As a train driver I witness and am exposed to the actions of careless people. As an enthusiast and photographer as well, I can see their perspective.
Most serious enthusiasts are actually quite responsible, respecting the need to maintain a safe distance from the railway. I suspect the concerns are mostly due to the non-enthusiasts, people without any particular knowledge of railways. Parents taking their kids down to see a train, youths simply not thinking and getting too close, even the graffiti vandals.
I like the enthusiasts; they typically show great respect to us train crew, exchanging waves etc. They stand well back, don't aim flashes into our faces, and can be creative as well. Food parcels for us starving drivers are always welcome (hint hint). A few toots of the whistle and they seem pleased. Happy people.
Most of us don't really think much of a dead straight on photo; it is rare for one to work well. Photos that work typically show some scenery around the train, perhaps the loading behind the loco; these might be taken from an overline bridge, or as a train approaches a curve.
It is noteworthy that magazines tend not to publish photos taken from spots that are illegal to access, or which place the photographer (or train crew) in danger. Both Motive Power and Railway Digest magazines fall into this category; the only such dead straight on shot in either of the latest issues was clearly taken from a overline bridge, and showed both the train consist as well as the surrounding scenery (the red cutting, page 20 of Digest).
One would hate to see responsible enthusiasts placed into the same category as the wider general public. Sadly, I fear that, unless we as a movement can come up with some sort of procedures or mutual recognition, we may suffer for the thoughtless actions of people who on any given day might see the train, or perhaps watch the footy, or have a latte at the local cafe.