Inspired By: Anne Geddes
Anne Geddes is the David Bailey of baby photography and has inspired a whole generation of photographers to take photos of children in cute costumes, baskets and fluffy hats!
Her passion for photographing babies shines through her entire back catalogue, and her drive to push the genre forward has given hundreds of parents images they'll cherish forever.
The Geddes method
Anne Geddes does all of her work in her studio and has always seen it as her photographic home. She was a successful but stressed portrait photographer for 10 years before she decided to try baby photography as a creative release. Her first image, known as the 'Cabbage Kids', sounds ridiculous but is so cute that it's become an iconic shot. Before Anne, nobody would have considered sitting babies in cabbage leaves, but she made it work!
Unlike many studio photographers, Anne prefers to shoot in natural light. She feels that it's more flattering than the 'harsh' output from a studio flash. While that's not necessarily true, it does un-clutter the space and makes it easier to settle the babies down for the shoot.
Preparing for a shoot
Babies have short attention spans, and your window of opportunity to capture fabulous images will be small – which is why Anne always spends most of her time on preparation. She makes sure her studio is warm and comfortable, and all of her equipment and props are ready to go.
She works around the routines of the individual child by talking with the parents to see when their little one is happiest. It's nearly always best to shoot after a feed and a nap – after all, we're all most comfortable when we're well-rested and fed!
Even though Anne is recognised for using props, she understands that the baby is the star of the show – there's no room for cluttered and busy backgrounds! Her use of accessories is well-balanced and never overpowers the beauty of the child itself. The image tells the story, but the baby is the main attraction.
Learning from Anne
Learning isn't the same as copying, which is why we don't suggest buying lots of cute baby props for your shoots. Instead, we recommend following Anne's advice to find your own path. When she began using props in this way, many people thought that she was crazy, but she was dedicated and had tremendous self-belief – and now she's the most successful baby photographer in the world! She didn't do that by copying anyone else's style, but by forging her own path.
If you draw any inspiration from Anne Geddes, we hope that it's to believe in yourself, follow your own route to success, and try to enjoy the process as much as possible.
11 February, 2021