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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Philip Bekker is a commercial photographer whose photography offers a distinctive color-saturated, graphic and often abstract style. Perhaps his most widely recognized for his Polaroid work, some of which is in The Polaroid Collection and included in the global exhibition ‘Polaroid 50; Art and Technology’ which premiered at Photokina in Germany. To see more of Philip’s work, visit his liveBooks8 website:



I studied commercial photography at a four-year program in South Africa and studied in London in between this time period. Once I moved to the United States, I completed an MFA program in Visual Arts.

Our class is South Africa was the first group of commercial photo students to graduate in South Africa and probably in the whole of Africa. We were the threat to established photographers and you could not get assisting jobs once you graduated. There were no equipment rental houses at all, anywhere. You literally has to invest in a 4×5 Sinar (no other large format brand available – thankfully) and a Rollei or a Hasselblad (Mimaya’s came later) and some basic lighting. I started off with Bowens monolights and quickly progressed to Broncolor. I has assisted in Longo, which made a huge difference. With luck, someone from college you knew had become and art director and then it became word of mouth to build up clients.

I’ve always been involved in commercial photography, commercial photography education and fine art through gallery representation. One feeds off the other – a fine art exhibition led to a commission by Pierre Cardin after he visited my exhibition and other fine art has led to further commercial assignments since then.


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

PB: Simplicity, design, color (with B&W providing some relief here and there)


Q: How often do you typically update your website?

PB: I’ll replace individual images as needed. I’ll rearrange for flow, interest, and impact on a regular basis. I think its important to keep current and preferably ahead of current, if possible. Keep an eye on Europe.


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

PB: I wanted to use something that has the simplicity, design and color that is evident in a lot of my work and would work well as a lead and introduction into the first and subsequent portfolios.


Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

PB: The size choice for the images.


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

PB: Plan the flow carefully, don’t be tempted to show too much and let it show your personal signature. Stand out. Get other opinions.


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

October 21st, 2016

Major Browsers to Block Flash Soon!

Posted by liveBooks


The liveBooks team has been working vigorously this year to migrate many of its clients from the Flash-based Legacy platform to the HTML5-based liveBooks8 platform. The HTML5 platform offers responsive templates that you are readily able to edit on your desktop, tablet or mobile devices! With it a ton of new features are also available – including advanced SEO tools and options for customizations, such as varied portfolio and gallery layouts, a library of hundreds of font choices, drag and drop design, in-line editing tools and much more!

In addition to the added features that the HTML5 platform offers, there is one big reason why you should migrate from your Flash website as soon as possible. All major browsers have already set into motion the blocking of flash sites!

In June, Apple announced that the version of Safari that comes on macOS Sierra will block Flash by default across all websites. This means that if your website runs on Flash, your visitors will be greeted by the following message:


Apple has taken a very big stand against Flash since 2007. This is due in part to Flash websites having slow loading times, being a drain on laptop batteries, and continually having security issues. The measures that Apple has taken will continue to detract visitors from visiting your Flash website.
(Sources: PetaPixel, The Verge)

Google announced in May that Chrome would start to block Flash websites with the launch of Chrome 53 in September. More importantly – in December 2016, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience. Those websites that only run on Flash will need to be enabled by the user to display properly.
(Source: Chrome Blog)

Mozilla Firefox will retire Adobe Flash as soon as 2017. With the release of Firefox 53, Flash plug-ins will require the user to actively click-to-play. Though Mozilla hasn’t directly stated that Flash will be completely retired after the click-to-play change, the move is apparent.
(Source: ARS Technica)


Though Adobe Flash helped make the Web a rich and dynamic experience, a new generation of technology has pushed for a big change in website platforms. The liveBooks8 platform is the optimal choice for our Flash users to transition to.

To learn more about liveBooks8 and its main features, please visit this link.

To see our migration options and schedule your migration, please visit this link.

October 19th, 2016

Ovidiu C. | Meet the Team

Posted by liveBooks

Meet the Team

ovidiu_cosmaMeet Ovidiu! He is an outstanding Development Manager in our IT Department in Brasov, Romania.  Ovidiu has been with the company for 13 wonderful years and loves the people and culture of liveBooks. Because Brasov is an amazing place for outdoor activities, he does a lot of cycling and skiing in his free time!


