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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

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-50-38-am

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

As a photographer you are providing an extremely valuable service to your clients. Whether you’re capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments like weddings, births, or graduations, snapping stunning landscapes, or creating powerful imagery for editorial campaigns, your photography is an expression of who you are as a creative. Blogging is a key aspect of developing and maintaining your brand and voice as a photographer, and there are numerous benefits to blogging regularly for your business. Below we’ve compiled some of the benefits of blogging, some quick and easy tips for getting started with a blog, and how to leverage your blog effectively for your business.

Benefits of Blogging

While your website is extremely important to showcase your business, work, and experience, a blog is a less formal way to showcase who you are, why you’re a photographer, and the type of value you can provide a prospective client. Since a blog should be updated much more frequently than a website, it allows you to showcase all your work in a more real-time fashion, plus you don’t have to be so concerned about picking and choosing your absolute best photos and can have more flexibility in showing off a variety of your work.

Blogs do wonders for your search engine optimization (SEO). Since good blogs are frequently updated with lots of interesting content, Google is constantly having to come back to your blog and catalog that content. A well-maintained and frequently updated blog can immensely improve your rankings with search engines – especially if your blog is connected to your website!

Additionally, a blog is an extremely effective way to establish your personal brand as a photographer. You can develop a unique voice thanks to the narrative style that blogging allows that will be easily recognizable by your clients.

Tips for Blogging

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Starting and maintaining a blog is definitely a lot of work, especially for busy creatives. Make sure that you have a plan of action when you start up your blog so that you can post frequently. A blog that is never updated is worse than a non-existent blog.
  • Create an editorial calendar. Before you launch yourself into blogging, it would be great to brainstorm some ideas of what you will be writing about in the coming weeks and months – and even drafting up your first few posts. That way, when life inevitably gets busy you already have a plan of attack for your blog.
  • Before you launch your blog, make sure to write out clear objectives about you your audience is, what you hope to achieve with your blog, and how you will measure your “success.” Are you simply trying to hone your unique voice? Gain more traffic to your website and ultimately get more business? Improve your SEO rankings? Knowing the reasons why you are starting your blog in the first place will help keep your posts consistent and on the right track.
  • If you’re ever stuck on what to write about, maybe start with some of these basic ideas: your recent work, your most interesting work, your personal journey as a photographer, a behind-the-scenes look at one of your shoots. The key is to be authentic and engaging with your audience so that they want to keep coming back to read your new content.

Blogging for Your Business

Once you’re ready and prepared to start up your blog, make sure that you have all the measures in place for it to effectively boost your business. Setup some sort of tracking metric, such as Google Analytics, so that you can track your blog analytics just like you would with your website. This will give you good insight into which posts generate buzz and are most popular with your audience. Utilize your social media channels to cross-promote your new blog posts. No one will know about it unless you tell them, plus this is also an additional way for you to track which posts seem to get shared most often. Don’t forget to optimize your blog for Google just as you would with your website – with descriptive, meaningful titles that actually describe the content of your post. Lastly, have an RSS feed so that your readers can subscribe to your blog and stay on top of your new content.

There’s no doubt that in this day and age having a blog for any type of business is extremely important. And because blogs are so heavily image-centric, it is especially relevant for photographers. What are some of your best practices for blogging? Do you have any unique tips that you’ve learned over the years?

Additional Resources:

The Secrets of Successful Photography Blogging

How to Start a Photoblog

Blogging for Photographers 

Posted in Blogs / Business

We just got back from 3 days in Las Vegas for the WPPI conference, and we’re still catching up on sleep. The best way to describe WPPI is that it’s three days of education, conversation, and fun – and WPPI 2015 was certainly no different!

The liveBooks team had an absolute blast in Vegas. We approached our time there with a “work-hard, play-hard” mindset, and were thrilled to see some new and familiar faces (we scanned 632 people!) at the liveBooks Booth.  (Hopefully everyone got the orange bags before they ran out!)   As always, we enjoyed seeing our clients in person — as much of our interaction is done via phone or email — and showcasing the new features liveBooks has to offer. Plus, WPPI was a great opportunity for us to hang out with our co-workers that we might not see as often as we would like.

WPPI Recap

From bags, to stickers, to sunglasses, our orange swag seems to have been a huge hit! We gave out 400 totes, 350 sunglasses, 700 lens cloths, and 100 stickers! (It certainly didn’t hurt that our colors perfectly aligned with the World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, as was pointed out to us by many of you.)

Check out our Senior Support Specialist, Laura, and her mom showing off their liveBooks swag!

