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July 20th, 2016

Meet the Team | Chet R.

Posted by liveBooks

Meet the Team

chet!!! (1) (1) copyMeet Chet, one of liveBooks’ awesome marketing and support representatives! Chet has been with the liveBooks team for three years and loves having the ability to be innovative and creative within his position. Additionally, he loves liveBooks’ openness and ability to be innovative within the marketplace. When not dancing to the song “Panda” by Desiigner, Chet can be found watching his favorite TV show, Power.

Quick Facts:
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Favorite liveBooks8 Feature: Drag and drop editing
Favorite Brands: Represent & Stolen Girlfriends Club
Favorite Quote: “Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.”

Posted in Meet the Team

Tuesdays Tip

About me

We’ve all been there. You’re plugging away on your new site, your images are filling the space just as you imagined, your design is coming to life….and then you sit down to write your ‘About Me’ page, and suddenly your momentum stops. Summarizing (and more importantly selling) yourself as an artist and business owner in just a few short paragraphs is a daunting task. How do you let potential clients know just how amazing you are while convincing them to employ you over someone else in your industry?

Your about me page should give your audience a small glimpse into what it would be like to work with you. Take a moment to step back from selling your product and focus on selling yourself as an individual. To make things simple, we are going back to the old elementary school technique of identifying the 5W’s and an H. Now, you are going to be answering these questions yourself and will use the answers to guide the content on your about me page.

The who, what, where, when, why & how of your about me page:

Who am I trying to reach?

Decide who your target audience is. Research them, check out their social media, study their demographic, and use this to dictate the tone of your about me page. Are you a photographer trying to reach potential brides or families? Maybe try a more personable and casual tone. Are you trying to reach out to advertising companies or newspapers? Maybe a formal approach is the way to go. Whatever you decide, make sure that the feel of your about me page matches the feel of the rest of your brand experience in addition to where you want to see your image going in the future.

Pro-tip: Find someone in your target audience, whether it be a friend, sibling, coworker, fellow patron at a coffee shop, or a stranger on the street, and ask them to read your about me page. Ask them what their first impression is and if they would like to hire you as a result of what they read. Ask them if it is easy to read and holds their attention. This is key! If the above feedback is positive, your about me page is well on its way to grabbing the attention of your future clients.

What makes me special?

Regardless of what industry you are in, we know that you believe your services are the best, and we know that you want to share them with the world. However, what if we told you that no one cares about what you have to offer? It is your responsibility to make people care. It’s time to introduce the face behind the brand and services that you are selling throughout your site. Keeping your target audience in mind, what makes you stand out in the crowd? What makes you different and more desirable than the rest? Creatively let your audience know this as you sell yourself as an individual through your about me page.

Where do you see yourself in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

Have you made your business plan yet? Though it may not seem related to a simple about me page, it is absolutely vital to know and understand where you want to take your business in the future. As you create and publish content, you are creating an online brand and image for yourself that will stick with you for years to come. In todays day and age, most consumers are not only looking to buy a product, they are looking for an entire brand experience. Create goals and work to create a cohesive online image that will guide you towards your aspirations. Additionally, let your audience know what you would like to do. You never know who may be looking for the exact services that you are dreaming about offering!

When I am not working, I like to ______.

Don’t be afraid to let your audience know who you are as an individual. What do you do when you aren’t working? How do you enjoy spending your time? Is there anything about you that you think clients may relate to? This is a pretty important piece of the puzzle that will allow your web audience to connect with you on a personal level.

For example, maybe you absolutely love traveling and spend most of your free time dreaming about your next destination. Include this in your about me page! Odds are, there are plenty of people in your audience that feel the exact same way and would instantly be connected to you as an individual. While this could have the potential to turn certain clients off, it could also catch the eye of the exact person that you are trying to work with. We all want clients we mesh well with, right?

Why do I do what I do?

