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Lifestyle and Wedding photographer Karen Hill (based in New York City) fills a unique niche by bringing an angle of fine art to portraiture and event photography. Her photos are absolutely stunning, elegant, and classic – much like her website design. We thought her site would be perfect to showcase this week and we can’t wait for you to see it!
Read on to hear what she had to say about her site’s creation and the great advice she has for people getting started on creating their websites. Don’t forget to see more of her gorgeous site and photos at www.karenhill.com!
Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?
KH: Classic, Elegant, Timeless, and Modern (I came up with four.)
Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?
KH: I chose a recent image that I think best represents my work overall. For the portfolio page, I chose to do a grid to highlight each portfolio. I love how this page turned out. Hopefully it will intrigue prospective clients, wedding planners, and editors to click to see more!
Q: How often do you update your website?
KH: I update my website a few times a year as I have new work I want to share. I find keeping my website fresh is very important to me, as well as to my potential clients as my work is ever evolving. We often spend time looking at my site together and talking about their wedding and their favorite images. This gives me a lovely window into their sensibilities and helps me to plan the photography timeline with them.
Since I use a bunch of different cameras, both digital and traditional film, I like to hear which images speak to them the most so that I can talk about the different cameras I use to prepare our shoot. For instance, two very distinctive cameras I use are the Holga and the Widelux. These are very specialized cameras that do one thing. The Holga is a plastic camera and has a square, very ethereal look to it while the Widelux is an extra wide panoramic. The Widelux is great for overviews and dramatic shots, but it’s not a formal portrait camera. So for instance if a client doesn’t love the Holga’s ethereal, somewhat blurry look, I know to focus on a different camera like the Rollei or the Hasselblad, which are also square format cameras. But the Widelux is one of those cameras that everybody seems to love.
I also point out that the Holga and the Widelux are not my main cameras but that I shoot a roll or two throughout the day. My main cameras are the Contax 645 and the Canon 5D Mark III. Clients often want to distinguish between digital and traditional film images, so it’s helpful for this. In the end they are engaging me to make beautiful photographs that reflect their day but I do love having a conversation with them as well, I think it gets couples excited about the photography. I truly love to think that the photography just “happens.” That feels so romantic to me and to some degree it’s true; but weddings and portrait sessions take on a personality and energy all their own. It’s important to key into this essential element but to also keep in mind the images your client has engaged you to capture. I spend a good amount of time planning each shoot to develop the photography timeline and make sure all of the requested images are in the timeline. This collaboration is key for me and my website really helps get the conversation going. In January, when the studio is a little slower, I usually refresh the whole site to reflect what’s new and what’s relevant now. This year, that meant a whole new look for us. Prospective clients, wedding planners, and editors seem to love how it turned out!
Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?
KH: My favorite feature is the editSuite. It allows me behind-the-scenes access, so to speak, and be in charge of image placement and image updates. I love this feature so much! Secondly, working with one of liveBooks’ web designers, Ryan. He gets it. This was our second redesign that we’ve worked on together and he’s awesome. And finally, SEO, keywording, and stats.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?
KH: Just do it, the rest will follow. It’s definitely a labor of love that is your most important business tool and should feature your very best and brightest work at all times.
Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!