Resolve

A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.

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SOCIAL HEADER

In today’s digital landscape, a social media presence is absolutely vital for the success of your business. At liveBooks, we understand this. With over 100 social icons to choose from, liveBooks8 allows for complete customization of the social experience you provide your audience. Connect with clients easily, using liveBooks’ social media integration tools.

Today’s tip details how to create your ideal social experience for your audience through the customization of a social media footer.

To add social media icons to the footer of your liveBooks8 site:

1. Log into the liveBooks 8 editor.
2. Select the Content editing tab.
3. Select footer on the right side, under Global Content.

Social1

4. Select your desired social platforms from our bank of over 100 options. With selections including anything from Facebook to Spotify and Vimeo, you will be able to create a customized and dynamic social experience for your unique audience.

social2

5. Add your unique social media links in the related fields.
Pro-tip: test the functionality of each button under the Design tab in your site’s preview mode to ensure each link is working as desired.
6. Admire your new social media footer and connect with your audience on a new level.

To change the color of your icons to match your branding:

1. From Content, navigate to the Design tab.
2. Select the area of the site where your social icons are located. For this tutorial, our social icons are located in our footer, so we will select the footer tab.

Social icon footer

3. Use the tools provided to customize the look, color, size and functionality of your new social icons.

Custom social

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Press save. Customization is as easy as that!

Get social with liveBooks! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Interested in learning more about a specific liveBooks8 feature? We want to know! Send us an email at social@livebooks.com.

Blog&Twitter

The only thing we love more than our liveBooks8 platform is the gorgeous work that our clients are sharing on it! Have an image that you are dying for the world to see? We want to feature you! We are excited to announce our first ever summer Facebook cover photo contest where we are looking to feature the #bestofLB8 on our page each week.

To submit your images, please send the original image file to social@livebooks.com with the subject line “Facebook cover photo contest” or submit your entry via Twitter or Instagram by tagging liveBooks AND #bestofLB8. We will select u to eight photos to be displayed weekly between July 1 & August 22, 2016.

Submissions are now open! Follow the rules below to have the chance to be featured on our Facebook page.

To submit:
Please send the original image file to social@livebooks.com with the subject line “Facebook cover photo contest” OR submit your entry via Twitter or Instagram by using the hashtag #bestofLB8 AND tagging liveBooks. Please include your full name, where the photo was taken and the date in your entry. The summer cover photo of the week will be selected by the liveBooks team. Up to eight photos will be posted between July 1-August 22, 2016. Selected photos will be featured on our Facebook page as a cover photo for approximately one week and may be shared on Instagram

Rules & Regs:
1. Photo must have been taken by you in the last 3 years.
2. Photos must be horizontal and fit within the Facebook cover crop area of 851px by 315px. Vertical photo submissions will 3. be discarded.
4. Please avoid heavy filters and edits.
5. Explicit content will be discarded.
6. Smartphone photos are accepted but DSLR images are preferred.

Think you have what it takes? Submit your photo now! 

What originally began as simply taking photos for her photo class in college soon grew to be so much more for Beth Perkins of Beth Perkins Photography. As Beth began taking images of family and friends, she learned that she had a unique ability to capture intimate moments through her personal photography. Since, she has blossomed into a dynamic advertising and editorial photographer, based in Rockaway, NYC.

We are so excited to share the brand new site of Beth Perkins Photography with you today! To see more of her work and to check out the site behind the story, visit bethperkins.com.

BethPerkinshome

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

A: Real life moments

1900 2

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

A: I try to update it once a month, but it probably ends up being more like every two or three months.

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

A: I try to choose my most iconic, upbeat and provocative images that represent the stories and types of images that I take the best.

PerkinsPortrait

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

A: I love having a lot of images appear on one page, as it can create a powerful story. In addition, art directors seem to appreciate seeing a body of work altogether so they don’t have to scroll through imagery one by one. Often, they don’t have time, and it’s especially useful if they are looking for something specific.

PerkinsPortraits

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer someone designing their website?

A: Gather your images that you want to use first in one folder, ready to upload. This process will also help organize which ones you really want to use and how you want to use them.

Perkins final photo

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com

Portrait, event, and wedding photographer Jean Tsimangas of Juanistyle photography believes in the power of capturing beauty and emotions through his lens. He hopes to use these special moments when people are together to build memories.

