Hello, my name is Tammy Swarek. I am a contemporary portrait and fine art photographer in El Dorado, Arkansas. I fell in love with photography at an early age watching my father, who is a talented enthusiast. Watching him check his white balance with a sheet of paper, waiting for that perfect shot and the excitement when the photos were developed all fascinated me. My Dad bought my first camera at the age of eleven. It was a Minolta x-700 with a telephoto lens. I was hooked and quickly became the family paparazzi.
Through the years life became more important. Marriage, kids, work, did not leave much time for hobbies. Although I never lost my passion for photography, it wasn’t until a very devastating time in my life that I picked it back up seriously. In 2010, I had the perfect life. I lived on the most beautiful ranch in Lexington, Mississippi with my Autistic son, Matthew. I loved every day of the 6 years I lived there. Cattle in the back, horses in the front, it was truly a dream. On April 24th 2010 an F5 tornado ripped through Yazoo City, Mississippi and headed straight for my house completely destroying it and everything we owned. The 30 days that followed the tornado were full of destruction, sadness, and petitioning for aid to my area. It was at that time that I started living life behind the lens. I think it was easier for me to see it that way.
The next two years I spent learning digital photography, and Photoshop. I was amazed at what could be produced and how I could express myself through images. It was a very overwhelming but healing process.
I think each photograph should tell a story. I plan my shots thoroughly knowing what I want the final image to “say”. Sometimes I spend months on them from planning to the final edit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.