Ilford Joy Award


Ilford Joy Award, winning portfolio image; © Ian Poole 1975.

Winning a major photography award is a BIG moment in any one’s life; but particularly when you have made the leap of faith and tossed in a regularly paying job and moved into the business world with your own little enterprise.


Test shoot; © Ian Poole, 1975.

Such was the case when I won the Queensland section of the Ilford Joy Award (….in 1975).

The competition called for a themed set of four images illustrating the award’s title.  Having a brand new girl friend who was a model – the joy was all mine, trust me!  As I was busy promising to make her rich and famous, this Award could go a long way towards quantifying my modeling proposal.  Ilford FP4 film shot through my Hasselblad 500CM with an 80mm f2.8 T* Zeiss Planar and a 150mm f4 CF T* Zeiss Sonnar, and processed in ID-11; I was on my way.  Following a test shoot, which involved a longish drive in the country, it was decided to re-convene in a park near my Studio; which had a large old tree that had previously been used for portrait shoots.  See, I was learning – young attractive model contrasting with gnarled rough textured tree trunk for comparison.  A no-brainer.  I am on fire.


Ilford Joy Award, winning portfolio image; © Ian Poole, 1975. (note 2 notches left side of image)

In defense of the fashions portrayed in these (prize winning) images, it must be said that it was contemporary uber-stylish, which could only enhance my photographic presentation.  Well, I suspect that my ability was eclipsed by the fashion.  Denise had a better touch in this regard, and I was at the start of a very steep learning curve, photographically speaking.


Ilford Joy Award, winning portfolio image; © Ian Poole, 1975.

Of a technical note, all my images were printed full frame in the square format – showing my great knowledge of the art maxim that indicated “this image is not cropped, but presented as the author saw and exposed the negative“.  I knew this type of deep and sensitive knowledge of photographic art would sway the Judges.  I further knew that by including the traditional double V notches on the left side of the print, the Judges would respect my wise and astute investment into the Hasselblad system.

The naivete of the Boy Photographer is almost touching.

Denise Moran from Sabcar Model Agency was the joyful subject of this exercise; and doubtless I am indebted to her for swaying the Judges into giving me my first valuable prize in photography.


This prize stayed in my possession long enough to be photographed, and then rushed to the bank where it was desperately needed!; © Ian Poole

6 thoughts on “Ilford Joy Award

    • Cold hard cash (even in the form of a cheque), was certainly appreciated. Even more so than the honour and the glory – but of course this was pre-social media days.


  1. The naive boy photographer was not wrong. The Joy portfolio and thoughts behind were perfectly in accord with the zeitgeist of the times. And the $100 was amply and honestly earned; no cringe factor is merited.

    Frankly I can’t think of a professional photographer today who would replicate this shoot in all its technical details; let alone for $100.


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