Born in Stockholm in 1958 of Latvian parents. Since early years fascinated by light and its effect on photographic materials. He is autodidact.

Through the eighties he worked as a teacher of photography, at the same time as he was pursuing his own advanced studies. His interest was focused on traditional black and white fine printing and on early photographic processes. In the nineties he turned his camera to architecture, design and the visual arts as well as the performing arts, especially contemporary dance

Sviestins has presented solo exhibitions in Stockholm and throughout Sweden, in Hong Kong, Moscow and in Chiang Mai. His has been invited to group exhibitions shown in Sweden, Finland and Russia and he has done several books on contemporary dance, art and architecture. Among them STOCKHOLM TOWN HALL, for which Ivar Sviestins and the book received six grants and awards, in Sweden and internationally.

Through the years Ivar has received numerous grants from the Swedish Art Grants Committee and other institution.

He is an appreciated teacher and lecturer.

Ivar continually explores and lectures on different themes: the photographic craft, lighting and communication as such and connected to personal development. Other themes are life/death, time/impermanence, empathy and the human spirit.