LightSource Podcast Interview Series

E075 Bryan Niven

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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