At each cattle station stopover one of the first things we do after we’ve opened the display doors of the Supa-Float, is put out the current and previous two years’ station photo albums. Consistently, people gather, like “bees around a honey pot”. We hear giggles, raucous laughter, comments (positive and negative), and lots of animated conversation as visual connections are made from all over the Outback.
In 2001 we began to take photos of groups of people at the cattle stations we visited. It’s been a rewarding and valuable exercise, and with so many years’ worth of photos on file, thousands of people, at hundreds of cattle stations, are now part of a historical record.
Just one more shot…the last one’s always the best!
“Do you think we can get everyone together for a photo?”
It seemed like a good idea in 2001! We remain convinced it’s a good idea – in fact one of our best, in spite of the difficulties and challenges involved.
2001 is relatively recent history, but as people look through the earlier folders, the value of those photographic records is evident. At the time of a photo shoot, the moment may seem insignificant and ordinary; the importance of a photo is often not realised until much later.
Young fresh faced ringers are now Head Stockmen and Managers, and sweethearts of earlier days are now ‘old married couples’, posing proudly with their children; the next generation. As people search through the current photos, and the albums of previous years, there’s often teasing and sky larking, and occasional comments we’re bound to keep to ourselves! However, there’s always keen interest to see “who’s where” across the Outback.
In the years since 2001, with rapidly improving technology, the quality of our photos has improved. A printer has enabled us to complete the photos while we’re at each station, and it’s satisfying to give a copy to everyone involved.
Sometimes when its difficult to get people together, or when there are numbers of reluctant participants, and when there are those whose main aim seems to be to make the photo unsuitable for public viewing, we seriously wonder what we’re doing! However, positives far outweigh negatives, and we’re determined to keep it going, in spite of our amateur photographer status.
The photos are a great help to us as we arrive at stations, as they’re useful reminders of names and faces. Of course, people move from one part of the country to another, and transfer within companies, so we admit to some forgetfulness and confusion. We’ve come to regard the photos as a valuable part of our travels, and are assured, from many positive comments over the years, that they are valued and appreciated.
All the photos can be viewed and copied from our website for personal use.
So, for the foreseeable future, wherever and whenever we meet with a group of 2 or 3, or 53 people, be prepared for our question, “Do you think we can get everyone together for a photo?”