Railway Children!

railway1As a former press photographer I am quite used to seeing pictures designed to shock, to invoke thought, to stir up the emotions. Heck! I used to take them!

As a portrait photographer, however, I find myself judging pictures on their artistic merit, on their technical competence, and on whether or not they have “worked” as a portrait.  I ask myself: if I were the parent of a child in the portrait – would I be proud to hang it on the wall?
railway2These two portraits were on the website of an American family portrait photographer. Now I should point out that prior to seeing these two images, I was pretty impressed with the standard of this person’s portrait photography. These, however, left me feeling very uncomfortable indeed. Maybe it’s a Feng Shui thing? I don’t know. I just know I don’t like them. Ironic really, when you consider that as a press photographer ANY picture that made you look twice, or that made you think about the subject, would have been adjudged a roaring success.

These shots give me the same feeling one gets when standing close to the edge of a very steep drop. Furthermore, do they give out the message to any other kids who might view them – especially if they were on the wall of a family friend – that it is okay to go and play down on the railway tracks?

So what do you reckon? Am I getting carried away? What do YOU think? Use the Comments link at the bottom of the page – That’s what it’s there for!