This October, I’ll be spending a few days in Ohio with Bob Kulon at the

            4th annual FALL in NE OHIO PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. ( 10/23-10/27).

Bob has made some changes in the itinerary from previous years, so those of you who may have attended the workshop will find new locations and with all the advances in equipment, technology etc new information that will help you become better photographers.


The big hit of last years workshop was the time we spent photographing on an Amish dairy farm. Amish country is located about an hour or so S-SW of the airport in Cleveland. I know of no other workshop that features this unique experience.


Based on past years experience, our group will be split in two, for a morning and afternoon shooting session on the farm. This will afford you 2-3 hours to shoot right on the farm, not from the road! You will have the run of the farm, however, (obviously not inside the farm house.) Nothing is off limits. While one half of the group shoots on the farm, I will take the other half of the group into the Amish countryside to get some shots of some of the areas I know by experience, (kind of “Off the Road Places”). We will all gather together about 5:30PM for an Amish meal provided by our hosts in their gathering hall (included in the price!). The food is outstanding (I think last year there was a choice of 5 pies). The experience is something you won’t get anywhere else. I encourage you to register ASAP.


Bob has elected to offer this day in the Amish country, along with the other day’s events on an al la carte basis. (Quite generous of Bob!). Rather than me tell you about it, I have posted a copy of Bob’s latest mailing below. All contact information is provided.

I look forward to seeing you all in a few short weeks!  




                                                                                                                       Dinner at the Yoder’s



 I’ve photographed in this area many, many times. I hope I can offer you some tips and insight.


 From Bob Kulon  7/29/09

You probably know I am inviting Jack Graham back to OHIO to join forces with me for a super Fall Workshop. OK, it’s high time I get in gear and start making some exciting announcements about our plans and how this adventure has evolved. Here are a few realities – no one else (to my knowledge) is doing a northeast Ohio Fall workshop. Centering this on Cuyahoga Valley National Park sort of ignores the rich palette of other venues we have within our reach.


What we have decided to do is extend this workshop to 5 days, available a la carte, each day concentrating on a different region know for fall opportunity. There is a bundle price which makes this workshop… oh so affordable. The hub of this workshop will be in Streetsboro, Ohio, central to all venues. Checkout out our plans:


·         Thursday 10/23 – Amish Tour and Dinner (Sugar Creek & Holmes County) – $120 a la carte

·         Friday 10/24 – Beaver Creek State Park (East Liverpool) – $75 a la carte

·         Saturday 10/25 – Mill Creek MetroPark (Youngstown) – $75 a la carte

·         Sunday 10/26 – Holden Arboretum & North Chagrin MetroPark (Wood Ducks!) – $75 a la carte

·         Monday 10/27 – undiscovered parts of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Peninsula) – $75 a la carte


Get This: THE BUNDLE PRICE FOR EVERYTHING IS ONLY $295! Comfortable transportation is available from the rendezvous point for $25/day (limited to 6 attendees) – first come first serve. Please contact Bob Kulon now at bkulon@hotmail.com or 330-635-7557 to make reservations. I accept check or Visa/MasterCard.



A RARE SHOT of somewhere in the CVNP ( any ideas? email me at jack@jackgrahamphoto.com)




©Jack Graham




©Jack Graham


Yes I live in Oregon, so why the Amish. Well, as many of you know I lived in NE Ohio for a few years and really enjoyed getting down to the Amish country either to make some images or just hang out and enjoy the leisurely pace of life.( The foods not bad either!)


Many folks have asked me when they see my images of the Amish “Isn’t it against the Amish religion to photograph them?” The correct answer is NO. However the Amish religion DOES NOT allow for the Amish to pose for an image.


It’s been my experience, if you ask an Amish person for an image, they will probably think you are asking them to pose and they will politely say “No”. Most of the other photographers I know, and Amish themselves have told me they don’t mind photographs as long as they are not asked to pose. I’ve seen some photographers (that give the rest of us a bad name), do things like stand in driveways, blocking buggies, or worse, with out permission just walk onto property and begin photographing. Most of the Amish I have met really don’t care if we photograph them or their farms as long as we are respectful and inquire first


There are many “orders’ of Amish. Some are more conservative than others. If it appears like you are being a pest, just leave and look for another subject.


