ABOVE: Watch Anne Geddes on Global’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO — Photographer Anne Geddes loves that she is famous for the stylized portraits of babies published in books and calendars that have sold millions of copies around the world.
“People just hand me their babies,” the Australian-born artist said Thursday during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show.
“People think I own every photograph of a baby in the world. I look at some of these photos and I think ‘that’s nothing to do with what I would do’ but it’s a baby and it’s nice.”
For her latest project, Protecting our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease, Geddes photographed 15 people from nine months to 25 years old. Each lives with reminders of being stricken with meningococcal disease — including scars and missing limbs.
“I was a bit taken aback,” Geddes admitted. “I’m used to photographing babies but I really came to realize — even though they don’t have arms and legs, some of them — they’re still beautiful.”
Geddes said she hopes the images draw people in.
“We’re inundated with desperate imagery — starving children and children in war zones — and you just kind of shut down a little bit because you think the problem’s too big to solve and you can’t watch,” she explained.
Geddes said her goal was to get a conversation started about a disease not many people know a lot about.
“Ten per cent of the population carry [the bacteria] in their throats and they’re not affected by it,” she said.
Geddes said parents need to look for warning signs, which include stiffness, fever and nausea.
“They really need to be vigilant and recognize the symptoms because these symptoms hide behind cold and flu.”
Among those featured in Protecting our Tomorrows are several Canadians: Matteo, 9 months; Megan, 11; Benjamin, 15; and Kate, 18.
Geddes said she was inspired by everyone who posed for her camera.
“They teach us that we don’t have any problems at all, really.”
Protecting our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease can be viewed at annegeddes.com and downloaded for free via iTunes.
© Shaw Media, 2014