Anne Geddes Essay

Diana Tieman

Born and raised in Queensland, Australia, Anne Geddes has always been interested in the strength that a photographic image could hold. One of the world’s most respected and successful professional photographers, Anne has caught the imagination and hearts of people around the world. Her unique, award-winning images of children appear on greeting cards, calendars, books, stationary, photo-albums, and a variety of other fine products, and are currently published in over 50 countries, including North America, Europe, and British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Asia. About 11 million books plus many more millions of other non-book products have been sold world-wide.

Until Now, Anne Geddes’ retrospective of classic images personally selected from her body of work, has taken Europe by storm. Printed in seven languages, it became an immediate popular and critical success, appearing on The Sunday Times Bestseller List in the UK, becoming the #1 Best-selling Illustrated Book in France, reprinted five times in two months in Germany, was a bestseller in Holland, and was reprinted in every country in which it was launched. Anne’s critically recognized gift book Down in the Garden, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. The #1 gift book in the United States in 1996, it swept to #3 on The New York Times bestseller list, and remained there for more than 3 months. (It returned to The New York Times Bestseller list in May 1997). Released in 1998, Little Thoughts With Love combines Anne’s remarkable images of children with her favorite quotations from Eleanor Roosevelt, Hans Christian Anderson, Mother Teresa and others, selected personally by Anne for her book. The sayings reflect the joy and wonder of life that she captures in her remarkable images. Anne’s work continues to collect praise and citations. Anne was awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Professional Photographers of America in 1997, following a speech she gave to the national assembly in Las Vegas. In March of the same year, she received in Auckland, New Zealand, and Honorary Fellowship with the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP) in recognition of her unique style of photography and her success in the publishing industry in New Zealand and broad.

In addition to accumulating the most merits ever awarded to an individual photographer at the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers competitions (formerly NZPPA), Anne was the first woman to have earned a Fellowship from the Institute through its award system. Additional gold and silver merits have added the prized “Gold Bar” to her Fellowship status. She also has won a number of honors in the Agfa Photokina competition, as well as the AGFA/NZIPP Professional Photography competitions.

In 1997, she applied her artistic expertise to another venue, directing two television commercials inspired by her images for a leading United States retailer. These commercials garnered Gold Awards Presentations in Chicago in1997.

The Calendar Marketing Association awarded her 1996 calendars and date books two gold awards and one bronze.

In late 1991, Anne combined her interest in creating a calendar of her images with her commitment to “giving back”. Assisting a prominent New Zealand personality in her fund-raising efforts on behalf of the prevention of child abuse, Anne raised over $50,000 for this cause through sales of her 1992 calendar. Since then, annual Anne Geddes calendar editions have been best-sellers, and designated funds have been donated to help prevent child abuse in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

At the heart of her success is Anne’s deep and persistent love of children. Her unique artistic vision distills all we cherish in children. Together, Anne and her husband, Kel Geddes, are directors of two companies: The Especially Kids Company Limited, founded in Auckland in 1991, which includes Anne’s studio and is responsible for all image creation, and Kel Geddes Management Limited, which has the responsibility for all marketing, promotion, business administration operations, and the production of books, calendars, and other items.

Anne and Kel live in New Zealand with their two daughters.