A major part of my photographic career was spent working out of a former Lutheran church in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Shared with that Industry stalwart David McCarthy OAM, AAIPP, Hon. LM Hon FAIPP for over thirteen years, it served as my office, studio, darkrooms, home and learning/teaching facility. It was a defacto home for the Institute of Australian Photography (IAP) the precursor to the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) as David had been both Queensland and Australian President of the organisation and I had been Queensland President, and we were both long term members of both organising Councils.
I have written before about this building (A Wander Down Memory Lane) where I described some of the output from this studio.
The building was on two levels with our offices and darkrooms on the lower level and the upper (former church) level used as studios and change room facilities. With a peak in the roof of over 10 mt and an approximate 11×7 mt floor space we had ample room for a studio each that could be opened into one space should the assignment require it.
The Glory to God in the Highest inscription was protected by a giant flying Superman installed above it. Our Landlord Pastor was always intrigued by this, but was far too polite to query it.
The aesthetic questions of colour temperature versus good looks from the stained glass windows was solved with black outs and sheets of polystyrene foam.
The Studio was a heavily worked space with fashion, model portfolios and vast amounts of commercial product documented in this area.
Ranging from purpose built room sets for furniture catalogues to sausages for Woolworths, and laundry sinks for Everhard, the studio was an almost every day work area. Lighting ranged from Strobe 1000 in the early days, through Bowens Quad 2000 units, to Balcar and finally my favourite – the Bron equipment. That consisted of a Hazy-light and many heads powered by four floor packs. The fabulous Swiss made Foba studio stand held our cameras and a Foba product table supported the Woolworth’s sausages.
And a final image from the times. The day David McCarthy drove in with a two-door hard top Mazda and a very, very young group of staff guys came out to inspect. The one and only Darren Jew (before he discovered fame, fortune and whales) and Wolfgang Schoenknecht. It is amazing how small this world is as I still know and respect these guys after all this time.