Making Pig Products more Personable

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KR Darling Downs I; © Ian Poole, 1980

It is 1980 and my fledgling photographic business is grateful for any assignments thrust my way.

My close mate, the Art Director, turns up at my Studio in the old pink church, with a set of water colour renderings that he has just had drawn at the direction of the client.  The Client thought that it would be a good idea to show the source of his product in a cute and humorous way.

The source was a pig!     And the product was bacon! 

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KR Darling Downs II; © Ian Poole, 1980

That is how the KR Darling Downs Christmas Card Assignment was launched.  My reservations about the quality of the concept are more pronounced today than they were way back in another century.

After all, an advertising photographer is just a hired camera sitting around waiting for a commission.

My job was to reproduce the artwork as accurately as possible for printing of Christmas Cards and a possible brochure.  This was a time of black and white newspapers, and whilst it may have been reproduced in the Toowoomba Chronicle, that was not a concern on this occasion.  Working at the 115 Warren Street, Fortitude Valley Studio, and using my Sinar P2 (5×4″) screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-5-34-12-pmcamera, Kodak Ektachrome transparency film and a Kodak Color Control Patch – I more than had this assignment covered!

Founded in 1911 as the Darling Downs Bacon Co-operative, KR Darling Downs eventually closed in 2006 putting 350 people out of work.  The company was a large employer in the Toowoomba region.

My connection was via the advertising agency Hertz Walpole and its art director Gary Edgar.  Over later years I was to produce some food photography for brochures.  My everlasting memory was of executives from the bacon company driving down from Toowoomba bringing packages of product for use in the photography sessions, and their boredom eventually culminating with their disappearance from the studio around lunchtime to visit a hotel.  Fortunately not to be seen again that day!

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KR Darling Downs III; © Ian Poole, 1980

Agency:  Hertz Walpole, Brisbane
Art Director:  Gary Edgar
Artist:  Unknown
Client:  KR Darling Downs Pty Ltd, Toowoomba

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https://poolefoto.wordpress.com/tag/cassells-fashion-brisbane/

These transparencies (IAN POOLE does PHOTOGRAPHY file #4737) (and many others), will become part of an online searchable database at the John Oxley Historical Library within the State Library of Queensland during 2017.

 

 

Decisions

My long ‘to-do’ list of photographic chores has been a subject of great contemplation and some inner turmoil.  There are entries to be finalised for a couple of professional awards programs which I am keen to enter; several folders of work created on a month-long trip away from home still to refine; a portfolio of personal work for a submission

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Vintage Negative Collection; © Ian Poole, State Library Queensland, 2016.

and a vast archive of my life’s work of negatives that I am slowly archiving into the Queensland State Library data-base.  In spite of my well-documented history of procrastination I felt that it was time to take a more positive and proactive approach to this lethargy and work towards some quick but nonetheless worthwhile solutions.

The competition award entries were tackled first.  I am more than aware that my role in both of these events is clearly defined within the role of an assessor and as one of the judges.

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Hong Kong Monsoon; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 2016.

But in that role it is equally important that I am seen to be entering and supporting the organisations involved.  Besides which, like many creative sorts, I also have an ego that needs to be stroked and maintained!

Some years ago I was given a format that I have now adopted.  This is based on the firm premise that I am not in competition with any of the other entrants.  Instead, I endeavor to compete against my own performance from last year.  The peer assessment manner in which these awards are judged ensures that my standard is not limited by my own inadequacies.  It meant of course, that when I failed to achieve silver awards with any my entries a couple of years ago I had a period of serious soul searching to endure. I soon realised that my best for that year was just not up to scratch.  It was of a professional standard, but it was clearly not award worthy.  Whilst I am comfortable with the strong and consistent possibility that I may never stand at the podium receiving trophies and accolades, I am also conscious that I want my entries to be of a standard that enables me to confidently and comfortably feel able to construcively criticise the work of other entrants.  For the record, and as is the case for all judges, I am never in the position of judging my own work, this does not happen with well organised and scrupulously managed awards programs.

So the first edit has been made and some test prints nailed to the wall so that I can live with them for a little while.  This is a great way to assess if I am bored with my own work – a sure sign that other judges may come to that conclusion much faster than me.

Several folders of a couple of thousand files have now been sorted in a rough edit to find a collection of photographs that may be useful as award entries, or suitable for the personal project I am working on.  This is followed by a longer period agonising over those thus sorted.  Doing this over several sessions means that I have time to contemplate my choices.  I also have access to one or two trusted and highly valuable mentors with whom I can share a few of the more difficult choices.

The personal project continues with a similar approach to that of finding award images.  A steady process of post-production followed by either elimination or acceptance of photographs worthy of the presentation I wish to make in the next few months.