Inspired by using photography to connect with the world around him, Jean began using images to show family and friends his new home when he moved from Brussels to Amsterdam in 1997. Since, he has worked to develop a clean and sophisticated style, photographing everything from weddings to portraits to fashion and beauty.

We are excited to share the making of Juanistyle Photography’s new liveBooks8 site with you today. Be sure to check out more of Jean’s unique style and gorgeous images at www.juanistylephotography.com.

 

Juanistyle Photography Home

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

A: I would describe it as elegant and clean, with a sophisticated look.

Juanistyle Photography Fashion

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

A: As photographers, we tend to become emotionally attached to certain pictures, making it very difficult to choose images that showcase our absolute best work. For my homepage, I chose to use a slideshow with my preferred pictures while showing featured content from portraits, events and wedding galleries as links to display my main galleries.

Juanistyle Photography Video Home

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

A: Before, I was reviewing my website every 3 months. Now, I would like update it at least once a month. I would also like to use the blog feature in liveBooks8, so I am planning to feature more recent content.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

A: I really enjoy the flexibility of liveBooks8 while working to update the content of of my website. I was able to completely customize the website’s colors and fonts while adding embedded videos and slideshows from Vimeo that link together with my photos. I also loved the freedom to choose the layout for the galleries as well.

Juanistyle Photography Feature Image

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

A: It was really important for me to take the time to select the best pictures showcasing my work while creating a consistent feel for my website. I asked for feedback from people with various backgrounds on my site’s ease of use while testing my it on various platforms (desktop, tablets and smartphones) to ensure accessibility. I also took extra time to personalize the “about me” section. I felt that it was important to add a little video of me talking about what makes me unique as a photographer.

Juanistyle Photography Feature 2

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

 

Landscape photographer Steven Friedman does not believe in manipulation of his images – and they are all full frame and uncropped. His new liveBooks8 website showcase the beauty of these images perfectly – with full-screen design and gorgeous colors. We are so excited to have him as our featured website this week!

Check out all of the interesting things he has to say about what went into the creation of his website and then make sure to check out www.friedmanphoto.com to see more beautiful images!

Steven Friedman

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

SF: Clean, Modern, Elegant.

Steven Friedman

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

SF: I pick one image from each portfolio that is my favorite that conveys the spirit of the portfolio. As well, the image I select from each portfolio is the image that has sold best as a fine art print.

Steven Friedman

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

SF: Typically, I update my website after a major shoot. My work is represented in galleries around the world and I like to keep the updates to Spring and Autumn so the galleries know when to expect new work.

Steven Friedman

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

SF: The ability to have the images as large thumbnails three across is my favorite new feature of liveBooks8. It allows the galleries that represent my work to see complete portfolios of images quickly, enabling their customers to be sure they have picked the right image for a large print. As well, the simplicity of the design allows me to quickly and easily update my site with a new look or with new images.

Steven Friedman

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

SF: To have patience and only put up imagery that shows your vision for your photography. Choosing photos can be a difficult task. Sometimes it takes days or weeks to get a shot and I may have hiked a long distance. I tend to be emotionally attached to certain images because of the effort it took to capture the image. After a major shoot I don’t look at imagery for a few weeks. I want to detach myself from the energy I put into getting the images so I have an unbiased view.

Steven Friedman

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com.

Doug Scott’s architectural photography is marked by a strong sense of life, dimension, shape, and materiality – and we think his website design perfectly embodies all of those things. We love the uncluttered, clean look and the ease of navigation so much that we just had to feature it this week!

Read below to see what Doug has to say about his site’s creation, and head over to www.dougscott.com to check out more!

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

DS: The aesthetic of the new website may best be stated as inviting, personal, and professional.

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

DS: Image selection for the homepage (Portfolio) is in three steps; first, what images do I like, second, will those images reach a  meaningful market, and third, is my homepage representing a variety of project types. This last point is quite important considering some viewers may not choose to tour the “By Type” gallery.

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

DS: Once my initial refining has run its course with the new website (which is nearly daily although already published), I will settle into an update routine of anywhere from weekly to monthly. Of course, this depends largely on the content of the current shoots.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

DS: The overall appearance and function of the new site is more refined on the front-end. The backend editor is simpler, yet allows for far better control and offers many more design options. liveBooks was savvy in giving us creatives such a great editor. I am looking forward to a “Client Access” feature for reviewing proofs.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

DS: To those preparing to design, consider grouping your images according to the menu(s) you will use. Upload them to the image gallery in the editor in these groups for easier selection during the population process. Secondly, if the depth of your archives allow, whittle away hard through multiple edits at what you actually present. In my case, personal fondness for a particular image must be balanced with the reality of the actual impact of an image – other objective team members can really help out here.

