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Inspirational Work

Artist Claire Rosen, who specializes in fine art, as well as fashion and advertising photography, and was named in Forbes 30 Brightest Under 30 for Art and Design in 2012 and 2013, has one of the most unique yet easy-to-navigate sites we’ve ever seen.

Here’s what she had to say about it – and don’t forget to check out her photography, it’s absolutely stunning!

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

CR: Branded, Functional, Cohesive

claire rosen website

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

CR: The images selected for display on the homepage were chosen to reflect a cohesive vision in my work that didn’t draw lines between fine art or commissioned projects.

claire rosen website 1



Q: How often do you update your website?

CR: I update my website as I have new projects or information to share.

claire rosen website 4

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

CR: That it is so easy to use and update that I don’t ever have to worry about it!

claire rosen website 2


Check out Claire’s full site: and follow her adventures on Instagram: @clairerosenphoto.

Have a website that you’d like us to feature? Email us at!



April 3rd, 2015

Photographer Spotlight: Jim LaSala

Posted by Heather

Jim LaSala is a multi-award winning fine art photographer and Moab Master who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He lived in Staten Island for several years and currently resides in Flemington, New Jersey. He opened “Strike a Pose Photography Studio” in 1990 specializing in Fine Art Photography, Portraiture, and Electronic Imaging. Jim is presently a managing partner for “Xact Studios” in Hillsborough, New Jersey. As well as still life and fine art images, Jim has been passionately involved in documenting the people and their lives in Haiti. We had the pleasure of chatting with Jim to hear more about his work, inspirations, and vast experiences across the globe.

Q: What’s your inspiration?

JL: My parents are my inspiration, and it started a long time ago. We were less fortunate than many and growing up with deaf parents forced me to mature somewhat faster than some other children my age. They truly moticated me to see past prejudices and being held back from the things that you truly want in life.

Jim LaSala 1

“Eyes on Haiti” – Jim LaSala

Q: What role does photography play in your life?

JL: Communication. My photography is an extension of my feelings and thoughts and it has been very special to me.

Jim LaSala

“Blind Faith” – Jim LaSala

Q: Who are some sources of artistic influence for you?

JL: The first person that comes to mind is the incredible works of George Hurrell, “photographer to the stars.” His control of hot lights and dynamic portraiture has helped me understand the importance of capturing full tones and controlling contrast. Also Ansel Adams, who was a master of pre-visualization. I’ve often been asked how I end up with some of the images that I have produced and I believe it has a lot to do with understanding the story you are trying to share. What made you stop to photograph a certain situation? Was it color, texture, or maybe lack of color? Try to bring out just what it was that caught your interest. Don’t just settle for mediocre but keep your thoughts and ideas flowing. And lastly, Sally Mann. I love her storytelling abilities as well as her black and white treatment.

Jim LaSala 2

“Profound Silence” – Jim LaSala

Q: Let’s talk about your work “Hope and Despair.” Can you tell us a little more about this project?


JL: I have been fortunate enough to make six journeys to Haiti along with a non-profit organization that has been documenting the people who are in such need. This image was captured on my last trip (February 2011) while we were staying in Port Au Prince. We stayed in a makeshift commune that houses volunteers from all over the world. Behind this building are many tents that are set up for hundreds of people that lost their homes after the devastating earthquake in 2010 that took over 300,000 lives. It is here that we find children laughing, crying, playing, and surviving. Warm and friendly people is what I experienced. The many faces and eyes that tell a story we could never imagine. I’m blessed to be a photographer so I can tell the story through my images, and many times we forget how important our job is. When we are documenting and relaying our feelings about people, it’s not just about pushing the shutter. It’s about caring and respecting life. The story behind “Hope and Despair” is as follows: while in tent city, I spent time walking among the people, trying to get to know them, and make them feel comfortable. I came upon these two young girls who had been in tent city for about a year. One seemed quite eager to have her photo taken, while the other one was very shy. With some coaxing I was finally able to grab three or four images before I continued on. There are many times when I don’t even realize what I have captured. We become voyeurs while hiding behind our cameras. At times, we even lose our sensitivity while trying to capture the emotions around us. Sometimes, it’s not until I actually get back home and start editing that I become very emotional and affected by what I have captured. It is at this time when reality hits and we can no longer hide behind a piece of equipment and separate ourselves from the world. I’m hoping to continue my story. I’m hoping that my images can in some way help a country so devastated and so in need, yet so proud and grateful, even for the little they possess. I’m so grateful that I can share my story with everyone through my eyes.

Jim LaSala 3

“Sweet Innocence” – Jim LaSala

Jim’s exhibit, “Cuba Revealed,” is currently showing at the Collection Privee Gallery in Wynwood, Miami.

Check out his website to learn more about his fantastic work!

