Having recently shared some autumn photos by Bill Coleman, today we have a batch of winter images. It’s been about 40 years since Bill began photographing the Amish, which means some of his subjects are all grown up by now.
Their way of life has presumably changed slowly over that time, though even the most traditional Amish have adopted technology in sometimes unexpected ways.
For example, during a trip last year to the area where these photographs were taken, I was surprised to find Nebraska (“white-topper“) Amish wielding cell phones.
That’s not the sort of thing you see immediately in these photos though, where life, at least at first glimpse, appears more or less as it did decades ago.
If you’d like to know more of the story behind these photos, you might like this interview with Bill and his son Noah. An excerpt addressing one of the most common questions:
How do you get these pictures..are they posed?
There are about 120 families in the area, but only twelve or so give Bill permission to photograph. “They know me intimately, and they know I come there often and roam around, just to get casual shots. I never decide in advance what I’m going to photograph—often the weather and the look of the sky is going to determine what I’m going to photograph that day on a particular farm.”
He says his pictures are the result of “luck and location,” that all he need do is stand in the right place at the right time. “I’ve always felt that there are two kinds of photographers—those who recognize that which was already established beauty, and those who can create beauty.” And because he doesn’t pose anyone, he doesn’t consider himself the creator of a beautiful image.
More at amishphoto.com.