She dropped out of school at 17 and left home.
Anne Geddes is a self-taught photographer who began creating her unique style from the start. She first took photos professionally when she was living in Hong Kong with her husband. She started a very small portraiture business by photographing the babies and young children of her friends and neighbors.
A couple of years later, Geddes and her husband left Hong Kong to return home to Australia. She started working at home and made her first-holiday photographic card for her family. This led to making cards for her friends. Soon after, she launched her own customized greeting card business.
The family then relocated to Auckland, New Zealand. There, Geddes started a small studio and in 1988, her image of a little girl in a tutu became her very first published photo when it was printed in a local magazine. She received a great deal of attention for this photograph and that is when she decided on having a career in a unique style of children’s portraiture.
As her portraiture business began to thrive, Geddes decided to explore different inspirations. This is when she created her “Cabbage Kids” stylized photos which are some of her most popular images around the world. She wanted to expand her calendar business, but she was unable to find a publisher. So she sold her calendars door-to-door out of her car and in some camera store shops.
By doing this, she was able to earn more than $20,000 for various child abuse prevention charitable organizations. Her charitable donation was the start of the Geddes Philanthropic Trust, a non-profit charity.
Soon after, she and her husband sold their home and used their life savings to publish 20,000 copies of her calendars in Australia. The calendars were a huge success and they sold out within a couple of weeks. She printed another 20,000 copies and those also sold out quickly.
Before long, Geddes was contacted by an interested publisher. Next, she created and designed Down in the Garden, a large gift book which was published in 1996. This lead to her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her book became very successful and it launched her career as an international best-selling author.
Geddes’ books are published in more than 80 countries around the world and also translated into 25 different languages. As reported by the top online bookseller, Amazon, Geddes has sold in excess of 19 million books and also 13 million calendars. Cedco Publishing sold nearly two million datebooks and calendars showing Geddes’ photography in 1997, the start of her international popularity.
Geddes currently resides in New York with her husband Kel.
During the progression of her career, Geddes created her own philanthropic program named "Geddes Philanthropic Trust". Its primary focus was to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect. Her philanthropic program raised many opportunities for not only her community but also for her business. Her philanthropic work has been very successful. In 2013, she created a series for the survivors of Meningococcal Disease. The photographs depict families and children that have been affected by the disease and honors those who have survived. She shot photographs of 15 child survivors of meningitis for the Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease campaign.
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 to color photography as she feels that color distracts from the image and the natural beauty of life
Geddes does not audition babies for use as models because she believes all babies are beautiful. Instead, she keeps in touch with multiple births and twin clubs and has thousands of photographs on file that parents have sent her.
A typical sitting takes place in the morning when the babies are well-rested, and lasts about half an hour; otherwise, the babies could 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 customs made, such as oversized shoes and flowerpots. She keeps the babies' parents nearby for extra assistance with expressions.
Anne was awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Professional Photographers of America in 1997.
In 1983, Anne married Kel Geddes. Their first daughter, Stephanie, was born in 1984. Kelly, their second daughter, was born in 1986. Today, the family lives in Auckland, New Zealand.