I had the opportunity to visit the “Springfield Extravaganza” yesterday. For those who don’t know – and I didn’t know until yesterday – this is a massive 3 day sale held at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Basically, this is a sprawling combination flea market, antique show, carnival, and vintage gallery. You can pretty much find anything here from plants to pottery to paintings. The whole event is like a treasure hunt as you browse the hundreds of vendor’s booths. I noticed a decent number of Plain people in attendance, from German Baptists to Amish. The Amish in attendance all were wearing a dark, deep blue with black pants and head-coverings. In my opinion it looked like they came from the Berne area of Indiana. I’m sharing some photos of the Plain presence there yesterday. I was taken to task on Facebook for sharing these pictures and it’s an interesting starting point for a discussion. I always try to be very conscientious, conservative, and courteous when I take photos of anyone, Plain or not, to post online. A couple of factors go into deciding to take a photo and post it. First, is it a public venue, a business, or a home setting? The Springfield Extravaganza is a very public event attracting tens of thousands of people and the place is probably crawling with cameras. There’s no real expectation of privacy. I just don’t see an issue with taking a photo of someone from behind and posting it. Unless you’re the person’s mother or sister, you’d never be able to identify the person. If a “from behind” photo is in a home setting, I’d only do so with permission for the most part. I generally try to apply the Golden Rule….would I mind if someone posted the same photo of me? There is no set rule on this. I try to use the best judgment I can. Reasonable people can disagree. There is one photo here of a German Baptist woman (photography is permitted among the GBs) who was a vendor at the market. In such a case the person is taking on a much more public role, so my criteria is even looser.
The German Baptists in attendance were a mix of New Conference and Old Conference. The brighter colors and the floral patterns are usual indicative of New Conference GBs while the more muted solid colors are usually indicative of Old Conference. These are just general guidelines and while I’ll take photos for anthropological and educational value, I’m generally not going to stop someone on the fairgrounds midway and ask whether someone is Old or New Conference?