Photographers' afterword: In search of simpler times

Laura L. Camden, Susan Gaetz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


THIS BOOK is the fi rst of its kind in Texas. Giving glimpses into the everyday life of two Texas Mennonite communities, the combined images come from two separate, long-term photographic studies that began as master's theses at the University of Texas-Austin. We conducted our studies independently. In 1991 and 1992 Susan Gaetz photographed the Beachy Amish Mennonites of Lott, a small Central Texas town of approximately 100 people. A few years later, in 1998 and 1999, Laura Camden photographed the Mennonites of Seminole, a West Texas farming community of more than 3,000 residents. Each of us frequently traveled to and from our respective communities, spending more than a year getting to know the families, participat-ing in day-to-day activities, and photographing the unique culture of each group. Both of us were inspired to study Mennonite communities by our own family histories, which include Mennonite ancestries and German infl uences. Although we pursued our projects and graduate degrees at different times, we were aware of each other's interest in Mennonite culture. In 1999 we decided to collaborate on ways to combine our images and experiences in order to tell a larger story of the variety and signifi cance of Mennonite life in Texas. As photojournalists, we see ourselves as a window into the Texas Mennonite experience. This book is meant to provide a more personal look at their unique way of life and to foster a greater understanding of their faith and culture and the contribution their presence makes to the larger community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMennonites in Texas
Subtitle of host publicationThe Quiet in the Land
PublisherTexas A and M University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1585444979, 9781585444977
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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