Anne Geddes’ photographs of babies have brought smiles to people all over the world. And now, as a March of Dimes ambassador, she is using her camera to bring awareness to the issue of preterm birth.
For World Prematurity Day in 2014, observed annually on November 17, Geddes snapped the signature photograph for the March of Dimes campaign: a tiny two-pound, six-ounce baby, Alfred, born eight weeks premature. It’s an image that recalls one of Geddes’ most famous photos, a stunning black and white photo of a premature baby girl, Maneesha, cradled in a man’s hands.
Anne Geddes focuses on Premature BabiesAnne Geddes joins Mike Walter in the studio to talk about babies and photography, from her famous, whimsical Down in the Garden photos to her work with March of Dimes.
“Alfred’s got a big weight on his tiny shoulders and I think he’s telling the story really well,” said Geddes, in an interview with Full Frame’s Mike Walter.
Alfred and Maneesha represent the 15 million premature babies born each year around the world. More than one million don’t survive past their first birthdays. March of Dimes raises awareness about this global health issue, researches the causes of preterm births, and provides expecting mothers with information on healthy pregnancies.
Geddes’ iconic photos also give hope to families that their premature babies will grow up healthy: Maneesha is now twenty-one years old.
Photographing these tiny newborns is an emotional task, says Geddes, who has worked in four NICU units in her career. “It’s thirty years of experience that goes into being able to create an image like that in a five-minute time period,” she said.
Though she didn’t begin her photography career until she was 25 years-old, Geddes has always been drawn to the power of still images to capture moments in time. She started out doing portraiture in her native Australia, eventually choosing to focus on babies.
“Everything that a baby represents to me is the fact that they are so, so important to us as human beings. They take families forward. They create new moms and dads. They speak for our eternal chance at new beginnings and that’s what my work speaks to,” said Geddes, clearly conveying a universal message, as she has sold 18 million books and 13 million calendars in eighty-three countries around the world.
On this week’s episode of Full Frame, Geddes joined Mike Walter in the studio to talk about babies and photography, from her famous, whimsical Down in the Garden photos to her work with March of Dimes.
Follow Anne Geddes on Twitter: @annegeddestweet