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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 21 Jan 2011 (Friday) 03:20
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What's the significance of...

 
philwillmedia
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Jan 21, 2011 03:20 |  #1

Seniors shoots and photos other than the annual class photo are almost, if not, non existant in Australia.
It's just not part of our culture or way of life.
Over the last few months, out of curiosity, I've asked several parents of teens about to finish high school/university whether they would pay up to several hundred dollars to have photos taken of their child in their final year of study.
In almost all cases, the question was met with a quizzical look, followed by "Why?" or "Why would I do something like that?" or "What for?"
Yet in the US and Canada, it is almost expected and is a huge business.
The number of threads regarding Seniors pics on this forum alone is testament to that.

I often look at seniors pics on this and other forums and can't help but notice that quite a few, I'd say around half, are shot around trains, railway lines, railway bridges or with a railway theme.

Is there a certain significance with these types of settings?
I just strikes me as being odd that an 18/19 year old with seemingly no interest in trains/railways etc would have their photo taken in around those type of settings.

This has got me curious and I'd like to understand what the reasoning is - if in fact there is one. Am I missing something?

And no, I'm not intending on trying to start a new trend Down Under.


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Ashura
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Jan 21, 2011 03:33 |  #2

I guess the railways and trains are here to suggest their imminent departure from home ?


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jra
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Jan 21, 2011 05:20 |  #3

In general, there's no real significance that I'm aware of.....although the suggestion in the post above seems pretty good. I think it's that train tracks often make a nice setting and just about everyone lives near some train tracks.
As far as no senior pics in Australia, that's too bad. It's a huge market you guys are missing out on. I don't understand why a family wouldn't want pics of their child at such a huge transitional point in their life. Very often, a child's senior pics hang on the walls of the parents home until the day they die (and I know this because I used to have a job where I visited lots of homes :) )




  
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Accessoire
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Jan 21, 2011 07:32 |  #4

We Americans are a strange bunch.
I bet we are the only culture that has graduation ceremonies for kindergarten, primary, middle AND high school.
So, its no wonder we take photos of everything lol
Maybe we're just grateful our children are actually accomplishing something? :P
As for the railroad thing, its def. a fad.
Something else will take its place soon.




  
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Voaky999
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Jan 21, 2011 07:41 |  #5

philwillmedia wrote in post #11683854 (external link)
Yet in the US and Canada, it is almost expected and is a huge business.

Not so much in Canada either, similiar to Australia in this regard.


Don
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stsva
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Jan 21, 2011 07:43 |  #6

It's to commemorate a major transition point in many families' lives. Many, if not most, children leave home following high school graduation, either to work or continue their education, after which they'll be working. Thus, graduation marks a significant change in the family. As to railroad tracks and trains, probably because it (supposedly) looks good/artistic; it's just another fad in photographic portraiture.


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Voaky999
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Jan 21, 2011 07:45 |  #7

stsva wrote in post #11684615 (external link)
It's to commemorate a major transition point in many families' lives. Many, if not most, children leave home following high school graduation, either to work or continue their education, after which they'll be working. As to railroad tracks and trains, probably because it (supposedly) looks good.

You can get your kids to leave home, maybe I should have had that photoshoot at the railway. Cause and effect maybe.


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stsva
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Jan 21, 2011 07:46 |  #8

Voaky999 wrote in post #11684626 (external link)
You can get your kids to leave home, maybe I should have had that photoshoot at the railway. Cause and effect maybe.

That might be part of it. ;)


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jra
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Jan 21, 2011 08:03 |  #9

I wouldn't call railroad photos a fad.....as far as I know, railroad type photos have always been a very common theme to the point of almost being cliche'.




  
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Jan 21, 2011 13:39 as a reply to  @ jra's post |  #10

At this point, they're definitely cliche'. Definitely a staple of mediocre portraitists in the U.S. I don't know why, though.


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MrWilliams
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Jan 21, 2011 13:44 |  #11

i'd never heard of them till i got on this site just over a year ago and i'm from Connecticut




  
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HappySnapper90
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Jan 21, 2011 19:58 |  #12

philwillmedia wrote in post #11683854 (external link)
In almost all cases, the question was met with a quizzical look, followed by "Why?" or "Why would I do something like that?" or "What for?"
Yet in the US and Canada, it is almost expected and is a huge business.
The number of threads regarding Seniors pics on this forum alone is testament to that.

I often look at seniors pics on this and other forums and can't help but notice that quite a few, I'd say around half, are shot around trains, railway lines, railway bridges or with a railway theme.

I saw a show a while ago about diamonds. It was noted that several decades ago Japan couples had very traditional wedding elements with a very small percentage of the brides being given a wedding ring with a diamond in it. DeBeers, the worldwide dominant diamond resource owner went into Japan with marketing to sell more diamonds. Now it's something like 80% of Japanese brides get a diamond wedding ring! Note DeBeers has such a large ownership of diamond resources they would be unable to operate in the USA because they'd be labeled as a monopoly. DeBeers also expect their diamond buyers to buy a consistent amount of diamonds every year even in bad economic times. Sounds like gangsters, the mob, or the mafia!

So time can change culture. As far as railroads, I think it's just something that snowballed. One student saw another's photos on rails, thought it was cool and asked for it too. The way trends go with students. Things catch on often because they are new and different not necessarily because it's good. ;)




  
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SOK
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Jan 22, 2011 03:27 |  #13

Had to laugh when I saw this thread Phil.

As a fellow Aussie, I was (am) similarly confused.

When I first joined POTN and found all these threads asking for advice on Seniors shoots, I kept thinking "how hard can taking photos of old people be?!?"

It gives some interesting perspective to the 'running a photography business is so hard these days'...yet it seems the Yanks have an entire photographic sub-industry we've never even heard of!

I reckon you should reword your post and announce yourself as Australia's leading Senior's photographer...people will be so bewildered they'll have to believe you! I'll start the QLD franchise!


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monk3y
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Jan 22, 2011 03:32 |  #14

SOK wrote in post #11690556 (external link)
Had to laugh when I saw this thread Phil.

As a fellow Aussie, I was (am) similarly confused.

When I first joined POTN and found all these threads asking for advice on Seniors shoots, I kept thinking "how hard can taking photos of old people be?!?"

It gives some interesting perspective to the 'running a photography business is so hard these days'...yet it seems the Yanks have an entire photographic sub-industry we've never even heard of!

I reckon you should reword your post and announce yourself as Australia's leading Senior's photographer...people will be so bewildered they'll have to believe you! I'll start the QLD franchise!

hahaha I am not Australian, but not American either, and that was actually my first reaction too when I saw "Seniors" in some of the threads.

it is not common here too... there are the usual class photos and some graduation photos. but none with the parents and on location shoots :lol:


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whuband
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Jan 22, 2011 04:09 |  #15

jra wrote in post #11684704 (external link)
I wouldn't call railroad photos a fad.....as far as I know, railroad type photos have always been a very common theme to the point of almost being cliche'.

They are way past being cliche, just like graffiti covered back alleys and parking decks seem to be the place to show off a $50,000 automobile.


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