Gorgeous Photo Essay From An Amish Farm in Wisconsin

Gorgeous Photo Essay From An Amish Farm in Wisconsin, 7.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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CAPTION:  Photo by Rachel Diver Williams near rural Pardeeville, Wisconsin, the article below is set in a more conservative Amish settlement about 100 miles to the west.  Here a young Amish man moves a plow through a field.

I had posted about this on Weekend Blogroll a week or so ago, but, wow, what I am about to share is 10 X better.  Photographer David Nevala spent the day on an Amish farm in western Wisconsin to do some documentary work for an organic farm cooperative. Filming the Amish, who generally don’t want to be filmed, is an age-old challenge in American photojournalism.  What I love about what he came up with is that the family patriarch permitted the photographer access and that, at the end of the day, they went over the contact sheets together to agree what photos could be released. So what you are about to look at is all approved and respectful.  I can just imagine the burly, bearded Amish farmer and the slick city photographer sitting down at a table and going over photos one by one. I’ve been in similar circumstances myself and it’s really tricky.  The photographer has a job to do as someone who is trying to convey a story, but the Amish person has a job to do as the guardian and gatekeeper of cultural purity.  It’s a delicate balance, but it can work (as it does here) if the photographer approaches it respectfully.  Click here to see some amazingly artistic shots on a conservative Old Order Amish farmstead.  

This photo is one we shot in the ultraconservative settlement of Ethridge, Tennessee.  Here the Amish just weren’t comfortable with any type of photography, so we respected that just took landscape shots like this one.


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The Discussion

  1. Karen Miller says:

    I have been particularly interested in learning more about the Amish and their customs and in doing so have read dozens of books about them, mostly light fiction, but several non-fiction as
    well and particularly enjoyed seeing these pictures. I’m planning a trip to Northern Indiana to look at Amish quilts as well as other specialties made by the Amish and am also hoping to enjoy a good meal at an authentic Amish restaurant. I am so impressed and respectful of the plain life chosen by these unusual and unworldly people, and wish more of us could adopt their appreciation of the fine but often overlooked and under-appreciated gifts of mother nature. Their values could go a long way towards teaching young people to set their priorities for daily living on a more charitable and honest set of values despite the fact than not many would choose to totally forego their “English” style of living. If even just simple but improved morals of the young Amish could influence our youth we would see a dramatic drop in violence and unrest that seem to prevail in today’s society and the world as we know it would be a much better place to live and raise our children. Progress in manufacturing and electronics can certainly improve some aspects of our every day living, but I wonder if those advantages aren’t exaggerated when you compare the differences in the happiness and real satisfaction of the Amish and “English.”

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  2. Karen Miller says:

    Please send any and all responses to the above email to me at the above email address.
    Thank you. Karen

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  3. Kevin,
    These are truly amazing photos. I see scenes like these when I visit Amish friends and would love to capture them with my camera.
    Have a good week.

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    • Karen Miller says:

      Thank you for sharing all of these amazing photos, Kevin. They are a real eye into the real life of Amish on an everyday basis.

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  4. These photos are outstanding!! My father was raised OLD ORDER AMISH
    I have many found memories of visiting relatives as a child……again these photos are spectacular !

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