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Meet Jason Halayko. Originally born in Victoria, B.C., Canada, he has called Japan home for the last 14 years. He currently focuses on shooting action sports for companies like Red Bull, which has him photographing everything from skateboarding to breakdancing. In addition, he can often be found taking portraits and photographing the streets, saying that he really enjoys anything that gets him behind the camera. His introduction to photography was back in high school, when his friend advised him to take a beginner photography course. It was a great class that taught Jason the fundamentals, and has since developed into a dynamic and action-packed photography career.

Check out all of the interesting things Jason has to say about what went into the creation of his new website, and then be sure to head over to to see his exciting portfolio.

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

JH: Clean, simple, intuitive.

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

JH: I typically try to choose the newest photos, with the biggest impact, to show on my homepage. This is to try to hook viewers into checking out more of the website.


Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JH: I typically update my website whenever I get an image I really like and want to show to the world. This could be once a week, or every couple of months. It all depends on what I am shooting.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8? 

JH: I think my favorite new feature of the site is the ability to quickly and easily change the layout of the photo pages to fit my design preferences.


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

JH: I would say keep it simple, and more is not better. Only use your best photos that you are most confident in, as viewers will quickly get bored if they have to search through a lot of mediocre images.

Wes Agee of the United States of America performs in front of the Shitenno Temple in Osaka, Japan on March 22nd, 2014

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at

Jim Shoemaker worked as a graphic designer for nearly 20 years before transitioning to photography. He has spent the last 12 years photographing throughout the western United States. His images have appeared in LensWork, Outdoor Photographer, American Photo, Nature Photographer, Silvershotz, Black & White, Rangefinder, Sierra Magazine and many other publications. His work can be seen at:

As photographers, we often discuss the placement of the subject within the frame, which elements are included or excluded, and what is happening at the edges of the frame. But, trying to capture the essence, or the experience of a subject deals with more than knowing the Rule of Thirds. Its the ability to tell a story, and its the difference between making a picture and taking one.

Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Washington

Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Washington

When I’m photographing in any given location, there are things going on outside the scope of my frame that are influencing me. There is the temperature, sounds of wildlife and the aroma of wildflowers. All of my senses are engaged in the moment. My job is to convey that sensation via a photograph viewed by someone who has maybe never been to this place while making them feel as though they were there. To make them feel as if they know the place.

This connection between subject and viewer is vital, whether the subject is a person, a landscape or an architectural structure. It is especially important for landscape work, because if the viewer doesn’t feel a connection, they won’t care about the subject, nor feel the need to protect it. Two methods that I employ to communicate experience of place are creating a mood and point of view.

Creating a mood helps tell a story. For example, let’s say I’m photographing in one of my favorite national parks, Death Valley. If I want the story to be about the harsh environment and its rugged ecosystem, I’ll photograph during the middle of the day when the sun is high and there is high contrast and stark shadows. If instead the story is about how “Death Valley” is a misnomer and there is great beauty and abundant life, I’ll photograph before and during sunrise, and during and after sunset to get pastel, cool colors and low contrast. Choosing an appropriate lighting style renders the landscape in a way that supports the narrative.

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park, California

El Pescador Beach, Malibu, California

El Pescador Beach, Malibu, California

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Malibu

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Malibu

Point of view is about camera placement. I order for objects to look larger than life and more iconic, I like to have the camera lower than average eye level. I also look for opportunities to have objects, such as branches, enter the edges of the frame to give the viewer a sense that they are emerging from one place to another. I want them to feel enveloped by the implied surroundings that lie outside of the frame.

Mt. Adams, Trout Lake, Washington

Mt. Adams, Trout Lake, Washington

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Owl Creek Pass, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Owl Creek Pass, San Juan Mountains, Colorado

There are many techniques that can be used for effective storytelling and for finding your voice as a photographer. The above are merely examples. Connecting the viewer with the subject is far more important than simply making a pretty picture. As Ansel Adams once said; “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is a true expression of what one feels about life in it’s entirety.”