                                                   WPPI                                         swag

Finally, congratulations to Heather East for posting her photo of the liveBooks sticker and winning our WPPI social media contest! Thank you again for everyone that stopped by our booth and participated in our contest. We can’t wait to see you all next year!

heathereastphoto

@heathereastphoto

Posted in Blogs / Photography

Editor’s note: Dan’s words of advice were featured in liveBooks latest report, “8 Blogging Truths for Creative Professionals.” More of Dan’s honest and heartfelt narratives can be found on his blog at http://smogranch.wordpress.com.

My earliest memory of writing is from elementary school. In a small, spiral bound notebook, I managed to compile hundreds of pages about a group of mushroom people.

I was convinced of its brilliance. Then I promptly lost the notebook. Note to us all: backup your work. I didn’t write for the next twenty years, but as I began my photography career, something changed in me and writing on a daily basis became a part of my life. But let me be painfully clear. This was not a choice I made. This was something I had to do.

There was something inside of me that needed to come out and photography was not enough, still isn’t enough. I remember my first, adult journal, or diary, or whatever you want to call it. One of those black and white speckled jobs from the supermarket, a “composition book,” I think they call it.

I began to fill them.

More »

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.

Freelance photographer Robert Caplin launched The Photo Brigade in mid-February as a place to bring together and highlight work being published on photographer’s own platforms (blogs). By placing a premium on viral capabilities through Facebook and Twitter, he’s helping build a huge network to publicize freelancers’ work.

Miki Johnson: How did the idea for Photo Brigade come to you?

Robert Caplin: As a fairly new blogger myself, I’ve been learning the ins and outs of how to actually build a following and bring traffic to my personal blog. After months of research and good old trial and error, I found the best way to increase my traffic and find readers was by sharing my link by way of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and referring links or stories on other blogs, such as this one. I quickly realized that if I combined my Facebook and Twitter networks, I was suddenly reaching a much larger potential viewership, which only multiplied when someone else decided to share or re-tweet my link.

Suddenly, not only was I reaching thousands of people through my personal network, but I was also reaching the networks of those who were kind enough to share my link with their followers. The viral nature of social media can really work to the advantage of photographers to get their work seen by the masses. So it went to figure that if photographers as a whole worked together to build a vast shared network, all would benefit by the added traffic it would bring their websites and blogs…and that’s how the The Photo Brigade came to me.

MJ: How long did it take you to make it a reality?

RC: Not long actually. My original idea was to start a blog, but that would take a while to design (because I wanted to do it properly) and it would take time to actually build a following. It occurred to me that I could test the concept quite easily by simply making a Facebook Page where I could easily share direct links to the cool blogs I was reading and people could easily subscribe to the feed by becoming a fan.

I also started a Twitter account. Over the next week The Photo Brigade page gained hundreds of followers and within weeks had over a thousand. I should also mention that this happened completely unsolicited and 100% organically, proving how well social networking can get the word out. It was obvious that not only was there a desire for a service like this, but also a genuine need.

MJ: It seems like a lot of work for something you do on the side of your own photography business. What makes it worth it?

RC: Well, to be honest it has taken a good chunk of my time to build … but that was the hard part. I should also note that I worked with my wonderful designer Laia Prats to create the brand and build the blogs using custom templates she tediously tweaked and designed. I couldn’t have done it without her help!

Now that the blog has been designed and content has been uploaded, the rest is really quite simple. There’s no lack of amazing photography out there. Given that The Photo Brigade was built to promote the work of freelancers, those photographers have been happy to share their work. Also, with a number of shooters submitting work, it’s almost as though it’s running itself. As Photo Brigade grows, I’ll be implementing some really great tools and resources for photographers and editors alike … but you’ll have to stay tuned to see what those are!

MJ: What has the response been like so far, from contributors as well as viewers, especially editors?

RC: The response has been very positive! The website is receiving steady traffic and it’s growing by the day. The same goes for contributors. Everyday I’m receiving emails from photographers from around the world, some I know and others I’ve never heard of, sharing their latest blog posts of their work.

Editors are a little harder to track and gauge because they’re obviously not submitting work themselves, though I’ve received a number of emails from editors praising the blog. There are also editors and directors of photography from major media outlets who follow the Facebook feed.

MJ: How do you choose photographers to feature?

RC: The featured photographers have either submitted their work from the submissions page, or I’ve reached out to the them personally. Because we receive many submissions, not every submission is featured. The best way to be chosen is to have a blog, as our mission is to encourage blogging. In your blog post we’d like to see a number of strong images with a well written explanation about the photography. We will pull 2-3 images as well as take some of the copy and post it on Photo Brigade teasing the blog.

