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Inspirational Work

Designing the perfect website to show off your work and style can be overwhelming, daunting, and extremely time consuming. Here at liveBooks we strive to make it as easy (and fun!) as possible to create your website. While there are many things you can do within your editSuite, in this blog post we have narrowed down the top five things to do to get your website ready to go-live in one hour.

Portfolios and Libraries

As photographers and creative professionals, one of the most important aspects of your website will be showing off your beautiful work. The first thing you will want to do within your editSuite is name your portfolios and libraries so you know where to put your content once it is uploaded. One thing to note: libraries are for organizing and storing your images within your editSuite and do not appear on the user-facing side of your website. There is no limit to the number of libraries you can have on your site, and you can always add more than the default amount given. Portfolios, once you have added at least one image to them, will show on your website.

Check out these Support articles to learn more:

What Is The Difference Between Libraries and Portfolios?

How Do I Use The Name Portfolios and Libraries Module?

Upload Content

Once you have your portfolios and libraries named, you will want to upload your photos. Your first step will be to prepare your images according to the Image Prep Instructions. Once you have uploaded the images to your site, they will appear in the acquire area of your “Upload Image” page and you will see thumbnails as the images appear. Note that these images will remain in the acquire area until they are moved into a library for permanent storage (which is why naming your libraries ahead of time is a good idea.) Once images are moved to a library, you will then have the ability to place them into a portfolio for viewing on the front end of your site.

Some additional helpful articles:

How Do I Use The Upload Images Module?

How Do I Use The Upload Images Module For Scaler?

Name Your Pages

After your photos are uploaded, you will want to make sure that the rest of the pages on your website are correctly named and filled with some content. Typical names include: Home, About, Contact, Video, Blog, etc. Once you have renamed your pages accordingly, add some basic content and links so that they are not blank when you go-live.

Additional Resources:

How Do I Rename One Of My Pages?

How Do I Use The Pages Module?

Choose Homepage Photo(s)

One of the final steps to get your website go-live ready will be choosing your homepage photo (or photos, depending on the type of template you choose.) These will be displayed when a user first lands on your page and is really the first impression that people will have of your work and style.

How Do I Change The Images In My Homepage Slideshow?

How Do I Create And Control My Homepage Gallery?

Go-Live!

Once the above steps are done, you have previewed your website, added some brief content, and activated your account, you will want to submit a Go-Live request so that your beautiful website can be seen by the world!

Have any other to-do’s before going live with your website? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email at social@livebooks.com!

June 22nd, 2015

Photography Website Trends

Posted by liveBooks

Things are continually changing in the digital age that we’re living in, and now that we’re mid-way through 2015, it’s time to do a round-up of photography website trends for the rest of the year – and beyond.

Mobile-Friendly Design

With an increasing number of people browsing the web on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, designing a website with mobile in mind is going to be even more important in the coming months. Think of a mobile-friendly site as a much simpler version of your full website; the amount of text is limited to be as concise as possible, the site menu has shorter titles, and the focus really falls on your beautiful images. It will also be extremely important to ensure that your site loads quickly on mobile devices, as user experience is even more apparent on mobile.

Interactive Storytelling

Your website and images should essentially tell the user a story: what your brand is about, your journey as a photographer, the past work you’ve done, and ultimately the type of work you hope to do in the future. Ideally, your images will also evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer – and interactive storytelling can help achieve this. Techniques such as scrolling images, unique page transition effects, and interesting layouts allows you to create a truly original and engaging experience for your viewers – hopefully triggering an emotional response that will make them remember you long after they’ve left your site.

Image-Centered Design

A couple of years ago, the theme of prominently displayed images across the full screen became very popular in web design. This is incredibly fortunate for photographers, and it’s a trend that’s not going anywhere any time soon. In fact, it is only going to get more sophisticated as techniques emerge to optimize images for better responsiveness and faster load time. Plus, the ability to add information on top of photos without compromising the resolution or user-experience will prove extremely valuable.

Customized Image Portfolios

The way you display your images on your website is highly personal; only you know the story you have to tell and the way you want your audience to hear it. The trend of creating unique ways for users to view your portfolios is gaining a lot of traction. From displaying your images in a grid layout, photo strips, slideshows, and automatic scrolling, you now have more control over the experience your user has.