July 20th, 2016

Meet the Team | Chet R.

Posted by Caity

Meet the Team

chet!!! (1) (1) copyMeet Chet, one of liveBooks’ awesome marketing and support representatives! Chet has been with the liveBooks team for three years and loves having the ability to be innovative and creative within his position. Additionally, he loves liveBooks’ openness and ability to be innovative within the marketplace. When not dancing to the song “Panda” by Desiigner, Chet can be found watching his favorite TV show, Power.

Quick Facts:
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Favorite liveBooks8 Feature: Drag and drop editing
Favorite Brands: Represent & Stolen Girlfriends Club
Favorite Quote: “Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.”

Posted in Meet the Team

About me

We’ve all been there. You’re plugging away on your new site, your images are filling the space just as you imagined, your design is coming to life….and then you sit down to write your ‘About Me’ page, and suddenly your momentum stops. Summarizing (and more importantly selling) yourself as an artist and business owner in just a few short paragraphs is a daunting task. How do you let potential clients know just how amazing you are while convincing them to employ you over someone else in your industry?

Your about me page should give your audience a small glimpse into what it would be like to work with you. Take a moment to step back from selling your product and focus on selling yourself as an individual. To make things simple, we are going back to the old elementary school technique of identifying the 5W’s and an H. Now, you are going to be answering these questions yourself and will use the answers to guide the content on your about me page.

The who, what, where, when, why & how of your about me page:

Who am I trying to reach?

Decide who your target audience is. Research them, check out their social media, study their demographic, and use this to dictate the tone of your about me page. Are you a photographer trying to reach potential brides or families? Maybe try a more personable and casual tone. Are you trying to reach out to advertising companies or newspapers? Maybe a formal approach is the way to go. Whatever you decide, make sure that the feel of your about me page matches the feel of the rest of your brand experience in addition to where you want to see your image going in the future.

Pro-tip: Find someone in your target audience, whether it be a friend, sibling, coworker, fellow patron at a coffee shop, or a stranger on the street, and ask them to read your about me page. Ask them what their first impression is and if they would like to hire you as a result of what they read. Ask them if it is easy to read and holds their attention. This is key! If the above feedback is positive, your about me page is well on its way to grabbing the attention of your future clients.

What makes me special?

Regardless of what industry you are in, we know that you believe your services are the best, and we know that you want to share them with the world. However, what if we told you that no one cares about what you have to offer? It is your responsibility to make people care. It’s time to introduce the face behind the brand and services that you are selling throughout your site. Keeping your target audience in mind, what makes you stand out in the crowd? What makes you different and more desirable than the rest? Creatively let your audience know this as you sell yourself as an individual through your about me page.

Where do you see yourself in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

Have you made your business plan yet? Though it may not seem related to a simple about me page, it is absolutely vital to know and understand where you want to take your business in the future. As you create and publish content, you are creating an online brand and image for yourself that will stick with you for years to come. In todays day and age, most consumers are not only looking to buy a product, they are looking for an entire brand experience. Create goals and work to create a cohesive online image that will guide you towards your aspirations. Additionally, let your audience know what you would like to do. You never know who may be looking for the exact services that you are dreaming about offering!

When I am not working, I like to ______.

Don’t be afraid to let your audience know who you are as an individual. What do you do when you aren’t working? How do you enjoy spending your time? Is there anything about you that you think clients may relate to? This is a pretty important piece of the puzzle that will allow your web audience to connect with you on a personal level.

For example, maybe you absolutely love traveling and spend most of your free time dreaming about your next destination. Include this in your about me page! Odds are, there are plenty of people in your audience that feel the exact same way and would instantly be connected to you as an individual. While this could have the potential to turn certain clients off, it could also catch the eye of the exact person that you are trying to work with. We all want clients we mesh well with, right?

