15 responses to What do Amish think about photography?
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    Comment on Doyle Yoder Photography (July 18th, 2012 at 08:10)

    Doyle Yoder Photography

    Doyle Yoder Photography, Inc. has wonderful photos of Amish Country. His photo catalog can be viewed at www.dypinc.com. Doyle has photos of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn in Ohio, plus 219 photos from other states, plus Birds and Blooms, Miscellaneous, and Railroads. It’s a real treat for sore eyes.

    Erik, I used the “Amish America sitemap to View all posts” in the left sidebar, between “Most Commented Posts” and “Categories,” to find this post.

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    Rose (AmishInWisconsin.com)
    Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (June 2nd, 2013 at 12:09)

    Thank you for this post Eric. As always, I now have a clearer understanding on this subject thanks to your knowledge. I attended an Amish auction yesterday and they did not seem to mind the photographs we took.

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    Comment on Donald Reese Photography (September 23rd, 2014 at 13:43)

    Donald Reese Photography

    Donald Reese Photography has quite a few photos in the Amish category, mostly from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. You can remember his name better if you think of Reese’s candy!


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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (September 23rd, 2014 at 15:00)

    I was once stopped at a stop sign in town with my daughter with me on the buggy. A lady motioned with her camera and I figured she was asking if it would be okay to take our picture. I smiled as I shook my head no. Another woman with her told her friend “I never ask, I just take it,” and she did. The first lady is what we think of as a visitor — the second is what we think of as a tourist. :)

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (September 24th, 2014 at 09:59)

    Mark, my dad spent his working career as a gunsmith at Colonial Williamsburg, and I got to work there too, as I was growing up. It was often hard to remember to be polite to “tourists,” even when that was exactly what we were paid to do! And the horror stories were numerous, although I can’t remember any of them now.

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (September 25th, 2014 at 07:57)

    I can imagine you have stories! Where I work we keep a notebook to write interesting tourist stories, questions, or comments in. Once it’s full, I think we should publish it. There are some winners in there! :)

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      Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (March 8th, 2015 at 17:34)

      Naomi – wow, what a fascinating and unique upbringing :)
      Mark – I agree your book of stories would be wonderful. I’d read it.

      Our first “adopted” ex-Amish son Moses told me he got used to being stared at when Amish. He just took it in stride. (but, it’d probably bug me to be stared at).

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (September 25th, 2014 at 08:43)

    That sounds quite fun and interesting, and like a great gift for my dad and others!

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    Comment on Not the reason I thought (January 13th, 2015 at 17:56)

    Not the reason I thought

    This is interesting. I was always told that the Amish did not approve of having their photos taken or of their dolls having faces because of the verse in the bible Exodus 20:4 – Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

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      Comment on What do Amish think about photography? (January 14th, 2015 at 14:22)

      Yes it is a bit more complicated than that :) Amish have varying opinions on photography and discouraging self-pride is probably as much or more a relevant reason to avoid posing for photos as the Exodus verse. Some Amish don’t have many qualms about photos, I have posed with an Amish friend for photos before (with the understanding it’s not for publication). You can also find other photos of Amish fully aware of the camera and even saying “cheese”, so to speak, online. Most Amish don’t do that however.

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    Comment on How did I miss this post? (March 8th, 2015 at 17:25)

    How did I miss this post?

    Wow, all these months on AmishAmerica, and I’m just now finding this. This dovetails with my experience. I may start pointing people to this page instead of hammering out a response every time that the subject comes up.

    I notice that this post originally debuted three years ago. I’m curious to know if you’ve seen any change in that amount of time.

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      Comment on Examples of Amish on camera (March 9th, 2015 at 11:48)

      Examples of Amish on camera

      I’ve probably noticed more examples of Amish popping up on camera in the media.

      I don’t think that means things have necessarily changed from what’s written above, just either that I’ve simply noticed more, or in some cases those are Amish who are simply more comfortable in front of the lens, like the New Order Amish business owner who posed for the article on his store:


      Or this one:


      Perhaps Amish are viewing photos for business purposes as less objectionable in general. We did a video on Amish businesses in conjunction with my business book release in 2010, and a number of Amish appeared and spoke on camera for that.

      However there are also examples of plainer groups allowing the camera, sometimes posing sometimes not, or not business-related, as in these two examples:



      It’s interesting how many examples you see that go against the conventional wisdom of “Amish object to photography”.

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    Comment on Dennis Hughes Amish Photographer, Amish Conference (March 24th, 2015 at 22:31)

    Dennis Hughes Amish Photographer, Amish Conference

    -Dennis Hughes, A local photographer donated 18,000 photos of the #Amish to Elizabethtown College! A 4:19 video interview is at:

    -Some of Dennis Hughes’ Amish photos can be seen at

    -Some excerpts from an article, “Hughes donates collection of photographs on Amish life”:

    “One idea Hughes covered within his presentation is something that he has dealt with throughout his experience as a photographer of the Amish and Mennonite communities. After being asked a question about the faith’s permissions toward exposure to photographs or other media, Hughes decided that he did not have a conclusive answer about the correctness of the consenting Amish parties. Through his experience, he has generally found that most Amish people would not allow or prohibit him from taking their pictures, but rather left it up to him. A common response he would receive when asking for approval was “I must say no.” According to the belief system, modesty is very important to Hughes’s subjects, and despite these factors, the Amish would generally not take action to stop him. What he was doing was believed to be a sin, yet Hughes said that sin was “on me.” Thus, there had been few problems for him.

    Hughes’s donation will help Etown greatly in research and education regarding the Amish population, as well as expand on the established Ernest Hess collection. With the international 2016 Amish Conference coming up in June, an even larger audience will get a chance to share the sentimentality that Hughes had last week.

    As he clicked through the different pictures, Hughes seemed to have a story to tell about each image. His sense of humor could be seen upon stopping on a photograph of an Amish teenage boy who was sitting on a stump and facing away from the camera. While mostly dressed traditionally, it was quickly obvious that he was wearing only a single suspender. “I asked him, ‘why do you have one suspender?’” Hughes recalled. “He said, ‘to hold my pants up.’” Hughes noted he had learned from his time in the field that “it is all a matter of perception.”


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