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Katie Adkins a is a documentary and fine art photographer in Rapid City, South Dakota. She attended Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked extensively as a freelance artist in addition to working with well-known photographers such as Martin Parr and National Geographic Alex Webb. To see more of her work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.katieadkinsphotography.com.

I started out in this industry through serendipitous events. In 2008 when the housing maker crashed, the large architectural company I was working for let go of the majority of its staff. I was one of those let go. While devastating at the time, in the end it was an opportunity to reevaluate what I really wanted to be doing. I took the opportunity to go back to school and get my Masters in Photography and haven’t looked back since then. I took every opportunity I could to see how other photographers worked by assisting and taking them out for coffee to pick their brains. By immersing myself in the art world, I was able to meet people who have helped me succeed and get to where I am today. Today I am a freelance photographer, shooting for newspapers, magazines, and private clients. I am also lucky enough to have an amazing day job where I am Assistant Curator at the contemporary art gallery. Most importantly, I work as a fine artist. I have had several solo exhibits and been a part of numerous group shows. Being immersed in the creative world has been the most fulfilling and best decision I have ever made.

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

KA: Contemporary, relaxed, and unique.

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

KA: I update my website about once a month or more often if I have been shooting a lot. The liveBooks software is so easy to use that it only takes a second to update, rearrange, or remove content. There is no point in having a website with stagnant information. Having an easy-to-use design platform keeps your work relevant and keep visitors coming back.

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

KA: Your homepage is a crucial part of your website – it is a teaser for what visitors can expect if they delve further into your site. It is important for this to be not only an accurate representation of the rest of your site but you also want it to be exciting, eye-catching, and unique. The thing to keep in mind is you don’t want to “give it all away” on your homepage, you want visitors to want to see more. It is also really important to keep it all clean. Luckily, this is easy to do with the liveBooks8 design options. In my case, I am showing several images from each of the portfolios on my page. This gives visitors an overview of my work and hopefully, makes them want to click on my portfolio pages and view more.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

KA: My favorite new feature on the liveBooks website is the design platform. You can make updates on the actual page and see how they look without having to view your page in a separate window. This not only saves times clicking back and forth but it allows you to make changes and adjustments and instantly to see how they look. Once you have made your changes, you simply publish and those changes go live.

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

KA: My best advice for someone who is just starting our designing their website is to choose a website that best represents you and what you do. It is really easy to look at another artist/photographer’s website and think that you should do the same thing because their website looks really cool. However, it is important to think about your own work, you own message and your own goal of having a website. Am I using my website for clients? Am I using my website to sell my work? Or, as in  my case, am I using my website as an online gallery space. What works for the commercial photographer will not be the same thing that works for a wedding/portrait photographer. The website design I choose best reflects my documentary approach to photography. The layout of each of my pages helps to tell a story, a quality I also use in my art.

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

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February is a month dedicated to love and relationships! Great music can help you focus on your work and stimulate the relationships you foster. Whether you’re getting cozy with your significant other, sharing time with close friends, or working on your website’s “marriage” and “love” portfolios, we hope that there is something on our February playlist that can help keep you focused on your work!

 

Posted in Photography

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Gaelle Morand is a photographer based out of California. Her work ranges from travel and entertainment portraiture to editorial and fashion. She’s worked with clients such as Universal, Island Def Jam, and Epitaph Records, as well as celebrities such as Olivia Wilde and Dita Von Teese. To see more of Gaelle’s work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.gaellemorand.com.

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My work in photography gives me access to people’s lives in ways that pull beauty out of the ordinary – I’ve done series of images framing close in on faces from cultures so different that the minute details tell an unexpected story. The subject might be a Tibetan nomad, or a musician headlining a rock band – to me these subjects are equally fascinating. I’m as interested in documenting culture as I am in finding what makes one person’s journey unique within that culture. I also have a long history in the motion picture industry, in CGI – mostly in lighting and look development, which I suppose is the common thread with my work in photography. In movies as in photography, I try to bring a cinematic perspective to my work. I enjoy crafting intricate studio lighting setups in service to an impeccable style. (Though I’m quite a fan of natural light, too!) I’ve been fortunate with opportunities to travel, and to meet a wonderful cross section of people and cultures. I’m looking forward to continuing that journey, camera in hand.

