Sta­tion Pho­tos’ new book..

Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS - CANDYCE BRAITH­WAITE Candyce.braith­waite@apn.com.au

DAN McIn­tosh is a man with friends right across the coun­try.

Af­ter work­ing as a sta­tion cook for al­most 40 years, he runs into peo­ple he knows al­most any­where he goes.

Mr McIn­tosh is the founder of the pop­u­lar Face­book page Sta­tion Pho­tos, which has al­most 120,000 fol­low­ers.

Reg­u­lar Ru­ral Weekly read­ers would even recog­nise his name, as his pho­tos have graced these pages sev­eral times be­fore.

Fit­tingly, Mr McIn­tosh has just re­cently pub­lished his sec­ond book Outback Mates.

“Last year on the Face­book page we ran a com­pe­ti­tion, Me and My Bud­dies, which had a huge re­sponse,” he said.

“The guys at ABC Books and HarperCollins saw it and got in con­tact about pub­lish­ing the pho­tos.”

When Ru­ral Weekly caught up with Mr McIn­tosh he had just re­ceived a hard copy of his book and said he was stoked with how it turned out.

It had been a six-month process for Mr McIn­tosh, who cur­rently works as a full-time gar­dener on Napier Downs Sta­tion in north­ern Western Aus­tralia.

“I’m very proud of how it’s turned out,” he said.

“It was a long process, we worked through the wet sea­son up here and strug­gled with poor in­ter­net,” he said.

“But be­tween ABC Books, HarperCollins, Kate Keyte and my­self we man­aged to pull it to­gether.”

Kate Keyte, based in Cler­mont, Queens­land, man­ages the Sta­tion Pho­tos Face­book page.

“She’s done so much for me, keep­ing the page go­ing. I would be bug­gered with­out her,” he said.

“She helped so much with the book, I owe her big time.

Mr McIn­tosh said he was in awe of the pop­u­lar­ity of his Face­book page, which has only been run­ning for about four years.

“Our world au­di­ence is up around 23 mil­lion,” he said.

“The au­di­ence in Aus­tralia can go around half a mil­lion.

“We share ev­ery photo we re­ceive. It seems ev­ery­one knows some­one in the pho­tos we put up.”

As a tal­ented pho­tog­ra­pher with a knack for cap­tur­ing nat­u­ral and un-posed mo­ments, Mr McIn­tosh orig­i­nally started the page as a way to show fam­ily what he was up to.

“In the first week we had over 1000 likes,” he said.

A lot of the time his sub­jects are un­aware their im­age has even been taken.

“I had one young fella here, I took a photo of him while he

was fetch­ing the grader tyre. When he looked up I just clicked (the shut­ter),” he said.

“It was a one-in-a-mil­lion shot the way it came out.”

The photo, which was taken of sta­tion­hand Will Ni­chols, had 1.8 mil­lion hits on­line.

“At first he thought it was a big shame job… but then it didn’t take him long to change his pro­file photo on Face­book,” Mr McIn­tosh said.

“I had peo­ple con­tact us from the Daily Mir­ror in Eng­land who wanted to run that photo.”

Will is only a teenager, but the im­age made him look like he was in his mid-20s. Dan said the pic­ture was a par­tic­u­lar hit with the ladies, with many com­ment­ing on Will’s ap­pear­ance.

“I said to him, ‘You will have to an­swer them all, Will’.”

As well as work­ing as a cook on re­mote prop­er­ties, the Sta­tion Pho­tos Face­book page has al­lowed Dan to make friends across the coun­try.

Work­ing as a cook for al­most 40 years means Dan runs into old work­mates.

“The best part is when you go to rodeos and you run into them all,” he said.

“They all say hello.

“A lot of them are grown up and have kids of their own.”

Dan even runs into peo­ple when he is in the city.

“I was in Sydney and I went to that Kings Cross to have a look, and there were four ringers com­ing down the street and they were yelling out ‘Cookie, Cookie’!

“They were blokes I worked with up in the Gulf.”

PHOTO: WENDY EL­LIS

STUN­NING SUN­SET: One of the many great shots ap­pear­ing in the book.

PHOTO: KATE KEYTE

Muddy work!

PHOTO: KATE KEYTE

Mates en­joy­ing a pad­dle.

PHOTO: LEAH MEYER

Friend­ships built from hard yakka.

PHOTO: THERESA TAYLOR

A load of best friends.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Outback Mates front cover.

PHOTO: WENDY EL­LIS

A DOG’S LIFE: There’s no bet­ter friend in the outback than a hard­work­ing dog.

PHOTO: ISLA BELL

It’s dusty work on a sta­tion.

PHOTO: ISLA BELL

Crea­tures big and small have mates in the outback.

PHOTO: SCOTT ALEXAN­DER

Cool­ing off in the outback.

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