On tv with Anne Geddes – how I did it.

You know those countless times when you turn on the tv and see someone famous that you think is awesome being interviewed and somewhere in the process some arbitrary caller comes into view and gets to speak to them and you think to yourself – How did that person get there? That could have been me!

Well on Tuesday this week I was that arb caller.

Now imagine being given the opportunity of meeting someone famous that you admire and aspire to emulate and you get to ask them just one question. What would you ask?

Then imagine you had two hours to prepare before asking that question on live streaming tv! That’s what happened to me on Tuesday. Would you do it?

HuffPost Live gets in touch

Kat Santiago (@KatHuffPost), an Associate Producer and Melissa Montanez (@MelMontanez_) , a community screener from Huffpost Live (@HuffPost Live) contacted me via Twitter and asked whether I would be interested in asking Anne Geddes a question and if I was that I should get in touch. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

It appears that instead of the traditional routes of finding guests HuffPost Live scans Twitter and other social media platforms to find people talking about subjects that they will cover. Now you know that too…

I had been tweeting and blogging about Anne Geddes because of a photography competition being run by Fine Art America and a chance to be on national tv. Who knew I would get that chance even before the competition ended!

Fighting the Lizard Brain

My tweeting, blogging and sharing had gone through a rapid exponential phase in the previous week due to the #YourTurnChallenge and its mission to make us ship our art daily for seven consecutive days.

So you would think that since I was in super productive mode and determined to make a ruckus and a huge fan of Anne Geddes that I would jump at this opportunity to speak to such a famous photographer who produces such iconic images. But I didn’t.

I stalled. My lizard brain wanted to retreat. The resistance offered me so many reasons to not do it.

The time difference between San Francisco and New York. The fact that I had no clearly formulated questions. The fact that I was still relatively new to floral photography. The fact that I had a workout appointment with my lovely neighbour Rachna. The fact that I was having a bad hair day.

I could find lots of reasons to quit before I even got going. But then I thought about the blog posts I had been writing all week. About doing it scared but still doing it. About finding a place to put the pain and the fear and taking action anyway.

So I did. I said yes to the opportunity. I was not the only one contacted on Twitter so I thought I would be one of a few.

It was a flurry of activity then. I emailed the reporters. They sent requests for details and a photo. I emailed them my three questions.

1.Your name is synonymous with beautiful and captivating baby photography. How would you suggest photographers who are new to the field make themselves stand out from the crowd?

 2. I loved your work on March of the Dimes for World Prematurity Day. How do you choose which campaigns to participate in and associate your name with?

 3. Sometimes parents are criticized for viewing their children’s lives from behind a lens and not being fully engaged in the experience. What do you think about the advances in photographic technology and it’s impact on our mindfulness?

I waited till they were ready to do a webcam test. The reporter called me, the producer called me. They sorted out some technical hitches and told me to ask the third question. We were good to go.

I watched the studio being set up.

In the meanwhile I saw Twitter notifications from the #YourTurnChallenge tribe, including my husband Robin (@RemarkableRuns) They had my back, especially the wonderfully helpful Joyce Sullivan (@JoyceMSullivan)  and they were rooting for me. It felt great!

Anne Geddes talks about Portraits of Meningococcal Disease

The interview started and Caitlyn Becker (@caitlynbecker) asked Anne about her new book and campaign “Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease” encouraging parents to vaccinate their children.

Then it was my turn! I was the only arb caller. The others must have quit before they got going and succumbed to the lizard brain.

The interview ended and I just sat still for a moment trying to take it all in and staring at a screen with an empty studio in New York. It felt surreal.

Go make a ruckus!

Afterwards Miriam Linderman (@MiriamLinderman) asked me- so how did all this happen? I said it happened because of my love for floral photography and sharing what I cared about.

So if you want to make a ruckus, be bold enough to share your story and what you care about. You never know where it could lead you.

Anne Geddes and me on HuffPost Live (Click image to view):

Me and Anne Geddes
Photo courtesy of Joyce Sullivan who blogs at Secret Gardens


  • Reblogged this on Remarkable Runs and commented:
    Saying ‘yes’ can lead to exciting opportunities. See what Vanessa Thomas experienced because she chose to say yes.

  • That is an incredible story! You were picked because you shared something you care about, you were prepared, you did something you were afaid to do, you had three AWESOME questions ready, and you got to “meet” someone who means a lot to you. Did I leave anything out? Oh, yeah, you shared your experience with the rest of us. Thank you for being brave – and generous. 🙂

    (I found you via Robin’s blog, which I clicked on from someone else’s link on the Your Turn Challenge page on FB. I had been planning to read your post, anyway, but hadn’t had a chance to click from your share.)

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