Quick Facts:
Hometown: Brasov, Romania
Favorite liveBooks8 Feature: Varied portfolio views
Favorite TV Shows: Seinfeld, Walking Dead and Southpark
Pets: Pufi (an 18-year-old Norwegian forest cat!)

Posted in Meet the Team

Tuesdays Tip

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between clients and servers on a computer network. Though liveBooks is not currently offering an internal storage solution, we do recommend various options and platforms for cloud storage and file sharing. Some external options will allow to you to attach storage to your domain and link it via FTP.

Third-party storage and sharing services recommended by liveBooks:

Note: If you are looking to host private proofing galleries for your clients, doing so with ShootProof or RedCart could be an option for you. 


Attaching storage to your domain and linking via FTP:

If you prefer to setup your own solution with your registrar or another company that sells cloud storage, the process is as follows:

  1. Purchase a storage solution from a provider you have chosen (i.e. goDaddy cloud storage)
  2. Link this storage area to their domain via a cname like ‘’. Each provider will have specific ways to do this with your registrar.
  3. Once setup, you can use an FTP client like FileZilla to access this storage area.
  4. If you want to, you should be able to link Adobe Lightroom and a public folder on this FTP storage area. This could be used to upload and share HTML web galleries.

Note: The registrar can be different than the storage/FTP company and it can be different than the website hosting company. There are no technical issues with this. If you choose a provider that says otherwise, this is due to their business policy, not the fact that it cannot be done. 

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Don Riddle is a photographer/videographer specializing in advertising photography and image capture for the travel and hospitality industry. Some of his clients include Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels, Ritz Carlton Resorts and Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, Marriott International, and Hyatt Hotels. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website:


While studying to be an accountant, I enrolled in a photography class at the University of Utah. I instantly fell in love with photography and decided that life as an accountant might not be for me. I moved back to Southern California and enrolled in Brooks Institute of Photography. This started me on a path to a 20 year career of creating images.


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

DR: Clean, simple and large! I love the full-page images.


Q: How often do you typically update your website?

DR: I try to update my website every 6 months rotating in newer images from recent projects.


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

DR: Homepage images need to be impactful and current. I try to keep some of my most inspiring and new images right there in front.


Q: What is your favorite feature of liveBooks8?

DR: The ease of design. I liked the ability to start out with a blank slate and customize the site to my liking. It didn’t take long to learn how the design software worked. That was a big selling point for me.


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

DR: Ease of use for the viewer! I think it is very important that art buyers viewing a site can easily navigate the site. I will quickly leave a site that is too confusing to figure out. You don’t want to give anyone an excuse to move on to the next site. It needs to be instantly apparent how to navigate through the site.


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

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Chuck Haney is a professional freelance photographer/writer based in beautiful Whitefish, Montana. He travels extensively across the United States and Canada in pursuit of the finest and most intriguing images. His provocative use of natural light in landscape, wildlife, and outdoor sports images have drawn national acclaim and have landed him many assignments including advertising campaigns.

Chuck’s finest images grace the walls of many residential and public spaces. His travel and outdoor lifestyle articles have been featured in numerous national and regional publications; adding to 13 coffee table books, over 190 magazine covers, and numerous sole-photographer calendars to his credit. Chuck enjoys teaching a series of popular photography workshops across the country each year. To view more of Chuck’s work, please visit his liveBooks website: Follow Chuck on Facebook and Instagram!


My career in landscape photography began gradually. I would go for bicycling excursions in nearby Glacier National Park and see all these wonderful scenes unfold before my eyes. Soon, I was returning with my SLR camera in tow. This was in the early 1990s when I learned to shoot with film and manual settings.

For me, a perfect landscape image is one that places the viewer into the scene by using a wide angle lens and lots of depth of field. The best shots have fleeting magical light that happens briefly during stormy weather patterns and invoke an emotion. It’s also important to carry the correct equipment. I, for one, cannot leave my home without a sturdy tripod. I always mention to my workshop students that a good tripod is your friend for life.