It’s also encouraged for the photographers to supply a Twitter account so we can plug their account when we tweet to our followers about the post. By doing so, we’ll raise awareness for the photographer, and also help build the photographer’s social network. Many are adverse to using Twitter, but it’s one hell of a marketing tool. It would be silly not to tap into the millions of Twitter users out there, many of whom are photo editors and image buyers. We’re all about viral marketing and social media — the more we link to other people, the more visibility our blog gets, which trickles down to the photographers we feature.

It’s important to note that photographers should not be discouraged a submission isn’t accepted. Please continue to submit whenever you have a post you feel is worthy!

MJ: You just added three university blogs. Why was that important and how do you see them growing?

RC: While I was answering these questions, we decided to start one more! My friend and fellow photographer Chip Litherland is helping me run the Colorado Photo Brigade, which will feature the University of Colorado at Boulder. I decided to branch out further and focus on universities because there are so many photography students producing amazing work on a daily basis. I figured I could use the same concept to create a community of students, alumni, and faculty to showcase the work coming from each school as well as former students.

Obviously I’m only a team of one, and don’t have time to moderate all these blogs and make a living myself, so I enlisted the help of eager students at each university who are closer to their classmates and can encourage them to blog. The regional branches also create a wonderful place for everyone to see the end product of what each institution is producing. Each post is tagged and categorized…so if you want to reference a particular class (photo 101) or search only for alumni work or just the class of 2002, you’ll be able to. Check out our regional blogs: Ohio, Missouri, and Rochester, all with their respective Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Many more to come!

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.

Photo District News has announced its 30 new and emerging photographers to watch for 2010. Check out their gallery for a images and interviews with a wide range of photographers, including a few names you’ve probably heard and several that are brand new — at least to us.

liveBooks also announced its own contest for emerging wedding photographers on Monday at WPPI in Las Vegas. The emerge Photo Competition will judge photographers on their ability to tell a story through images by asking them to upload a series of portfolios to a site for the judges. Winners will receive a prize package complete with everything to take a wedding photography business to the next level, with goodies from TheKnot.com, Sony, LabPrints, Asuka Book, ShootQ, Rangefinder, Pictage, Think Tank, and liveBooks.

We found out from Andrew Hetherington this week that legendary photographer Larry Fink has started his own blog. It includes rarely seen images from his archives along with meditations from the man himself (although it’s run by his studio manager). New York-based photographer Robert Caplin also launched a new blog this week, The Photo Brigade. It showcases the work of talented freelance photographers and is sure to be a top destination for editors very soon.

We were also happy to see that the discussion we started with our Future of Photobooks project, a collaboration with FlakPhoto, is being continued by photographer/blogger Shawn Records on too much chocolate. Check out his interviews with Jason Fulford and Alec Soth about moving from photography towards publishing. His talk with Richard Renaldi will be posted next week.

Posted in Blogs / Books / Photography

Thank you for joining us for the inaugural IMPACT online exhibition, a new project exploring the blog medium as a venue for photographic work. RESOLVE is excited to be hosting this experimental new project.

By clicking on the links below the IMPACT logo, you can move through the exhibition, viewing galleries of images, all related to the idea of “Outside Looking In.” Each “gallery” will include a series of images a photographer has uploaded to their blog along with this same IMPACT logo.

At any time you can click on the IMPACT logo to be taken to back to this post, where all the participating photographers are listed. (The “next” button actually takes you to a random gallery, so keep clicking if you get a repeat.)

By allowing viewers to move between different photographer’s online galleries, we hope to gain exposure for their work while providing a multifaceted visual study of the chosen topic.

We also wanted to remind viewers of the important role photographers play around the world, so we asked participants to share images from a project where they had an impact or were impacted themselves. If inclined, they have also included a link to an organization that they believe is having a positive impact on the world. Please help us increase this project’s IMPACT by sharing it with your community.

Enjoy!
The IMPACT Team: Yumi Goto, Miki Johnson, Paul O’Sullivan, Jeremy Wade Shockley

Gazi Nafis Ahmed: Inner Face

Daniel Beltra: Tropical Deforestation

Fabiano Busdraghi: Physics, adventure, poetry and photography in Antarctica

Shiho Fukada: No Retirement Plan

Sean Gallagher: Desertification Unseen

Bill Hatcher: New Zealand Masters of Sport

Ed Kashi: A “Fady” in Madagascar

Michael Kircher: Adventure for Healing

Pete Marovich: A Look Inside the Old Order

Sara Mayti: The Sound of a 4.16

Thomas Peschak: Saving the Most Important Fish In the Sea

Ian Shive: American National Parks

Jeremy Wade Shockley: The Mountain Kingdom

Art Wolfe: The Ganges River

Rachel Wolfe: Jamaica

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.

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