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

GM: Personal, Crafted, and Vivid.

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

GM: It’s very unpredictable!  It could be four times a month or four times a year, depending on where I’ve been and how much shooting I’ve been able to do.

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

GM: I try to select a set of vibrant and diverse images that somehow work well together. They can be very different as far as the subjects are concerned, but are tied in by a similar or complimentary color palette.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

GM: Without a doubt, it’s being able to try it all by visualizing various layouts. The interface is easy to use and you can get great results quickly. Customizing options seem endless and designing becomes very exciting.

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

GM: It’s obvious, but less is more! It’s about showcasing the best work and keeping the layout clean and simple.

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

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Michael Holtby is a Travel and Wildlife Photographer based in Denver, Colorado. His work has been exhibited in the Camera Obscura Gallery in Denver and has published a variety of print portfolios including a coffee table book called One Planet, One People. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.denverphotography.com

I have been taking photographs seriously since 1968 when I traded a kayak for a Pentax Spotmatic. My mentor was a student of Minor White and inspired me to do more than snapshots. In the early 1980s, I attended the Colorado Institute of Art in Commercial Photography and was initially a Studio Product and Portrait Photographer. At this point, I am retired and can now take assignments only selectively, related to my primary interests: travel, ethnic cultures, and wildlife. I sell my work with gallery showings, but primarily I would describe what I do as “personal work”.

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

Colorful, impactful, and joyful.

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How often do you typically update your website?

I update my site usually about once every three months, usually following a lot of travel shooting. However, since updating to liveBooks8, I’ve been tweeking it every couple of weeks.

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

I try to display photos on my homepage that grab your attention, but also represent the various galleries.

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What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

My favorite feature of liveBooks8 is the ease with which I can modify my website, add to it, and display galleries. I also love the video gallery that allow viewers to quickly peruse or choose a closer look.

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

The average time people are on a website is likely to be short, so tailor your site to hook viewers with a quick look.

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

January 20th, 2017

What we are listening to | January 2016

Posted by liveBooks

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January is a great month to start new projects! A new year brings the possibility of change and a great way to experiment with new tasks.  Whether this means creating new business deals, editing and updating your website, or new photo shoots, we know that January can be a month dedicated to positive changes. This is why this month’s playlist is all about changing and moving.

We hope that there is something on our January playlist that can help keep you motivated and focused on the good things and projects to come!

Is there a song that you have on repeat right now? Tell us which one at social@livebooks.com!

Posted in Photography

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Jay Goldman is a professional photographer specializing in wedding, bar-batmitzvahs, personal and corporate events and more! His studio is located in Los Angeles, California where he has created the majority of his career. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.jlgweddings.com.

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I started my career 25 years ago in NYC. I assisted for a couple dozen photographers whose work I liked. There was no internet. I found their work promos in a double volume 1990 Workbooks that I stole from the ad agency my roommate worked at. On the weekends, I shot film, on a Hasselblad, 12 frames on a roll. Many headshots and musicians. I hand printed my client’s 8×10 black and white headshots in a rented darkroom.

Fast forward 25 years: technology has exploded. I now shoot all my work on a Canon 5DS, with 50 MB files onto a 64 GB card or tethered to my 27″ iMac. I live in LA and have a studio in midtown for 10 years. We are a highly diversified studio. Revenue split between Weddings, Bar-Bat Mitzvahs, Personal and Corporate Events, Portrait, Product, and Jewelry Photography.

