One of my favorite movies is “For Richer or Poorer” staring Tim Allen. One of the scenes shows a tourist shoving a camera in his face trying to take a picture. Remember that scene when visiting Amish country, always keep in mind that some Amish people wish their privacy to be respected. Due to their beliefs it is a courtesy to ask before photographing Amish individuals.
There are books, newspaper articles, TV programs, and movies in which the Amish appear in front of cameras. However, the Amish and members of several of the other Old Order groups are not supposed to pose for pictures once they have officially joined the church. This puts them in an awkward position when people ask them to pose for the camera. They can be in pictures but they cannot pose. It is a sort of Catch 22. The reason that they don't pose for pictures is that having photographs of oneself is considered vain and puts attention on the individual rather than the group. The group is of the highest priority in Amish life. . If you don’t have a long lenses try being discrete. When driving in Amish country remember that you will likely encounter horse drawn transportation. Adjust your driving accordingly
In the Land of the Amish, cameras are not rare, but it's not the locals doing the picture-taking. In fact, it's a bit disrespectful to take pictures of the Amish since they are against have their images taken.
Instead, I suggest you hang out with a gang of VTers, perhaps the biggest shutterbugs on the face of the earth.
Here's Joe (Easty) showing me some great shots he took of Lancaster County.
In Pennsylvania Dutch country...
In Pennsylvania Dutch country it is great to see the Amish going around in their little horse-drawn carriages. Another popular mode of transportation is the scooter (push, not motorised). The Amish people I came into contact with were very pleasant. Remember that they do have some very strict rules, and one of those is that they shouldn't be photographed; so avoid photographing them, and if you can't resist it, keep it very subtle, and only publish pictures in which the subjects can't be identified.
Enjoying One's self
Here Mark is enjoying the local customs. Lots of fun times to be had in Intercourse and its surroundings. We could have kept going all night had it not been work the next day...
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