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Lifestyle Photography

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Lou Bopp 11

I am a still photographer and director based in St. Louis and New York City. My aesthetic is driven by authentic, textural, emotive moments, whether I am shooting stills and or motion assets. My style and feel of the two assets are consistent, which is paramount for most brands.

Like most people, I loved taking photos growing up and got my first break by being in the right place at the right time when the Berlin Wall came down, which led to a freelance gig at a newspaper, a wire service, etc. The next big break was landing the highly coveted internship at Sports Illustrated. That brought me to NYC and killed the drive of wanting to shoot sports. From there, I assisted for 2 years and the went out on my own and curated a clientele base and honed in on my personal aesthetic, which is always evolving.

I specialize in shooting authenticity-driven imagery for regional to global brands and agencies, working on projects such as: image brand libraries, advertising campaigns, editorial, digital assets for web, print, outdoor, broadcast, etc.

Partial client list includes Mississippi Tourism, Marley Coffee, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, AMD, Deutsche Bank, Intel, Nike, AMEX, American Airlines, GE, Disney World, Time Warner, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, J. Walter Thomas, People Magazine, AG Edwards, CDW, Y & R, Fleishman-Hillard, McCann-Erickson, FutureBrand, etc.

And I have an image on the USPS stamp…to be introduces and issued on March 31st, 2017.

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

LB: Intuitive. Clean. Informative.

Time is precious for any client and we didn’t want people to think about how the site works, it needed to be intuitive. The goal is to be sensitive to people’s time and let them view the images efficiently. Gone are the days, with us at least, for sites with all the bells & whistles, sound, moving targets to click on, etc. Art buyers/creatives have enough going on in their lives, it’s our task to help them and we believe that ease and simplicity is key.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

LB: Pretty often, at least once a month if not more. It has to be updated and be fresh. It’s alive, it’s a living breathing organism and we have to keep feeding it!

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

LB: I yield to my agent and then we discuss. There are images that tend to rise to the top of the heap.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

LB: The backend workflow is a lot deeper than before. The SEO is key, the rotating home page, it’s faster all around. That’s a few of the faves, hard to pick just one…which is good!

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

LB: For me, the backend workflow is key. If I’m going to update content as often as I do, it has to be a good user experience, not something that I dread. I’ve had those dreaded websites and blogs in the past, think WordPress, sigh.

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Cameron Karsten is both a photographer and film-maker. His work ranges from portraiture to lifestyle photography. He had worked for clients such as Discovery Channel, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines, and Microsoft. To see more of Cameron’s work, visit his liveBooks8 site: www.cameronkarsten.com.

I began my career as a writer, spending my twenties backpacking around the world in search of stories, characters, and experiences. I began a blog, attained followers, sold travel articles, and by the advice of someone, I was encouraged to post photographs with my written stories. At this time, digital photography was gaining momentum, so I traded in my Nikon film camera for a small point-and-shoot. I kept writing but slowly overtime, I had the desire to tell stories with photos instead of words. This led to a 2-year program in commercial photography, which led to assisting and digital-teching for professional photographers, which has now grown into a career as a commercial photographer. I still write and have a love for the craft, but I now shoot motion alongside my photography. When I step back, they’re all a form of storytelling, so I’m grateful for each trade.

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

CK: When I switched platforms to the new liveBooks8 I was seeking something clean, simple, and bold. These would be the three words I’d use, and maybe throw in elegant as well.

Grundens recreational and commercial fishing clothing line in Florida Keys

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

CK: Typically I update my website every couple of months, but it also depends if new work I finish fits within my projects and portfolios. Sometimes it’s sooner, sometimes it’s later, but I look at it and analyze the content every few days, seeking a better edit or a new perspective that’ll improve my presentation. But I admit; I am my own worst editor.

Puget Sound Restoration Fund CSA volunteer oyster harvest - Port Madison, Bainbridge Island, WA

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

CK: I want the homepage images that represent my projects and portfolios to be striking and to me that carries a sense of emotion with regards to light, shadow, and lines. Most of them are during sunrise or sunset, or are dramatic in the sense of scale and design. Obviously, I’m looking to attract creative directors, art buyers and project managers to dig deeper into my website whether it’s a personal project or commissioned portraiture.

Grundens recreational and commercial fishing clothing line in Norway

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CK: My favorite new feature of liveBooks8 is the fullscreen homepage allowing the images to be big and bold. I want the first glance at my website to be striking and be utilizing the full screen with scrolling images, this becomes effective.

Bone Fishing in Belize off Ambergris Caye, TripAdvisors top island in the world

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

CK: If I could offer advice on designing a website, I’d say utilize peers and professionals to help you edit your work. I’ve put my photography in front of many peers and strangers, receiving a whole gamut of feedback. It has shaped how I present my work, as well as helped hone my skills as a storyteller. The liveBooks8 support staff was also diligent throughout the process of transitioning my website to the new platform, which I appreciate and I’m grateful for.

Grundens recreational and commercial fishing clothing line in Florida Keys

 

Puget Sound Restoration Fund CSA volunteer oyster harvest - Port Madison, Bainbridge Island, WA

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

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Brian DeMello is a lifestyle photographer that has dedicated his career to photographing various outlets. From photographing foods to beauty products, his work portfolio ranges far more than your typical photographer. To see more of his work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.briandemello.com

Reminiscing on my childhood, photography was always something that grabbed my attention. Whether I was looking through my great grandparents exotic vacation photos, flipping through the pages of National Geographic, or pestering the photographer who was taking my little league baseball photos, I could be easily entertained for hours by the process and results of photography. Fast forwarding past my high school and college years, I found myself working for a small graphic design shop in Newport, R.I. It was here that I found myself working alongside some of the top sailing and marine photographers in the world. Taking inspiration from seeing their work on a daily basis, I began investing more and more time and money into developing my own portfolio. Over the years I’ve found that I enjoy different styles of photography for different reasons. Early on in my career I struggled with the complexities of lighting studio work. These days I’m infatuated with the subtleties and analytics of complex lighting. A lot of the imagery that I produce will never see the light of day because it’s only purpose is for my exploration of a style, subject, or technique. On the flip side of my commercial work and explorations, I’m constantly developing a body of fine art images that is very personal and introspective. The development and evolution of this work has become a priceless escape from the din of everyday life. I hope to one day incorporate the fine art images into a series of books, but time will tell.

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

BD: Efficient – it allows the viewer to choose the exact path they want to travel right from the landing page, but also introduces them to my other work at the same time. Both of those aspects were foundational in redesigning my website.
Simple – the website isn’t meant to waste the viewer’s time. It’s easy to navigate.
Precise – it gives a client/potential client a sense of clarity on what to expect when working together

Chocolate cover apples

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

BD: Keeping fresh and new images on my site is very important to how I promote my work. I try to keep on a schedule of populating my site with 5-10 new images at a time or in a ballpark of once every 2-3 months. One of the final stages of my editing workflow is to upload a web-optimized image to my liveBooks image gallery. This ensures that when I’m ready to include new image in my portfolio, it’s already waiting for me on the back-end of the site. With the new liveBooks8 platform being accessible from my iPhone and iPad, I’m able to plan and accomplish the evolution of my website from anywhere and importantly keep the website up to speed with my social media teasers. That being said, I try to regularly post teaser images on social media as often as I feel the work is strong enough. That regularity varies from twice a week to once every other week depending on what project I’m pursuing. For me, this keeps a steady flow of “fresh teaser images” venturing out into the world without spamming my contacts with “updated website promos”.

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

BD: Choosing images is difficult. Period.
Like it or not, photographers develop emotional connections to their imagery. For a photographer, the memories that surround the production of any given image permanently become part of that photograph. I’ve always had the confounding ability to remember incredible detail about my experiences as a photographer. The odor of garlic emanating from the kitchen at an on-location editorial shoot, the amazing humor of a fitness model as she holds a difficult pose, the stench of a burnt out water pump in a small studio. I remember the good and the bad alike. So when it come time to select images for a portfolio, art gallery, or the homepage of my website, the process is the same: I make 4×6 inch prints of every image in consideration then all the images are laid out in the studio floor. I can spend hours to days arranging and reworking until I have a selection and arrangement of images that work well together. I find that working with a jumble of images all but eliminates the personal memories that I have associated with each individual image. Sometimes I work the prints by myself, but for projects with a larger scope or impact, I’ll bring in other photographer friends to have second opinions.