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

JG: Imagecentric, nonbulshitty, and juicy. I think one of those is a real word.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JG: I am constantly tweaking the site.
I decided to have a New Work gallery, so I try to swap in and out anything that is exciting to me that I am currently working on.
The beauty of LB8 is how fast you can jump in, drop a photo into a gallery, see a live preview, publish and then jump out. It’s like the Matrix.
The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.

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

JG: This something that I always struggle with. Sometime I am attached emotionally to an image and want to use it, I need someone to tell me that it is not strong for the site. I get a lot of opinions from wedding industry colleagues and from my brides. I think the homepage images should change every 6 months.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JG: The whole redesign of liveBooks8 is amazing. I have been a liveBooks client from the very beginning. When liveBooks launched, the editSuite was revolutionary. Then it got a bit antiquated. Now in liveBooks8, the live preview is quick and you can try different things out. I think I have pressed every button in the design module. I found the design of my “Kind Words” page by accident. I would have never thought that I would be using circles in my design.

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Q: What advise do you offer to someone designing their website?

JG: My advice is to make sure that the site has impact and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. That is the way the majority of my clients are browsing JLGweddings (at least brides). Also, realize that on the initial visiting session to your site, they may not have the time to go past your first gallery. Pack that one much heavier with your strongest work. If you hook them there, you made the first cut, and they will go deeper into your site.
I made another gallery design choice:
Everyone is very good at one-handed scrolling at blazing speed through Instagram feeds. In my New Work gallery, I purposely made every image horizontal so the gallery can go full-frame on a phone and someone can scroll straight down through the gallery of juicy images without putting down their triple, venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato with extra hot foam.

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

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Casey Curry is a celebrity, portrait, and fashion/beauty photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Casey has worked with A-list celebrities such as Michael Caine, Kate Winslet, Billy Bob Thornton, and many others. To see more of work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.caseycurry.com.

I’ve been studying light and taking pictures since I was the was a child although my start in the industry began with an assisting job for David LaChapelle. His creative approach fused with the talented photo crew he surrounds himself with set the bar for the level of production I wanted for my sets. From then, it’s been a slow burn of testing, developing my craft, and shooting commissioned work. As my aesthetic matures, so does my need to push the limits of what I can deliver for my clients – this can only be found through constant testing. I’ll often watch a film or look at a classic painting and think, “Oh that look would be great for this band/upcoming project.” It’s a continual path of discovery. I never stop learning.

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

CC: Clean, minimalistic, modern.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

CC: Since I started constructing the layout and curating work, it’s been a daily effort. From here on out, I plan on updating my site on a bi-monthly basis.

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

CC: The homepage is intended to give viewers a taste of each section of the website. Additionally, each image is meant to showcase the diverse approaches I’m capable of.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CC: It’s been years since I use the old liveBooks, so I can’t attest to how much it differs. I can, however, say that it is the best self-managed website I’ve user, and I’ve used quite a few of them. The functionality is superior. It is not only user-friendly, but also technically superior with the built-in SEO and design customization capabilities.

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

CC: Although it’s important to stay true to yourself, get feedback from peers in your field – or better yet, from those you draw influence and aspiration from. I always try to surround myself with people who I feel are better than me, and I took the same approach when building my site. Also, you need to strictly limit the content you display (that’s where the help of others can really come in handy). It should only be the best of what you have to showcase and it needs to take your viewers on a cohesive journey. A good portfolio is one that doesn’t feel disjointed and doesn’t ever get boring.

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

Tuesdays Tip

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The liveBooks team would like to wish you a Happy New Years. We know that with the beginning of a fresh new year, many people get wrapped up in new projects and goals. Why not make one of them cleaning up your website? Here are a few tips that will help get your website ready for a new year with a fresh start!

  1. Update your image gallery

Sometimes you get caught up with work, whether it’s at photoshoots, editing images, creating editorials, and forget to update your website with the new images you’ve created. Updating your images is an important part of showcasing your work. This is especially important for your homepage. Now is a great time to look at your recent jobs and see which images would be best to showcase.

