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Guest blog post by liveBooks client Ed Asmus

“Stunning” is a word that I don’t often use. But in this particular case, my trip to visit Ethiopia’s Omo Valley was not only aesthetically stunning, but strange and otherworldly. Almost ancestral.

Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

This magical place is also known as “The Cradle of Mankind” – home of the oldest hominid fossil, #AL288-1 or “Lucy.” 3.5 million years after her, I went to photograph and visit her descendants.

This life changing journey started in a strange way. I am a long time user of the Broncolor lighting in my professional photography business in Sacramento, CA. One day, when I was reading their monthly newsletter, I saw a featured photographer and read about his trip to Ethiopia. His images were immediately captivating. Eerie, almost. It was hard to believe that what I was looking at really still existed in the world today. I contacted Ken, the photographer, who told me that things were rapidly changing over there, that I should go for at least two weeks, and that I should go NOW. He gave me his trusted guide’s name and shoot organizer, Ayele Sode, and all the pieces began to fall into place.


Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

We planned our trip in November, just after the Ethiopian rainy season – their springtime – so native flowers would be in bloom. With equipment loaded atop our SUV, we headed to our first stop to see the “Surma Tribe.” It took three long days of driving in the bush to get to their village; the dirt roads were horrible. Not many Western people get to this tribe because they are so far off the beaten path, and there are no accommodations or running water. Our guide had organized tent camping and an enormous bottled water supply. He brought with us a chef and a hired bodyguard with an AK-47. I forgot we were in the bush and a long ways away from any cell service or modern conveniences.


Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

We planned to stay five days with the Surma people, but it was cut short by tribal tensions one night, so we departed a day early. We still experienced rain, which made the roads even more difficult. On our way out, some roads were washed out and we ended up getting stuck four times. It crossed my mind more than once that we were all going to spend the night in the Landcruiser. The first little town we came to is where we found pension for $2.00 a night – and I gladly picked up the tab. The rain made our travels longer as we had another three days of driving to get to our next tribe. We saw seven tribes total, each more different than the last. The one commonality is that they all live and depend on the land; most are either farmers of teff, corn, wheat, or coffee, or they free range cattle and goats. Our accommodations ranged from $2 to $120 per night/USD. This really is a National Geographic wonderland, and what you will see and experience is worth every penny. All I can say is stunning.


Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

I’ve been back for only two weeks and am already missing the ET native people. They seem to get by on what they have and are happy. My plans are to go back again next year, fine tune the logistics, and shoot more beautiful work.

Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

Ed Asmus

Please check out Ed’s website for more stunning images!

Studio: 916-455-5061


liveBooks Ambassador Marcela Taboada’s exhibit, Sanmigueleñas, is currently running through the end of January at the Centro Cultural San Pablo in Oaxaca, Mexico. 

These Mexican girls are daughters of farmers who learned how to grow vegetables organically. They are the future mothers who will transmit to their children how to stop the use and abuse of pesticides and to eat healthy. I photographed them the day that the harvest was done. My idea was to raise awareness that we all belong to Mother Earth and that by having a healthy and conscious society we can respect our planet in this globalized world.

Due to lack of information, children are fed sweets and processed drinks that affect their physical development. Although corn is the basis of our diet, at schools and other institutions, junk food abounds.

I decided to make these portraits of girls and young Zapotecs of San Miguel del Valle, a district of Tlacolula in Oaxaca, when the harvest of an organic garden that participated in the global collective project “I Have a Dream” was made. The vegetables they carry as “crowns” are what they themselves planted, irrigated, tended and harvested with their parents. My intention is to raise awareness to all women that we are related to land and fertility. We feed our children who will carry this message to future generations. I consider it very important to rescue organic home gardens that help make a healthy and conscious society, obtaining a sustainable supply in this globalized world.

288_I HAVE A DREAM_2014 496_I HAVE A DREAM_2014

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November 2nd, 2015

Photo Plus Expo 2015 Recap

Posted by liveBooks

Now that we’re back in the office and able to reflect on the amazing three days at Photo Plus Expo in New York City, we are reminded once again how truly awesome our clients are! We had an absolute blast meeting new people and catching up with old friends, chatting with you about your websites, and facilitating one-on-one Support help.

We scanned over 600 people at the liveBooks booth, gave out tons of swag including our signature orange tote bags, sunglasses, lens cloths, and stickers (hope you got some before we ran out!)


If you stopped by our booth hopefully you were able to check out some of the exciting new things that are coming to liveBooks in the next few months. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by or attend PPE – stay tuned for the big unveiling very soon!


