a look behind the scenes

My name is tammi swanson. I am a photographer, a children's clothing designer, and a stylist. I have also been a model, and a hair and makeup artist. My life, it seems, has always been surrounded by photo shoots and the fashion industry. My passion is children's editorial photography, and children's clothing. The stylist in me is always searching for the perfect items for photo shoots, so I have finally decided to turn my ideas into a children's collection. I see the end result, which is the photo shoot, in my head, and that is where I begin. I describe my designs to my pattern maker, we work out all of the details, and then I shoot the pieces the way I have them envisioned. It's all about creating a story, the mood, the beauty of childhood. I love the children in rennaisance paintings, pale sea and sand colors and tree-lined paths. I love formal gardens, small towns, farms and the countryside. Hopefully, some of you love these things too. This blog will tell the behind the scenes story of how it all comes together. Including what's really going on before, during, and after the photo shoots!

"Ophelia" tulle skirt giveaway!

Add yourself as a follower and automatically enter yourself to win the "Ophelia" tulle skirt! The drawing will be held December first and you will be able to choose your color and size of skirt. This is a $178.00 silk and tulle skirt with a silk underskirt. Perfect for a special photo shoot or a wedding or family portraits or the holidays!

the "Ophelia" tulle skirt

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opal in the Netherlands

Here is a blog entry from Josan de Ridder of Good Girls Company in the Netherlands. I am excited to have people there enjoying Opal Petit Clothier because I love the children's clothing that comes from that part of the world. Thank you Josan!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Opal Petit Clothier in Elan Magazine!

Opal has received it's first press! You can see it here at Elan Magazine. Thank you so much to Darci Hansen, Elan Magazine's publisher. She is so driven. Not only does she publish this gorgeous women's magazine bi-monthly, but she also devotes her time an energy to women in need. She is currently working on a project for women of fallen war veterans. Truly amazing. I am so happy to be included in her gorgeous magazine and hope to work with her again in the future!

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Mia" tulle skirt by Tina Wilson

Tina Wilson is an AMAZING photographer who has recently shot some of the Opal Pieces. She just sent me some of them, so I am posting them for everyone to enjoy. They are gorgeous!!!

Mia Tulle Skirt Winner!

We have a winner!! Kristina, one of our followers, has been drawn as the "Mia" tulle skirt winner. She gets to choose the color and size of the skirt, and hopefully, she will share with us some photos! I am so grateful for everyone who has signed up as a follower! And just to let everyone know- You still have more chances to win more Opal gems! I am giving away another gorgeous skirt December 1st. Just in time for the Holidays! It will be the "Ophelia" skirt and it comes in Ivoire and Noir. I'll post more on that in the next week! But for now, here is an Ophelia skirt photo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New bloomers, halter top and clothing labels!

We decided to add some cute little bloomers underneath the Mia tulle skirt for toddlers. They are so cute, I can't wait to photograph them on a cute little girl. This one is on it's way out the door, but I managed to get a few still shots. We also added this halter top to go with any of the skirts and it's made to match. This one is in a Gris/Blue dupioni silk. It is gorgeous! We haven't even named them yet and I'm going to have to start asking for help with that as I am running out of names!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This family photo shoot looks so calm and serene- but no! What was going on before and during this shoot was anything but calm. I'm always reminded when we do this just what our clients go through to get a whole family ready for the shoot! This first shot is a nice final but there are plenty of out-takes because of our dog- Windsor Grey. He was making my kids die laughing as he ran around digging right  in front of us. So naughty! You can't see very much of it, but Mia is wearing the Opal "Mia" tutu in sand with the silk peasant blouse.

Opal Petit Clothier by Tina Wilson

I love to see other peoples interpretations of Opal. I am a photography junkie and I love to peruse other photographers sites. It's so inspiring! This photo is by Tina Wilson Photography and it is gorgeous! She is on the east coast and has a fabulous photography business there. I can't wait to see more, but I couldn't wait to post this one as it is her favorite so there may be more to come.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Mia's room" starring her white rabbit

Mia and I did a photo shoot last spring that was meant to be with her new Silver Cross doll's pram, but it turned out to be a shoot starring "Snowbell". That is her white rabbit. The real star of the show now for about 5 years. Snowbell has had numerous repairs to the seams in her fur and even had a homemade red heart added during one of the surgeries. Our goal is "Real", like the velveteen rabbit. Anyway, I posted this because her bedding is all from Papillon Linens, whose owner is a wonderful friend. I'm getting ready to use her amazing linens in my bedroom soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

perfect model

This is my niece, Mya. She's so beautiful inside and out. And she's such a trooper! When we shot this a crazy storm blew in as we were driving to the location. It went from nice sunny weather to nearly freezing rain! She completely braved the storm and was shivering, but still wanted to help make lovely pictures in the sand dunes. We trudged our way up the dunes and about 10 minutes into the shoot, the sun broke through and gave us perfect light! And temperature!

future gowns inspired

Sometimes and image is so perfect as it is that it can't be improved upon. Sometimes an image inspires you to do something similar. Sometimes and image sparks an idea that is completely different. I usually get an overall concept for a photo shoot or a dress design from about 20 different things I've seen somewhere.(plus of course life experiences!) This is why I love the internet! Ideas move and shape and form so quickly! It's creativity on high speed. So inspiring! I feel a photo shoot coming up soon...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

opal petit clothier and the silver gates

So one of the shoots we did this summer was during a roadtrip to drop off my son at summer camp. I'd never passed through this town before and I brought along some Opal clothing just in case we found a great location. Well, we definitely did, however, it was full sun overhead. The worst time of day to shoot. We still got some beautiful images, but I'd like to try this location again on some late afternoon.... This is the Andelin skirt with the Isabel corset top.

Here is the location with the gates from a distance. So happy we stumbled upon them!

Getting ready for the shoot. In the car, of course! People must wonder what exactly it is that we're doing dressing in cars and styling hair by the trunk!

Mia loved pretending that these were the gates to her house!