Resolve

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Photographer Stephen Guenther has more than twenty years of creative direction in film, video, interactive and print. Functioning as Design Director, Film Director, Excecutive Producer and Creative Lead. His clients have run gamut from S.C. Johnson on the corporate side to Lions Clubs International on the nonprofit side. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.stephenguenther.com.

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I have always “had” a camera, since the age of around ten (Micky Mouse 127 mm) but it wasn’t until I accidentally ended up in a darkroom in college that the magic inspired me to turn from psychology to photography. Perceptual psychology had been an on-going focus. (pun intended). Digital of course has changed the whole process. I enjoy the mechanics of photography, but I try to only have and carry the minimal equipment that works for me. I continue to reduce the weight and increase the quality of my work, Sony equipment now fills that need.

My industry is of course evolving…I started out in a fine art mode with some corporate photography. But in the last ten + years I have been able to travel the globe documenting NGO humanitarian efforts with both photography and film. The NGO work has been life-altering, and travel side of it was also inspiring in being able to open a larger view of the world…I now blend my fine art background with these genres to offer a personal vision in both.

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

SG: Direct, clean and personal.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

SG: Seems like an almost seasonal pattern, though the seasons are not really represented in the images.

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

SG: Photographers generally like newer work the best, yet sometimes, depending on travel or need I will re-discover in my image database an image that was forgotten and now re-born.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

SG: Since I also do work in video, the new display of videos is perfect for my video clients.

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

SG: Don’t try to present something to please others or attempt to isolate your skills. Make it personal, make it subjective…something that allows you to share your unique vision.

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

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I am a still photographer and director based in St. Louis and New York City. My aesthetic is driven by authentic, textural, emotive moments, whether I am shooting stills and or motion assets. My style and feel of the two assets are consistent, which is paramount for most brands.

Like most people, I loved taking photos growing up and got my first break by being in the right place at the right time when the Berlin Wall came down, which led to a freelance gig at a newspaper, a wire service, etc. The next big break was landing the highly coveted internship at Sports Illustrated. That brought me to NYC and killed the drive of wanting to shoot sports. From there, I assisted for 2 years and the went out on my own and curated a clientele base and honed in on my personal aesthetic, which is always evolving.

I specialize in shooting authenticity-driven imagery for regional to global brands and agencies, working on projects such as: image brand libraries, advertising campaigns, editorial, digital assets for web, print, outdoor, broadcast, etc.

Partial client list includes Mississippi Tourism, Marley Coffee, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, AMD, Deutsche Bank, Intel, Nike, AMEX, American Airlines, GE, Disney World, Time Warner, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, J. Walter Thomas, People Magazine, AG Edwards, CDW, Y & R, Fleishman-Hillard, McCann-Erickson, FutureBrand, etc.

And I have an image on the USPS stamp…to be introduces and issued on March 31st, 2017.

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

LB: Intuitive. Clean. Informative.

Time is precious for any client and we didn’t want people to think about how the site works, it needed to be intuitive. The goal is to be sensitive to people’s time and let them view the images efficiently. Gone are the days, with us at least, for sites with all the bells & whistles, sound, moving targets to click on, etc. Art buyers/creatives have enough going on in their lives, it’s our task to help them and we believe that ease and simplicity is key.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

LB: Pretty often, at least once a month if not more. It has to be updated and be fresh. It’s alive, it’s a living breathing organism and we have to keep feeding it!

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

LB: I yield to my agent and then we discuss. There are images that tend to rise to the top of the heap.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

LB: The backend workflow is a lot deeper than before. The SEO is key, the rotating home page, it’s faster all around. That’s a few of the faves, hard to pick just one…which is good!

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

LB: For me, the backend workflow is key. If I’m going to update content as often as I do, it has to be a good user experience, not something that I dread. I’ve had those dreaded websites and blogs in the past, think WordPress, sigh.

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Katee McGee is a California-based international award winning editorial and commercial photographer, serving the wine industry! Since 2005, Katee has specialized in wine-related photography and has shot in some of the world’s premier vineyards and estates in California, Italy, and France. See more of her work on her website: www.pendergast-mcgee.com.

How did your career begin as a professional editorial and commercial photographer?

My first paid professional gig was as a unit stills (set) photographer for Universal Pictures on location for the movie The Hitcher II. It was exciting and so fun to be a (albeit small) part of a larger group of creatives. Great energy – I learned a ton on that shoot. Most exciting was that they chose one of my images as the hero image for the poster and DVD cover.

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How did you become interested in the wine industry specifically?

I grew up in the wine industry, running through vineyards and playing hide-and-seek with my brothers on the weekends in the enormous 4-acre barrel room of historic Almadén Vineyards. Back in those days it was still listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the World’s Largest Covered Wine Cellar”.

My dad has worked in the wine industry in sales and marketing since before I was born – and still does. Through that exposure to the industry, I began noticing the imagery inherent to wine and its culture at a really young age. In addition, my father always brought a lot of enthusiasm to whatever his latest projects were and I think it rubbed off. In a sense I think I was “sold” on wine and the wine country culture long before I was ever able to actually partake.

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Would you say that you are a wine enthusiast?

Of course. I have had the privilege of not only photographing incredible wine locations around the world, but also have had the opportunity to taste the amazing wines at those locations. Wine culture is really all about sharing. Sharing stories, sharing your hospitality and sharing something you’re proud of. Artistry and craftsmanship is appreciated and communal in wine culture – everyone wants to share what they’ve made, so my palate was educated by some of the best “teachers” in the world.

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Which is your favorite type of winery to photograph?