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

Few things are as important on your photography website as your portfolios. Why? Because they showcase your actual craft and portray your images in the way you want your audience to view them. However, putting together effective and action-inspiring portfolios is much more than uploading images and throwing them into folders and calling it a day. So much goes in to selecting the images you want to showcase, the order in which they appear in the portfolios, and even the layout of the galleries. We have just a few tips for the best ways to get started creating the perfect photography portfolios – check it out!

Plan the Layout Before Uploading

Before you dive in to the process of deciding which photos will make the cut for your website portfolios, make sure you have a general outline or plan of how you want your galleries to be laid out. Do you want your images displayed in a slideshow format? In a collage? In a sliding format with visible thumbnails? Do you want full-screen images or photos with borders? This layout will most likely be subject to change once you actually begin building your portfolios, however using it as a starting point will get the ball rolling on how you want your images to be viewed.

High Resolution Images ONLY

While this should go without saying, make sure that the content you choose to populate your portfolios is only of the highest quality. This may mean sacrificing some of your favorite, more candid shots for ones that are clearer and more professional looking (those other shots belong on a blog or your social media accounts).  While higher resolution photos may make your galleries take just a few seconds longer to load, it is well worth it to wow your potential clients with stunning imagery.

Be Picky, Very Picky

As a professional photographer, all of your images are beautiful. However, take on the mindset of leaving your audience wanting more after they view your portfolios. Do not put up every single photo you have ever taken – be extremely picky when determining which photos make the cut. Better yet, have team members, friends, peers. and other people take an objective look at your images and tell you which ones have the biggest impact for them. Make sure to keep in mind your target audience when making final decisions – if you are a wedding photographer but like to shoot landscape photography on the side, do not clutter your website with a landscape portfolio when your target audience is engaged couples.

Order Your Images Strategically

Once you’ve decided which photos to include within your portfolios, you’ll need to decide where to put them. The order of your images is extremely important, and will have a subtle, yet extremely impactful, effect on your audience. Place your strongest photos at the beginnings and ends of the portfolio so that you will make the biggest impact at the beginning and leave a lasting impression at the end. Weaker photos should be placed in the middle because you cannot guarantee that your viewer will always click through the entire gallery.

To Caption or Not to Caption

Providing additional details and descriptions of your photos is completely subjective; on one hand, it is nice for the viewer to have some more context surrounding the image and get a sense for your style. On the other hand, sometimes it’s better to let the imagery speak for itself. In determining whether or not to caption images always think about your target audience and whether the additional context will provide value in swaying them to make a decision to hire you, buy your work, or contact you. Whether you choose to include visible captions, always make sure to include keyword tags, titles, and descriptions for each photo so that search engines can pick up that content and rank you higher in search results.

Photographer Rick Brazil shoots for architects, designers, developers, magazines, and retail companies throughout the United States and Mexico – and his website design reflects all of the clean, beautiful imagery in an easy-to-navigate way. Since he recently redesigned his website with the new liveBooks8 platform, we thought it would be perfect to feature this week!

Check out what he had to say about his website and head over to www.rickbrazil.com to see more!

Rick Brazil

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

RB: Visual, Clean, Quality.

Rick Brazil

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

RB: I went through a list of recent projects and picked the most visual of those images. I tried to stay with a theme of visually appealing architecture and imagery.

 

Rick Brazil

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

RB: At least 2-3 times a year, depending on my travel schedule and quality of projects.

Rick Brazil

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

RB: I love the new liveBooks8 format. It takes a little time to fully understand the capabilities of the new website editor, but it is fully worth the effort!

Rick Brazil

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

RB: Take the time to understand the process of building a quality website with liveBooks8, pick only your best photographs that you can create a unique, fully customized website that is beautiful and shows off your work in the best possible format!