2. Check your links

It’s important to check your external and internal links continuously throughout the year. Links that don’t lead your audience anywhere create a poor user experience. They are less likely to go back to your website once this happens. It is especially important to check external links as other websites may change page names, website URLs, etc. Internal links are equally as important but are under your control. Check these every time you change a page name within your website.

3. Optimize your SEO 

SEO is one of the most important aspects of your website! The liveBooks8 platform allows you to control SEO on a page/photo level as well as as on a site-wide level. It’s important that all of your SEO tags, descriptions and titles be up-to-date. Now is a great moment to look over these parts of your website. Still need some help understanding what SEO is and how you can optimize it on your website? Read our SEO Everything article!

4. Remove any outdated information from your pages

As a new year begins, it brings the opportunity to showcase new works and events that you would like your clients to see and attend. Potential clients interested in attending your events and conferences could be lost if they see that you have not updated information for the 2017 year.

5. Update your website’s copyright footer

Your website’s copyright year will not automatically update. Make sure that if you have a copyright on your website, to change the year from 2016 to 2017! This is especially important in the footer – the place where most people forget to look through.

These simple tips will make your website look both cleaner and more professional. As the new year begins, make sure to set aside some time to complete these tasks. They will make your website look both more professional and will help attract the right clients in 2017.

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Nancy Ney’s website is our first featured website of the week for 2017! Nancy has dedicated the majority of her career to Advertising Photography. As a result of traveling for the last few years, she has shifted some of her career focus to be dedicated to fine art travel images. To see more her work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.nancyney.com

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I started working in NYC as a production assistant when I was in my early 20s. I was very interested in photography and began shooting production stills on the set and developing and printing them to give to the clients. From there, I started testing with models and put a fashion book together. I got a big client right away. Jacques Cohen Espadrilles with a full color ad in French Officiale. It wasn’t too long before I opened my first studio on Union Square and started working in fashion and advertising. I had a long career in N.Y. eventually buying a loft at 620 Broadway in 1996 and selling it in 2011.

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Winner of IPA International Award in 2016

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

NN: The aesthetic of my website in three words would be Fine, Art, Travel.

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How often do you typically update your website?

NN: I will update the website after I come back from visiting a new locale. So usually about four times a year with some updates in between.

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

NN: Choosing the photos to display is a painstaking task. Since I shoot in a 2×3 ratio and the homepage images are square, usually it is an image I love that crops well to a square!

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What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

NN: I guess my favorite new feature on liveBooks8 is the ability to see the way all the different platforms will look in the design center.

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

NN: If I were offering advice about designing a photography website, it would be to keep the format simple and clean and be ruthless about your editing.

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

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Founded by Jack Glasser in 2005 with the taking of one senior graduation portrait, Glasser Images has grown and continues to grow into the future. This is driven by Jack’s passion for photography, creativity, and entrepreneurship as well as his vision for the company. To see more of Glasser Images, visit the liveBooks8 website: www.glasserimages.com

The goal of Glasser Images is to provide outstanding, personalized service and create quality and creative images that captures personality.
With a fresh, new, and modern perspective, Glasser Images creates and captures unique images. Whether in need of wedding photography and video, senior graduation pictures, family photos, or commercial photography and video, Glasser Images has a simple style and approach with a common goal – quality work.

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

JG: Clean, simple, and smart.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JG: We try to update with fresh images and featured posts every few weeks. If I have an idea to enhance the site, I update the site with the idea right away or write it down to implement at a better time.

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

JG: I choose at least one image from each of our photographers. I also wanted images to be eye catching, go together, and have the right colors.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JG: The customizability which has allowed me to display more information in an organized way in order to showcase our services better and connect services and/or pages together (i.e. wedding photography and engagement photos, links to the contact page, etc.)

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

JG: Don’t wait for it to be perfect or else you will never get it launched. A website should be an organic and changing marketing tool that changes based on your customers and the market.

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

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