This is going to seem amazingly obvious but don’t take photos with your subject standing on the railway tracks.
Now you’d think this would be okay if you’re a professional photographer and your model is a professional model and there aren’t any trains around?
Well apparently it’s not okay.
In the last months of reading photo blogs and articles in magazines and newspapers I’ve read scores of reports of people being injured or killed while taking part in photo shoots that include railway tracks and eventually a railway train.
Today’s National Post has a story about a 37-year-old model and actor who didn’t step off the tracks to avoid an approaching train despite the train’s engineers attempt to alert him by blowing the train’s horn.
A train’s horn is a loud alerting device. it didn’t work this time as speculation has it that the model may have thought the train was coming down a parallel track. Well it wasn’t and he’s dead.
This is a matter of being stupid….okay, well it is but it’s the kind of stupid that we all do. Oh I can hear you from now saying that wouldn’t happen on my shoot. And I say to you, that’s the same thing that everybody else said on their shoot. Except the big difference is somebody got hit and died.
Here’s how you avoid getting hit by a train. Don’t stand on or near the tracks.
If you’ve got to get a shot of receding railway tracks pick an unused set of tracks out in the country where you can see for miles up and down the track line. If you’re wrong about your choice you’ve got plenty of time to call off the shoot.