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Tuesdays Tip

What’s next once you have finished creating your website? Publishing it for everyone to see! This instructional video shows you how to add your domain name to your liveBooks settings and helps set up all DNS records to correctly point to your liveBooks site. Note: GoDaddy is used in as the registrar example but all settings and changes apply to any domain provider.

If you have any questions while publishing your site, we urge you to contact our Support team at support@livebooks.com!

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. 

ftp-image

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 ‘proofs.domain.com’. 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. 

As some of you may recall, we recently conducted a survey centered on blogging and the habits of bloggers. We wanted to know why you blog (or don’t), how often you blog, how you promote your blog and more. The results revealed key insights into the blogging world of creative professionals, and we gleaned several important truths which we have captured in our new paper, ‘8 Blogging Truths for Creative Professionals.’

The ‘8 Truths’ help guide you through the world of blogging, provide advice on how to leverage your blog to help grow your creative business and feature tips from influential bloggers in the creative community such as Vincent Laforet and David Airey.

From our survey results, it is clear that most of you experience frustration with how to approach blogging and our belief is that this then deters you from setting up your own blog.

Now, I know that you (like us) hate the idea of ‘shameless self promotion’ – but I think this is one of those exceptions and you will be happy to learn that we now offer a solution to this problem with liveBooks Companion Blogs.  No longer is there any need to spend hours trying to find a template that ‘kind of’ looks like your website, or toil through the troubles of hosting your blog in cyberspace.

While this is an answer to just one of your blogging qualms, we know there are several other concerns you and thousands of other creative professionals face on a daily basis, which is why we encourage you to take a peek at our latest blogging report. Let us know what you think about the report. Do you agree with the truths? Do you have any truths to add to the mix?

If you want to read the paper in it’s entirety – follow this link and request the paper.

While iStockphoto is launching its 10th birthday bash, this New York Times story outlining the hard road ahead for photographers stirred up debate in the photo world (there’s even a follow-up article with reader and blog responses). Adding insult to injury, word also surfaced of a new business model for product photography called Via U!, where buyers can composite an image and purchase all rights for a flat $250 fee. A Photo Editor has details.

The New York Photo Festival (NYPH) announced its curators and exhibition dates for this year. The third annual NYPH ’10, which runs from May 12 – 15, 2010, is getting bigger and better, with later and extended exhibition hours, reduced fare and open attendance hours for the public. It has also teamed up with the Slideluck Potshow to take photography outdoors.

Blurb’s Photography Book Now competition has also launched its third year. In addition to $25,000, the grand prize winner will also be given the opportunity to show their work at ICP, the Annenberg Space for Photography, and the George Eastman House. The competition is a reminder of the potential of self-publishing, something we discussed extensively in our Future of Photobooks series.

Center, formerly known as the Santa Fe Center of Photography, has announced the winners of the 2010 Center’s Choice Awards. Aaron Huey, Stephen Beckley, and Jamey Stillings are the winners of the Curator’s Choice Award, the Director’s Choice Award, and the Editor’s Choice Award, respectively. See the full list of winners here.

Carl Bower‘s Chica Barbie series won a Blue Earth Alliance prize for Best Project Photography and was a finalist for Photolucida’s 2009 Critical Mass Book Award. The project on Colombia’s obsession with beauty pageants is astute and multi-faceted, and Carl’s explanation of how he captured such a complicated phenomenon is powerful and eloquent. To see his work in person, check out the Select Gender show opening today at Farmani Gallery.

'Cat Walk' from 'Chica Barbie.' ©Carl Bower

Miki Johnson: Tell me a little about how you first found out about the beauty pageants of Colombia.

Carl Bower: I saw a small article in the New York Times that said there was a pageant there for practically anything imaginable — Miss Sun, Miss Sea, Miss Purity, Miss Pretty Legs, Miss Honey — the list went on. I was intrigued by the juxtaposition of these contests with everything else I had been reading about Colombia: the cartels, the guerrillas, the bombings and kidnappings. I thought of how such parallel realities could coexist and the extent to which our popular conception of the country had been a caricature formed by stories of the drug trade.

