This week the assistant editor and I traveled to Tripp, SD where 3 Amish families have bought land and begun to farm. Doing some research beforehand I had learned that the Amish find it boastful to have their pictures taken and the will not under any circumstance pose for a picture. As we got to the farms we would ask the father to take pictures and each time, the response was they would prefer we didn’t take any pictures of them. This was extremely hard because the barefoot kids with straw hats doing physical labor had the potential for some great images. I found my self wincing as we drove away knowing what great images I left behind. Finally, at the last farm we visited, we were granted permission to take pictures from a road across from their property. Permission we didn’t really need since it was a public roadway, never the less, I wouldn’t have felt right without the OK from them.
These are a couple of images that I made, from what was a completely interesting, humbling, and gut wrenching experience. The people we met were extermly polite, kind and insightful; yet I am still thinking of what could have been had their belief in photography been different.
For more check back to mitchellrepublic.com or pick up a copy of the print edition of Saturday’s Daily Republic.