening to their children.
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 photography to color photography. She prefers the black-and-white scheme because she feels that colour distracts from the image and the natural beauty of life.
Geddes does not audition babies for use as models because they are "too unpredictable". Instead, she keeps in touch with multiple birth and twin clubs, and has thousands of photographs on file that parents have sent her. Geddes travels to the United States every year in search of black infants to photograph, as New Zealand has a very small black population.
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. "You have to be really fast," Geddes says about getting good shots. She sets up her studio in advance - props, lighting, cameras and equipment - so that all the baby or babies have to do is sit. Many of her props are custom made, such as over-sized shoes and flowerpots. She keeps the babies' parents nearby for extra assistance with expressions.
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. McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the humour site of McSweeney's, published a Short Imagined Monologue called "An Anne Geddes Baby Grows Up". Humor website The Onion spoofed Geddes' style with "Anne Geddes Starting to Lose It".
In an episode of Friends, Joey Tribbiani complains to his roommate Janine about a Geddes photograph she hung on the wall of his apartment. The photograph depicted a baby dressed as a sunflower. 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.