While looking for pictures of Amish Country I stumbled upon the beautiful pictures and website Amishphoto of Bill Coleman. Bill is an internationally acclaimed photographer, who had the permission to take (stunning!) photos of Amish in a remote community in Pennsylvania. And this for decades!
Can you imagine how thrilled I was when Bill Coleman and his son Noah gave me the opportunity to share some of the amazing photography with you and to ask Bill some questions about his work and the Amish.
Why did you start taking pictures from Amish people? Why the Amish?
"I literally stumbled upon this one Amish community, not far from where I live about 40+ years ago. I was taking a scenic drive home and was behind an Amish buggy whose wheel was about to come fall off. I assisted the Amish driver in securing the wheel. He actually thanked me for my help and for letting his people come to America for a better life. I laughed to myself -as a second generation American, I'm sure his family had been here for at least a hundreds years before mine."
"This particular sect known as the White Toppers are the very old order Amish (referring to the color of their buggy tops - there are black, grey, yellow and of course white). Also they still call us the "English" when referring to modern society."
"I have always been interested in photographing people living in their habitats. Whether photographing Italians socializing in their piazzas or Portuguese fishermen at sea, or the Amish tending to their fields, I've always been an observer of people simply living their lives."
"The Amish for me reflect an albeit romanticized memory of a more simple and bucolic way of life. Theirs is a collective society, which serves as a stark contrast to American individualism. I'm moved by the way they lead their lives. They are uncomplicated, genuine and direct. The most important life lesson I learned from them was humility."
"Yes, they are ... very often. They love seeing images of themselves, their farms and animals. I often give them images. As long as the images are not posed (for vanity issues) they seem to be somewhat comfortable with photography."
I write on this blog about my passion, home decorating and crafting, but also about my life as a wife and a mother. Family life and a warm, welcoming and beautiful environment in the home, are very important to me and the readers of my blog. That’s why I wonder what Amish women do, especially during the cold winter months. Have you ever seen a glimp of Amish life inside the house, for example in the dark, cold winter months?
"Amish woman have a tremendous amount to do with no electricity/limited plumbing and or very basic essentials. The day usually starts at 4:00 or 4:30 am. Children and adults need to be fed. In addition, many families have their parents and grand parents living with them. With the average Amish family having eight children, there is much to do."
"Mondays are laundry days. In addition, the Amish make all of their clothing. Some have retail shops on their farms that sell eggs, fruits, vegetables and sweets. Another interesting note is that the division of work has changed since the majority of children are girls. Women are now more active in the fields farming. So, there's a great deal to tend to. The winter evenings are often spent quilting after a full day of meal preparation, children tending and field work."
The team of Amishphoto started archiving Bill's work not so long ago, so there are new Amish images ("hidden gems") being added on the website regularly. To learn more visit http://www.amishphoto.com.
I really enjoyed this interview! I want to thank Bill and Noah for this wonderful opportunity.
I'm linking this post up to Sunny Simple Life.