Tuesday, February 4, 2014
BILL COLEMAN - GREAT AMISH PHOTOGRAPHER PASSED
Bill was an international photographer. His career spanned more than 60 years. Although he took pictures around the world, the last forty years were based in Pennsylvania taking pictures of the Amish. He was introduced to a remote Amish community, by chance. Bill had the good fortune of having access to a few of the Amish farms and families, and has recorded them well over forty years of their family events. He took viewers on a visual journey through a Pennsylvania valley largely unvisited by tourists and the trappings of the modern world. Bill captured with a perceptive eye that one unique gesture that reveals the character of an individual and community.
Bill was born in Connecticut but raised in New York City. He served during World War II as an Infantryman and was an American Prisoner of War in Nazi Germany. When the war was over he attended Penn State University, majored in English and went on to Rochester Institute of Technology for graduate work. He opened his first photographic studio in State College, Pa. in 1951. Frequent travels over seas, Bill took pictures of people in their daily lives in their own lifestyle.
In the last 40 years, Bill has had a never ceased interest in the Amish way of life, which he has captured in pictures that he has shared with the world. Many of his works are in framed pictures, puzzles, books and more. You can see many of his works at: www.amishphoto.com.
When New York State of Mind came on, I never thought that Bill Coleman knew we were here much less read us. It was about a year ago, I had a problem on the computer and who should e-mail to tell me how to correct it but Bill Coleman. He was very kind and humble to talk to. I told him that I had one of his pictures in puzzle form. He told me that his taking Amish pictures were not a job, but an enjoyment. He looked forward to taking their pictures whenever he could.
I told him that I was taking pictures, but not with his training, knowledge and no where near as good as his. He said that the we don't know all the pictures that he has taken that will never be published, which is true. We only see the best. But he told me to keep taking the pictures. I was honored that he told me that.
I always hoped that some day, I would get to meet him, but it never happened. He was a great man to talk with on e-mail and to take his time to talk with me. He will live in his pictures forever.