I can’t say I have a favorite. Each place needs something different. Sometimes it’s simple, like just capturing the beauty of the location of the architecture. But sometimes it’s more of a challenge. A lot of times, big producers want to look small and artisan and give off a boutique vibe, while some of their smaller boutique counterparts want to present the image of being bigger players than they are, so that make things interesting. I genuinely like the problem solving involved in delivering what each client wants and needs – each client is different and I think it’s one of the best parts of what I do.

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Is there something you would like our viewers to know about wine photography?

Wine photography really requires you to be multi-disciplined. There are so many aspects to it – you need to be able to do a lot of it well. You need to be able to produce striking landscapes, make interesting images reflecting nature and architecture, work as a photojournalist during harvest and crush and around the winery, connect with owners and winemakers to create compelling portraits, and then have the technical studio and lighting skills to create clean product shots.

Most of all, you need to be a storyteller. I know it’s cliched but it’s still true, because at the end of the day you are hired to tell the unique story of the client and their brand.

In pursuit of that unique story, you can also get some strange requests. Frequently, I am asked to visually represent elements of the terroir (For those who don’t know – “terroir” is the unique natural environment in which a particular wine is produces, this includes factors such as the soil, the topography, and the climate in that area.) I remember one gig where the creative brief requested that I show “wind”. lol

But in the end – this is their life’s work. There is only one harvest a year and each vintage is unrepeatable, so creating images that help tell the story of that brand, that vintage, that location, is paramount, and a good wine photographer needs to really understand that on an innate level. Understanding that and respecting that is critical.

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Your approach to wine photography seems pretty versatile – are there other services you provide to your clients?

I have a creative collective called Garage Industries and I coordinate and art direct multi-disciplined creative marketing projects. For example, for one client I’m currently working on a promotional project that includes photography, letterpress printing, original oil-paintings and comic book art, copywriting, video and digital media and my task is to keep all of that coordinated and aligned with the creative direction of the project. I have a deep network of creatives from my years in the business and it’s been great to be able to assemble dream-teams of professionals and work together on specific projects. It’s a great outlet for my more grand creative concepts.

Do you have a special project or photography you would like to talk about?

Since my daughter was born, I have become slightly obsessed with children’s portraiture. After she was born, I found myself spending a lot of time in the world of kids in addition to the world of wines, and I was always kind of put-off by typical children’s portrait photography. I wanted to have images of my daughter that were cool and contemporary and modern – print large. Not something that would look dated and be embarrassing to either of us in 20 years time. I would look at adverts for Gap Kids or Crewcuts and think, “Why can’t I get pictures like THAT of my daughter?” I didn’t find anyone making them so I decided that I would just make them myself. (Years ago I had worked as a Creative Director for two first-generation skate/streetwear contemporary clothing companies in Southern California so the idea wasn’t a stretch.)

Based on that spark, I started putting together custom children’s portrait shoots that follow more of a fashion editorial trajectory, with all the bells and whistles of a commercial fashion shoot – but for “regular” kids who aren’t professional models. (Although in truth, I think many of them could be if their parents wanted to go that direction.) You’d be amazed at how awesome these kids are! I love creating images that are genuine reflections of their unique personalities – no stiff poses, cheesy props or strained, fake smiles – just capturing their pure, beautiful spirits. It’s magic.

I have found that there are other parents like me out there that want images of their kids that are cool, timeless, and done to the highest professional standard. It’s great to be able to offer this level of production and quality to the parents that “get it”. (I knew I couldn’t be the only one!)

To some it might seem a bit incongruous to do both wine photography and children’s fashion portraiture, but if you know me – it makes perfect sense. And anyone who has kids knows that a glass of wine can often be your very best friend.

Cheers!

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My name is Kari Alana Heron. I am a storyteller. I tell three-dimensional stories about food, culture, people, travel, and life using images and words. My portfolio site is www.kariheron.com and award-winning food blog is www.chefandsteward.com.

I started out taking photos of food when I decided to delve into my ambition to start a food blog with my chef husband some six years ago. As expats, it was a great way for me to introduce myself to Dubai, which was my new home and to merge our skills, expertise, and interests. I have been shooting since I was 9 on a 24 mm and eventually inherited my father’s 35 mm in my teens. I trained in photography from age 16 and went pro when I left the Caribbean and moved to Dubai. Why food? It doesn’t talk back. Seriously though, food is one of the most challenging subjects and I love the reward of conquering something that is so dynamic. Food and culture have always intrigued me.

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I have a mad love for the Middle East. I fell in love some years ago. There is so much there – even though it may seem very basic to Western eyes. I felt I had my greatest personal growth in the Middle East. Jordan has been my most sacred place to shoot so far.

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Since I have an extensive background in Media and Communication, I have learned that relationships are everything in business. It is the same with small clients and those names that make your client list look lush. Waldorf Astoria was a brilliant brand to work with and their Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates location is one of the most spectacular hotels I have ever shot in or had the pleasure of staying at. Red Bull is a fun brand and I headed up Marketing Communication for their largest Soapbox Race in Latin America.

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I consider a perfect food photograph one that makes you want to reach through the screen and take a bite or want to go to your kitchen to cook or book a reservation immediately for that restaurant. A perfect food photograph is an invitation to treat.

Like most creatives, I am multi-talented. The body of my work that I am most passionate about includes photography, video production, writing recipe development, and food styling. I am a content producer. It is a blessing to be able to move seamlessly through the arts and not only express my God-given gifts, but earn a living income internationally from them. I love to travel for work and hop across the Atlantic up to three times a year. Travel is the best school life can offer.

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I was commissioned to collaborate on a book which will be published soon. My husband and I are looking for some cookbook deals as we have got a few great books inside us. Food is a universal language that unites people from all over the world and as people who have lived our adult lives outside of our home country, it has been an integral part in our travels in our travels. My work is based on my respect for food, people, their culture and where they live. I am pretty big on social media and love connecting with people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Periscope.

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