Swanson Media maintains a collection of thousands of images of a variety of subjects, with an emphasis on nature/wildlife and social documentary (including hundreds of "Americana" images dating back to the 1940s). Most of the photographs were made by either Mark Swanson or his late father Richard C. "Dick" Swanson, an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications and juried exhibitions. For information about Dick Swanson's photography, including fine art prints for purchase, see The Photography of Dick Swanson.
You can search the collection by keywords or browse the images by subject using the "lightbox" links below.
As a young freelance photographer in Vassar, Michigan, Dick Swanson took hundreds of pictures for local newspapers, businesses, schools and individuals. Now digitally archived, this collection of vintage black & white images captures virtually every aspect of a typical small midwestern U.S. town shortly after World War II. The subjects include everything from school cooks to football players; from power plants to old hotel rooms. Several images document post-war events such as memorial ceremonies and the immigration of European refugees.
Many of the photographs come from Swanson's coverage of Vassar's centennial celebration in 1949. Over several days, as residents donned vintage 19th-century clothing and participated in activities of a bygone era, Swanson created dozens of striking (and often humorous) images in which time and place are ambiguous, and whose subjects appear at once familiar and strange.
The collection, which numbers over 400 images, also includes photographs from other Michigan towns and cities: Gera, Mayville, Millington, Newberry, Richville and Saginaw.
These lightboxes include the contemporary work of both Dick and Mark Swanson, as well as many of the vintage images from the Vassar collection. The lightboxes include over 7,000 different images.
Most of the images in the collection are available for licensing for editorial or commercial use. To request a license for an image, please complete the License Request Form.
Note: The lightboxes contain only a portion of the collection. We generally display only the "best" images from a technical or aesthetic perspective, or only select shots from an animal action sequence. If you want to see all the available images of a particular subject, or if you are looking for a specific behavioral or anotomical detail, feel free to request a customized lightbox by contacting Mark Swanson
All photographs in the collection are available for purchase as high-quality digital prints suitable for framing. Prints are sold for display use only (home or office). Prints are made on demand by a commercial photo printing service.
Photo prints make great gifts!
For information about digital print pricing, sizes and framing tips, see About Photo Prints.
These galleries showcase some of the best work by photographers Mark and Dick Swanson:
Here are selected photo/video publication credits: