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Casey Curry is a celebrity, portrait, and fashion/beauty photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Casey has worked with A-list celebrities such as Michael Caine, Kate Winslet, Billy Bob Thornton, and many others. To see more of work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.caseycurry.com.

I’ve been studying light and taking pictures since I was the was a child although my start in the industry began with an assisting job for David LaChapelle. His creative approach fused with the talented photo crew he surrounds himself with set the bar for the level of production I wanted for my sets. From then, it’s been a slow burn of testing, developing my craft, and shooting commissioned work. As my aesthetic matures, so does my need to push the limits of what I can deliver for my clients – this can only be found through constant testing. I’ll often watch a film or look at a classic painting and think, “Oh that look would be great for this band/upcoming project.” It’s a continual path of discovery. I never stop learning.

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

CC: Clean, minimalistic, modern.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

CC: Since I started constructing the layout and curating work, it’s been a daily effort. From here on out, I plan on updating my site on a bi-monthly basis.

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

CC: The homepage is intended to give viewers a taste of each section of the website. Additionally, each image is meant to showcase the diverse approaches I’m capable of.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CC: It’s been years since I use the old liveBooks, so I can’t attest to how much it differs. I can, however, say that it is the best self-managed website I’ve user, and I’ve used quite a few of them. The functionality is superior. It is not only user-friendly, but also technically superior with the built-in SEO and design customization capabilities.

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

CC: Although it’s important to stay true to yourself, get feedback from peers in your field – or better yet, from those you draw influence and aspiration from. I always try to surround myself with people who I feel are better than me, and I took the same approach when building my site. Also, you need to strictly limit the content you display (that’s where the help of others can really come in handy). It should only be the best of what you have to showcase and it needs to take your viewers on a cohesive journey. A good portfolio is one that doesn’t feel disjointed and doesn’t ever get boring.

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

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Jillian Faulkner is a portrait photographer based in Calgary, Canada. Her specialty is concentrated in children and family portrait photography. She established Jillian Faulkner Photography in 2010 and has been dedicated to her practice ever since. To see more of her work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.jillianfaulkner.com.

I am rarely found without my Canon camera in hand and if I really think about it, my first interest in photography started back when I was about 10 years of age and received my first camera as a birthday gift. It began a strong and committed interest in visually capturing all the fascinating and unique moments in life. In my early twenties, I was a high performing sales representative both in the hair care and cosmetics industry applying a keen eye for what is visually appealing with a strong sense of style and fashion. It was not uncommon for me to have my camera out and ready to capture the behind the scenes action at one of our fashion shows or during a global make up artists presentation of a new launch. In 2006, after the birth of my first son, I decided to get more serious about my photography and further developed my skills with lots of practice and more advanced training. My new love was capturing on camera images of sweet little hands and feet and munchkins running about and exploring the world with fresh eyes. With friends and family regularly asking me to take pictures at important celebrations and of their own families, I launched Jillian Faulkner Photography in the fall of 2010. Since then, my passion for the art has grown even stronger with each visit from new and repeat clients. My passion truly lies in taking portraits of infants and children. They are all so full of life with developing personalities, beautiful innocence and tremendous potential. A perfect portrait done just right can show all of that to the world and I feel so blessed that my days are filled doing exactly what I love!

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

JF: Classic, authentic, and joyful!

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JF: Typically every few months, but it’s much more often now with the new liveBooks8 platform. I love that I can change out old photos with new ones easily and customize the looks of my portfolios to have every little detail just right and done to my liking. With a strong background in visual arts and fashion, this is a very big thing!

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

JF: I have a tendency to choose the images which reflect the majority of my work – portraits that “stir the passion” and which generate the strongest emotions as well as remind me of certain moments in the studio, with clients or from my own life.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JF: It is hard to pick just one as there are so many new outstanding improvements that I love! I would have to say my favourite update is having the ability to easily customize and fully control all the design elements on my website. From fonts to page layouts to color schemes, it is all very easy to modify to ensure my work looks exactly how I want it to.

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

JF: First, know your brand – your website should showcase your work. How you identify yourself and your work to both the industry and to your clients is crucial to growing your business. Second, make navigation around your website easy. Have samples of your work easy to find and live contact links to make it simple to get in contact with you. You only have a few moments to make a great impression!