Focus on Video

Video has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, and that trend will only continue. Many websites are now utilizing full-screen videos in the background to create a more engaging experience for the user, and because many sites have become more advanced to facilitate faster media streaming, Internet users tend to read less and watch more. Even if you do not typically offer video services, creating a reel of “behind-the-scenes” shots would be a great way to present your brand so that it leaves a lasting impact on your audience and allows you to have interactive media.

Minimalist Design

The minimalist design has been trendy for a few years now and it basically follows the “less is more” philosophy. Large, full-screen imagery, bold typography, simpler navigation bars, and linear shapes are all going to continue to be design elements in the future. The good news is that this type of design will be a great way to practice honing your marketing message in fewer words and/or photos.

What trends do you hope to see (or not see!) the rest of this year and next?

Resources:

8 Photography Website Trends

Top 7 Website Trends for Photographers

Posted in Website Tips / Websites

Photographer Christina Kiffney brings creativity and a fresh, artistic approach to each and every assignment. Her work is highly compelling and authentic – and we think her website absolutely exudes all of these same qualities.

Check out her full site here: www.christinakiffney.com and read on to see just why we chose her as our featured website this week!

CK

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

CK: Narrative, Genuine, Creative.

CK 1

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

CK: I work with a consultant at Agency Access to choose a portfolio that reflects my core style, while still displaying the breadth of my work.

CK 2

Q: How often do you update your website?

CK: I update my website annually.

CK 3

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

CK: The ability to upload private, customize-able Lightroom galleries for client viewing and selection.

CK 4

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

CK: Work with a consultant to make sure your website appeals to the clients you want to book, rather than just being a representation of the jobs you do.

CK 5

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

 

 

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

Photographer David Wilder dabbled in portrait, wedding, and commercial photography before he landed on his true calling – photographing the great outdoors. Now, David spends his time capturing the beautiful Alberta landscape and exploring around the world. His website is a true reflection of his love for nature – and reflects a clean and crisp look that we are so excited to feature this week.

Check out his full site – www.davidwilder.ca – and read on for what he had to say about his site’s creation!

DW website

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

DW: Clean, Simple, Sleek. For someone like myself who is always about presenting my work with less distractions, that’s what drew my attention to this design.

DW website 1

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

DW: I was always taught that your handshake says a lot about you. My homepage is my handshake, it is often the first thing people see and where they start to learn about me. I choose images for the homepage that speak to my character, what I value, and who I am as a person. It is with these images the visitor can become captivated and drive them to want to see more.

Dw website 2

Q: How often do you update your website?

DW: The most challenging thing for any creative is to stay current and relevant. Before I found liveBooks, it was so hard to keep updating my site. But with liveBooks the system is now so easy to make changes on the fly. I tend to make updates to my website once a month. I feel it gives a balance between my visitors getting a chance to see what I have recently been working on but not rush their favorite images out the door too soon.

DW website 3

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

DW: Hands down it is the Admin Portal. Time is so important to everyone. The less time I have to dedicate to making changes means the more time I can focus on my craft. My heart always wants to be behind the camera taking the next photograph and the way the Admin Portal makes updating my site so efficient it allows me to be out there finding my next shot.

DW website 4

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

DW: My advice would be design something that speaks to you, as this will achieve a number of things. A website speaks on your behalf, it represents you. You want visitors to get to know you by viewing it and feel like they have already met you. You also want to be happy with its aesthetics; it needs to be captivating and engaging to your audience, otherwise you will constantly be trying to change it and using up precious time that you could be using to create more of your art.

DW website selfie

Follow more of David’s work and adventures on Instagram – @dw_photo_ca

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

 

 

Emmy-award winning destination wedding photographers Chris+Lynn travel all over the world taking gorgeous, colorful, and highly expressive images. Their website is so unique and romantic that we absolutely had to feature it this week.

Check out their full site – www.chrispluslynn.com because we absolutely love it – and we’re sure you will too!

C+L test

 

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

C+L: Emotive, bold, and handcrafted.

test test

 

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

C+L: Our clients are couples headed on the literal and emotional journey of having a destination wedding, so our photography is about capturing that – the true adventure of love! We choose images that reflect the authenticity of travel, adventure, and love.

