None of the above three images are mine. What? Why would a professional photographer begin a blog post with another photographer's work? Easy. I want you to understand that I do not and will not take pictures ON train tracks. I admit this happily and wholeheartedly. So, these are the only ones you'll ever see me post - well, unless I take a trip by rail. Then, I might post pictures from the train.
I've heard the arguments: "They look so cool!" "Everyone else is doing it." "My baby or senior would look bada$$ up there." "My husband will come along and help me 'spot' for you."
And I've seen Facebook posts from friends and other photographers who made the decision to take the chance. It makes me shudder. But me...
NOPE, not going to happen. No exceptions, no ifs, no ands, no buts, and no amount of money will entice me to shoot on the tracks.
"But why not," you ask?
Well, not only is is dangerous as all get out, it's also quite illegal! Did you realize that railway laws are not local city or state laws but are actually FEDERAL laws? So, if you're caught on the tracks (and don't get killed by a train) you can be fined up to $10,000! That fine isn't just for the photographer; every person out there from the "model" to the photographer to the "spotters" receive that fine. I almost forgot to mention that this holds true for ABANDONED tracks as well.
Photographers taking pictures on and around train tracks has become so much of a problem that Union Pacific Railroad and Operation Lifesaver released the following:
Operation Lifesaver has six "must-know" tips for professional photographers considering a photo shoot near the tracks:
If the possibility of a $10,000 fine doesn't bother you, maybe the following articles will help you see why I so strongly feel that the risk isn't worth it.
10.14 Santa Barbara county, CA - 1 killed & 2 injured while taking photos on a train trestle
7.14 Train runs over photographers on trestle in Indiana, they miraculously survive
6.14 Missouri photographer hit and killed by Amtrak train during photoshoot
6.14 Florida photographer lucky to be alive after being hit and drug by train
2.14 Professional video crew member for "Midnight Rider" hit and killed in Georgia
12.12 California high school photography teacher hit and killed while photographing train
So, you know what? I like you! Let's not risk either of our lives or our bank accounts. Besides, train tracks have been DONE! Let's find somewhere new for your session!
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, ponytail sporting, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.