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Portrait Sandy Swanton

Photographer and writer, traveller and lover of good food: that's the Australian blogger Sandy Swanton. Specializing in Graphic Design in Sydney, Sandy has spent more than 25 years developing a strong portfolio career in visual and written communications in eastern Australia and western Canada, working successfully across the private, non-profit and government sectors, winning international awards in the last two sectors for her part in successful teams delivering top results in Canada and Australia.

Since moving to Tuscany, Sandy has been teaching English to business people all around the world, online as well as working with small groups and private students in Florence. Now living in a smaller Tuscan city, Sandy continues to pursue her triple passions of travel, finding the unusual perspective to photograph, and painting pictures with words.
"I remember that first moment when I could feel my senses combine around storytelling and food. It was seeing the beauty in a barbecue on a rainy day," Sandy began.
"The sight, smells, and sounds blended into one. My mouth watered in anticipation, as the smoke and steams rose off the hot griddle created by the gently falling rain, slowing the progress of lunch. Years later, studying visual communications in design school, I had that feeling again. Finally, I was doing what I loved – telling stories with words and images."

Borgo Syrah.Chef

Over time, her passion for the visual was subsumedinto a professional communications career spanning more than two decades and the Pacific coasts of two continents. In late 2013 that chapter closed, as the desire to pursue her visual muse rose again, although the muse had no words at that time. It was only in the second half of 2016 that she found the right blend of writing and photography – her two closest friends in the intervening years.

Fiercely proud of her international roots, Sandy is now Director of, following her passions for helping people tell their stories using photos and words. She recently launched a 4-week online program that teaches people of all ages how to take photos they love – Composing Memories.
In tandem, Sandy is about to launch 5- to 7-night photography retreats that celebrate life, using travel and photography to help others rediscover their creativity. Most of the retreats will be in Tuscany, and all will include a large food component, mainly because food is life. Each retreat will be centred around a local festival or activity, usually with a celebration of seasonal foods.

Adding a third string to her bow, Sandy has just completed the first retreat for an entrepreneurial client, who brought a group from North America to Tuscany to relax and be inspired. It worked beautifully – each person left renewed in themselves and in their business, and her client couldn't have been happier. Of course, fresh seasonal food was a major component to the week.
Sandy reflected, "Time in Tuscany has completely changed my thoughts around food and how beautiful it is – as fresh produce, through the preparation, and as it is served. The steps along the way are magical – and being able see them, to experience them, is a gift that makes the meal taste even better.
"My hope is to help others find both that love of the process of a beautiful meal prepared with care and skill, and encourage them to take the time to savour the flavours of life."
You can see some of Sandy's photography on her Instagram account – – sharing the same name as her website and blog.

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