C+L press

 

Q: How often do you update your website?

C+L: We try to update galleries with fresh images every two months.

C+L truth

 

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

C+L: The ease of updating in the editSuite is great and we love the incredible customer service.

C+L published

 

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

C+L: For us, designing a website is a constant work in progress! Understanding this and having a platform where you can continually and easily update and tweak the site is important. Another tip we found valuable was to aim for maximum impact when choosing your images – and design your site to heighten that impact.

Contact

 

Keep up with their destination weddings and adventures on Instagram @chrispluslynn & Twitter @chrispluslynn.

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

 

We feel extremely lucky here at liveBooks to have so many talented photographers and creative professionals from all over the world using our platform. Lukasz Warzecha, a Polish born British photographer, does incredible photo and video work on mountaineering in some amazing locations. This week we are featuring his website (we love his integration of both photo and video!) Check out what he had to say about it below!

LW website 3

 

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

LW: Uncluttered, Modern, Fresh

LW website 1

 

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

LW: This has been a long process. I’ve been shooting professionally for over five years now and over this period of time I had opportunities to shoot on four continents and for a variety of clients. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Peter Dennen, Former Director of Photography at Aurora Photos and now running his own consultancy business (Pedro+Jackie). Peter has poured over 1000+ images and organized my work into galleries, the whole process took us a few months also because I’m normally super busy traveling and shooting.

LW website 4

 

Q: How often do you update your website?

LW: I try to update my page every 12-18 months, in between I’m usually adding some fresh images every now and again.

LW website 6

 

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

LW: I’ve been a liveBooks customer for a long time now (four years, I think?!) and I just like the whole system. The look and feel of the galleries and the integrated video capability and the back end, plus email and FTP support.

LW website

 

See Lukasz’s full site here: www.lwimages.co.uk

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

The importance of having a mobile-friendly website for a photographer or creative should not come as a surprise. The percentage of mobile traffic has surpassed 50% on many sites, and Google (as they are known to do) is once again switching up their algorithm to cater to this growing number.

On Tuesday, April 21st, Google will start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This means that Google will now start marking your site as mobile-friendly (seen in screenshots below) to determine if your site should rank higher in search results. To put it simply, if your website or blog is not mobile-friendly, it will be penalized by Google when a user is doing a search on a mobile device. Google says that it is doing this so that “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

google_update

 

What does this mean for you and your liveBooks site?

To ensure that your site is not negatively affected by this new change when someone searches using a mobile device, it is important that you make sure Mobile 2.0 is enabled in your editSuite. Mobile 2.0 was built with this new algorithm in mind to optimize your mobile presence. It will transform your liveBooks site into a clean, easy-to-navigate, photo-centric experience for all users on all types of mobile devices.

 

image1 (2)

image2

You will also want to check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to confirm the compatibility of your site and blog.

Additional Resources:

editSuite Help – Enabling Mobile Websites

Mobile Websites 2.0 FAQ

Google’s Mobile Guidelines

Google Webmaster Help Forum

5 Benefits of Mobile Websites

Need help enabling Mobile 2.0 in your editSuite? Contact our support team at support@livebooks.com

Todd Beltz, a commercial and editorial photographer who specializes in culinary, space, and travel images, has a website that is so colorful and eye-catching it seems to pop off the page – yet still manages to be extremely clean and easy to navigate.

Here’s what Todd had to say about his site – and don’t forget to head on over to www.toddbeltz.com to see more!

todd beltz website

 

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

TB: Minimalist, easy, clean

todd beltz website 1

 

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

TB: Choosing photos to put up on my website is a tough job as a photographer. I may find a picture I took to have special meaning and want to display it but it won’t particularly hold any interest to the viewer. So I generally choose photos that will hopefully draw the viewer in to want to see more.

todd beltz website 3

 

Q: How often do you  update your website?

TB: This varies depending on my work schedule, but I do try to update it with new material at least twice a month.

todd beltz website 2

 

Q: What is your favorite feature that liveBooks offers?

TB: I have a few favorites but if I had to pick one it would have to be the SEO that liveBooks offers.

todd beltz website 4

 

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

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: www.claire-rosen.com and follow her adventures on Instagram: @clairerosenphoto.

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

 

 

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