Born in Ashland City, Tennessee, Constance married Joseph in 1957. They had two daughters, Lynda and Lisa.
Constance moved to NYC in the 1930’s where she enrolled in the School of Modern Photography. Her first job was as a society photographer for the Associated Press in Palm Beach Florida.
Upon her return to NYC she opened a studio at 24 Central Park South. Working for the Chicago Tribune, Miss Bannister began to photograph all the Broadway Plays going on the road to Chicago. She was also the photographer for the NYC Ballet and the Ice Capades
Constance began photographing babies, children, cats and dogs but soon her focus became baby photography. Constance Bannister has taken more than 100,000 pictures of the younger generation which have brought her Worldwide recognition. Bannister Babies, photographs of children usually accompanied by amusing captions became her signature. These photos were featured in books, magazines, pamphlets, calendars, billboards, and posters.
In 1941, Constance illustrated a story “Glamour Goes to War,” (Saturday Evening Post 11/29/1941). The editor thought it a cute idea to print a bathing suit picture of Miss. Bannister, “Title-‘Not Unglamorous Herself”- as a result Constance became a ”Pin-up Girl” for the Omendy Bey aircraft carrier, with hundreds (1750)of fans with mail requesting 8 X 10’s of Miss Bannister.
During World War II, the Bannister Baby Posters helped sell War Bonds and contributed her service to USO by doing camera stories. No one thought of “pin up babies” until Miss Bannister tried a few. One of her baby pictures which had been reproduced in a national magazine was found in the possession of a German soldier captured by the U.S. infantry group. “The March of Time” featured the incident in one of its films, and thereafter, Miss Bannister was firmly established as a baby photographer.
She did many human interest covers in Photography, on Woman’s Day, Country Gentlemen, McCalls, LOOK and many other leading magazines during that period.
The baby pictures have appeared on TV, Garry Moore Show, Perry Como Show, Frank Sinatra Show, Steve Allen Show, Ernie Kovacs Show, Jack Parr Show and The Joey Bishop Show. Her baby pictures have appeared so frequently and with such wide distribution that the name “CONSTANCE BANNISTER” had become synonymous with babies. Jack Parr titled her “Constance Bannister-World’s Most Famous Baby Photographer.”
Babies by Bannister have been printed in ad-campaigns in many different languages and have traveled the world many times. Her comic strip “Baby Banters” was a popular syndicated features for six years.
- 1945 – E.F. Dutton-” A Child’s Grace.” Victor Borge thought this book was so beautifully done and for two year he devoted two fifteen minute segments of his special Christmas TV Show, in which he read from the book aloud, while showing pictures of the same in a beautiful home scene with his own two children.
- 1950 – “The Baby” by Simon and Schuster. This book was on the bestseller list for two years. Published in eight languages. Pictures from this book were a double page features story inLife Magazine.
- 1950 – ” Senator, I’m Glad You Asked Me That” – a political satire.
- 1953 – ” We Were Spies Behind The Iron Curtain”- a satire on Russia.
- 1954 – “The Great Joe Stalin What” was printed in ten languages and was call very effective against communism.
- 1955 – “Puppy and Me”- Rand McNally, published for children two to six years of age.
- 1958 – Created a book ” How I Photograph Babies and Pets” for GE Company,
Constance Bannister was published 1950-1970. A few notable publications include:
- “Visiting Hours Are Over”-Doctors/Nurse satire
- “What to expect when your Expecting”
- “It Tickles”- U.S. Steel
- “Holly Deadlock”- a satire on marriage.
- ” I Love You Truly”- a satire on before marriage.
- “Jr. Executive”
- “Kiddie Capers”
- “What’s Cookin Baby?”
- “The Little Philosopher”
Constance Bannister Corp owns all the rights to all the pictures and copyrights to all the books.
Contact us if you remember Connie, or are one of her former Bannister Babies.