At the time I came across the article, I was supporting a close friend in her battle with breast cancer. She had been a national champion ballroom dancer and a competitive bodybuilder. Her appearance was something that she took pride in and took pains to maintain even as she lost one breast, then another, and suffered the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Throughout her ordeal, I noticed how her sexuality seemed undiminished, if not stronger. I started to wonder, if a beautiful person gradually loses elements deemed to be part of that beauty, where is the tipping point at which they are no longer beautiful? Is there one?

In my anger and frustration with the cancer and growing obsession with the commoditization of beauty, the story of the pageants struck a nerve. Here was an environment where all the issues I was grappling with were stripped bare and distilled to the point that it might be possible to convey some of them on film.

At first I tried finding the pageants through government records, but most of the information was unreliable or outdated. Through a friend, I met a fashion designer commissioned to create the dresses for a candidate to the national pageant. I photographed her preparation and coaching, learned of regional pageants, and met with judges, organizers, parents of contestants. I visited modeling agencies and schools where girls were being trained to compete in the pageants from the age of four.

'Aguardiente' from 'Chica Barbie.' ©Carl Bower

When I learned of festivals occurring throughout the country, I went to various towns and introduced myself in their mayors’ offices. I went everywhere: to the national pageants, with their weeks-long round-the-clock media blitz, to high school pageants, to pageants with just three candidates.

I began to see how the pageants were one of the few unifying threads in a country compartmentalized by geography, politics, and social stratification. It seemed that everyone, regardless of social standing, had an opinion about them: not on whether they were good or bad, or whether they should exist, but on who should win. When I returned to the United States, I found that some of the complexity I experienced was missing from the photos, so I went back. I kept finding new layers of meaning, so I ended up going back again and again.

MJ:
You said that as you’ve gotten deeper into the story it has gotten more complicated and you feel more ambivalent about the role of these pageants in the culture (something visible in the images). What were some of the contradictions you discovered?

CB: When I began photographing, I felt that the pageants were essentially meat markets. It wasn’t just that thousands of people were scrutinizing the contestants’ bodies; what struck me was the categorical, exhaustive, and unforgiving nature of it. Are her ankles thick? Who has breast implants? Who doesn’t but should? Whose ass is too small, too large, or shaped like melons when it should be like oranges? After the current Miss Colombia was crowned last November, there were months of public demands that she have her nose fixed to better compete in Miss World. More »

We were sad to hear that legendary photographer Jim Marshall (who lived in San Francisco and we saw around town frequently) passed away on Tuesday. Jim was known for his intimate images of rock stars throughout the 60s and 70s, possible because of his close friendship with many of the artists.

The “Polaroid” instant films created by the Impossible Project went on sale this week in a “first flush” offering of batches of 1,000. After Polaroid announced it was closing U.S. factories two years ago, the Impossible Project was created to convince the company of demand for the film and they were allowed to begin production in Polaroid factories in the Netherlands earlier this year.

Adobe CS5 launches globally on April 12, but the internets are already abuzz since a sneak peak was released on YouTube on Wednesday that shows a new “content-aware” fill tool that seems to allow hours of difficult retouching to be achieved with a few mouse clicks.

Hype was also hot for a new interactive feature released by VIV Magazine for the iPad. It’s a little bit Sin City, a little bit Matrix, and kind of a weird topic, but it’s probably also a glimpse at what the future of publishing could look like.

Posted in Photography / Publishing and tagged with

During our Future of Photobooks project, Shane Lavalette‘s Lay Flat came up over and over as a great example of innovative, collaborative, independent publishing. With the release party and book signing for Lay Flat‘s second edition, Meta, coming up on Friday at ICP, we thought it would be the perfect time to check back in with Shane and ask him to share a bit about his blog, Lay Flat, and the impact both have had on his photography career.

From Shane's "Northeast" project. ©Shane Lavalette

Miki Johnson: What compelled you to start your blog? Did your goals for it change over time?