As for my projects – there is no single one that I can choose as my favorite. Actually, whatever I’m working on at the time is my favorite project. The scope of my portfolio is wide and vast and I enjoy the fact that I work on such a variety of subject matter. One week I am shooting city images for my new book, “Portrait of San Francisco” and the next week I find myself searching for interesting barns for stock use in calendars.

I shoot at a wealth of interesting places; my favorites vary based on the time of the year. I love shooting in the deserts in Spring, the Great Plains in early Summer, hardwood forests of the Midwest in Fall and ski action or quite winter scenes near my hometown of Whitefish, Montana.


I am passionate about my craft. I think this is well-represented in my Portfolios pages on liveBooks, which highlight my favorite and most popular images. I think a photographer does best when he/she shoots subjects that they enjoy…You can tell that I have a zest for many subjects!


One piece of advice that I can give to fellow landscape photographers is to get to know your location by being patient and to take a closer look at what is really around you. You will discover a whole new world that could easily just slip by without careful consideration and reflection.

Want to be featured as one of our guest bloggers? Email us at!

October 12th, 2016

Balint T. | Meet the Team

Posted by liveBooks

Meet the Team

72507363We are excited to introduce Balint to you today! He is one of our outstanding support specialists and has been with the liveBooks team for five years. He loves the community and the opportunity to interact with people with different mentalities. He can be frequently found playing on his computer or reading. Fun fact – you can always pick Balint out in a crowd because he is actually really tall!

Quick Facts:
Hometown: Brasov, Romania
Favorite liveBooks8 Feature: The editor itself and everything it includes. It is so easy to use, the learning curve is minimal and there is so much freedom in customization!
Favorite TV Show: Family Guy
Pets: Kazimir (his lovable fish!)
You will never see Balint without….: Headphones

Posted in Meet the Team

Tuesdays Tip

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is one of the most important features that your website can have. SEO is the ability for online search engines to recognize your site through proper indexing. With a sound SEO strategy, you will be able to organically drive customers to your business, based on keywords and common search terms.

The liveBooks8 platform allows you the ability to add SEO settings on an image/page level as well as site-wide level. This article will focus on the setting for page level SEO settings. To begin adding SEO settings to your pages, see below:

  1. From the Content tab, enter your page by clicking its title
  2. On the righthand sidebar, select SEO and dropdown the settingstuesdays-tip-seo-1
  3. You will notice 5 input boxes: Title Tag, Description, Keywords, Navigation Label, and Canonical URL.



  • Title Tags: the title of the page that you see in your tab of the browser
  • Description Tag: a concise explanation of the content of your web page for search engines to crawl through
  • Keywords: keywords relevant to your business to be crawled and catalogues by search engines (separate keywords with commas)
  • Navigation Label: set a different title/label for the navigation menu on your site
    • For example, can be changed to
  • Canonical URL: helps prevent duplicate content from being indexed
    • If someone tries to copy the information you have on your website to theirs, search engines will recognize you as the primary owner of the content!
  • The first toggle option will allow search engines to index your site and display it in search results (we recommend always having it on!)
  • The second toggle option will allow search engines to follow links and index them as well (we recommend always having it on as well!)

4. Select Publish and you are finished!

Is there a new liveBooks feature that you are excited to learn more about? Let us know at


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Brian DeMello is a lifestyle photographer that has dedicated his career to photographing various outlets. From photographing foods to beauty products, his work portfolio ranges far more than your typical photographer. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website:

Reminiscing on my childhood, photography was always something that grabbed my attention. Whether I was looking through my great grandparents exotic vacation photos, flipping through the pages of National Geographic, or pestering the photographer who was taking my little league baseball photos, I could be easily entertained for hours by the process and results of photography. Fast forwarding past my high school and college years, I found myself working for a small graphic design shop in Newport, R.I. It was here that I found myself working alongside some of the top sailing and marine photographers in the world. Taking inspiration from seeing their work on a daily basis, I began investing more and more time and money into developing my own portfolio. Over the years I’ve found that I enjoy different styles of photography for different reasons. Early on in my career I struggled with the complexities of lighting studio work. These days I’m infatuated with the subtleties and analytics of complex lighting. A lot of the imagery that I produce will never see the light of day because it’s only purpose is for my exploration of a style, subject, or technique. On the flip side of my commercial work and explorations, I’m constantly developing a body of fine art images that is very personal and introspective. The development and evolution of this work has become a priceless escape from the din of everyday life. I hope to one day incorporate the fine art images into a series of books, but time will tell.


