As a devout Christian, I became interested in learning more about different Christian doctrines. I was especially intrigued by the Amish religious doctrine and their simple way of living. I wanted to know more about their life, so I took a trip to Lancaster County, where an Amish community exists. I spent two months observing the Amish way of life and how they used modern technology. I also interacted with them to get their honest view on photography. Last week, a member of one of my online Christian forums wanted to know if Amish people liked their pictures taken. This question stemmed from our previous topic on the view of Amish people about modern technology, including photography. Having lived in an Amish community for that period, I had the answer at my fingertips. So, do Amish like their picture taken?
Amish people do not like when their pictures are taken because they believe that it is an act against God’s command. The Amish mostly live their lives based on the word of God, so they do away with anything that may tamper with their faith. The Amish use the scripture in Exodus 20:4 to support their view on pictures.
So, join me until the end as I delve more into this topic. In this article, I will discuss what Amish people think about taking pictures, what happens if one takes a picture of an Amish person, and why it is disrespectful to take a picture of the Amish, among other exciting topics.
What do Amish people think about taking pictures?
Photography is a worldly thing.
The Amish people have lived a simple life for the longest time and have strived to avoid worldly things at all costs. The Amish view taking photos as modern or earthly, as cameras are part of modern technology. The Amish people prefer their pictures not to be taken to prevent themselves from interacting with the outside world.
It is okay for children to take pictures.
While the Amish people are against the idea of their photos being taken, they accept their children being photographed. They argue that children are yet to be baptized into the Amish church and are not entitled to follow any religious belief. However, in as much as Amish adults accept photos of their children to be taken, they do not appreciate constant following or being forced into taking photos.
Open to the idea of unposed photography.
The Amish are also open to the idea that taking their pictures is okay if they are not posing in the photos. Posed photos may suggest that an Amish person willingly allowed their face to be photographed, which may not sit well with the Amish church elders.
The Amish often participate in candid photography, meaning you can take their photos “unknowingly” as they do their daily business. This type of photography allows plausible deniability, meaning that the person in the photograph can deny being aware of their photo being taken and therefore being pardoned from whatever punishment they were to face.
Why do Amish not like their pictures taken?
Amish people believe pictures are material things, so they are in vain. As stated earlier, Amish people only lead a life that is pleasing to God, with the hope of going to heaven once their earthly life is over. Taking part in material things like photography is highly discouraged.
Amish people also do not like their pictures taken because they believe it may lead to individualism, which may lead to pride. In a normal setting, when a group of people takes a photo, there is usually a possibility that one person will come out looking good than the rest. This person may use his good appearance to feel proud or unique. This may lead to the person sinning because they will start thinking highly of themselves other than remaining humble.
Pictures go against God’s word.
Amish people do not like their pictures taken because they believe the act goes against the second commandment of God in the book of Exodus. The Amish people use this commandment to include photography, as pictures create a replica of a person.
Photography is part of the modern technology.
Amish people are known to live in a very traditional world without advanced technology. Amish people shy away from using any electronics or modern devices. Cameras are part of modern technology, making them decline to use them to snap their photos.
What happens if you take a picture of an Amish person?
Nothing terrible will happen if you take a picture of an Amish person. Amish people are known to be non-violent people, so they will not charge at you or try to beat you up if you insist on taking their photos. However, Amish people appreciate respect and want their wishes obeyed like any other person.
The outside world usually views the Amish people as ‘unique’ or ‘uncommon,’ so they would want to invade their privacy and take photos of them. This usually irritates the Amish people, as they find it offensive when someone invades their privacy. If you wish to take a photo of an Amish person, it is best to approach them with respect and request them for it. It is unlikely that they will turn you down after approaching them with respect.
Why is it disrespectful to take a picture of the Amish?
Taking a picture of the Amish is disrespectful because they do not promote or engage in photography in their culture. Doing something they usually do not do is crossing their boundary and being disrespectful. Taking a picture of an Amish person may also be a way of leading them into temptation, as one may find their selves taking pride in how good they look in the photos, taking away the act of humility that is encouraged among the Amish community. Taking a picture of the Amish is disrespectful as it also goes against their religious belief.
Do Amish believe taking a photo captures their souls?
The Amish do not believe that taking a photo captures their souls. They simply do not like their photos taken because it goes against the second commandment of God, in which we are forbidden to make anything in the form of heaven and on earth. Pictures are exactly our image in paper form, and so having a photo means one is trying to create themselves or have another image of themselves.
Amish people do not go too deep into why they believe photography does to them, as they only try to follow the word of God and incorporate that into their daily lives. The Amish believe something is a sin if it goes against the word of God.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.