Shane Lavalette:
I began blogging when I was in high school, at that time using my blog as a place to publish my own photographs as I was first learning the technical aspects of the medium. When I moved to Boston to study photography more closely as an undergraduate, I felt a need to be more private/considered with my own images and decided to use the blog as a space to archive the work of others — highlighting artists, photographic books, exhibitions, and conducting interviews with other photographers. So, I suppose that some of my goals with it have changed over time but ultimately it has served the same purpose, functioning as a platform for learning.

From "Northeast." ©Shane Lavalette

From "Northeast." ©Shane Lavalette

MJ: Were you surprised by how popular the blog became? What do you think are a few reasons your blog has been successful?

SL: Somewhere along the way the readership grew, which was a nice surprise. In writing my blog, my tone has always been very personal — I write about what I’m looking at or spending time with, not what I imagine others will want to see. I never set out with the intention of making a site that was flashy or felt like an online magazine. This might be some of the appeal for readers, that it’s simple and approachable. I’m not sure. But it’s really fantastic that it has grown to be a resource for others and that it continues to promote dialogue.

From "Slí na Boirne." ©Shane Lavalette

From "Slí na Boirne." ©Shane Lavalette

From "Slí na Boirne." ©Shane Lavalette

MJ: It sounds like your blog helped you connect with a lot of other artists. Was that beneficial for you as a student and now as a working artist?

SL: Most definitely. In the last six or seven years, blogs have become so common that most of the people I know have one, but at the time I created mine, there really weren’t very many that focused on contemporary fine art photography.

Since the photo world is relatively small, a few of these blogs began to support an online community. And through this community, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful artists, writers, curators, gallerists, collectors, etc. These connections have been helpful in terms of my career (as I transitioned from being a student to, as you call it, a “working artist”) and also have grown to be meaningful relationships in general.

I’ve always been really interested in print publishing and a little over a year ago I began Lay Flat, a limited-edition publication of contemporary photography. As a specific example of how the blog has helped me, for both the first issue, Lay Flat 01: Remain in Light, and the recently released Lay Flat 02: Meta there are a number of contributors that I was originally acquainted with through either my own blog or the online community connected to it. As a result, collaborating with these artists and writers felt like a natural transition.

From "Waking Vrindavan." ©Shane Lavalette

From "Waking Vrindavan." ©Shane Lavalette

From "Waking Vrindavan." ©Shane Lavalette

MJ: You’ve said that Lay Flat allowed you to continue and expand your collaboration with other photographers. But it’s a lot of work, as well. Do you feel like what you’ve gotten back from this project has outweighed the effort?

SL: Lay Flat has certainly involved a lot of hard work but very aspect of the project has been rewarding for me. Growing up in small town Vermont, my interest in photography was initially sparked by looking at photographs in books (as you might imagine, there is a lack of art galleries and museums there), so in a lot of ways it makes sense that I eventually gravitated towards publishing.

It’s interesting to play the roles of a “photographer” as well as “publisher/editor,” but so far my experience is that these roles actually co-exist quite well. I don’t feel like one pulls me away from the other, though I’ll probably always identify more with the former. It is a big time commitment to begin a side project like this, but what you love doing doesn’t really feel like work.

MJ: Continuing on the topic of collaboration, you’re working with a different guest editor for each issue of Lay Flat. Why did that  appeal to you?

SL: This was an idea that came up early on, while working on Lay Flat 01. I felt like it would be interesting for both myself as well as the life of the publication to work with a new guest editor for every issue, helping to push each one in a direction that I may not have taken it alone. This has been a valuable process so far and has made working on the publication even more meaningful to me.

With the new issue, I never would have arrived at the final result without the ideas and insight that came from guest editor Michael Bühler-Rose. Sometimes collaboration requires making sacrifices or compromises, but I think I’ve primarily seen how it enriches a project like this.

There’s a lot that I’m excited about with photography and a lot that hasn’t been explored in terms of publishing, so I’m looking forward to experimenting, working with some great artists, and hopefully making some beautiful and innovative things in the process.

Since completing the Future of Photobooks project in January, Andy Adams from FlakPhoto and I have received many positive responses and even opportunities to speak publicly on the topic. We’re very happy that the project struck such a chord with so many people, and want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated, either by writing a blog post, adding their comments, hosting a discussion, or helping to promote the project. We quite literally couldn’t have done it without you.