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

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Cameron Karsten is both a photographer and film-maker. His work ranges from portraiture to lifestyle photography. He had worked for clients such as Discovery Channel, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines, and Microsoft. To see more of Cameron’s work, visit his liveBooks8 site: www.cameronkarsten.com.

I began my career as a writer, spending my twenties backpacking around the world in search of stories, characters, and experiences. I began a blog, attained followers, sold travel articles, and by the advice of someone, I was encouraged to post photographs with my written stories. At this time, digital photography was gaining momentum, so I traded in my Nikon film camera for a small point-and-shoot. I kept writing but slowly overtime, I had the desire to tell stories with photos instead of words. This led to a 2-year program in commercial photography, which led to assisting and digital-teching for professional photographers, which has now grown into a career as a commercial photographer. I still write and have a love for the craft, but I now shoot motion alongside my photography. When I step back, they’re all a form of storytelling, so I’m grateful for each trade.

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

CK: When I switched platforms to the new liveBooks8 I was seeking something clean, simple, and bold. These would be the three words I’d use, and maybe throw in elegant as well.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

CK: Typically I update my website every couple of months, but it also depends if new work I finish fits within my projects and portfolios. Sometimes it’s sooner, sometimes it’s later, but I look at it and analyze the content every few days, seeking a better edit or a new perspective that’ll improve my presentation. But I admit; I am my own worst editor.

Puget Sound Restoration Fund CSA volunteer oyster harvest - Port Madison, Bainbridge Island, WA

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

CK: I want the homepage images that represent my projects and portfolios to be striking and to me that carries a sense of emotion with regards to light, shadow, and lines. Most of them are during sunrise or sunset, or are dramatic in the sense of scale and design. Obviously, I’m looking to attract creative directors, art buyers and project managers to dig deeper into my website whether it’s a personal project or commissioned portraiture.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CK: My favorite new feature of liveBooks8 is the fullscreen homepage allowing the images to be big and bold. I want the first glance at my website to be striking and be utilizing the full screen with scrolling images, this becomes effective.

Bone Fishing in Belize off Ambergris Caye, TripAdvisors top island in the world

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

CK: If I could offer advice on designing a website, I’d say utilize peers and professionals to help you edit your work. I’ve put my photography in front of many peers and strangers, receiving a whole gamut of feedback. It has shaped how I present my work, as well as helped hone my skills as a storyteller. The liveBooks8 support staff was also diligent throughout the process of transitioning my website to the new platform, which I appreciate and I’m grateful for.

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Puget Sound Restoration Fund CSA volunteer oyster harvest - Port Madison, Bainbridge Island, WA

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

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!

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John Johnston is an advertising and editorial photographer based in Denver, Colorado. His client base includes Chipotle, Ford, Forbes, Guiness and Newsweek. To see more of his work and liveBooks8 website, visit: www.johnjohnstonphotography.com.

I’m originally from Southern California, but now live in Denver with my wife and two girls. I went to art school to be a painter/printmaker, but decided to go into photography. I fell in love with it and found a way to do both photography and my artwork. I shlepped bags for photographers out of school and decided that I was ready to go out on my own. I called everyone I worked with and told them that I was done working with them to pursue my own career. I have been shooting now for 16 years.  I shoot advertising and editorial work. I love meeting people, I love going places, I love that I get to live in a creative world. I am really fortunate to do so many fun things every day.

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

JJ: Clean, honest, storied

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JJ: With the new site it is a lot more often. I like to update with at least a group of 6-8 images. If there is something I am super excited about, I will update it right away.

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

JJ: There is definitely a connection to the photos. They can be brand new or something that is a little older. There is always a story about the location or maybe the person I met. I add the photos that make me happy.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JJ: Overall it’s pretty easy to get around. Its simple enough that you could change the entire look of the site in just a few minutes.

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

JJ: Keep things simple. Try and make it easy for people to navigate through your site. They probably won’t stay long, don’t confuse them with lots of buttons or menus.

