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, 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!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Opal's pink tulle skirt starring Lyla

We did another impromtu photo shoot last week. Lyla was in town visiting and this age only happens once! She was the perfect model for the "Mia" tutu. This little white barn is in downtown Santa Clara and we have shot there many times. I always love the images from this gorgeous little building. And who can resist Lyla?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ophelia en Noir

Here is our most recent opal shoot. Mia had a hard time getting excited for the shoot until Kayla, the horse, volunteered to help out. There were issues with such things as hairstyle, and the fact that the boys were having way more fun catching crawdads. Her face completely lit up when the horse got involved! These were taken on my in-laws property in Southern Washington. It is so amazing there, I could shoot the whole line in one week with unlimited locations! Maybe someday......The skirt is the "Ophelia" bustle skirt with matching corset top and a silvery silk peasant blouse.