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Lisa and Mark Staff are a husband and wife team that have dedicated their career to photographing various mediums such as weddings, fashion, and commercial photography. To see more of their work, visit their liveBooks8 website: www.markstaffphotography.com.

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

L&MS: We are a husband and wife team…I know…not very original…that thrive on documenting people and their lifestyles whether for them personally or through advertising campaigns. We have been doing this for twenty years full-time, even though most of our friends and family still wonder when we are going to get a real job. This is as real as it gets. Doing what you love. Having a zest for life and sharing that and working with like-minded people.

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

L&MS: Clean, Elegant, Easy.

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

L&MS: Since it is easy to do – at any time but usually every couple of months.

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

L&MS: If a photograph speaks to me and evokes and emotional response in me besides just being “pretty” it will make it to our site.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

L&MS: Fave feature…that it looks great on all platforms and there is an intuitive ease to working with it. You don’t need to be a technical genius or hire a team to do your site and if you do have a question, the customer service is tip top with answers that you can easily find with a click or have a representative respond in a timely manner, which is such a bonus.

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

L&MS: The design of your site is your “first impression” and you can’t disregard or minimize the importance of this. In our business as photographers it has to represent our brand and our vision in all ways. This is our “portfolio” online and the way we can get 99% of our business so it needs to be tip top. You need to choose the company that can help you achieve this. liveBooks make all of this happen easily for us. Anything that we had envisioned, they had a way to deliver and improve on it.

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

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Keith Ketchum 11

Keith Ketchum is travel, lifestyle and action sports photographer. He obtained his degree in Studio Art from University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) where he drew, painted, designed, and focused in photography. He has worked for clients such as Travel + Leisure, ESPN, New York Post, Rolling Stone Italy, Surfline, Free People, Engadget, Freesurf, KaiKini, Jawbreaking, Slide, Kauai Lifestyle Magazine, Indie Swim, and ESM. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.keithketchum.com.

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I got my start in photography through surfing. I traveled most winters to get away from frigid North Carolina, where I’m from, and would bring a cheap film camera, a couple of surf boards and a journal. Eventually disappointed with the quality of work I was producing at such beautiful location led to an investment in better equipment. This in return led to a decent portfolio and my first official staff photography job with a surf, art, music, and fashion magazine. That was a fun job. It was an eclectic group of creatives from different outlets coming together to form a quality publication. What started as a regional magazine eventually went world wide for a couple of issues. This all happened while I was studying studio art (drawing, painting, photography, design, etc) at UNCW. The magazine lasted until shortly after I graduated college before dying, like most print does, but by then I was established shooting fashion, weddings, assignments from other publications, fine art, and had a little studio space. My wife and I moved Kauai for a change, to settle down and start a family. It was always one of those places that felt more like home than home. I always called it my neverneverland. It’s also hard to take a bad photo here. We’ve been here for a few years now and I’m extremely happy with my work and the people I get to work with on the island and from around the world.

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

KK: Clean, effective, and quality.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

KK: I try to keep things fresh on my blog and depending on how busy I am, I skim back over the recent assignments posted there and pick the best few images from my website. Sometimes I update every month and sometimes a few months go by before I’m able to sit down, catch my breath, have a glass of wine and go over recent work with Bimini, my wife, asking which images she likes best.

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

KK: Homepage images are like the teaser trailers of your website. They are very important and extremely difficult to decide on. You want to get the audience interested with composition and color (a.k.a.: eye candy) without giving too much away. You want to show what you do but only slightly. They have to click a few buttons to get the full effect. I also try to pick generic images that people can put themselves in. So, slightly pulled back vs. up close and personal.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

KK: It’s hard to narrow down one favorite new feature about liveBooks8. I love how simple and designs are. They are clean and they let the images do the talking. The Scaler quality is amazing. I also love how easy it is to update, enter metadata, upload, view the mobile version, jeez…like everything.

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

KK: My advice for most anything art related, website included, was given to me when I was young from photographer Aaron Chang. “Less if more”. Many art instructors in college would eventually give the same advice. I think over time and I came to realize the true meaning of it, but those would be the wise words passed down from creatives I look up to. “Less is more”.

