People recognize Anne Geddes’ work long before they recognize her. Known for her iconic baby portraits (you know, those cute baby in the flower pot photos?), Geddes has sold more than 19 million photography books in 84 countries. CBC This Morning’s Lee Woodruff talks to Geddes about her new book, “Little Blessings,” her career, being a mother, and what it all means:
Geddes has been photographing babies since the 80s, and has since become to be known as the world’s most famous baby photographer. She started gaining major recognition with her first coffee table book, “Down in the Garden” in 1996. The concept for the book came from a spur of the moment photograph Geddes took—the first baby in the flower pot.
She says that image was a total accident. According to Geddes, she does not have a green thumb; quite the opposite really, when she looks at plants they wither and die. So, one day, long ago, she had an empty flower pot sitting in her studio. A mother came in with her six-month-old baby who was wearing a fluffy little woolen hat and immediately Anne thought she would look like a lovely, little cactus if she sat her in the flower pot.
While “Down in the Garden” became a New York Times Best Seller and launched Geddes into baby photography stardom, she had previously had quite a bit of success with calendars she printed each year. Her calendars are super popular today and 2015 will mark the 24th continuous edition. But, her photography career actually began at home, with her own children. When her daughter, Stephanie, was just a baby, Geddes took a picture of her to use for the family Christmas card. It was a hit with friends, who began asking for more.
Today, Geddes’ two daughters, Stephanie and Kelly, are both photographers and sometimes work with their mother. Geddes finds it incredibly meaningful to work with her daughters. In her new book, “Little Blessings,” she pairs some of her iconic—and some new—photos with her favorite quotes about motherhood. She thinks every mother will be able to identify with it.
“These are the sentiments I had when I brought our two girls home for the first time.”
When it comes to the ins and outs of a baby photo shoot, Geddes says people think it tends to be chaotic and noisy, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, she says it’s never really like that.
“If everything revolves around them and they’re the ultimate egos in the room, then everything tends to go just fine.”
Tips for Baby Photographers
Geddes has said that the best time to photograph a baby is in the morning when they’re well-rested. Other than that, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re a baby portrait photographer:
- You have to be really fast, otherwise the babies get bored or fussy.
- A typically shoot will take about half an hour, and to make sure it goes quickly and smoothly, you should set up your studio with props, lighting, and everything in place beforehand.
- Keep parents nearby to help out with expressions and keep the baby comfortable.
And maybe most importantly, we think you should take a page out of Geddes’ book—be passionate!