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

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The pool shoot

It's been a few days since my first post and a lot has been going on! I have been on the hunt for a clothing manufacturer that can produce the type of clothing we design here at opal. It's very detailed and needs special attention. Also, we aren't doing a high volume at this point so I need someone who can accomodate a smaller run now and grow with us. It's scary and all new to me. My good friend Leigh Chandler at Papillon Linens has been such an amazing mentor and is helping me on the search. Take a look at her exquisite linens when you have a chance. They are gorgeous. I met her originally because I was drawn to her bedding at a trade show and we became fast friends. I love being around creative people!
I am posting some images today of another opal shoot we just did. I'm including some of the outakes. We shot these images in our empty black-bottom pool. We emptied it for cleaning and my husband suggested I use it for photos before he re-filled it...the next day! I can pull a shoot together in no time flat (I think that's when I'm most creative!) and I always have more articles of new clothing to shoot! I called my models and we were shooting in 30 minutes! Whenever I shot Alyssa, Megan tried to sit by her and at one point our dog, Windsor, was running around in the pool too! Megan was mesmerized the entire time by kites in the sky behind our house. It gave her something to gaze at and filled her gorgeous eyes with the perfect reflected light! If you can imagine, we had my two youngest children, our two models, the dog, myself, my husband and probably another friend or two all in and around our little pool. It was so fun, I LOVE doing this!

Looking at the kites!

Still gazing at kites.....

Sitting by Alyssa while I was shooting Alyssa!

There's a big grey dog in my shot!

They match with their taupe outfits!

A striking pair...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

first post

Here we go~ I am excited and kind of nervous about this post. I am excited to show what is going on behind the scenes, but I don't want to be boring either! I am going to just put it all out there and see if anyone is listening. I love photography of all things around me so I'll start with photos and see what else may come. This first entry will be photos from our first shoot. We took a spring break trip to Oceanside, California, where my family has been vacationing for 25 years. It was so fun! We discovered two new places to eat and I'm already wanting to go back! We have so many memories there. On the way there we love to stop and get avocados and oranges on highway 76.
My kids have been shooting with me since they were born, so they are some of my best models. Mia was the perfect "opal" girl, dancing in the waves on the sand. The photos are really beautiful, but I am including some of the "before's". Every shoot involves styling, pinning, hair, makeup (chapped lips!), and some complaining. This shoot also including a storm rolling in, a race against the sun, and lots of sand. Oh, and I can't forget Ryder on the beach with his scooter unconsiously appearing in the background of the shots!!! Next post will be some of the images from the opal shoot on the beach.

cute little flower stand on Hwy 76

where we get avocado's and oranges

Mia and Ryder tasting citrus samples

My family on the Oceanside Pier. Windy that day!


They're always intriguing, but they never work!

Me eating hazelnut chocolate gelato outside our new favorite place, the Pier View Coffee Co.

Ryder waiting for the rain to stop....

Watching cartoons at the beach??? Still waiting for the rain to stop. Mia and her bunny look sleepy now, but later this same day she will trasform into a lovely beach girl for opal.

Case on the pier

Mia and Daddy people watching.

Dresses for the photo shoot waiting in the back of the car.

here are some of the images from the beach shoot

Notice Ryder in the background with his scooter!