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

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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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John Johnston is an advertising and editorial photographer based in Denver, Colorado. His client base includes Chipotle, Ford, Forbes, Guiness and Newsweek. To see more of his work and liveBooks8 website, visit: www.johnjohnstonphotography.com.

I’m originally from Southern California, but now live in Denver with my wife and two girls. I went to art school to be a painter/printmaker, but decided to go into photography. I fell in love with it and found a way to do both photography and my artwork. I shlepped bags for photographers out of school and decided that I was ready to go out on my own. I called everyone I worked with and told them that I was done working with them to pursue my own career. I have been shooting now for 16 years.  I shoot advertising and editorial work. I love meeting people, I love going places, I love that I get to live in a creative world. I am really fortunate to do so many fun things every day.

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

JJ: Clean, honest, storied

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

JJ: With the new site it is a lot more often. I like to update with at least a group of 6-8 images. If there is something I am super excited about, I will update it right away.

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

JJ: There is definitely a connection to the photos. They can be brand new or something that is a little older. There is always a story about the location or maybe the person I met. I add the photos that make me happy.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

JJ: Overall it’s pretty easy to get around. Its simple enough that you could change the entire look of the site in just a few minutes.

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

JJ: Keep things simple. Try and make it easy for people to navigate through your site. They probably won’t stay long, don’t confuse them with lots of buttons or menus.

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

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Dorit Thies specializes in beauty, hair, fashion and celebrity photography and is known for creating powerful imagery ranging from international magazine covers to compelling photos captured in exotic destinations around the world. To see more of her work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.doritthies.com

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When I moved to the US from Europe, I had established myself as a professional hair and make-up artist, working in the commercial world. I was always intrigued with the art form of photography and I started shooting my personal fine art work for a few years when establishing my life in the US.

I am completely self-taught.

My work at the time was driven by my personal connections such as dancers, actors, musicians, and my inspiration came from photographers and painters like Georgia O’Keefe, Tina Modotti, Leonora Carrington, Irvin Penn, and Helmut Newton. I was all about developing my personal style.

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Over a period of four years, I created a large body of fine art work, shooting only black and white film. I had success quickly and my work was shown in several galleries in Los Angeles, in Santa Fe, New Mexico and The Katonah Museum of Art, Upstate New York.

When I began to shoot commercially, I decided to specialize in health and fitness photography. My very first commercial client was Men’s Health Magazine in Germany. I was lucky and shot their covers for several years. In the last six years I started to specialize in Beauty/Fashion & Celebrity Photography. I am now balancing the art of shooting conceptual beauty and fashion layouts for magazines such as Marie Claire, Modeliste, L’Officiel with some of my favorite artists while focusing on commercial campaigns.

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

DT: Bold, Intriguing, Layered

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

DT: Every 2 weeks or whenever I have new work, which is usually a few times a month.

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

DT: I love colorful images, technically flawless, artistically strong, surprising, unexpected and I try to mix it up, showing my clients my versatility.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

DT: I can post unlimited images to the home page and link them to a particular portfolio, move them into a particular order within seconds. I love the fact that you can choose 3 different template layouts for each portfolio and view it in one click. It is super easy to understand.

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

DT: Keep it simple.

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

September 9th, 2016

The Life of a Stylist by Gretchen Bell

Posted by liveBooks

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Gretchen Bell is a wardrobe and prop stylist based in Seattle. Her client list includes Kraft, Levi’s, Target, Chevrolet, Amazon, Omni Resorts and Tommy Bahama. To see more of her work, visit: www.gretchenbell.com

In some ways, I feel I was destined to become a stylist. As a child, I was always wearing fashion trends before anyone else and modeling in local fashion shows. When I was about 13, I remember reading an article in Seventeen Magazine about the woman who was the stylist for The Cosby Show and thinking that would be my dream job, little did I know!

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Photograph by: Christopher Bell

In college, my major was television Communications, so my career began working in video production as a production assistant and doing graphics for the news at the NBC station in Minneapolis. I then spent several years working as a modeling agent, before taking a job as a studio manager and producer for a successful advertising photographer, Craig Perman. It was there that I began styling commercial photo shoots for many large national and international clients and really learned about all aspects of production. So my whole career has really been about seeing things in a visual way.

