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Wisconsin Family's Batman-Themed Photo Shoot: Dangerous Or Adorable?

By Lisa White in News on Jun 10, 2015 10:50PM

A Wisconsin family's Batman-themed photo shoot caught the attention of Buzzfeed earlier this week, drawing much love across the internet for the adorable and geeky pop culture portraits. Because who wouldn't love to don a Batman cape and pose with your cute kid as Robin, making magical memories that you can cherish for a lifetime?

Well, apparently some people aren't actually into photo shoot locations where the safety of your family is somewhat questionable. The shoot caught the concern of some train safety experts that were quick to point out the dangers surrounding the location. Sheryl Cummings, executive director of Minnesota’s Operation Lifesaver, left a comment on the photographer's Facebook page about the dangers of shooting on active railroad tracks. Cummings also spoke to New York Daily News about this all too common situation:

“The public isn’t aware what they’re doing is illegal and it’s dangerous. They don’t realize what they’re doing is normalizing the behavior,” Cummings told the Daily News. “It’s definitely something that’s very common and has been for eternity. As long as there has been tracks, it’s been a practice. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal."

It's true, train tracks have long been a common location for photo shoots. We know we've got a few senior portraits of friends gazing pensively down an empty railroad line stashed away somewhere. It's also a common spot for country and outdoor-themed weddings. (Editor's Note: Our friend's at Gothamist aren't as familiar with this classic railroad track photo shoot practice, so maybe it's a Midwestern thing?)

Cummings has a point, it's still trespassing, which can include fines in some states, and dangerous. A fitness model actor attempting to get an action shot for a video shoot in California was killed earlier this year when he tripped and fell into the path of an oncoming train and Sarah Jones, a camera assistant, was fatally hit by a freight train while shooting in Georgia in 2014.

New York Daily News did contact the mother, Roxanne Daly, who stated that the couple didn't realize the shoot was on an active track or that it was illegal. “I honestly had no idea,” Daly said. “I was assured there was no train. I wouldn’t put my son in danger if I didn’t have to.”

We'll stick to sweet poses on-top of sports cars, group shots while jumping in the air and keep off the rails in the future.