Photographing that Science Guy, Bill Nye

bill-bw2Bill Nye CinegraphRecently I was assigned to photograph the one and only, Bill Nye. Naturally, I was excited because I recall many hours of actual educational entertainment (edutainment?) from his Disney Channel show in the 1990’s. His goal was to combine PeeWee’s Playhouse with Mr. Wizard and it really worked. We didn’t have too much time with him since he was in Seattle with a busy schedule; science conferences, throwing out the first pitch at the Mariners game, filming a new documentary. But whether you’re hanging out with him or taking his photo, you’re guaranteed exactly what you’d expect: a really funny guy who knows a lot about science and bow ties.

Because of his natural performance charisma, he was one of the easiest subjects to shoot. I had more winning photos from my roll than just about anyone else so it was hard to decide on the favorites. We were able to get some interview material from him for a short behind-the-scenes video shot with my friends at Session 7 Media.

This bow tie he was particularly proud of because someone made it for him out of two separate bow ties. Because of the colors he had wore it to the ‘Man of Steel’ premiere a month prior.

As far as setup, I had him seated at a desk, placed him in front of a hard aluminum wall to match his shiny jacket. I lit him with a fairly centered beauty dish and a second light through a strip box.

Final image selected with layout.

Watch this Behind-the-Scenes Video on photo shoot, and learn some science too.

Filming our video portion of the shoot. Bill was on his game right away, what an impressive science guy.

I told Bill that I wasn’t a very scientific person but if he was able to teach me how to tie a bowtie than I’d be a happy man. Nope, I was even unsuccessful at that.

Let’s drink to learning! Keith and Cory of Session 7 after our shoot wrapped.

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  1. Chris Downden · August 29, 2013

    I love Bill Nye and always watched his show after school. I love the lighting on all of them, great job Brandon.

  2. Jack Harrison · August 29, 2013

    Wow, wow, wow. Incredible, and the beakers are a nice touch.

  3. Amy Yi · August 29, 2013

    Let me know if you ever need an assistant on these shoots. I LOVE Bill Nye and thanks for the extra science knowledge on the video. Very fantastic.

  4. Richard Wong · September 24, 2013

    Some of your best work to date man. I’m happy for you.


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