My very first business card was also a photography card. The agonising that went into such a simple small text document was amazing.
I had created the strangest collection of partners to combine into a photographic business. My good mate Alan Larsen was also an accountant – that seemed to make sense. Another friend was a pianist and vocalist and there seemed to be symbolic relationship between those skills and wedding photography. Something to be exploited we thought. The connection with Alan was also based on the fact that he possessed a darkroom – and that was where the wedding photos were going to be processed. In fact in was in that darkroom on Sunday 17 December 1967 that we heard of the disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt. Yet another useful fact!
More important than a gold embossed dairy maid, was the fact that my next business card came equipped with a brand new Ford Falcon Station Wagon – luxury beyond anything on my radar; and my first new car.
This card (and attached job) proved that my photography career was still in a transistory state. It did lead the way to my first food photography jobs and other assignments.
The next card was a pivotal moment in my photographic career.
I had finally made photography my primary source of income. Not in a solo business but with a partner. Greg had worked in an advertising photography studio and I had a bookkeeping background with candid and wedding photography skills – what a combination that was! We were two steps ahead of being backyarders. The colour of the card matched the corporate colours, the shade of the Mazda 1500 and the go-faster stripe painted down the wall of the foyer of our first hand built studio and darkroom.
Card #4 was produced just in time for Friday 13 February 1976 – the first day of business for IAN POOLE does PHOTOGRAPHY. It was the first day of my striking out solo. Albeit sharing a large former Lutheran church with David McCarthy OAM Hon. LM, Hon. FAIPP, APP.L AAIPP. former Australian President of the AIPP.
By this time I had been a member of the IAP (the precursor of the AIPP) since the previous year. It also showed the phone number that I was to use (in slightly various altered iterations) until 2014.
Colour was of importance, as was a different shape (square to make it stand out); and the double denim of the clothing was the latest in denim safari suits! There was NO trendier photographer in all of Brisbane!
Mind you I was to use a Hasselblad camera for most of my working career.
Business Card #5 was starting to show a little more sophistication in graphic design. The denim remained but the typography was more restrained (and I was still a member of the Institute).
The next major move came with the transfer of the Studio to the Brisbane inner city suburb of Red Hill. This was truly a one man business conducted from my home and enabled me to do some of those family things like taking a daughter to and from her local school. Card #6 was a utilitarian object with the addition of a facsimile machine to the Studio’s assets. Smaller space but more facility. Upper Clifton Terrace gave me the impetus to move from being a lecturer at the College of Art, Griffith University, to being a post-graduate student at the same institution. This opportunity opened all manner of photographic avenues to me with exhibitions being held and curated, and artist’s residencies in places like Japan (courtesy of the Australia Council for the Arts).
Business Card #7 was the result of a commercial graphic art studio and the resources of the Government of the Great State of Queensland.
No mention was made of my membership of the now named Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), but I was able to flaunt my newly gained post-graduate status from Griffith University.
Joining the Queensland Government Photographic Unit gave me an opportunity to travel the state photographing all manner of projects and people. Including an awful lot of “grip and grins” – hand shakes and ribbon cuttings!
Card #8 was an opportunity to indulge some of the finer things in photography. Curate exhibitions at Gallery Frenzy, write articles for f11::for PHOTOGRAPHERS AND AFICIONADOS and spend a little time taking some portraits of special people.
I now no longer had a formal Studio, but I did have the freedom to chose where and when photographs could be created.
Documenting a career via one’s business cards is an interesting exercise in graphics, desires, dynamics and reactions to what is happening in and around your life.
My career has been as varied as the cards would indicate!