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Laurie Proffitt is a food photographer, located in Chicago, IL. With a simple and elegant style, Laurie uses her expertise to work with high-profile magazines, advertising agencies, restaurants & cookbook producers. This is her story:

Food photography has come a long way since I came up the ranks as an assistant in Chicago. The food was styled laboriously perfect, and the props covered nearly every inch of the background. I enjoy how the look has entirely loosened up since then. Now, it is appetizing to slightly burn cheese, splash sauce, and show a half eaten plate of food. I also love that a distressed baking sheet makes fabulous background, and national ad campaigns will show their product in to-go containers.

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It’s my job to find that visually appetizing element. At times, it is very editorial and messy; other clients manage the look of their brand with more restraint. As a food photographer, I need to approach advertising, editorial and packaging with different styles and different teams. Luckily for me, the pool of talented food stylists in Chicago runs deep. With that said, it’s my responsibility to pair the needs of my client with the best stylist and crew for each project. Collaboration between the art directors and my creative team is the key to success at my studio.

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Aside from the food being styled well, lighting is instrumental to enhancing the appetite appeal of food. My new studio workspace incorporates an 11×14 ft. opaque glass window. The light from that window is just stunning. I often like to accent the daylight with small grid spots to boost color saturation. The grid spots also create specular-highlights that add to the visual impression that the food is moist, hot, and juicy. Mixed lighting, in conjunction with selective focus, are my favorite tools.

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Another competitive piece of the puzzle is to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for the clients. The agency team and their clients are very busy people, and their work doesn’t stop just because they’re attending a photo shoot. Capture Pilot is an incredible tool to keep the clients in the loop while they work. So adjacent to the client table, I have a 50 inch TV, where the progress of our work is on view. Every one of my clients loves this!

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See more of Laurie’s food photography on her new liveBooks8 site at: proffittphoto.com.

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

LP: Fresh, Crisp, Impactful

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

LP: I typically will update my homepage every few months. Ideally, I like to add finished ads or packaging examples to my “Print & Packaging” page promptly after they are released. A complete refresh of my website images occurs 1-2 times a year

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

LP: I feel it is essential to show diversity of work on my homepage. Additionally, I want to feature current work here, so returning visitors to my website immediately take notice. Another objective of mine, as a food photographer, is to showcase a range of food products. My hope is that each visitor to my homepage sees an image that speaks to their needs, so they’ll want to look deeper into my website.

With that said, I like to work from a master folder that ‘lives’ on my desktop. I actively add my favorite new images to this folder as they are created. Then, when it comes time to update, my new candidates are easily accessed. From there, my aim is to create a visually interesting sequence of images based upon the rhythm of lighter and darker images and related color themes. Once I am pleased with the presentation, I’ll ask my agent and a few other trusted colleagues to weigh in on my choices. Inevitably, adjustments will be made.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

LP: I love the Mosaic Gallery layout. I knew immediately that it would give me a dramatically updated look from my previous website with liveBooks.

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

LP: It’s well worth your time to read articles on the subject of SEO. Research the best keywords for your speciality of photography. Be sure to populate all of the SEO info boxes that liveBooks provides. Enter descriptions for every image, submit your sitemaps, update your content regularly and get quality links back to your site….search engines love these things.

I’ve had great results by following liveBooks instructions for SEO. It is all about getting more traffic to your website while generating new business.

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

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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 jason-halayko.com 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.

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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.

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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 social@livebooks.com.

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Homepage image by David Colvin Photography | http://www.dclvn.com/

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 angelakarr.com.

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

AK: Clean, fresh, and simple

Image: Bri Costello Photography | www.bricostello.com/

Image: Bri Costello Photography | http://www.bricostello.com/

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 | http://www.dclvn.com/

Image by David Colvin Photography | http://www.dclvn.com/

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 | http://www.lindsaydavenportphotography.com/

Image: Lindsay Davenport Photography | http://www.lindsaydavenportphotography.com/

Have a site you would like us to feature? Send us an email at social@livebooks.com.

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

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

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

BP: Real life moments

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

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

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

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

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

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

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Steven Friedman

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

SF: Clean, Modern, Elegant.

Steven Friedman

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

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

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

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

Steven Friedman

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

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

Steven Friedman

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

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

Steven Friedman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

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

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Codie McLachlan

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

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

Codie McLachlan

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

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

Codie McLachlan

Q: How often do you update your website?

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

Codie McLachlan

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

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

Codie McLachlan

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

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

Codie McLachlan

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

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

Patrick McCarthy is a fashion and lifestyle photographer based out of New York City – as well as an accomplished nature and landscape photographer who has traveled the world to take beautiful images. This week, we are excited to feature his nature website so that you can see the clean, beautiful designs and the breathtaking imagery.

Read on to see what he had to say about the creation of his site, and then head on over to www.patrickmccarthynature.com.

Patrick McCarthy

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

PM: Tranquil, Ethereal, Alluring.

Patrick McCarthy

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

PM: I select images for my homepage that are representative of the entire body of work. Also keeping in mind that these images are going to be the first visual introduction for the viewer. The ultimate goal is to maximize the aesthetic impact, drawing the observer in, and encouraging them to explore the site further.

Patrick McCarthy

Q: How often do you update your website?

PM: My goal is to organize two or three trips a year. I have a long list of locations that I intend to visit. For me, it’s clearly a three step process. Step 1: I venture out into the natural world. This step can prove to be the most rewarding and artistically transformative. Step 2: Editing and constructing the images in Photoshop. This step allows me to demonstrate my technical skill, which enables me to create the desired pre-visualized images. Step 3: Arrange and organize the final image files. The objective is to achieve the most harmonious visual presentation for my website.

Patrick McCarthy

Q: What is you favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

PM: For me, the best feature that liveBooks offers is the ease of use. The navigation tools are fluid and seamless. The editSuite allows me to create and manage my portfolios effortlessly. It’s a pleasure to work with.

Patrick McCarthy

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

PM: My best advice for someone designing their website is to trust your instincts and follow your heart. No one knows your images better than you. Have fun with the process. Don’t over think it – it’s a work in progress. You can always make changes at any time.

Patrick McCarthy

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

 

 

Fine art photographer Michael Zide has some of the most thought-provoking and calming photographs that we’ve ever seen – and his website design follows much the same theme. We wanted to feature his website this week to show off all the gorgeous black and white aesthetics he employs, as well as his clean-cut navigation.

Read on to see what he had to say specifically about his site – and head on over to www.michaelzide.com for more gorgeous shots!

Michael Zide

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

MZ: Elegant, Persuasive, Striking

Michael Zide

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

MZ: Currently my homepage has only one large image, a night time photography conveying some of the feelings of wonder, mystery, and surprise that I felt when I made this photograph.

Michael Zide

Q: How often do you update your website?

MZ: I update my website as I find new photographs to feature or have things of interest to share. Its ease of use allows me the freedom to make changes as frequently as needed.

Michael Zide

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

MZ: What drew me to liveBooks was the simplicity and the “smartness” of its designs. It enhances the look of professionalism like no other website design I know.

Michael Zide

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

MZ: Keep things simple. It can be a very challenging and daunting task to create a website that supports the quality of your work and is an accurate reflection of how you wish to be perceived. I cannot speak highly enough of the help the liveBooks staff gave me at every turn.

Michael Zide

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

 

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