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

BD: Efficient – it allows the viewer to choose the exact path they want to travel right from the landing page, but also introduces them to my other work at the same time. Both of those aspects were foundational in redesigning my website.
Simple – the website isn’t meant to waste the viewer’s time. It’s easy to navigate.
Precise – it gives a client/potential client a sense of clarity on what to expect when working together

Chocolate cover apples

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

BD: Keeping fresh and new images on my site is very important to how I promote my work. I try to keep on a schedule of populating my site with 5-10 new images at a time or in a ballpark of once every 2-3 months. One of the final stages of my editing workflow is to upload a web-optimized image to my liveBooks image gallery. This ensures that when I’m ready to include new image in my portfolio, it’s already waiting for me on the back-end of the site. With the new liveBooks8 platform being accessible from my iPhone and iPad, I’m able to plan and accomplish the evolution of my website from anywhere and importantly keep the website up to speed with my social media teasers. That being said, I try to regularly post teaser images on social media as often as I feel the work is strong enough. That regularity varies from twice a week to once every other week depending on what project I’m pursuing. For me, this keeps a steady flow of “fresh teaser images” venturing out into the world without spamming my contacts with “updated website promos”.


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

BD: Choosing images is difficult. Period.
Like it or not, photographers develop emotional connections to their imagery. For a photographer, the memories that surround the production of any given image permanently become part of that photograph. I’ve always had the confounding ability to remember incredible detail about my experiences as a photographer. The odor of garlic emanating from the kitchen at an on-location editorial shoot, the amazing humor of a fitness model as she holds a difficult pose, the stench of a burnt out water pump in a small studio. I remember the good and the bad alike. So when it come time to select images for a portfolio, art gallery, or the homepage of my website, the process is the same: I make 4×6 inch prints of every image in consideration then all the images are laid out in the studio floor. I can spend hours to days arranging and reworking until I have a selection and arrangement of images that work well together. I find that working with a jumble of images all but eliminates the personal memories that I have associated with each individual image. Sometimes I work the prints by myself, but for projects with a larger scope or impact, I’ll bring in other photographer friends to have second opinions.

Kamilah Gonzales

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

BD: That’s easy! The ability to work on my website from my iPad has proven to be quite a welcome aspect of the liveBooks8 platform. Having almost total control over the website design was a bit daunting at first because there was a fair amount to learn about the new interface. (Although I’m tech savvy, I have minimal web design knowledge). After spending a little bit of time “walking around” the design interface and menus, I had fairly quickly developed the foundation of what is now my functioning website. With that learning curve conquered, the ability to work on a mobile device quickly took hold. Over the course of a train ride from Boston to Washington DC and back to Boston, I has designed and organized an entirely new website on my iPad. A few extra minutes with Lily from Tech Support to clarify some SEO lingo and the finishing touches were done.


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

BD: Think, take your time, and think some more! Be analytical! You are going to be judged on how your website carries your brand just as much as how it carries your portfolio. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes (and just as importantly, your prospective clients’ shoes) when you are designing your site. Think about how they work and how you can make their job and life easier. Being a photographer is who you are, but making a client’s life better is what you do. Don’t rush that…Take your time!


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


There’s something about new music that keeps us motivated and moving forward at liveBooks. We gathered all of the songs that are currently falling under the “Most Played” section of our music libraries and compiled them into one playlist for you.

Whether you’re editing images, updating your liveBooks site or answering emails, we hope there is something on our October playlist that helps to keep you focused, inspired, and hustling. Is there a song that you have on repeat right now? Email us at!

Posted in Playlists


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