For the second installment of our featured website of the week we have Martin Sundberg, a photographer, director, and DP based in the San Francisco Bay area. He specializes in making photographs and films of people living an active life and pursuing their passions by land and by sea.

Check out what he had to say about his liveBooks site!

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

MS: Clean, functional, and eye-catching

martin sundberg website 3

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

MS: Initially I worked with a consultant to edit galleries and categories. Since then I have added and subtracted as I saw fit (which does not always make a gallery stronger) but it is so easy to play with and always exciting to get new work up.

martin sundberg website

Q: How often do you update your website?

MS: After ever shoot I like to drop my favorites into a “new work” category, and if they easily fit in the flow of one of my other galleries I’ll drop them in there as well. As bodies of work present themselves I will just try them out in new galleries.

martin sundberg website 4

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

MS: The behind-the-scenes. Making new galleries and adding new images is so intuitive.

Martin Sundberg website 1

Check out more of Martin’s site here:

Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at!



March 30th, 2015

5 Traits of a Great Website Homepage

Posted by Heather

You know the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well that absolutely applies to your website. Which is why your homepage – the first page people land on – is one of the most important pages on your entire website. We’ve identified five traits that make for a fantastic website homepage. How many of them does your site have?

1. Clearly Answers Who You Are and What You Do

As photographers and creative professionals, visuals are going to play a huge role in your website homepage. Ensuring that you choose a photo or photos that clearly illustrate who you are and what your brand is about is imperative so that the user continues to browse your site. Do you do multiple types of photography? Or specialize in one area? Make sure the visuals you choose reflect exactly what you do and what you can offer to a potential client. You never want someone to land on your site and have to ask “what do they do?”

2. Dynamic and Always Changing

Users are smart. They can tell when a site hasn’t been updated in a while or if the content is old. It’s important that your homepage reflects that you are constantly completing fantastic new work and projects and posting it accordingly. In this day and age, styles, techniques, even gear changes so rapidly that it is extremely important to showcase that you are “with the times” in the types of photos you display.

3. Stellar Visuals

As photographers this is where you have a huge leg-up over pretty much every other industry. You take stunning visuals for a living! But how do you choose just one (or a few) for a homepage? One way is to let your ideal consumer or customer decide. Your idea of your best picture may be totally different from your target audience, so feeling out public opinion can sometimes make the decision a lot easier. Maybe run a poll on Facebook or Instagram between two photos and see which one gets the most likes. Another idea is to ask some close friends/family what three words come to mind when they land on your homepage – if those three words are in-line with your style and what you envision your brand to be, you know you’ve got the right picture. Plus, as mentioned in number two, your photo should always be changing, so you will have plenty of opportunity to show off your different shots.

4. Optimal for All Devices

These days, mobile phones and tablets are quickly becoming the preferred way to browse the web. To make sure that people coming to your site have the best experience possible, it is very important that your website is optimized for mobile devices. Not only should your site display beautifully on mobile, but it should also be easy to navigate so your consumer is able to get all of the important information they need. Make sure to enable Mobile 2.0 in your editSuite!

5. Clear Navigation

When a user lands on your homepage, what is the logical next thing you want them to do? Most likely check out your portfolios, then maybe read your bio or get more info on you, and last but certainly not least, contact you. Make sure that your navigation portrays these steps in a way that a user would look for them. Make it clear what each page of your site displays so that they don’t have to waste any time looking for what they want or need.

What are some other traits that you think are the most important to keep in mind when designing your website? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Here at liveBooks, we love providing creative professionals with the tools they need to express themselves, their brand, and their work. We are starting up a new weekly series where we will feature a different liveBooks website each week with details from the site’s owner about what went into its creation. We look forward to seeing the amazing things each of our clients can do with their liveBooks site!

This week we are featuring Mike Adrian, a destination wedding photographer who travels throughout Hawaii, California, Mexico, and Canada.

Mike Adrian Headshot

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

MA: Clean, Elegant, Romantic.



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

MA: Photos need to represent a powerful moment of connection between the couple. I want potential clients to be able to place themselves in the photo – let them feel that this can be their moment too.



Q: How often do you update your website?

MA: Photos are generally updated every three months. Galleries are added or removed based on location, venue, or event style.



Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

MA: The customer support is the best. I can have ideas for the website and the technical team is there to make the ideas become a reality. The ability to update the look and feel of my site based on my business needs is amazing.

Check out more of Mike’s site here:


Interested in having your website featured? Email us at

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!



Posted in Blogs / Photography
September 15th, 2014

A Visit to the Island of the Sharks

Posted by liveBooks

Cocos Island was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and has no inhabitants other than the Costa Rican Park Rangers who strive to stem off illegal fishing within the protected area surrounding the island. With little resources and only one boat available to them they do their best under circumstances to keep the marine environment thriving. Photographer Li Westerlund takes us on her latest trip.

