Station Photos founder releases new book

Outback Mates front cover.
Outback Mates front cover. Contributed

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.”

Topics:  facebook facebook page harpercollins outback mates social media

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