Everyday I bring my Fuji X100T with me to work, but most of the time it stays in my lunch bag. If I do take it out, it is usually to shoot a snapshot of scenery unrelated to work. I have always wanted to make more photos at work, of my work and coworkers. However, the relationship between management and unionized worker is strained and tedious. An ever increasing proliferation of video voice recorders and the use of GPS has created an atmosphere of fear of “Big Brother.” Though management mostly uses these tools to deter theft and for accident investigation, and most employees I know work hard and honestly for the company, pulling a camera out and pointing it at my coworkers only adds to the tension.
Of course, taking photos of the trains is strongly encouraged by an annual company photo contest. However, trains hold no interest for me when it comes to making photographs. What interests me are faces, and little slices-of-life images of our culture, which is mostly unknown to non-railroaders. It is a perennial conversation at work, that came up again today, about how frustrating it is to talk to non-railroaders about what it is we do. Even our immediate families have little clue about our work. One coworker just tells people he pounds in spikes with a hammer all day, which is a hilarious fabrication. (Well, funny to us.)
Maybe I will grow more bold in my photo making at work, maybe not. For now, I am procrastinating doing any real work on my photography under the pretense of pre-trip prep for an upcoming photo road trip I am taking at the end of the month. So until then.