Internationally renowned photographer Anne Geddes released her first set of NFTs over Mother's Day weekend in the US. The New York-based photographer is best known for her adorable staged portraits of babies in anything from bunny costumes to cabbages but like so many artists, she's had to find new avenues to make a living.
The term NFT has been circulating like wildfire recently. While some photographers are scared of NFTs and the community surrounding them, some are jumping at the opportunity to find a way they can make more money from their creative outlet. Certain photographers have even been accused of exploiting the people in the photos (such as the photographer who sold NFTs of Nirvana). Still, one street photographer has given a helping hand by sharing the NFT royalties with the street performer in the picture.
The collection of nine images by Geddes will be minted as digital art prints and collectors will be able to redeem a corresponding physical 8 x 10-inch print on purchase. The NFTs went on sale on 6 May 2022 and every image included in the collection has been made specifically for this release. Prices started at $50.00 for a single edition digital art print and go up to $5,000 for the one-of-one collection which includes an authenticated digital signature and a one-of-a-kind physical print made exclusively for this release.
As well as selling the collection of nine images as digital prints, Geddes will also be selling 20 prints of each image in the Signature Series. She has also created nine mother's day images exclusively as NFTs and she is auctioning off a private shoot in her New York studio to raise money for mothers and children who have been affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Commemorative NFTs will be on sale to raise even more money, all of which will be donated to The American Red Cross.
We spoke to Annes Geddes to find out why she decided to sell NFTs now and whether she thought it was going to be a fad.
What made you decide that now is the time to market your photos as NFTs?
I guess I had the same reaction to initially understanding NTFS as most people did (and still do) – I thought “how can I get my head around how they work”? But to put it in simplistic terms, think of people in the USA who collected baseball cards in the old days and how they could be traded. Collecting NFTs is a way to support artists whose work you admire, helping them continue to create new work. In the early 90s when I first began creating images for greeting cards, calendars and coffee table books, sales of my new imagery allowed me to keep creating in the studio. Of course, today it’s a totally different world. The honest truth is that it’s expensive to continue to shoot new imagery with no prospect of financial return. For me to shoot, say, 12 calendar images costs in the region of $250,000 - $300,000. And nowadays, once the images are released, they’re all over the internet for free. That’s not a great business model, and believe me, every artist needs one. I see sales of my NFTs as a way for me to continue to create for those who love my work. You can buy an NFT to keep for yourself, gift one to somebody, or trade them (like baseball cards!).
Do you think NFTs will change the way we enjoy photography?
There are many ways to enjoy photography, but these days, only a limited number of ways for photographers to make a living through their creativity. For instance, the last time I shot 12 brand new images as a calendar series was 2016. That series, “Signs of the Zodiac” will soon be available as NFTs. It’s been frustrating for me to not be able to continue to create with the scale and vision that I would like to. Of course, I shoot advertising campaigns and do a lot of private portraitures, but that area of work where I can just create images for myself has disappeared until now. This is why I’m super excited to have my audience learn more about the NFT world. NFTs really stand for “non-fungible tokens” but I think of my own NFTs standing for “newfound treasures!" You don’t have to be a crypto wizz to understand the concept, and you don’t need cryptocurrency to collect my NFTs. Just go to annegeddes.io and run through the FAQs to learn more.
When NFTs first became popular, did you think they would be a fad, or have staying power?
To put it this way, when the internet came into being, did we all understand then how quickly the world would change? My NFTs are simply a new vehicle for those who enjoy my work to enjoy regular new imagery and support me going forward. In return, I can continue to spread joy and have my audience collect my imagery, similar to when they would collect my greeting cards, calendars or books. NFTs are here to stay.