As a way of signing off and wrapping things up, I want to share a presentation I created for my APA talk on our Future of Photobooks project. My goal was not to tell people where photobook publishing is or is not going. As many of our contributing bloggers pointed out, that’s an impossible and somewhat unhelpful prediction to try to make.

Like the project itself, the main goal of my talk was instead to expand people’s ideas of what a photobook COULD BE in the future, by showing them some of the more fascinating concepts that were unearthed during our month-long cross-blog discussion.

Most of those concepts live online, and include embedded videos, clickable comics, microsites, and eBooks. For that reason I chose to present the information not in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, but directly on the Web, using a Tumblr blog. You can see the full Future of Photobooks presentation hereI’ve also added my notes from the evening to help explain the significance of each example.

Although Andy and I are turning our attention to other projects, we are still dedicated to advances in photobook publishing and hope the dialogue we have fostered here will continue around the Web and the world. Please share your questions and thoughts on the FoPB Tumblr, in comments on the RESOLVE posts, or with us directly.

The biggest news in the photography blogosphere this week has to be the launch of a new photography blog that aggregates a selection of top photography blogs in one place (phew, that’s a lot of “blogs”). On Monday, Rachel Hulin, Kate Steciw, and Danielle Swift launched The Photography Post, which includes visual feed from dozens of top photo blogs, as well as a blog, a store, and a “Museum of Online Photography Collections.” Users can view the blog feeds by category or “like” their favorites and see only those. No wonder it’s already been featured on several top blogs, including cultural clearinghouse NotCot.org.

Wired ran an in-depth article last Friday outlining the recent sale of the Magnum Photo Agency’s press prints collection to Michael Dell of Dell computers. The collection will be cataloged and housed by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin, which will scan every print, front and back, put in place a fellowship program to forward research of the holdings, and offer a rotating lecture series by Magnum photographers.

Dazed & Confused magazine released its March issue, a.k.a. the “Augmented Reality Issue,” yesterday. Certain pages of the magazine include QR codes that readers can hold up to their computer camera to start exclusive fashion videos, which can also be paused anywhere to reveal designer credits for the outfits. You can check out the details and a sneak preview of how the videos work here.

RESOLVE contributor Doug Menuez launched his new personal stock archive on Valentine’s Day with an appropriately themed showcase titled, “Love.” You can read more about the Menuez Archive Projects (MAP), which lives alongside Doug’s interactive liveBooks portfolio site, in his interviews on RESOLVE and Heather Morton’s Art Buyer blog.

steve_jobs_iPad_appleApple’s release Wednesday of their new tablet computer, the iPad, had been eagerly anticipated in part for its potential to “save” the struggling publishing industry. Its impact on photography was mentioned several times in our cross-blog discussion about the future of photobooks and is being weighed across the photo blogosphere this week. Fred Ritchin at After Photography calls it a disappointment for content producers and Rob Haggart at A Photo Editor is reservedly excited about consuming magazines in this new way. Bastian Ehl at Black Star Rising takes a less cynical approach, arguing that the iPad’s annoying non-support of Flash is actually designed to force users to pay for content.

Commercial photographer and new media extraordinaire Chase Jarvis is taking his interactive, educational blogging to the next level today with a live studio shoot, which is being streamed online and during which Chase will answer questions from live chat and tweets. The shoot with the band, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, starts at 10 PST (1 EST), Friday, January 29.

betrayed_movie_DSLROne of the first narrative movies shot entirely using DSLRs (Canon 5D Mark IIs in video mode) launched its trailer online on Tuesday. The Coming Soon page for Betrayed was big news when it went up in August, so we’re excited to bring you an exclusive first interview with director Joshua Grossberg on RESOLVE.

Although the “Photographer’s Ephemeris” application launched in October, it came to the iPhone just his Sunday and has been a hot ticket item with photographers of all kinds, especially landscape shooters. You’ll have to check out the description to really understand how the app works, but basically it plots where the sun and moon will be positioned in line with geographical markers. So, as its introduction explains, “A typical use might be to determine when the sun will set along the axis of a mountain valley, or when a full moon rise will rise across a lake.”

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