There are many hidden wonders in the world still to explore even for the most adventurous. As a photographer and scuba diver with the love of remote dive-areas, my passport is filled with all kinds of destinations which makes immigration officers at the airports on my return raise their eyebrows. Places like Komodo, Alors and Northern Sulawesi in Indonesia, Papua Guinea and Sudan’s Red Sea waters to mention a few. One of my absolute favourite escapes is located about 35-40 hours of open water travel by boat off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Its name is Isla del Coco, or Cocos Island, at times referred to as the Island of the Sharks.

Whitetip on the lookout

Whitetip on the lookout. Image courtesy of Li Westerlund.

The abundance of marine life surrounding Cocos island, which is the only emergent island of the relatively minor Cocos Plate, comes with some of the strongest currents you will encounter as a diver. Thus in many ways this marine preserve not only provides one of the most intensive adrenaline rushes but also some intriguing challenges for divers and underwater photographers.

Abundance of life

Abundance of life. Image courtesy of Li Westerlund.

In August of this year I made my fifth trip, deliberately choosing the rainy season – and does it rain in Cocos Island! – with the hope of encountering enormous schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks that grace the pinnacles around the island. There may not be a real on or off season for encountering these sharks and we all have to remember that the sea gives you what the sea wants to give you, not what you desire when descending into its depth. My preferred time though is between July and September, which also coincides with the time of the year when in the past I’ve encountered the giant whale sharks. And for this year, my trip truly became the trip of whale sharks.

Whaleshark in the deep

Whaleshark in the deep. Image courtesy of Li Westerlund.

Even though we saw scalloped hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks, whitetip reef sharks, yellowfin tuna, the enormous school of jack fish that is always present, bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales on the surface, the mantra “May the whale shark be with you” was forever coined among some of us. There are several destinations around the world known for whale shark encounters but most only permit encounters while snorkelling or scuba diving in fairly shallow waters, when they come closer in to feed on plankton. Yes, the biggest shark on the planet lives on the smallest plankton, which is quite incredible in the bigger scheme if you think about it.

Hammerhead in for cleaning.

Hammerhead in for cleaning. Image courtesy of Li Westerlund.

Compared to other encounters with whale sharks, what mesmerized me the most diving with them in Cocos was the thrill of mingling with them in the greater depth of the ocean and how gently, gracefully, they interacted with us divers. How they were curious and almost inquisitive, and not anxious or troubled by our presence. The monsoon rain pouring down over the island affected the visibility most times, making lighting quite challenging for photography but it also creating an opportunity to capture these magnificent creatures in the mysterious fashion they suddenly appear from the depth.

See more images from her trip in her series “Gentle Giants of the Deep” and “Galenaea” at

Photographer and humanitarian Sarah Fretwell has been called an unreasonable activist. She formed The Truth Told Project to help the girls and women of the Congo share their stories of sexual violence with the world and serve as a catalyst for change. She tells us about the project and with what we can do to help.
The Truth Told

Kavira Kabambi, 15 year old survivor. Photographed by Sarah Fretwell.

The Truth Told Project

One girl or woman is raped every minute in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The rape is not random, as you might think. It is a power play that targets those who are not in a position to fight back. The rebel and military groups use rape as a scare tactic and way to control and destroy local communities. The DRC’s society is so broken rape is now “normalized.” Millions of girls, women and men have been raped. Many more will be raped in the time it takes you to read these few paragraphs. More »

A climber and visual storyteller, Cory Richards was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. Cory’s camera has taken him from the controlled and complex studio to the wild and remote corners of the world, from the unclimbed peaks of Antarctica to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan – all in the attempt to capture not only the soul of adventure and exploration, but also the beauty inherent in our modern society.

Cory dropped out of high school and was practically homeless by the time he was just 14 years old. His education came from observing what was happening around him and discovering the richness that comes from struggle. His video “A Tribute to Discomfort” takes you through his journey from recounting the avalanche that almost took his life and led to the moving self-portrait that appeared on the cover of National Geographic, to describing what drives him to tell stories of people and places.

“My job is communicate a real raw visceral experience. Despite the fact that we are experiencing massive problems as a human family we are still experiencing each other, loving and having a ton of fun. I mean life is fun.” – Cory Richards

A Tribute to Discomfort: Cory Richards from Blue Chalk on Vimeo.

May 30th, 2014

What Makes a Moment?

Posted by liveBooks

Each of us defines a moment in a different way. For food photographer Penny De Los Santos a moment is where people, culture and food come together.

“I am inspired by and in love with that space where a scene vibrates with an energy. And when it’s combined with light, composition and color – that’s when I make a picture of a moment.” – Penny De Los Santos

In her TEDx Talk she takes us from a candlelit dinner table in war torn Lebanon to the grave of a loved one, asking us to stop, connect and take the time strengthen and honor the bonds between us.


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