Public Service Announcement

Take a look at these images from my years of shooting below. Any idea what they have in common?

They're illegal.

That's right. All of the above pictures are illegal. (You didn't know I was such a hooligan, did ya?) Did you know it is "unlawful in Virginia for anyone to go upon the track of a railroad other than to pass over the track at a public or private crossing without the consent of the railroad company, or person operating the railroad"? You can actually be arrested. Now that would certainly make for an interesting story to tell following a shoot, but also it'd be CRAZY embarrassing.

Photographing on train tracks is not a new idea. In fact, it's quite popular in photography, to the point where it's become cliche. I always knew it was dangerous. In fact, during one of the sessions above we were on the tracks when a train came barreling around the corner. We ran off the tracks as quick as we could and had a great laugh - not realizing how dangerous, or illegal, what we were doing was. 

It wasn't until over the past year I educated myself through the better example of other photographers that this practice is illegal. In one set of train tracks above, there have already been 2 deaths in the surrounding area for 2014... and it's only March. 

So, to my clients, if in the future you ask me to photograph you and your loved ones on the train tracks, I will politely decline for the reasons above and in this article regarding photography and train tracks. I don't want to risk my safety or the safety of you, my client. We can certainly incorporate the tracks in the background or use the amazing train station in Manassas as a backdrop, but the tracks themselves will be off limits. 

I'd be a pansy in jail anyway. 

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