Why do I do what I do?

Take a moment to reflect on the days when you were just getting started in your specific industry. What was it that sparked your interest into getting into business? That kept you motivated and excited to create new content during the toughest times? What keeps you going now? Take a moment to think. Find something meaningful. Find something that will resonate with your target audience. Maybe include the story of the exact moment you knew you wanted to make something more out of your hobby, or tell your audience about your hopes and dreams for the future. The most important thing is to not only tell your viewers what you do but why you do it as well. Step back from selling your services for a moment (that’s what the rest of your site is for!) and share a little bit of the soul behind your business.

How can people reach me?

Now that you have people hooked on who you are as an artist, let your audience know how they can easily get into contact with you. Include links to your contact information and social media profiles on your about me page to ensure that interested customers understand the best ways to stay connected with you.

Pro-tip: Think about including a photo of yourself on your about me page (Bonus points if it is an image of you in action!). Though this is not directly related to getting into contact with you, this will allow your potential customers to connect with you on a personal level while identifying a face with the name on your brand.

While it is not necessary to include each and every aspect listed above in your about me page, it is important to put quite a bit of thought into crafting the language and content of your about me page in a strategic manner. Ready to get started?

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Homepage image by David Colvin Photography |

Angela has had a love for makeup since her 12th birthday, when her mother took her to get her makeup done. An outing originally intended to find the correct shade for her skin tone and eyes ended up lighting a fire in Angela, causing her to discover an industry that she would later pursue as her career. Upon entering college, she spent two years at Baylor University, and eventually decided to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. She started by getting her esthetician license in Austin, TX and then moved to LA for a Certification at the Makeup Designory. After her education in LA and working there for three years for a leading cosmetic company, she returned home to Texas to be closer to family. You can currently find Angela working the bridal industry in Dallas, Houston and Waco. However, she loves how versatile her job is and can frequently be found on set for magazines, TV and video shoots.

Check out Angela’s beautiful new liveBooks8 site at

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

AK: Clean, fresh, and simple

Image: Bri Costello Photography |

Image: Bri Costello Photography |

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

AK: I do not update it enough, but I am hoping with the new platform I will update it more often when I have new photos.

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

AK: I try to select photos for my homepage that showcase my most recent work and a variety of clientele.

Image by David Colvin Photography |

Image by David Colvin Photography |

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

AK: I was most excited to add a picture of my clients with their testimonials.

Angela Karr

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

AK: liveBooks makes the process very simple. I had to redesign my entire website because it was very over do. So, I decided to divide and conquer over a large cup of coffee. I was shocked at how quick and painless the process was. Not to mention, the customer service was always there to answer any questions that I had.

Image: Lindsay Davenport Photography |

Image: Lindsay Davenport Photography |

Have a site you would like us to feature? Send us an email at

AMC Home 2

We love an image with a story, and we are so excited to share the making of this stunning image by Anne-Marie Caruso with you.

Titled Bioluminesence, this image was originally shot with a Graflex Speed Graphic on Kodak Portra color film, ISO 400.

Anne-Marie Caruso is an editorial photographer, located in New Jersey. Though she spends much of her time photographing portraits, still life, food, products, fashion & home interiors, she also enjoys focusing on shooting personal projects on 4×5 film. See more of her enchanting work here.

I had an image stuck in my head of a woman collecting glowing creatures to use as a light source in her home. I come up with these elaborate ideas, and then I have to figure out how to make them happen.

The first step to making my vision a reality was finding a location. Luckily, my brother has this gorgeous stream a short walk from his home.

The next task was to find the right lights to put in the stream. I bought different colors, and narrowed it down to a bright white that looked blueish green under the water. I then ordered a bunch of the waterproof solar powered lights, but half of them were broken when they arrived. After a couple of weeks back and forth, I had enough lights to fill the frame. I did some lighting tests around the blue hour to get a rough idea of how long of an exposure I would need. If memory serves, it was about 30 seconds.

