We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose and Tim Swearingen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose and Tim, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
We are inspired by memories. Rose’s mom passed away almost 20 years ago and she was not one for having her photo taken. This means now, 20 years later, Rose has very few photos of her mother. Being able to capture people in photographs so that their loved ones have something to look back to is why we do what we do. Photos aren’t just for you. They are for the people that love you. Because one day you won’t be here and all that may be left are the photos you leave behind. People are our inspiration. Capturing their beauty is what we love to do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We are a husband and wife photography team. We have been together since 2012 and we were not planning on doing this professionally. Occasionally we would do photos for folks. Slowly people started paying us and that is when we knew we had more to do. We found that working together was easy. Tim is more technical, Rose is more artistic. This balance allows us to do great work and capture some amazing photos for our clients. We have been able to build a repeat customer base but it was not fast or easy. The pandemic slowed down a good portion of our business but we also increased in other areas. Thankfully we are still here and doing what we love.
One of the things that we wanted to give to our clients was comfort. As plus-size people, we knew that there can be apprehension to having photos taken. We started to focus on inclusive photography – size, gender, LGBTQIA. We want everyone to feel good about the experience and to love the results. We do not limit our clients in who and how they want to celebrate their love and beauty. We have a journalistic and natural style.
We are called Downeast Photographers because both come from New England and we live in the east valley of Phoenix. We focused on our common history and our location to come up with our name. Downeast reflects the things we have in common and the life we have built together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We have a lot of photographer friends who are also dedicated foodies so we would definitely take them to Sedona first. We would absolutely love to take them on some of the trails in the area and finish it with an amazing meal at Casa Sedona Restaurant. After exploring Sedona for the day, we would head back to our part of town and take them to Mido Sushi in Chandler for the best sushi in the East Valley. We would take them to Scorpion Gulch for photos (our treat) and then take the ride up to South Mountain to Dobbins point. We would also take the to Heritage Square and the Rosson House and enjoy some pizza at Pizzeria Blanco. The architecture is amazing. If we were lucky and it was the first Friday a trip to Roosevelt Row would be great to explore. The Heard Museum would be a great stop for a museum trip. And of course, we would spend time hanging out at our place, drinking a cocktail, and enjoying our patio.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We want to thank Tim’s late father David and the Associated Press. David was a journalist that worked for the AP and Tim believes his love of photography came from the time spent with his father at work and on assignment. He started in the darkroom at age 6 and has loved it ever since. We also want to give recognition to Toastmasters International. We met at a meeting and it has been an organization where we both found confidence and built leadership and communication skills.
Photo of Rose and Tim courtesy of Angie Key