Posted in Exhibitions / Photography

Award-winning photographer, author and educator Michael Corsentino gives us his tips for getting the most out of the Photo Plus Expo. Follow these simple recommendations and you’re sure to have a productive show!

When it comes to the end of October most people are thinking about their latest Halloween costumes and stocking up on candy for the parade of ghouls and goblins about to descend on their doorsteps. For those of us in the photo industry the end of October is also the time of year when 22,000 photographers and enthusiasts from every corner of the country converge on the Jacob Javitz Center in Midtown Manhattan for the annual PhotoPlus Expo in New York City! With tens of thousands of square feet, 220 exhibitors, 80 conference seminars, myriad special events, and a ton of parties, attendees have a lot of ground to cover in just 4 short days. As a longtime denizen of PhotoPlus, here are my top 10 recommendations for getting the most out of this great expo:

1. Pace yourself
As mentioned above and below you’ve got a lot of ground to cover during PhotoPlus, there’s a ton to take in. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, take it slow and resist the urge to try and accomplish everything the first day. Slow and steady wins the race here.

2. Bring snacks
Full conference and expo days easily top 10 hours, definitely qualifying them as endurance events. You’ll need energy and hydration to keep up, brave the crowds, stay on your feet, and explore the miles of exhibitors without falling over. Cover your bases and bring snacks like protein bars, apples, nuts, and bottled water to provide the fuel you’ll need.

3. Staying on track
An iPhone is my go-to tool for staying organized and on point during the show. At a glance I can view the expo schedule, keep track of planned meetings, locate exhibitors, take notes and photograph cool new gear to reference later.

4. Layer
In late October early November the weather in New York starts getting chilly and windy so come prepared. During the expo you’ll be dealing with two temperature zones, one outside the show where it’s potentially cold and windy and another inside the expo where it’s not! In this situation a backpack to stuff an overcoat or a few extra pieces of clothing into is your best friend. This way you can layer up and down as needed. A backpack is also indispensable for holding show collateral and snacks.

5. Go for comfort
This isn’t the time to break in that new pair of killer shoes you’ve been dying to show off. Comfortable shoes rule the day during PhotoPlus! That doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish if that’s your thing, just be sure and choose shoes that are well broken in. Consider using a padded insole for extra comfort and pack a few bandaids just in case things get dicey with your dogs.

6. Make a plan
With so many classes and exhibitors all in one place knowing where to start can be overwhelming. It’s easy to miss the important and get diverted by the trivial. Make it a point to have a plan and prioritize. Let the exhibitors list be your guide. Map out the manufacturers who’ve got that must have gear you’ve been considering. This is your chance to see it all up close and personal, get your questions answered, and take advantage of show discount specials!

7. Take at least one class
PhotoPlus isn’t just the place to ogle the newest lust worthy gear, it’s also your opportunity to meet and learn from your photography heroes. Consider arriving prior to the trade show to take advantage of one or more of the many great classes being conducted. Be sure and reserve ahead of time, seating is limited.

8. Network, network, network
PhotoPlus is your chance for some rare face time with everyone from photography executives, marketers, manufacturers and other photographers, famous and not so famous. If you’ve been dying to get on someones’s radar this is your opportunity. Bring your A game, an iPad portfolio and plenty of business cards!

9. Affordable lodging
Accommodations in NYC typically run the gamut from expensive to very expensive. However there are deals to be had if you know where to look. Many people prefer the Pod for reasonably priced digs, but if you’re a good camper like I am and don’t mind a shared bathroom arrangement, you’ll love Larchmont Hotel in the West Village. At about $100 a night it’s hard to beat. Airbnb is also a great option and the one I opted to use myself this year. For $70 a night I was able to book a room in a clean, modern, well reviewed apartment with a full kitchen located in midtown, a stones throw from the Expo.

10. Enjoy NYC
Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit New York. Set aside some time to enjoy the city and all it has to offer. Explore the beauty of Central Park, check out a museum, take in a show, hang in the village, dine in Tribeca, take a ride on the Staten Island ferry – there’s no shortage of options in the city that never sleeps.

Bonus tip!! Don’t forget your Badge
I hate wearing a badge almost as much as I hate forgetting my badge back at my hotel! There are a lot of things you can do without during PhotoPlus, your badge isn’t one of them. Save yourself the headache and double check to make sure you have your badge with you before leaving for the expo.

If you have other suggestions please leave them in the comments below. And don’t forget to visit the liveBooks team at Photo Plus in booth 566!


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