I already had my model in mind – we’ve been friends since the 7th grade. She did an amazing job! Even though she was getting attacked by mosquitos, she held still for 30 seconds at a time. She is dressed in an old nightgown that belonged to my grandmother.

I used an Alien Bees 400ws with battery pack to light the left bank, and one with a beauty dish to light the model. An SB-800 is diffused in the basket and is lighting her face. A couple SB-800’s are used to light the foliage behind the model. I didn’t want it to be jet-black behind here. And of course, there are all the underwater lights. They came on strands like Christmas lights. I had to weigh them down with rocks and tent stakes, so the currents wouldn’t wash them away.

I used a long exposure to get the blue in the sky behind the trees (I liked the way it mimicked the lights in the water), as well as giving more of a soft and dreamy look to the water. The tripod was set up in the middle of the stream with heavy duty garbage bags to keep the legs dry. I wore pair of waders to keep my legs dry.

I set everything up early in the day, with the help of my husband (it took a few hours), and then we had to wait for the sun to go down. The actual shooting part only lasted about 10 minutes. I shot a few frames on film, and some with a digital camera (God forbid anything ever happened with the film).

I am very happy with the way it turned out – exactly how I pictured it in my head. It was a lot of planning, but I think it was worth it in the end.

Posted in Photography
July 13th, 2016

Meet the Team | Ioan D.

Posted by Caity

Meet the Team

1ec0a184861911e1989612313815112c_7We are so excited to introduce Ioan, one of liveBooks’ outstanding support representatives! After originally being hired as a production designer, Ioan has been with the team for almost seven years and loves having the ability to learn new things through his position. When he’s not spending time with his wife, he can usually be found drawing, riding his home-built bike or playing video games on his PlayStation4.

Quick Facts:
Hometown: Brasov, Romania
Favorite liveBooks8 feature: Mosaic Grid
Favorite quote: “Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
Favorite Brand: Adidas (More specifically, he loves Adidas Superstar Shoes!)
Favorite TV shows: Breaking Bad, The Big Bang Theory & Brooklyn Nine-Nine
You will never see Ioan without…..: a watch on his hand and a smile on his face

Posted in Meet the Team

Migration graphic (3)

We are absolutely loving the new liveBooks8 platform, and we know that you will too! With endless new features, such as advanced SEO tools and options for customizations, we are excited to provide you and your business with a dynamic and easy-to-use web design platform.

liveBooks8 is an advanced yet intuitive website designer with in-line editing. Additional features include:

  • Built in HTML5 – your responsive site will look stunning and uniform on any device. From desktop to tablet or mobile, you will no longer need to create a separate mobile version of your site! This will help improve your site’s search engine visibility and overall user experience.
  • Unique gallery options – with a large variety of gallery options, you are sure to be able to fine a beautiful and interactive display that will make your portfolio look it’s best. Additionally, you are now able to add videos to your site with our new and improved software.
  • SEO Everything – quickly add tags, descriptions, keywords, image alt text, and more to your your website so that your site is easily searchable and indexed properly.
  • Template starting points – with liveBooks, our templates are just a place to start. With endless opportunities to customize your site’s appearance, you have the ability to easily build a space that matches your vision.
  • Responsive Editor – update your website on the go with our easy-to-use, responsive editor.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.50.35 PM


Migration Quick Facts:

  • Your site migration will take approximately two weeks to complete.
  • Migration of your current site to the new platform will be done free of charge, unless you decide to go with the White Glove option. Once you are migrated to the new platform, we will evaluate where your website falls into the new pricing packages for liveBooks8.
  • We will migrate the current SEO tags that you have on your site. However, liveBooks8 has additional SEO options/tags that we encourage you to enter on your own.
  • If you select the As Is Migration option, we will send you a preview link before your site is published. You will be able to review and approve any slight differences that there may be with your website.

Click here to pick your current migration option now!

