Monday, August 16, 2010

Amish at the Beach

Amish Patriarch at Rehoboth Beach

The name "Rehoboth" means "room for all."  This morning during my walk on the beach collecting stones I had visual proof of that statement.  An Amish family made their way to the beach this morning to enjoy the refreshing ocean breezes.  Of course I had my ever present camera but how to take a picture?

Most Amish don't like their picture taken.  When I lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania I encountered Amish all the time.  Chester County is right next to Lancaster County Pennsylvania which is heavily populated with Amish families.  I would have loved to take pictures of the many times I've seen them in their iconic scenes but I refrained out of respect for them.  However, this morning I just couldn't pass up the opportunity.  The only problem was how to take pictures of them without them knowing I'm taking their pictures.  Below is the result of my challenge:

Young Amish man feeding a seagull

Amish sharing the beach with the Great Unwashed

Amish silhouettes on the beach

Amish children headed for the beach

I love living near the beach.  There is always something interesting happening.  Everybody loves the beach.  It is something primordial.  Even for the Amish.


Ron said...
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nitewrit said...


Might depend on what order they are. Perhaps these are people like Dave, who would for all intent and purpose be lumped in as Amish, but drives a car, has electricity and doesn't object to his phot being taken.

Like you, I have no photos of the many Amish or related such sects that I grew up so near. I also never snapped pictures of these people out of respect for their beliefs and their privacy.


Anonymous said...

Hello Ron,

I believe you have captured a rare site. I've been to the beach a lot & never saw Amish there. Thanks for sharing some great pics!


Ron said...


You're right, Amish at the beach is a very rare sight. I was so careful not to offend them by letting them know I was taking a picture of them. I think it is so interesting that folks from all walks of life love the beach, even the hard working Amish. It was nice to see them take a holiday. Notice that the only concession they made to the beach was to go barefoot. I love the Amish. I used to ride in the Amish country often when I lived in Pennsylvania. I never took pictures. I just enjoyed riding on Kings Highway (Rt. 340) and being comforted by the fact that the Amish were living and working on both sides of that wonderful road in Lancaster County, PA. I miss those days. Today's "sighting" was a wonderful reminder of those days of my past living and working in Pennsylvania.

Ron said...

I wasn't going to take their pictures either but I couldn't let the opportunity pass. If I see Amish again on the beach I'll talk to them. However, I would still feel awkward taking their pictures like they were specimens. I see a lot of opportunities for taking pictures of different kinds of people at the beach but I pass up the opportunities out of respect for their privacy. It's hard but I do.

Mark said...

Great shots! I've never seen Amish at the beach. That is rare. Now just imagine had you had a telephoto lens!
I love that last picture of all of the children. I'm glad that you enlarged the photos.

Ron said...


This was tough taking these pictures. I dind't want to offend them by taking their pictures but I just had to take them. It was tricky but I got 'em. A telephoto lense would have gotten me better pictures but I think it would have been too obvious. I had to be very careful.


Hula Hank said...

I remember when growing up and going to the local amusement park and all the Amish kids, free from their parents, would go to the change rooms, put on Metallica t-shirts and chain smoke Marlboro Reds.

Anonymous said...

your hezitation is right, as one has to respect their privacy.
See they are going to the bach, so if you would have talked to them, possibly some more good shots.
You could have asked them something about their culture...

Nevertheless the photos are excellent, and unfortunately one pic is deleted (silhuettes), if not explicite I would like to see it also.

And I wish you more good views in your future.