Rick brazil

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

Posted in Photography
April 22nd, 2016

Spring Cleaning for Your Website

Posted by Heather

Spring is officially here – the time of year where we can start putting away our winter coats and boots and get excited for warm weather, sunshine, and being outside. Spring is also the time of year that allows us to take inventory of the old, polish it up, sweep it out, and dust it off. This same concept of “spring cleaning”  should apply to your business as well – and most importantly your website. When was the last time you really did an overhaul of your site? If it’s been awhile, now is the perfect time and we’ve compiled a list of things to focus on first to get you started!

spring cleaning

Content Clean Up

Make a conscious effort to do a truly comprehensive content clean up. This can range from something as simple as going through your portfolios and galleries and deleting older photos, adding new work, or moving images around, to actually digging in to your analytics and seeing which pages get the least amount of traffic and editing from there. Website design trends are moving toward cleaner, simplistic, and clutter-free – so really evaluate whether each page of your website is absolutely necessary and providing value to your audience.

Update Your Events Page

One of the things we see all too often is event pages that are far outdated – even by a few years. Take the opportunity to make sure your website is updated with your upcoming workshops, speaking engagements, photo expeditions, or any other important events you’re partaking in. Nothing looks more unprofessional than inaccurate information on your website – plus, this will be a great way to promote the events you care about and hopefully garner more attendees.

events

Be Intentional About Calls to Action

One thing we’ve often noticed that’s missing from photography websites are clear calls to action. While most of the focus should be on your imagery, you also want to make sure you’re telling your audience what you want them to do. Whether that’s booking you for a job, project, ad campaign, or even buying prints, tell them what you’d like them to do and make it easy for them to do it. Have your contact information readily available in multiple locations on your website so that anywhere they look, they can contact you.

Check Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be something you focus on all year ’round, but if it’s not your strong suit definitely take the opportunity now to pay extra attention. If your goal is to increase traffic to your website (which we think it should be!) then make sure your keywords, tags, descriptions, titles, and content on your website are working for you. If you’re not ranking as high with search engines as you’d like, it might be time to overhaul your old SEO tactics and start fresh.

Web design

Update Your Website Design

We know that completely changing your website design is a huge undertaking – but small, subtle changes can be made to create a fresh new look without all the stress of a total re-design. Switch up the images on your homepage. Change the names/titles of your portfolios. Add a new page – such as a blog – to your website. All of these changes will keep your website up to date, as well as give returning clients new things to look at and explore.

What “spring cleaning” are you conducting on your website? We’d love to know!

Photographer Codie McLachlan’s images tell a story, and we think his website does, too. Recently redesigned using the new liveBooks8 platform, we wanted to show off the clean-cut navigation, beautiful imagery, and sleek design in our featured website this week.

See what Codie had to say about his site and be sure to go to www.codiemclachlan.ca to browse!

Codie McLachlan

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

CM: The reason I picked the template that I did (I went with Satellite) was that it’s so clean and uncluttered. It’s important to me that a photographer’s website be as clean and free of distracting elements as possible, and the Satellite template is exactly that. So the three words I would use to describe my website’s aesthetic are clean, elegant, and straightforward.

Codie McLachlan

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

CM: Being a photojournalist, I wanted to showcase photos from a variety of photographic genres on my homepage, but I also wanted to pick aesthetically appealing pictorial-type photos. It took me awhile, but I narrowed it down to about ten images that I thought would show the wide variety of subjects that I handle day-to-day.

Codie McLachlan

Q: How often do you update your website?

CM: I probably don’t update my website as much as I should. When I was a newspaper staff photographer, it would be a matter of years. In fact, before going out on my own as a freelancer earlier this year, I’m ashamed to admit that my last update was in 2012 – four years ago! Now that the onus is on me to promote myself and sell my business, however, I anticipate the site being updated every couple of months at least.

Codie McLachlan

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CM: I really like the new liveBooks8 website editor. The old editSuite was all well and good, but it was a little clunky and the previous incarnation of liveBooks just didn’t have the degree of flexibility that my new site has. I could go in and rearrange the site to look completely different right now if I wanted to, and I wouldn’t have to call anybody or wait on a service ticket. With the new editor, the website layout is entirely in my hands.

Codie McLachlan

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

CM: Look at other people’s websites for inspiration. The new editor allows you to edit right down to the page level, so you can make things look how you want, and it can be nice to have an idea of how you want it to look right off the bat. Do you want every portfolio page to look the same, or do you want variation? Would text add a desirable element to that photo essay? Do you want your menu at the top of the page, the bottom, the right or the left? There are so many choices. Also, make a simple Photoshop action to resize and prepare your images. Going through and changing image size for every individual image can be very tedious, especially for those who have tons of photos on their websites.

Codie McLachlan

See more of Codie’s work and adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com.

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