Note: there are still a few features that are not yet available on our new HTML5 platform. These include: client proofing, password protected pages, and splash animation.

If you are brand new to liveBooks and would like to start creating your interactive HTML5 site, sign up for our free 14-day trial by clicking here.


Jill’s interest in photography began in high school and continued into college. Taking elective photography classes soon led to picking up photography as a hobby, which has since turned into her career. This is her story:

After college, I travelled around the world for seven months before returning home to San Francisco to find a ‘real job.’ I took photos with a point-and-shoot camera to chronicle my time abroad. The positive feedback that I received from my photographs when I returned home encouraged me to submit my work to a variety of photography exhibitions, invest in a better camera, and figure out a way to continue traveling while improving my portfolio. Eventually, I decided to enroll in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco to pursue a master’s in Fine Arts degree in photography. For my Master’s thesis project, I chose to spend nine months documenting life in the Himalayas. I travelled throughout Nepal, India, Kashmir, Bhutan and Tibet, working with a variety of non-profit agencies. In 2009, I won a National Geographic YourShot photography contest, and I had my first photograph published in National Geographic Magazine. This was the opening that I needed to move my photography career to the next level. Since 2011, my photography has been represented by National Geographic Creative. In 2012, I received my first assignment from National Geographic Books and was sent to Sydney, Australia for five weeks to photograph the National Geographic Traveler: Sydney Guidebook. Following that, I became an intern and then freelance photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Since 2011, I have been spending my summers teaching photography to high school students in countries all over the world for National Geographic Student Expeditions.

At home in San Francisco, I photograph events, editorial, lifestyle, architectural and food-related shoots. I also provide private/group and corporate photography workshops, mentoring and portfolio reviews.

Jill Schneider Photography_0106

My style is my own personal vision of stories I am drawn to, that are unique to me. I photograph issues and iconic places which I find compelling. My goal is to create a visual of places in the world many people may not have seen while exposing them to the beauty and reality of cultures they may not have experienced.

Check out more of Jill’s recent work on her liveBooks8 site at:

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

JS: Bright, colorful, exotic

3 words

Q: How often do you typically update your website?
JS: I typically update my website every few months, after any trip that I take, or whenever I have new work to show.


Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?
JS: For my homepage, I typically pick photos that I am particularly drawn to. No specific formula. I choose photos that are vibrant, colorful, thought provoking or unique moments.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?
JS: I love the new liveBooks8 platform! It is very user friendly. I particularly like all of the new design features. It has a very clean and modern feel. There are more options for easier search optimization, as well. Now, I am anxiously awaiting the capability to sell my images from my website.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website? 
JS: Take your time and have patience. It took me a couple of weeks to design my website. If you have questions, call the liveBooks customer service, as they are very helpful. Show your best work…quality over quantity. A editor once told me: “you are only as good as your worst photograph on your website,” and while this may sound harsh, it always stuck with me. Try to leave people wanting to see more of your work, rather than getting bored and moving on from your site.


Jill Schneider Photography_0108

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at

July 7th, 2016

Meet the Team | Laura A.

Posted by Caity

Meet the Team

LauraMeet Laura, one of liveBooks’ rockstar Senior Support Specialists! She has been a team member since February of 2006 (Happy 10 years with liveBooks, Laura!) and loves having the ability to make each and every client feel like a valued member of the liveBooks family. She enjoys using her iPhone to document and share her world and also enjoys taking walks, seeing plays & concerts and being with family in her free time. Catch her on her very own liveBooks8 site at:

Quick Facts:
New York, NY
Favorite liveBooks8 feature: 
varied content modules that allow you to create portfolios and pages right through the dashboard
Favorite Place to Shop: Amazon
Go-To Television Channel: PBS
Favorite Quote: “I think one of my favorite feelings is laughing with someone and realizing half way through how much you enjoy them and their existence.”

Posted in Meet the Team


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