Then comes the sorting of my entire professional life’s output of negatives and transparencies.  This is a job that has a certain amount of tedium that comes from peering at the results of some fairly banal commercial assignments, then followed by happy trips down memory lane as I re-discover other, long forgotten but far more interesting assignments.  Of course the recurring theme of rampant sexism in some of the photographs was just a by-product of the ‘anything goes’ 1970s.

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612 ABC Radio; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1976. (courtesy of John Oxley Library historical collection)

I do now wonder why it seemed necessary to have so many girls in bikinis draped over washing machines or gas stoves.  In my defence, all I can say is that, at the time, it was entirely at the direction of various art directors at whose pleasure I served.

It is possible that your own ‘to-do’ list could be similarly reduced or tackled with a clear cut analysis of what needs to be done, and a rational approach to sorting the tasks slowly and steadily.  My list, made a couple of weeks ago, is now under control.

Though I must admit that it did take a few sleepless nights to work out precisely how to achieve all of this within a tight time frame.


Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.51.51 AMThis essay first appeared in f11 Magazine :: for PHOTOGRAPHERS and AFICIONADOS, p154, issue 55 :: June, 2016.

 

 

The Failed TV Campaign

 

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Channel O; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

When you work closely with one or two major clients it is possible to become part and parcel of their visual sounding board and assist in producing new ideas or presentations.

Such was the attempt at winning the sales and promotion account with the Brisbane TV station Channel O.  (Now Network 10, Brisbane)

My good friend (and valuable photography client) Gary Edgar, was Art Director at the Brisbane office of the Hertz Walpole Advertising Agency.  As was the case then and now, agencies would regularly pitch ideas to clients seeking to gain their advertising budget.

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Gary Edgar; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

Whilst elsewhere in Australia the Channel O network had become Channel 10 in January 1980, in Brisbane the network still traded under the Channel O banner.  A situation that continued in Brisbane until 10 September 1988.

This campaign had everything going for it.  The art director and the photographer playing major roles.  A friendly TV cameraman (he had access to a camera) and of course that staple of the 1980s – a pretty female face wearing a swim suit!   This was August 1980 after all.

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Channel O Model; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

The model’s name has been sadly lost over the decades, but it is highly likely that she was the receptionist at the advertising agency.

Gary was a keen sailor and it naturally followed that both he and his 14′ Hobie Cat had to feature in a proposal that was aimed at sun, sand and water loving Brisbane audiences.

The water activity shots were photographed at Shorncliffe on the Redcliffe Peninsula during one of our regular Sunday afternoon sailing sessions.  Gary wasn’t the only one with a Hobie Cat – it was an activity that we both indulged.

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Shorncliffe; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

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“O” for the Glasses; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

The studio photographs were taken at the Old Pink Church in Warren Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.  The electric motorised Hasselblad (500EL – same as the one taken by NASA to the moon) in the top photograph, was a cantankerous old beast that was used mainly in the Studio.  Too big, too heavy, too unreliable to take outside!

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Eyewitness News; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

 

 

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Gary Edgar (alternate); © Ian Poole, Brisbane, 1980.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


These photographs form part of the Poole Collection held by the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.  #5072 – Hertz Walpole Advertising, these transparencies (and thousands of other negatives and transparencies) will be available for public access within the next twelve months.   These materials, as well as films and digital stories are available for viewing in the John Oxley Library Reading Room or online via their catalogue OneSearch.


 

Sabcar – a Brisbane Model Agency

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Cheryl and Andrena; © Ian Poole, Brisbane March 1977

An opportunity to re-connect with the Principals and members of the Brisbane based model agency Sabcar , is also an opportunity to see some old photographs.

Most of these shots were taken to produce a major poster promoting all the talent at the Agency at that time – March 1977.

Produced at my studio at the old pink church in Warren Street, Fortitude Valley, it was a major exercise in logistics.

The negatives from this (and all my other commercial photographic output) is now stored at the John Oxley Library within the State Library of Queensland.

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Cigarette; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March, 1977.

Any assistance in putting names to faces would be greatly appreciated.

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Denise Moran; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977.

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Narelle Meuller; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977.

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Gloria McQuilty and ?; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977.

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Karen Radel; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977.

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Julie-Anne Ross; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977

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Michelle Calcutt and Denise Moran; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977

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Albert Park; © Ian Poole, Brisbane, March 1977

 

On a technical note, the majority of portraits in this very large project were shot on the medium format Hasselblad camera system using a 6x6cm black and white negative.  Both Kodak and Ilford films were used.  There were some shots taken using a Nikon 35mm outfit.

Additionally the bulk of the assignments were taken in the Warren Street Studios with a handful of sessions taken at Albert Park.

 

 

Further stories featuring Sabcar Model Agency are told here: