they are cute! But you are probably the first to have Mennonite on a style blog or in a stly section of anything.. they must be Mennonite though, not Amish as they let you take their picture and as they have print on their clothes…
I commented earlier about the girl who appears to be the eldest daughter. In light of these pictures of the younger children, the first photograph you offered really stands out as a great portrait. The other pictures are charming; the children are beautiful and without affect. This new batch give a slice of life, but the first photo is a novel.
I'm not one to usually go crazy over kids, but these children are adorable. Utterly beautiful. Each one is cute enough to be in some ad or movie, but it's so great that they're cute, regular people :-).
OMG, what do I say? Beautiful photographs, all. The light was beautiful this morning and makes the most incredible backdrop to these delightful pictures of Americana. Oh how sweet, I have tears in my eyes. The small child in the red wagon with the blueberries in the background is gorgeous. All the children and their loving thoughtful mother are lovely, but all the blues with the contrast of the red wagon in the background in this one particular shot could very well be my favorite.
A few things. I see it isn't just you, Scott, who garners derision from the fair maiden in your first picture. She's really giving her caregiver a bit of the old stink eye in your second photo, which I find really funny and revealing. Second thing, for those of you who find yourselves with a sudden hankering for calico, I've found a Mennonite dress web site, so go nuts with it. http://www.mennonitemaiden.com/dresses1.html
That is why I love vintage items, architectural landmarks, etc….The attention to detail, standards of excellence and one-of-a-kind. These children are so well styled and look so wholesome and so happy…
These images remind me of my early childhood spent on a Hare Krishna commune in central Pennsylvania. I love they're on a blog with style photos of how I currently aspire to dress. Thanks for the flashback. :)
ditto Anon who said the first photo is a novel. With this series of photos I'm a sartorialist fan for life. I found them so interesting I forgot about the fashion angle –til I saw the girl with the long dark braids with the teal smock apron over the yellow dress…the colors…the print…i love
These pictures are incredible. I only wish I could take portraits with this skill, and that people like this existed where I live.
other thoughts: As I was looking at the photos I glanced at the American Apparel "Lace" ad which was flashing obnoxiously; and the contrast prompted complete disgust. No, I don't think we need to dress like Mennonites. But what if we used a little more class when dressing? what if we thought not only of fashion when dressing , but also of maintaining some shadow of the innocence portrayed here?
I'm surprised they let you take a picture of them- but judging by the hair clip and the sneakers- they are a bit more progressive than your average Amish family, unless they are Mennonites. Regardless, they are a beautiful family and I am glad they allowed you to share their beauty with us.
I am so happy you are doing this. City street photography and style is great, don't get me wrong, I just think their is a serious disconnect these days with some of the more exuberant styles of the city and the more traditional style of more rural areas. Maybe it is just me, living in the way deep south, in a very conservative area, but I definitely know the area these photos come from.
great photos from an art perspective, and great inspiration from a fashion one. personalities can be so different that it is hard to tell whether some of the people on this blog (especially kids) pulled the first things out of the closet or carefully mixed prints and textures…but either way you remind us that fashion comes in many forms. thanks!
Hmm. The jumper dress of the first girl looks very nice. It's the only one I liked, to be honest. But the kids are cute and it's interesting to see the contrast between them and … others who aren't from their area. I like how they're modest, we really need some of that today.
Nice pics but a documentary photographer must know that his/ her doc photos always invite serious social commentary. Many of the Penn Amish are extremely impoverished and struggling right now and I really don't see them as "cute" but I find this display on your otherwise inspiring blog troubling. Maybe a new blog for this sort or angle of your work? Did you exchange money with them for these photos? My experience as a documentary photographer asks that I respect the subject. Do you think you've done this? Did these children decide whether or not to go global on your blog? I am just disturbed by this in a variety of ways. Always enjoy your work but this is outside your realm of experience and begets little in the way of fashion information. Good compositions but sorry but these belong somewhere else.
I am really appreciating your pictures of girls – Thea, and now this family.
I liked your hesitancy in asking Thea for her picture, and I like the hesitancy in the eldest daughter in the face of the camera. I'm grateful to you for taking the pictures, and to these girls, for sharing themselves as images of what girls can look like. Thank you also for the artistry of your eye, that conveys the intelligence of these subjects as an element of of their style.
Awesome job… that is way I LOVE photography, as simple as one shoot you can catch the innocence, beauty and simplicity of life.
Looking those photos is so easy to see how many people in this world live without any attachment, no superficiality, just being in family, staying together and growing so far away from big cities, noise, chaos, urban patterns and so on.
I grew up not a half an hour from this town and they are Amish. Amish from central PA are quite different than Lancaster or other states/areas. Many of them actually sell fabric in small shops. My mom was one of few non-Amish to frequent one.
I look at your blog everyday nearly w/out fail. THESE PICTURES ARE THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED YOU'VE DONE IN YOUR WITHIN YOUR OEUVRE. -seriously, I am a photographer,dealer&artworldly guy. I just know these things. Maybe shooting in the EU has give your mind's eye new goggles for the US. Now, please stay in NYC for awhile. I love seeing your people in places I know (esp. SoHo, my 'hood). Best, PvaC
The mothers' bare feet say a lot in juxtaposition to the 'strict' religion, and I love the way she is hiking up her apron. I know most people are focusing on the children but I can't take my eyes off of the woman!
What is with the odd obsession over girls' modesty in comments recently, in so many posts? Truly disturbing, when acknowledging that society-imposed standards of 'modesty' have been used to shame and control women's behavior for centuries.
To the extent that these standards are religion-imposed (which they often are, no matter what religion one is talking about), girls of the age depicted here do not necessarily have any active choice in their display of modesty, nor in the fact that their value in society is determined by their 'modesty'. I do not know what these girls in particular feel, of course, but the unreflected romanticizing here of something than can be very problematic is really disturbing.
I'm getting seriously tired of people romanticising so-called "modesty" and "restraint" in comments lately. It's just so… ignorant. Ignorant of centuries of religious, political and psychological oppression of women. I know people get uncomfortable around young people's and children's sexuality (the term is used broadly here), but just learn to deal with it healthily. A sixteen year old girl, whether you like it or not, is, biologically, a sexual being.
That being set aside, I appreciate your photographic work. Inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places, and you make the most amazing portraits.
ML, none of these children are sixteen. Living in a world where people think their view is the only view, only furthers YOUR ignorance. I don't in any way feel oppressed in the liberal city I'm from, and in fact even feel pressured to uncover because apparently thats what men expect young women to do. Frankly, I'm appalled you would even attempt to justify yourself by claiming a sixteen year old is a sexual being and should show herself as such. Your logic only further pigeon holes women into being the object of sexual desire when many women actually want more than that. This family wants to build a home, and I would venture to say many modern women reading this blog want to build a career. Both can be done without sexuality.
These photos aren't meant to demean the children for the life they have, but credit them for having poise, life, and vibrancy in a culture we don't understand. I just adore the young boy who looks as though he just got caught nicking one of those blackberries in his wagon.
ML-you are ignorant, as is your trying to bring sexuality into a conversation where it isn't really relevant. There IS an adult in these photos, one who is obviously supervising these children. Just try to enjoy the photos, nothing more, nothing less. Jeez again.
It's amazing how only photographs can shape a person's perception of other people. From these photos we have commented how "sweet" "natural" "angels" "simple" etc. these people must be. I believe these people lead far from simple lives and everything is not all roses. It seems disrespectful to label them as so.
These are beautiful images and they do capture a beautiful moment.
Lovely! What I wanted to look like when I was a little girl reading Laura Ingalls Wilder – why did she get dresses every day, while I had to wear shorts and an awfully ugly middy blouse for my school uniform? These children are all so beautiful, such a study in contrasts, with the sneakers and calico, the rose print and the solid green field, their perfect faces and dirty feet and hands. I never would have thought to snap their picture for fashion inspiration, but I love it! It makes me want to take my shoes off and find a open field and just run, as if I was a (very) little girl again.
So beautiful! My younger sister once attended gymnastics camp at Woodward, and on the way to pick her up, I had the pleasure of riding through Amish country with my parents on the way to a family vacation in the Adirondacks. These photos really capture the light of your subjects and remind me of how inspiring utter simplicity can be :)
I agree with other commenters who have said they're disturbed by the obsession with "modesty". These are children, they shouldn't have to worry about "modesty". As for other recent comment threads, like the one about the 16 year old girl – the notion of modesty has been used to shame and oppress women all throughout history, and it's still being used that way. Women whould not have to be ashamed of their bodies or their sexuality. If you don't like women to dress "immodestly" then don't look at them.
I love the second photo, with all the children and the mother, because every single child in the photo has a slightly different expression while the mother is looking at them with this mother hen-like expression of love. That's all I see in the photo.
Lovely photos, yet I find myself agreeing with the comment by Jennifer Hoak. I'm uncomfortable viewing these on this website not knowing whether the subjects gave informed consent("informed" meaning really understanding where and how the photos would be used). Without that, it feels objectifying and exploitative — though I absolutely know that is not your intent.
And while I understand the temptation to romanticize the subjects or their context (modest, simple), I think it's also important to acknowledge that we do not know what the subjects themselves think or feel. For example, my first reaction to the photo with all the kids was to cringe on behalf of the (presumed) mother and wonder how much choice she has/had. But that reaction is my projection and is as disrespectful of her as the romanticizing of modesty and simplicity that may also represent oppression and poverty. We just don't know.
Neat to have the previous photo put in the context of her family. I see scenes like this all the time and it is still beautiful to me. Just simple and unaffected. THe little boy in the wagon is my favorite shot – so cheeky and THAT HAT.
It's the essence of a summer evening – the lighting, the dirty feet and clothes, the strubbly hair. . . .so nice.
I'm curious about why Jennifer H keeps thinking the Pennsylvania Amish are impoverished. To my knowledge, they're actually richer than most middle class people. Those who want to farm but can't afford the land around here move to other parts where the farm land is not turned into housing developments.
I don't know why people would be upset over appreciating modesty. It's impossible to fill all the holes in either argument on a blog post but my thought is – tastefulness is balance. Many of us are blessed with that choice. Do we need to go to the extreme end of (not) dressing to flaunt our liberation?
Argyle – why are you repeatedly posting under different names and harping on about how repressive you find the issue of "modesty" that people are raising here?
Modesty is a good thing and all too rare in our society. Why should everyone have to display their sexuality every minute, especially if they are young girls – or young boys for that matter? You are truly the intolerant one here. Just give it a break, leave your bizarre politics at home, and don't be such a condemning bore.
These are great photos of some interesting young people and we can all enjoy them for their sincere and unaffected depiction of an interesting segment of humanity.
Thank you Sartorialist for great photos as always.
I recall you writing in an earlier post about wanting to return to PA to take some pictures, and I thought it was a great idea and hoped you would. Well…you did and they're great. Rural life contributes a lot to fashion, and hopefully you'll keep doing more of it.
they are very beautiful, but they look sad and doesn't look like children…. too well-behaved , not normal… and this photos, to me european, reminds me that USA is not the hightlight of progress, there's something about delay , something like a third world. and finally reminds us that america is not NY and is provincial
these photos really evoke richard avedon's 'in the american west' to me. i think it's wonderful to see photographs that are representative of a different kind of place and lifestyle. i also love the texture given to the photographs by the natural surroundings and the dirt on the children's clothes. great work.
LA film actress, that was my first post, and I was agreeing with previous commenters. If you think we're all the same person, I really don't care. No one should feel they "have to display their sexuality every minute", but neither should they feel ashamed of their bodies, and told to cover up at all cost or else be branded a slut. Whatever. This is clearly not the place to have a converstaion about this issue.
Lovely photos. I think more people are experimenting with simple living and moving toward conscious consumption… and perhaps this is a common ground we can find in these images. I appreciate the design and beauty of the things I have a lot more when I have less.
Current NY Times headlines are perhaps timely in this regard…
I just need to say that you have captured something so true in that family shot – i can see something unique in each person's personality shining through – its fascinating to observe! thank you for sharing.