Kamilah Gonzales

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

BD: That’s easy! The ability to work on my website from my iPad has proven to be quite a welcome aspect of the liveBooks8 platform. Having almost total control over the website design was a bit daunting at first because there was a fair amount to learn about the new interface. (Although I’m tech savvy, I have minimal web design knowledge). After spending a little bit of time “walking around” the design interface and menus, I had fairly quickly developed the foundation of what is now my functioning website. With that learning curve conquered, the ability to work on a mobile device quickly took hold. Over the course of a train ride from Boston to Washington DC and back to Boston, I has designed and organized an entirely new website on my iPad. A few extra minutes with Lily from Tech Support to clarify some SEO lingo and the finishing touches were done.

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

BD: Think, take your time, and think some more! Be analytical! You are going to be judged on how your website carries your brand just as much as how it carries your portfolio. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes (and just as importantly, your prospective clients’ shoes) when you are designing your site. Think about how they work and how you can make their job and life easier. Being a photographer is who you are, but making a client’s life better is what you do. Don’t rush that…Take your time!

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

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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!

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!

Gene Higa is a destination wedding photographer based in San Francisco, but he’s got great tips for all kinds of photographers. In today’s Tip of the Week, Gene talks about the importance of diversifying your business, like his friend Ann Hamilton, who is a successful wedding AND dog portrait photographer.

“One of the things I do to keep myself balanced is I teach.”

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: Gene has some great tips lined up, but we’re always eager to hear what you’d like to know more about. Leave your questions in the comments (with a link to your website, of course) and Gene will be happy to respond.

Gene Higa is a destination wedding photographer based in San Francisco, but he’s got great tips for all kinds of photographers. In today’s Tip of the Week, Gene reiterates the importance of clear, comprehensive contracts and outlines the main points a good contract should cover.

“We want to make sure we are as specific as possible to keep our business safe.”

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: Gene has some great tips lined up, but we’re always eager to hear what you’d like to know more about. Leave your questions in the comments (with a link to your website, of course) and Gene will be happy to respond.

Gene Higa is a destination wedding photographer based in San Francisco, but he’s got great tips for all kinds of photographers. In today’s Tip of the Week, Gene explains why it’s important to think like the people trying to find you online and he gives some foundational tips for search engine optimization to help them do just that.

“We have to put ourselves in the place of our clients.”

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: Gene has some great tips lined up, but we’re always eager to hear what you’d like to know more about. Leave your questions in the comments (with a link to your website, of course) and Gene will be happy to respond.

Most photographers are interested in commercial work, but orchestrating big photo shoots can be daunting. Luckily producers — like Susan Shaughnessy, who runs SKS Productions in N.Y.C. — are here to help. We asked Susan to walk us through a recent advertising shoot she produced on location in L.A. (with an extra post explaining each crew member’s responsibilities). Whether your team is sprawling or a dynamic duo, Susan lends insight into the process and organization of a complicated shoot.

The Players

Producer Susan Shaughnessy

Producer Susan Shaughnessy

Client: AstraZeneca
Product:
Crestor
Agencies:
Digitas Health and
Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications Group
Photographer:
Jayne Wexler
Artist Rep:
Kevin Schochat
Producer:
Susan Shaughnessy/SKS Productions
Location:
Los Angeles
Total people on set: 30

1. Making the Call

The ad agency had three photographers in mind for the shoot, and the photographer Jayne Wexler was considered a favorite. The agency called her directly, and Jayne called her rep, Kevin Schochat. Together they talked about the concept, dates, and availability. Next, Jayne and Kevin considered which producer they wanted. Usually, the photographer or the rep has a relationship with a producer. Sometimes the ad agency has a relationship with a producer, and they will recommend one. In this case, Jayne decided she wanted to work with me.

2. Crafting the Estimate

Campaign layout

"Then and Now" concept

"Then and Now" concept

There were three bids submitted for this job, and the estimating process took more than a week, including several rounds of back-and-forth with the agency. We were trying to meet the agency budget, but we were the only team estimating traveling expenses, so our costs were higher. The agency was very fair and understood our numbers, but it took time to get the estimate and photographer approved.

I typically work with my favorite program, Excel, for bids, as does the rep. I turn my document into a custom-designed PDF, so it looks like a neatly presented document with my logo and client info on it. Excel allows you to make changes quickly and frequently, which is so useful when estimating and making revisions.

3. Getting Approval

During the estimating process, I have a crew in mind. Typically they are on hold from the beginning, especially the stylists. Once the agency awards the whole job and the money, then I book. I review the costs, rates, and expectations with each person, to confirm we are all clear. Sometimes the rates, expenses, and layouts have altered during the estimating process, so it’s essential to clarify at this point.

