Bryan Niven, commercial illustrative portrait artist speaks with Bill and Ed about his specialty family portrait service.


Bill Crawford, publisher of (Flickr)
Ed Hidden, exclusive photographer (Flickr)

Theme Music:

Sean Campbell and Steve Hill (

Special Guest:

Bryan Niven, commercial photographer.

Bryan Niven

Bryan Niven Photos

Bryan’s Blog

Bryan Niven

LightSource Episode 75 (Interview Series) [55:56 minutes]



LightSource E075 [25.6 MB]Download this episode

In this episode:

Bill and Ed (and Mark) discuss:

Special Guest Bryan Niven discusses:

  • Background in art, illustration and design
  • Using film and going to digital
  • Going toward commercial work
  • Creating a new form of family portrait
  • with behind the scenes video
  • Pushing the envelope as a photographer
  • Not being in the studio for sessions
  • Taking the studio to the subject
  • Doing elaborate composite work
  • Using white backdrops for cutout masking
  • Lastolite Hilite backdrop
  • Having a game plan for a custom session
  • Working with a sketch artist
  • Lighting approach – surreal illustrative
  • How long it takes to produce a custom photo illustration
  • Keeping the final product a secret
  • Creating high detail composite backgrounds
  • Creating images that can be explored
  • Making a commitment to being different and unique
  • Pricing prints
  • Deciding what role you are going to excel at
  • Favorite non-pro camera: Canon Powershot TX-1
  • What lighting gear he prefers – Dynalite
  • Starting with Mobilights
  • Lighting with bare strobe heads
  • Managing the client experience during a shoot
  • Software used in post processing
  • Using a 21 inch Wacom Cintiq tablet
  • Workflow with Apple Aperture and Adobe Bridge
  • Proper use of HDR principles

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