Storytelling First

It All Started with a Polaroid

Thanks for stopping by. My name’s Ty Swartz, and I’m an Educator, Marketer, and Photojournalist based in Virginia Beach where I make cool things for small businesses and companies around the globe. If you like my work, then don’t hesitate to reach out.

I am already known internationally for creating great environmental portraits of people being themselves. I started my photographic journey in 1986 and fortunate enough to have traveled to over 60 countries as a photojournalistic storyteller. I’m continually evolving my style as my client’s ideas and needs grow. I have many bold ideas, and I’m excited to share them with you.


But firstly it’s about jaw dropping, awe inspiring, surprising and well composed stories told through the lens of the beholder. Make sure you look through my portfolios and have a chat with me about your next project.

Ty Swartz in Atlantic Ocean during a sunset engagement portrait.

Reasons to Choose My Services


I just love telling stories and since I received my first Polaroid I’ve had a passion for seeing the world through the eyes of a storyteller.


Believe it or not, photography is orchestrated. Each photograph has a dimension, point of view and a glimpse into someone’s life all organized by the artist.


It’s empowering to be the artist behind the curtain. I get to see real people, doing real things, while reacting in their own personal uniqueness. That’s powerful and humbling at the same time.


I am inspired by each client as I get to know and understand them I start to get a sense of their style and personality. Many of my ideas just happen. Kind of like lighting a whole box of Black Kats, you know the explosions are coming, but the first one always takes you by surprise.


To me, photographic creativity sometimes just spontaneously happens as a reaction to an activity or the placement of the light source. Of course, as a professional, I’ve learned to take that creativity and turn it into a repeatable process, so I have consistent works of art that continuously grow and challenge my skills.


When I create images I’m looking for the quality of the light, quality of the image, quality of the print and quality of my performance for each client. I stand behind my work because my name is on each image and “I’m only as good as the last image I created.”

Thin. Light. Epic.

Start Something New

I appreciate the raw reality of everyday life, the fleeting beauty of those in-between moments, and I do my very best to take every picture with that in mind. I want my viewers to relate to my photographs through recognition of and familiarity with the situations.

My Latest Projects