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Photograph by: Greg Montijo

In a great photograph everything matters, the color of a shirts, the kind of coffee cup, the style of the shoe, the position of the elements to one another. Everything in a photograph is helping to convey a client’s message or tell a story and that is my job. That is the fun and the challenge of being a stylist. What is going to make a photograph funny or moody or nostalgic and how are my props and wardrobe going to help do that? People don’t realize I might spend hours looking for just the right underwear that will be funny on teenage boys or searching for the perfect feathers for a still life shoot because it all matters. That is why stylists bring so many choices to the set for every shoot, so we can figure out what best helps tell the story.

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Photograph by: Christopher Bell

It is very much a collaboration to tell a great story and it’s not always successful. Everyone is bringing something to the table at the shoot and when we all have a clear and concise vision, I think then it makes for a great photograph. As a stylist, I am coming to a shoot with my interpretation of what my client wants, but also run through a filter of my personal style. If a client wants playing cards, there are lots of playing card options out there. It is really fun to see a shoot come together successfully and see how elements from each member of the crew helped create that moment.

To me being a stylist is really about being part of a team; I can’t do my job without the rest of the crew. My props and wardrobe are only as good as the talent booked for the shoot, the lighting, the photographer, the makeup artist, the vision of the client and the layouts. Again, everything matters.

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Photograph by: Melissa O’Hearn

 

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Ian Boddy is a top kids fashion and advertising photographer that has worked with clients ranging from Vogue Bambini to Harrods. His works demonstrate an airy-feel and clean colors that pair well with children’s advertising. We are very excited to share his story and how it came together perfectly with the liveBooks 8 platform:

I work with children of all ages from babies to teens. I don’t particularly set out to specialize in that market, I just drifted into it about 15 years ago and realized it suited me better and was a good fit…and I love it!

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

IB: Clean, simple, and easy to navigate

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

IB: Whenever I get a break from shooting, which isn’t very often. I must go and update it now!

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

IB: I rotate every now and again…just whatever is my favorite picture at the time.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

IB: I love how easy it is to manage my own content so I can update my site anytime from wherever I happen to be.

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

IB: Keep it simple!

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See more of Ian Boddy’s amazing images on his liveBooks 8 site at: www.ianboddy.co.uk

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Deborah Depolito is a skilled stylist that has 15+ years of experience under her belt. Working with world-renown clients such as Under Armour, Uber, McDonald’s, and Microsoft, it is clear why she is so sought-after in her industry. Her strong relationship with photographers and clients have allowed her to work with on various commercial and editorial campaigns. See more of her work at www.deborahdepolitostylist.com

When people think of styling, they quickly assume that it’s only related to getting the perfect outfit together. What most fail to see is that without a proper styling professional onboard an editorial project, the message being conveyed can be lost. Styling is so much more than it seems – it not only includes props, hair and make-up but also matching people to fit brands and products.

(Director: Gary Land // Executive Producer: Abe Sands // Photographer: Nick Taylor) 

My keenly trained eye for the client’s mission and ever-evolving awareness of color and style ensures that my clients are happy with the end product, every time. This may seem like an easy task – in fact, it’s very difficult. When you’re styling, you not only have to put yourself in the company’s mindset but also in the client that they are gearing the service and/or product to.

 

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Photo by: Stephanie Rausser Photography | www.stephanierausser.com

I believe that it is my warm nature and sense of humor that allows me to complement my ability to dress talent in an authentic and beautiful way. Without this light-heartedness, the work would seem inauthentic and it would create an end-product that my clients would not be happy with.

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Photo by: Stephanie Rausser Photography | www.stephanierausser.com

 

Want to be featured as a guest blogger? Email us at social@livebooks.com!

Guest post by liveBooks client Blair Bunting. Original post found here.

There are deadlines and then there are deadlines…this is the latter.

