Anne Geddes is known to be one of the best newborn photographers in the world, celebrating 30 years of groundbreaking photography. Below are just some of the most fascinating segments from our interview with Anne but you can also see the entire uncut interview in the video below.
If you’re interested in Anne Geddes’ Creative Live workshops then be sure to RSVP to her mother’s day card workshop by clicking here!
Anne Geddes Interview | Studio Baby Photography
Pye: What made you want to be a photographer?
Anne: Well, I didn’t always do newborns and children photography. I first picked up the camera when I was only 25 which is a good example of how you can never start out something too old. If you’re truly passionate about something, go for it. I grew up on a cattle station (cattle ranch) in Australia and there were no photography courses or anything like that. I used to love looking through the pages of LIFE magazine. I was so inspired by the amazing photographs that told a story, especially the ones with people. The whole notion that a moment in time could be captured forever was very powerful to me. I prefer one great picture to video any day.
Pye: What were some of the challenges starting out?
Anne: One thing people don’t really know about me is that I shot portraiture for 10 years which was invaluable to me as I had to do everything myself including sales and scheduling and things like that. I learned much about children of all ages as well as the business itself. It was also very hard. I was getting a little frustrated with the process because you are pretty much locked into having to please people. I decided to do one image a month just for myself, just for creativity’s sake. This was my first famous picture, the one with the two babies inside the cabbage. I got a creative release inside of me that was all mine and it was wonderful. That’s how my calendars and greeting cards got started.
Pye: Why have you focused on newborn photography?
Anne: Of the thousands of newborns that I have photographed over the course of 30 years, I’m still in awe of the sight of a naked newborn baby. When I first started doing doing this sort of work, I had to fight a lot of bias that babies supposedly were not a legitimate subject matter for art. I have worked really hard for years to dispel that notion. It is such an important subject matter for everything that newborns represent. Every time a new baby is born it’s our chance for renewal.
Pye: Many newborn photographers today are doing things that you did 20 years ago. What do you think about that?
Anne: Well, I have to honest. A lot of the images of newborns that are out there are not my cup of tea. To me, a lot of it is just painting-by-numbers. I personally don’t think my work is like that at all. You have to use your own mind and sense of originality. Many of the images out there look the same, yet they are done by different photographers. Everyone seems to have the kits now with the ladybug outfits and it’s very unoriginal.
Pye: You have many amazing images in your large body of work. Would you mind talking a little about your recent work?
Anne: I did an “Under The Sea” newborn calendar for this year that was quite challenging. A lot of research was done as well as planning and creating. The seahorse image is one of my favorites. That is an original watercolor background that an artist has done. These are created at full scale on paper which are then scanned and printed on an equally large piece of fabric. In each image there is a different background watercolor, all being individual works of art. Before a single photo is taken there are hours and hours of work being done behind the scenes.
In the whole calender we wanted a pantomime, arts and crafts feel. For the picture of the 3 little anemones, you can see that the fabric we used was corduroy and that the sea floor is covered in cauliflower. It just shows how much effort is put into a single picture.
Pye: Do you have any advice to young photographers that find themselves at the stage that you were at 30 years ago?
Anne: I find it challenging to advise people at what to do because the world has changed since I started out. The internet has changed a lot of things. Technology has also changed a lot of things. Everyone seems to be a photographer now these days. When I was first selling my calendars and cards, you would have to physically come into the store and buy one. Now, images are seen as free online that don’t have to be paid for. I guess my advice is this; don’t copy people’s styles, find your own. Have confidence in your own ambitions. The only way to be successful is to produce something unique to yourself.
Pye: You have a Mother’s Day Card Shoot coming up that is sponsored by Creative Live, what is that all about?
Anne: On Friday May 8th, I’m going to be creating a Mother’s Day card live and everyone who RSVPs for the event will be able to watch me from beginning to end. Afterwards they will actually receive the finished card and be able to give it to their mothers. It’s an amazing process that I have had the pleasure to be a part of. Also, if you have any questions about anything, including my life or work, there will be a Q&A as part of this event. So if you’re in the area please RSVP and come see.
Conclusion and More Info
If you’re interested in Anne Geddes’ Creative Live workshops then be sure to RSVP to her mother’s day card workshop by clicking here.