Like everything else in photography, the difference between making a so-so image and a really great image can sometimes be very small. I’ll try and offer you a few tips based on my experiences to come back with some good images in Amish country.


1)     Don’t be afraid to talk to the Amish. They are really great folks. They love small talk and often will chew your ear off. Often this is a great way to find interesting locations. Just don’t be afraid to ask!

2)     If you are fortunate to live close to the Amish country, get to know the areas. Go there on “scouting” missions. Just like any other type of photography, you need to know the best times to be there to get the types of images you want. Horses, buggies, kids, horse drawn plows etc are all great subjects, but you need to know where and when they will be there for you to photograph. Also get to know what goes on in different times of the year, week and even day. For example livestock auctions occur on different days of the week in Kidron, Farmers town and Mt Hope. Amish schoolchildren play at recess during the school year. Sundays are not a good day to be there photographing. You might get some pastoral barn scenes from the road while the Amish are at church, but I usually avoid Sunday’s altogether.

3)     Avoid the often crowded town areas (especially on weekends in the summer and fall). For example, I know many roads around the busy towns like Berlin, Sugarcreek, Kidron and the like by heart. Travel the back roads when you can. However the folks in these more rural areas aren’t used to photographers as much as the town’s folk, so again be respectful and don’t take too many images of one subject. Sometimes you have to work a bit faster than normal. Expect dust, dirt, mud, bumps, narrow twists & turns. Do not travel in a RV. A GPS is extremely helpful and good maps are essential.

4)     Apply good photographic technique. Be careful not to get caught up in the moment and continue to watch your backgrounds, corners of the image etc. Forget the “I can fix it in Photoshop” theory. Work to get it right in the first place.

5)     Patience, patience, patience…. I remember waiting over an hour to make one image of an Amish farmer plowing his field in a horse drawn plow until he was just in the proper spot.

6)     Shoot both verticals as will as horizontals. I like verticals of windmills.

7)     Choose the right time of day to be there. Like anywhere else the early morning and evenings are the best times to be there. There is nothing like a frosty fall morning, a foggy spring morning or best of all the morning after a snowfall to get some great shots.

8)     I won’t get into equipment such the need for tripods etc….. Except for the need to bring long lenses. This affords you the ability to shoot fro distances that are respectful to the Amish.




WINTER: Snow covered farms, buggy tracks in the back roads

                 Pastoral farm scenes, smoke coming from the Chimney.

          (Christmas is not what you think in the Amish Country—another subject for another time)


SPRING: Planting, plowing, lots of tractor and field activity

               Amish children playing in they school yards

               Wildflowers against old fences

AUTUMN: Harvesting, field work

                 Colored leaves and trees

                 Corn stacks in the fields

                 Pumpkin & Gourd shots

SUMMER:  Patterns of the hay in the fields ready for harvesting (late summer as well)

                  Livestock Auctions

                  Wheat stacking

                  Flower covered farm houses

                  Vegetable & Fruit Stands










Be very careful driving the roads in Amish country, especially the back roads. If you see an image, don’t jam on your breaks and stop short….sometimes it’s better to drive ahead, turn around and come back to photographic it. You never know what’s around each turn. Constantly check your rear view mirror. Park in the widest area along the road, not in the middle of the road and never park jus over the crest of a hill. Obviously the buggies and bicycle traffic must be respected.


Try to stay at least 30-40 feet from anyone you may be photographing. Usually if you ask a farmer, or the head of the house if you should take a shot of the house they will say yes. Sending them a print is a way to not only make new friends, but to get them to know you when you return. If you must, always try and shoot Amish folks from the side or behind. If an Amish purposely turns away don’t take the photograph.


If you follow these basic rules, I have no doubt you’ll come back with some great images. And if noting else, you’ll be a lot more relaxed after a day with the Amish.




  1. Fascinating information about the Amish. Jack, I didn’t know any of this. When I lived in Ohio I didn’t have a camera. Now wish I’d had the interest in photography that I have now. Thanks for your insights about the Amish in regard to photography.

  2. If this is still a go as we get closer to October please notify me before the spots are all taken, so that I can check my travel schedule and hopefully attend.
    Thank you,

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