Engagement Photo Taken in the Middle of a Freeway

Photographer Cynthia Chung got engaged in October of last year and recently decided to try her hand at shooting her own engagement photographs. After traveling around with her fiancé to various places with her fiancé cameras, lenses, a tripod, and a remote, the couple spontaneously decided to try something slightly crazy:

[…] we headed back to queens to go to a local park instead to shoot a few more. On the way back, I said, “hey Jeddy… wouldn’t it be cool to shoot on the highway… all the moving cars…” Next thing we knew, we were risking our lives on the 678 trying to get a decent shot. All while cars were honking away at us. Life threatening, but a really awesome shot came from it! I definitely know I have a keeper — if he’s willing to brave standing in the middle of a highway with me just for a picture!

The sequence of shots captured were also turned into an animated GIF that shows the cars whizzing by. You can find the rest of the photos they made over on Chung’s blog.

(via Cynthia Chung via Doobybrain)

Update: As many readers have kindly pointed out, this is an incredibly risky (and illegal) stunt that you shouldn’t try to copy.

Image credit: Photograph by Cynthia Chung and used with permission

  • will hall

    crazy is one word for it, dangerous, borderline retarded would be another, who in their right mind thinks its safe to stand in the middle of a free way, yes you’re standing in markings where cars shouldn’t normally be traveling, but drivers arnt going to expect to see you there, so might over-react on seeing someone standing in the middle of the road and cause an accident.

  • pethr

    There is a notable difference between endangering yourself, and endangering yourself and others.

  • Caryn Becker

    And the photo isn’t really that special. Sorry.

  • Ray Escamilla

    +1 for trying something different. Unfortunately, uninteresting.

  • Jillian

    I’m sorry but this is just dumb.  You couldn’t find something better to post?

  • Zak Henry

    As all the cars are traveling in the same direction I suspect it is actually a Y junction where two routes separate from the main one. This is probably more dangerous as you often see drivers cross this median having realised they are going down the wrong route very late.

  • Dan

    Jillian “news” is meant to garner a reaction, this obviously has. So please, save your subjective opinions about what should and should not be posted. If it doesn’t interest you, here is a novel idea…don’t click on it! Problem solved.

    Petapixel, keep up the good work :)

  • wickerprints

    Really, this is incredibly risky, not to mention flagrantly illegal.  For anyone else even considering doing such a thing, stop and think:  from a business perspective, doing this would expose you to enormous legal and financial liability.  What if a vehicle or stray debris hits your client?  In the photo, they even have their backs to oncoming traffic, meaning they can’t see if something’s approaching them.  Second, what if something hits YOU?  Are you willing to lose your camera gear, your life, or risk an injury?  You would NOT be covered under insurance because you willfully put yourself in that situation.  Third, what if someone gets into an accident BECAUSE of you?  Your presence is a distraction to other drivers, who might then cause an accident leading to injury or death of others.  Do you want to have that on your conscience?

    I find the attitude of this photographer to be incredibly myopic and self-absorbed.  All she can talk about is how proud she is to have gotten some “special” shot.  She only has a vague notion of the risk involved, as if it were merely some nebulous, abstract possibility.  She doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions and seems totally incapable of thinking things completely through.  She especially doesn’t seem to be aware of the risk she poses to OTHERS, as if she thinks it’s acceptable to just put her own life (and that of her fiance’s) on the line.

    After the fact, if I were in her position, I would pretend I’d never done such a stupid thing because that’s photographic evidence of a criminal act, and she can be prosecuted for it.  As for PetaPixel, I really strongly recommend to the editor that you clearly state that this is not only illegal and extremely dangerous, but that this blog entry should not be considered as glorification or encouragement for others to do the same.

  • Isaac Zapata

    Wow, @3471126fcee31515de2fb9f698a4679f:disqus wrote so much but didn’t bother to read the story… (Above) Anyway…. Seriously, there’s people in all those cars… If you’re gonna risk lives risk your own.. (jump of a cliff with a Polaroid or something) and at least try to get a decent shot…!

  • kendon

    aside from the concerns about the danger (which i share fully, especially the ones about endangering others, and making it extra-dangerous by doing it where a highway splits which is a place where people tend to do retarded stuff without being surprised by a fotoshoot), the picture is really boring. the backdrop isn’t interesting, the cut-off car at the left sucks, the sign goes through his head, and don’t get me started on how he stands there.

  • TRD

    I thought I had clicked on You Are Not A Photographer for a moment there.


    And are you?

  • Darren Ward79

    why would u want to get married!!

  • Peter

    Just my opinion… but that picture is so damn horrible boring. Guess everyone can call himself a photographer nowadays, just get a DSLR and ur set LOL.

  • Flgraphics

    she’s a little animated GIF crazy there

    this is just dangerous and stupid

  • Gil Batzri

    The GIF is moderately interesting the still photo not so much.

    This looks as some other people said, like someone took a picture, not something a photographer would be bragging on, The light is not interesting, the posing is mediocre to be charitable, The composition is, again, mediocre to be charitable, they are in street clothing. As an “Engagement Photo” it is more or less a complete failure and it is an insanely dangerous shot for such a pedestrian final product.

  • jasonw8photo

    I find her blog a bit interesting.  These are actually self portrait engagement pics.  So the highway shots were remotely triggered on a tripod.  More interestingly they are in gifs.  I kinda liked the gifs spread throughout her bog.  Cool idea.  I don’t really see that much in engagement/wedding photography (and God knows I look for anything interesting in wedding photography). 

    As for the highway pics, I probably would not have stepped out there, but that is irrelevant.  Looks like they are standing in an area where cars should not be and not in an actual lane.  Thumbs up for trying something different…and it’s not a failure if the couple liked it.  At east they weren’t propped on a couch sitting in the middle of a field!