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

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Have you been paying attention to how your website’s search engine mobile performance results have been doing? If you haven’t, it’s time to start now! Google has now announce that it will create a mobile index separate from its existing search engine. Due to the fact that over half of Google searches are now being made through mobile devices, it was only a matter of time before Google took actions to improve its users’ experience.

Google plans to create two separate web indexes – one dedicated to mobile pages and another to desktop pages. Mobile versions of the pages will be prioritized on its search results page. A desktop version will be displayed if the website has no mobile pages available.

What Does This Mean to Your Website?

Google will now place value on mobile pages when indexing a site and determining its position on search results. Once Google sets the change in motion, websites that do not have mobile-friendly designs will likely see significantly reduced search engine traffic.

If you host your mobile content on a separate subdomain, this could cause some problems for your search engine results. This is to say that if, for example, a mobile user attempted to access “yourcompany.com” on a mobile phone, they might see the URL displayed as “mobile.yourcompany.com”. If this is the case for your website, it may be time to revise the content you display on the mobile website. Google will be prioritizing the content on that subdomain rather than your desktop version.

Testing Your Website

You can now test how your mobile website is seen by Google’s web crawlers! Visit Google’s test for mobile friendliness to find out how your website performs. You will enter your website’s URL and click the “Analyze” button. If you’re website is seen as mobile-friendly, a green message will display letting you know.

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liveBooks is Ready for Google’s Mobile Index. Are you?

liveBooks is ready for this change in search engine indexing! We are proud to say that all liveBooks websites are fully-responsive. Regardless of screen size, your website will adjust its width and features such as text and images to optimize its mobile visibility.

If you haven’t started using liveBooks yet, start your free trial and begin creating your beautiful, fully-responsive website today!

November 7th, 2016

Website of the Week – Renee Anjanette

Posted by liveBooks

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Renee Anjanette is a food photographer based in Los Angeles. Born in Missouri, Renee grew up on the banks of the Mississippi and moved to California later in life to create her career in photography. She has worked for clients all over the United States. To see more Renee’s work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.rafotostudio.com.

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I came from a small town in middle America with no access to the arts. I thought I might love photography because I mentally composed images in my mind, enclosing the world around me in little boxes, so I took a community college course – Photo 101 and fell in love. I chose Brooks Institute of Photography back was when it was a small, private photo school in Santa Barbara, literally in a mansion on a hill overlooking the ocean. I cried and cried when I first arrived, thinking I had never seen such beauty. I finally ended up in L.A. working as second shooter for other photographers, a common method for developing your book and your skills on camera in a commercial studio. I now operate and also rent to other photographers, my own studio – Historic Hudson Studios in Hollywood, the incredible Herb Ritts former studio space. I primarily shoot food and table top for clients all over the country.

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

RA: Elegant, chic, quiet.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

RA: Every 2 years.

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

RA: I choose my favorites from each section (sweet, savory, etc.) to go into an “Overview” section, which is what I show on the “Homepage”.

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Q: What is your favorite new features of liveBooks8?

RA: The new page designs available and it really is easy once you learn the basics.

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

RA: Work with a designer, I did. I worked with the liveBooks designer to get more of what I wanted.

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

Tuesdays Tip

A blog page is a great way to create content and keep your visitors engaged. We are happy to say that we offer a blog option to add to your liveBooks site. Our inline blog is a fully functional website page and works great for SEO! Follow these simple steps to start setting your blog:

Setting up your blog: 

  1. Select Content from the Navigation Bar
  2. Select Add New Pages

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3. Select Blog and then select Add

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Adding a new blog post: 

  1. Select Content from the navigation bar
  2. Select your Blog page and scroll down to the Posts block
  3. Select Add new post

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4. You can enter a Title, Date, Author. Create your blog post in Description and add any related images.

You can also add many types of additional content blocks, such as Video, Image Gallery, and Contact information .


Limiting posts per page: 

  1. Select Content
  2. Select the Blog page
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the posts block and click on the field labeled Posts per page
  4. Select the number of posts that you would like to appear before the user has to click into the next page

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  • Note: If you are looking for another blog option, liveBooks offers a custom designed blog that mimics the look and feel of your site based on a version of the WordPress platform. If you are interested, please contact the support team for more information at help@livebooks.com!