ASU’s advertising campaign is one that I have now shot for 10 years. It is one that I always use to push logistical boundaries that I had previously been inflexible towards, for the sake of art and knowledge. Photographing it is a practice in embracing the unknown and evaluating previously conceived notions of what is possible and what is not.

This year’s photoshoot existed well within the impossible…

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For example, I usually shoot the ASU campaign the last week of May and deliver the images on deadline…August 1st. This way the designers at ASU can create layouts and posters, billboards and ticket stubs and all that’s in between in the two weeks before press deadline (August 14th).

However, this year was different, for ASU was in the midst of changing from Nike uniforms to Adidas. We knew going into April that this shoot could be a bit tighter on the deadline than usual. As May began, I already had laid out the images for the campaign and had my crew on stand-by on a moments notice if we needed to be at the studio. However, the new uniforms were not ready and so we found ourselves waiting…and then came June…and then went June.

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It was looking like an impossible deadline at this point, for where I normally have 60 days for production, I would now have half.

AND THEN WENT JULY.

There comes a moment, at which one must release true control of a situation, and this was it. Any ideas that I had of a production schedule had to be let go. In a sense, if this campaign happened at all, it would be a very visceral knowledge of the process that would take over and one that only experience could teach.

August 1st: The deadline of the many campaigns of year’s past had arrived and passed. For me, it was a simple glass of scotch that evening and a comfort that only a purchase of a time machine (found on eBay) would make this one possible.

August 15th: The call saying that we would shoot in three days (yeah, August 18th), and we might be limited on jerseys for the guys to wear (oh the understatement). However, if there is one thing that I have learned about ASU, it is that their athletes are incredible and even the toughest challenges are easier with how much they help me out on set.

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August 18th: The first day of the shoot had arrived and the crew that had been on standby for most of the summer for this one were ready. Even though we were months behind schedule, everyone was happy; for we knew what we had to do and knew that it could be a good time as well.

As the guys showed up to the studio, the wardrobe arrived as well. We had 10 athletes to photograph and one, yes ONE, pair of pants. Now we had that one pair in maroon and black, so technically that’s two. However, you may say, “Blair I thought ASU wears gold pants on occasion” and you would be correct.

Worry not, we had a pair of gold pants as well, with one minor caveat. You see, the only pair of Adidas football pants that existed in gold belonged to the ASU mascot, Sparky. For those of you who don’t know him, he is a devil that runs around the field and does push ups. The big issue is that Sparky has a tail. Some of you have figured out where this is going, and yes, the only pair of gold pants we had had a hole in the butt for his tail.

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Remember, photoshoots will always make you stronger and more resourceful for the next one.

So we shot for two days on set and had the final images being delivered even when we showed up for day two. The reason it all happened is quite simple: incredible people. From crew to client to talent to retouching, everyone involved on this project didn’t worry about deadline, they just worried about doing their best and staying positive.

As much as being an advertising photographer is about being in control of a production, the true talent of one is measured when control is given up.

Do not miss the behind-the-scenes video, found here!

 

The beginning of a new year is an opportune time to reflect on last year and set goals for the year ahead. We decided to check in with longtime friend and director and photographer Mark Fisher to see what his most memorable moment was last year and what he plans to do in 2013. (We are really looking forward to the documentary firm!)

What was your most memorable moment from the past year?

Aside from the birth of my son, my most memorable career moment was being selected for PDN 30. This is one of my favorite ski photos from this past winter. Griffin Post skiing Pyramid Peak at sunset in Valdez, Alaska.

Photo credit Mark Fisher

What is your biggest goal for 2013?

To continue to expand and grow my business in the United States and abroad. I’ve just launched an aggressive marketing campaign with the hope of reaching many new and diverse clients. But my most important goal is to complete my first documentary film, “64.5*North, an 1100 mile self-supported Alaskan Snowbike Journey”.

How has liveBooks changed your business?

liveBooks has grown with me. When I added motion 3 years ago, liveBooks was right there with me. Actually they were ahead of me. When I completed my rebranding last year, they were able to help me transform my vision into a reality with a custom designed website. liveBooks hasn’t so much changed my business, they’ve allowed me to seamlessly execute and share my business vision with the rest of the world!

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