The Story

Yo! I am Emily Swafford, and welcome to my blog – The Swafford Project.


The Swafford Project is my life. Well, this blog isn’t my life, but the “Project” is the building of a life worthy of documenting well.


I want to live things, see things, and feel things that are exciting and worth keeping record of. I want to freeze those moments in life, and provide an incredible way to visit them again. If you have something that excites you, let me capture it for you!


Let me tell you a little bit about myself….. ok, a LOT about myself. Being succinct is a personal struggle……

My name is Emily or Milly, depending on who you ask.


I live right outside of Nashville, TN and essentially have since I was nine years old. I went to college at Tennessee Tech and spent my first few working years out in the Smoky Mountains. I got married and somehow we found our way back towards Nashville.


During my days, I teach middle school band and absolutely freaking love it. On my own time, I love to adventure outside, hang out with my dog, and dance my booty off to electronic music. We also do all that lame stuff like cleaning the house and going grocery shopping. I am married to Jason who is probably the most thoughtful human ever born. We have 2 cats – Frank & Hailey, a dog – Brodhi, and a roommate – Masaii.


So the photography part….. How did I wind up here, starting a blog like every other girl with a camera? Well…..


I started taking pictures in middle school. My dad took us awesome places, one being an epic family camping trip through Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Mt. Rushmore, and the Black Hills. I had a point and shoot film camera that I took a billion pictures with. I specifically remember using and entire roll of film on a squirrel in Yellowstone. My family still teases me about those squirrel pictures. I think that’s where this whole thing started though – taking pictures of cool stuff outside.


Through high school my obsession grew. Entire bedroom walls and two closet doors were wallpapered with pictures I had taken of places and friends. I had to have My parents had to have spent a small fortune on camera gear, film, and trips to the photo lab for me. I took two years of high school photo classes and spent entire days in the darkroom my senior year. I loved it, but I loved band too and music wound up taking priority come college decision time.


I went to college, majored in music education, marched drum corps, and worked a lot. My camera got very little love. About halfway through my long and winding seven-year bachelor’s degree I started going to shows. Bass music and the entire scene was just super different than anything I’d experienced before, and I loved it. I was hooked.


Somewhere along the line, I met a group of bassheads online, we made a production team called Soundlink, and we threw some shows in our small college town. That was a fun venture and we booked some solid talent, but it didn’t last. After marrying Jason we moved to middle Tennessee, we live with a good friend, Masaii. He got linked up with a Nashville production group that our friend, Sam, from Soundlink was also a part of. Within a few months Jason and I got in on it and Jason started working lights and I did street team and other random things.


The driven people around me inspired me. Watching people be excited to create made me want to get out a camera out again and do some work. Have a new goal. Work on something that I used to love but didn’t make time for. I had some places I could go take some shots. I had opportunities around me. I just had to do it.


That led me to considering renting some gear to check out, but during a conversation with Sam he offered to let me borrow his super nice Canon. I got to take pictures at a show for Masaii. I did a terrible job for a good portion of that show and then at home I tried editing them, and I was horrendous at that too. But I did it again and again.


I bought the super nice Canon, and I’ve been learning. I’ve taken my camera to see some more places with me. I’ve gotten a lot better at shooting and editing! I’ll show you and blog about it. Festival photos. Nephew photos. Backpacking photos. Friend photos. Dog photos.



This is my project.



You’re invited too.