Behind the Scenes With Anne Geddes

As a former teacher in the Dominican Republic, I used to write notes to my students’ parents on Anne Geddes stationary. That was over 20 years ago. So, if you would have told me that I would not only get to meet the legendary, world-renowned photographer, I’d also work with her on a BELLA Magazine cover, I would have called you crazy.

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After our first in-person meeting we knew we would work together on something, and as fate would have it, here we are. It’s serendipity at its finest.

On shooting Misty Copeland for this issue:

“It was a dream come true, to be honest. Like so many around the world, I’m a huge admirer. Misty is such an inspiration—an immensely talented, courageous, and beautiful trailblazer. I loved working with her. I have two great nieces living in Australia who have been ballerinas since they were both very small. Misty is one of their idols, so huge kudos for Aunty Anne as well!”

On her favorite work so far:

“It’s always my latest shoot, because even after nearly 35 years of photographing, I still find inspiration in creating images that celebrate life in all its beautiful and powerful forms. People think I only photograph babies, but in fact I love photographing people of all ages from all walks of life. I had a moment during the Misty shoot when I marveled at the fact that photographing adults can be so different to babies—and Misty had so much extra to offer, of course. Babies are a whole different ballgame, but their charm factor always shines through, and I love that too.”

On anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps:“My best advice is to tell your own story in your own unique style, whatever your subject matter. As artists we have an obligation to be storytellers. Simply trying to copy someone else is never going to elevate you to stand out.”

On her favorite moments in her career:

“My favorite moments are always when there is unexpected magic in the air. It’s almost palpable, but fleeting, as is the way of magic, of course. Throughout my long career, in addition to my work that now is so well-known, I regularly accepted (and still do) private portrait commissions, which I’ve always loved. It’s so rewarding to create classic works of art for families to treasure through generations. Every family has their own story. Here in New York, I work with a talented team at Blonde Studios, but I also regularly travel globally for these commissions.”

On what’s next:

“More creativity, more inspiration, more storytelling. I loved working with the BELLA team, for instance. I truly believe that what the world needs now is a gentle dose of joy and positivity, and maybe that’s my specialty.”

Anne Geddes recently launched an app that provides a safe place for you to easily upload and store your images in the cloud, as well as share them privately with friends and family. It’s more personal than Instagram and Facebook. There’s a fun Community Joy Board where you can add your baby’s photo to join images of babies from around the world. Anne regularly posts blogs—one of her latest focuses on Misty’s shoot in BELLA, with behind-the-scenes videos and images. Anne thinks of the app as “a personal Anne Geddes community.” Find out more by visiting AnneGeddesBaby.com.

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