Posted in Blogs / Business
October 28th, 2016

How Social Media Can Grow Your Business

Posted by liveBooks

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With so many social media outlets available today, it can sometimes become overwhelming to choose which ones you should be using to engage your audience and bring in new customers. It may seem like the best course of action is to ignore all the choices and just stick to one outlet. What many photographers do not realize, however, is that each platform offers opportunities for growth – whether this may be through brand recognition, followers, or potential customers is your choice! We have outlined the platforms we believe will give your photography business the biggest growth potential!

 

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Instagram:

With over 200 millions users, Instagram has the power to become one of the most important means of outreach for your photography business worldwide. This platform offers you the chance to build a portable portfolio where you can showcase your work. This doesn’t mean that you have to post every picture from your shoot, but rather the one(s) you consider to be the best.

With its massive hashtag database, Instagram can help bring in clients that are looking for your type of work. By using specific hashtags, clients will be able to find you more easily. When used correctly, these hashtags can become similar to how SEO helps your webpage get views. In addition, creating a unique hashtag for your business can help create a viewing gallery for potential clients. For example, using #johnsmithphotography on your images and having your clients use it when they post your images on their profiles, will ultimately increase your brand’s recognition!

 

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Facebook:

Facebook is one of the first platforms that comes to mind when talking about social media. Having 1.71 billion monthly active users makes it one of the most widely known social media platform.  It not easy to figure that this platform can be a very powerful tool to drive new customers to your business!

Instead of using your personal page to showcase your work, create a Facebook page that allows anyone to access your profile. With the use of analytics provided by Facebook, you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of each post and activity on the account. Additionally, creating a page allows you to boost a post and create advertising campaigns. These two options allow you to choose your target audience (residing area, gender, age, etc.)!

Another great tool that Facebook offers is the creation of events. If, for example, you are giving a photography seminar and would like to invite your followers to attend, this tool helps you reach out to an audience, track the amount of attendees, and keep the discussion streamlined all in one place!

 

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Twitter:

Twitter is oftentimes overlooked by many photographers. It requires time and energy to fit everything you are trying to communicate about a shoot into only 140 characters. However, this is a powerful form of expression. You do not need to give your audience an entire explanation of what the picture is about. Rather, allow your image to speak for itself. The saying holds true in this scenario: “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Many photographers do not realize that when they share their work through Twitter, it can get picked up surprisingly quick. The environment surrounding this platform is very much based around retweets. When your followers love your work, they are very likely to retweet your posts!

To start promoting your business through Twitter, you can see the marketing tips they offer on their website!

 

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YouTube and Vimeo:

As with Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo are often ignored by photographers. Many argue that they are not videographers and do not have any content to upload. These video-based platforms are often relevant to the type of photography that you dedicate yourself to. If you are a Wedding Photographer, uploading samples of the “Wedding Day” videos you have created would be a great way to showcase your work to new clients.

If the type of photography you dedicate yourself to doesn’t require the use of videos, you can create video tutorials for your audience and peers. These types of videos create a sense of trust in your viewers that can easily translate into a client-based relationship. By creating a channel on YouTube or Vimeo, your audience will be able to more easily find you and find more videos created by you.

 

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Pintrest:

Pintrest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images and videos to their pinboards. The main idea is to create a variety of categories that contain pins, resources, photos, and other information that the viewer finds interesting.

As a photographer, creating your own account that not only showcases your work but also has pins of the type of things you like, allows viewers to better connect with you in a personal way. Landscape photographer, Joshua Holko, shares his work from his projects in various boards that viewers are able to see and pin onto their own boards.

It’s also important to note that this social media platform is largely based on shares. Since photography is such a visual business, it can be a great tool for photographers to market both themselves and their business.

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It’s important that as a photographer you choose the social media platform(s) you feel best represent your business. When starting off new campaigns or social media accounts, it’s important to have a specific goal in mind. With this idea, you’ll be able to accurately measure your success.

October 21st, 2016

Major Browsers to Block Flash Soon!

Posted by liveBooks

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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!

Safari:
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:

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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)

Chrome:
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)

Firefox:
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)

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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.

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