I'm pleased to introduce you to our second featured photographer, Sandy Swift of Sandy Swift Photography, in Kauai, Hawaii.
Sandy has an amazing ability to tell a story through epic shots with dramatic scenery. Her images look like tropical storybooks just waiting for the viewer to step in. Just as captivating as the scenery are the relationships she captures with her lens. She is skilled at creating a moment and conveying authentic emotion with her images.
I was drawn to Sandy, not only because of her beautiful images, but also because of her joyful spirit. I haven't met her in person, but her energy and warmth shine through in all her interactions. She seems to have the same effect on her clients, who just love her (and aren't shy about singing Sandy's praises on social media). In a year like 2020, her positivity is welcome and appreciated!
Here's a little Q&A with Sandy:
1. What is your specialty?
Elopements! I am all about carefree, fun, easy, intimate, and scenic elopements ❤ I also offer couples sessions and what I call "red dress sessions" - I have a collection of super fun and dramatic gowns with long trains for my clients to wear during their sessions.
2. How do you define your style?
The perfect combination of epic scenery and epic moments… Vibrant, adventurous, intimate and romantic. I create very vibrant and colorful images which have a focus on the epic scenery surrounding us and beautiful, intimate moments of connection between couples. I photograph and edit to create colorful images that emphasize the epic scenery and the beautiful connection between the two of you... while allowing you to relax, have fun, feel like yourselves and totally forget you are having photos taken.
I believe in making moments happen, I believe in directing you and helping every step of the way so you never feel awkward or wonder what you should do with your hands, I believe in paying attention to all the little details and always have your back with all the hair and dress fixes :) I'm here for you!
3. How did you get started in photography?
For as long as I can remember, photography has just captivated me and stopped me in my tracks... when I am behind the camera, time just stops and I get lost in the moment... it's good for my soul :) For years photography was my hobby and how I spent my free time. 5 years ago, when I was laid off from my former career, I went to Kauai for 3 months to clear my head and figure out how to start over. As I watched the sunrise every morning beside the ocean, I found myself being less and less motivated to return to "corporate America". I started to realize that this was the perfect time in my life to try something crazy and chase a dream, because I was starting over, whether I wanted to or not, I was going to have to start fresh and so if I failed, I literally had nothing to lose... what a powerful feeling! And so I started this business and never left Kauai... my 3 months in paradise is now 5 years in... I just forgot to go home :)
4. What are you known for?
I have a LOT of energy!! LOL. I am so excited for my couples and the images I am creating; you can bet that when I am shooting, I am going to be doing happy dances, squealing in delight and gushing over my bride's dress... I cannot help it! My couples often laugh over how happy I am during the session :) I use the word EPIC constantly, it's for sure my favorite word and my couples always end up teasing me and using that word a lot too, hahaha - it must be contagious!
6. What do you love most about photography?
I get to be in the presence of love and laughter and connection... I get to OD on second hand love... I get to be witness to the most important and powerful moments in people's lives... and I get to do it all in the most stunning place on earth... I cannot describe how much I love what I do and how blessed I feel ❤
7. How has COVID affected your business?
Things have been so hard on everyone this year, and my heart just breaks for all the couples having to delay their weddings and put off celebrations they deserve so much. I find that I really thrive off of people's joy, and living this masked up, non hugging, lack of human connection and celebration existence has truly been soul-crushing for me...
Kauai has had much stricter requirements than the mainland due to our extremely limited medical resources and being so isolated. With travel not allowed and even residents being under lockdown, I have not worked most of this year. It is devastating financially and emotionally. We opened up to visitors for one month, and I was thrilled to be working again, but our Mayor closed us back down, so I am once again out of business and looking forward to brighter days ahead and the return of travel and celebration.
8. Do you have any photography accomplishments you're especially proud of?
What I am proud of is the images I created that made people cry happy tears. I am proud of canvases hanging over couples beds and husbands who didn't want to take pictures saying how much fun they had and brides asking "is that really me?!" when I show them the back of my camera. I'm proud when women tell me how beautiful they feel and hearing clients say that these images are their prized possessions... I am proud of creating legacies and unforgettable moments ❤
9. Do you have anything in the works that you're excited about (that you'd like to share)?
I am working on some EPIC Yosemite elopement packages with a dear friend, I cannot wait to show you!!
10. What do you like to do in your spare time?
My favorite thing is hiking, all day, every day, in any situation, the answer to what do I want to do is "hike!" I love being outside, I love the silence and the sounds of nature, I love the physical challenge... It's my happy place ❤
11. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your photography?
Life is short... take the pictures! You deserve it ;)