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January 16th, 2017

Featured Website of the Week – Jay Goldman

Posted by liveBooks

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Jay Goldman is a professional photographer specializing in wedding, bar-batmitzvahs, personal and corporate events and more! His studio is located in Los Angeles, California where he has created the majority of his career. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website:

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I started my career 25 years ago in NYC. I assisted for a couple dozen photographers whose work I liked. There was no internet. I found their work promos in a double volume 1990 Workbooks that I stole from the ad agency my roommate worked at. On the weekends, I shot film, on a Hasselblad, 12 frames on a roll. Many headshots and musicians. I hand printed my client’s 8×10 black and white headshots in a rented darkroom.

Fast forward 25 years: technology has exploded. I now shoot all my work on a Canon 5DS, with 50 MB files onto a 64 GB card or tethered to my 27″ iMac. I live in LA and have a studio in midtown for 10 years. We are a highly diversified studio. Revenue split between Weddings, Bar-Bat Mitzvahs, Personal and Corporate Events, Portrait, Product, and Jewelry Photography.

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Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

JG: Imagecentric, nonbulshitty, and juicy. I think one of those is a real word.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JG: I am constantly tweaking the site.
I decided to have a New Work gallery, so I try to swap in and out anything that is exciting to me that I am currently working on.
The beauty of LB8 is how fast you can jump in, drop a photo into a gallery, see a live preview, publish and then jump out. It’s like the Matrix.
The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.

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Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

JG: This something that I always struggle with. Sometime I am attached emotionally to an image and want to use it, I need someone to tell me that it is not strong for the site. I get a lot of opinions from wedding industry colleagues and from my brides. I think the homepage images should change every 6 months.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JG: The whole redesign of liveBooks8 is amazing. I have been a liveBooks client from the very beginning. When liveBooks launched, the editSuite was revolutionary. Then it got a bit antiquated. Now in liveBooks8, the live preview is quick and you can try different things out. I think I have pressed every button in the design module. I found the design of my “Kind Words” page by accident. I would have never thought that I would be using circles in my design.

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Q: What advise do you offer to someone designing their website?

JG: My advice is to make sure that the site has impact and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. That is the way the majority of my clients are browsing JLGweddings (at least brides). Also, realize that on the initial visiting session to your site, they may not have the time to go past your first gallery. Pack that one much heavier with your strongest work. If you hook them there, you made the first cut, and they will go deeper into your site.
I made another gallery design choice:
Everyone is very good at one-handed scrolling at blazing speed through Instagram feeds. In my New Work gallery, I purposely made every image horizontal so the gallery can go full-frame on a phone and someone can scroll straight down through the gallery of juicy images without putting down their triple, venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato with extra hot foam.

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