by: ANNE GEDDES
For nearly thirty years the focus of my work has been the photography of newborn babies, founded by my desire to show the world the promise, vulnerability, beauty, innocence and strength present in a newborn child. The great care and responsibility I take for every baby who comes into my studio is something I treasure and have great pride in. The trust a new mother must feel to hand over to me her precious new baby is a gift I don’t take lightly. The purpose behind every image I create lies in my desire to provide a voice for these babies who cannot yet speak for themselves: to show they should be treasured, and treated with the utmost respect and care. To illustrate the importance of love and family in the earliest stages of life is a message that I stand behind and feel privileged to experience everyday.
This is why I’m proud to be a part of the MILLION MOMS CHALLENGE “Imagine Me & You…” Contest.
Since my early days in photography, I have always strived to raise awareness worldwide around issues surrounding the struggles of women and children, particularly in the area of the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The Geddes Philanthropic Trust, founded with my husband Kel in 1992, has so far donated over US$5.5 million dollars to this cause, and I’m delighted that this year I will also be partnering with the United Nations Every Woman, Every Child initiative. I intend making the health and welfare of women and children around the world a top priority … and here’s where you too can help.
In my latest project, entitled my Pregnancy: A Woman’s Story, I have been photographing women from all walks of life in their last trimester of pregnancy. In return, after their babies were born, these women have shared with me their own personal and individual stories of pregnancy and childbirth … their fears, dreams, excitement and hope, and through this project I want to share these stories with you. Every pregnancy has a story, and while all their journeys are uniquely different, they are also universally the same.
Which is why it can be overwhelming and so distressing to hear that even in this day and age, more than 273,000 women die annually from entirely preventable complications in pregnancy and childbirth. However let’s try in our minds to break these statistics down to a human scale. Picture yourself helping just ONE mother and ONE child and join together in the Million Mom’s Challenge. We can bring these two worlds together and start to make a change.
All mothers everywhere have the same dream; that their child will be born healthy and will grow to realize his or her full potential. Let’s build on this common dream, think about that one woman or one child, and let us all begin to build a global community. No woman should feel alone.
This is why I have pledged to be a part of this exciting competition, where I believe that the journey is going to be just as important as the prize. By writing just three words on your pregnant belly, and joining the Million Mom’s Challenge you’ll be helping to make a difference to a mother and child in need.
I can’t wait to see your beautiful bellies and read the words that encompass the dreams you have for your child. Thank you for joining me in the Million Mom’s Challenge. We are all going to make a difference!
Log on to http://abcnews.go.com/millionmomschallenge. Take the challenge!