In this case, the casting and location line items were approved first, and then days later the rest of the job was approved. We began right away with a creative call between the photographer, agency, and myself to review layouts, casting specs, and location needs. I hired Eastside Studios in L.A. to cast, and I began researching locations with my coordinators.

Then stylists, photographer, producer, and agency have creative calls. These calls solidify the wardrobe direction and the prop needs. From there I can build a firm schedule, and manage expectations and deliverables for the team. As soon as the job is approved, the rep and I submit a request for the advance, to receive the appropriate percentage of the expenses up front. This money will get the job rolling and secure locations, studios, and all immediate out-of-pocket expenses.

4. Building the Crew
Wardrobe stylist Gillean McLeod, makeup artist/hair stylist Stephanie Daniel, photographer Jayne Wexler

Wardrobe stylist Gillean McLeod, wardrobe assistant Lauren Burns, and photographer Jayne Wexler

When assembling a crew, I consider the photographer, the project and style, the budget, and the personalities that fit with the requests. It’s also important to have crew members who can work closely together to support each other. The wardrobe stylist and prop stylist know each other, work together often, and were able to help each other styling vintage clothing and props.

With Crestor, because everything was being shot in L.A., I suggested and hired the crew for Jayne. Jayne brought her first assistant, Piero Ribelli, with her, but I introduced Jayne to Mark Gordon, digital tech, along with Ubaldo Holguin and Joe Klecker, who were local photo assistants we used in L.A. Based on temperament, professionalism, and personality, I knew they would fit great with this team.

Having team members who know each other and work well together adds another layer of efficiency. Photographers often get in a groove with certain stylists, and definitely photo assistants and digital techs.

Often the crews stay the same, but sometimes we’ll add or lose somebody because of availability. Like Jayne in New York, we’ll have almost the same crew every time we work with her. For every photographer I work with, I specifically craft a crew that seems appropriate for them, based on their personalities, needs, styles, how fast paced they are, and what they expect in terms of styling.

5. Scouting Locations More »

If you’ve ever wondered what all those people on a big commercial photo shoot do, here’s the nitty gritty details. Meet Susan Shaughnessy’s crew for a recent shoot in L.A., complete with all their vital statistics: Who (they are), What (they do), Where (they live), and How (to find them).

Who: Susan Shaughnessy, Producer

What: Manage people, schedule, communicate, delegate, problem solve, have fun, take responsibility; write checks; provide deliverables/links to casting, scouting, and visuals that need approvals; take care of photographer; organize everything; insure everything; handle travel, catering, transportation; create production books; answer questions, ask questions, provide confidence; do due diligence; be flexible; stay on budget, get overages approved as needed; work closely with art buyer-producer/agency, accept praise on behalf of crew.

Where: Brooklyn is home, but I produce anywhere

How: www.sksproductions.com

Who: Jayne Wexler, Lifestyle and portrait photographer

What: I find a producer if the budget allows one. Go over the layout, all the details, and shot list. Discuss the casting with the producer. If a location is needed, we find a scout and start scouting. On shoot day my assistants and I set up lights. Then they usually get the set ready and shoot a digital-Polaroid for me to see. In the meantime, I discuss the details with the prop and wardrobe stylists and the hair and make-up artists. Once we are set up and I’m happy with my lighting and composition, we start shooting. After the shoot we edit the images and choose the best selects for the job, then we either make a website or send a disk or hard drive to the client with jpegs. Depending on the size and complexity of the retouching, the client will either retouch in-house or I will use one of my retouchers. Then there is the billing, which can take as long as the production.

Where: I live in NYC — “Nolita” — been in the same apartment for almost 23 years! My studio is on Vandam Street, west of Soho.

How: www.jaynewexler.com

Who: Kevin Schochat, Photographer’s agent

What: When a request comes in, I  go over the specifics of the job with the creative in charge. I then work closely with the photographer and producer to prepare a detailed photography estimate. I negotiate all fees and rights for the photographer. Once the job is awarded, I follow it closely to make sure everything is running smoothly and we are staying within budget. I also go to the shoot, if it is local, to see how it is progressing, meet the client, and deal with any last minute questions or changes. After the shoot, the photographer and I usually review the invoice together. Then I contact all the key people involved to make sure they are happy with the results and thank them for their business.

Where: New York City

How: www.kevinschochat.com

Who: John Robinson, Prop stylist and set designer More »

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