Take a moment to reflect on the days when you were just getting started in your specific industry. What was it that sparked your interest into getting into business? That kept you motivated and excited to create new content during the toughest times? What keeps you going now? Take a moment to think. Find something meaningful. Find something that will resonate with your target audience. Maybe include the story of the exact moment you knew you wanted to make something more out of your hobby, or tell your audience about your hopes and dreams for the future. The most important thing is to not only tell your viewers what you do but why you do it as well. Step back from selling your services for a moment (that’s what the rest of your site is for!) and share a little bit of the soul behind your business.

How can people reach me?

Now that you have people hooked on who you are as an artist, let your audience know how they can easily get into contact with you. Include links to your contact information and social media profiles on your about me page to ensure that interested customers understand the best ways to stay connected with you.

Pro-tip: Think about including a photo of yourself on your about me page (Bonus points if it is an image of you in action!). Though this is not directly related to getting into contact with you, this will allow your potential customers to connect with you on a personal level while identifying a face with the name on your brand.

While it is not necessary to include each and every aspect listed above in your about me page, it is important to put quite a bit of thought into crafting the language and content of your about me page in a strategic manner. Ready to get started?

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Homepage image by David Colvin Photography | http://www.dclvn.com/

Angela has had a love for makeup since her 12th birthday, when her mother took her to get her makeup done. An outing originally intended to find the correct shade for her skin tone and eyes ended up lighting a fire in Angela, causing her to discover an industry that she would later pursue as her career. Upon entering college, she spent two years at Baylor University, and eventually decided to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. She started by getting her esthetician license in Austin, TX and then moved to LA for a Certification at the Makeup Designory. After her education in LA and working there for three years for a leading cosmetic company, she returned home to Texas to be closer to family. You can currently find Angela working the bridal industry in Dallas, Houston and Waco. However, she loves how versatile her job is and can frequently be found on set for magazines, TV and video shoots.

Check out Angela’s beautiful new liveBooks8 site at angelakarr.com.

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

AK: Clean, fresh, and simple

Image: Bri Costello Photography | www.bricostello.com/

Image: Bri Costello Photography | http://www.bricostello.com/

Q: How often do you typically update your website?

AK: I do not update it enough, but I am hoping with the new platform I will update it more often when I have new photos.

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

AK: I try to select photos for my homepage that showcase my most recent work and a variety of clientele.

Image by David Colvin Photography | http://www.dclvn.com/

Image by David Colvin Photography | http://www.dclvn.com/

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

AK: I was most excited to add a picture of my clients with their testimonials.

Angela Karr

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

AK: liveBooks makes the process very simple. I had to redesign my entire website because it was very over do. So, I decided to divide and conquer over a large cup of coffee. I was shocked at how quick and painless the process was. Not to mention, the customer service was always there to answer any questions that I had.

Image: Lindsay Davenport Photography | http://www.lindsaydavenportphotography.com/

Image: Lindsay Davenport Photography | http://www.lindsaydavenportphotography.com/

Have a site you would like us to feature? Send us an email at social@livebooks.com.

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AMC Home 2

We love an image with a story, and we are so excited to share the making of this stunning image by Anne-Marie Caruso with you.

Titled Bioluminesence, this image was originally shot with a Graflex Speed Graphic on Kodak Portra color film, ISO 400.

Anne-Marie Caruso is an editorial photographer, located in New Jersey. Though she spends much of her time photographing portraits, still life, food, products, fashion & home interiors, she also enjoys focusing on shooting personal projects on 4×5 film. See more of her enchanting work here.

I had an image stuck in my head of a woman collecting glowing creatures to use as a light source in her home. I come up with these elaborate ideas, and then I have to figure out how to make them happen.

The first step to making my vision a reality was finding a location. Luckily, my brother has this gorgeous stream a short walk from his home.

The next task was to find the right lights to put in the stream. I bought different colors, and narrowed it down to a bright white that looked blueish green under the water. I then ordered a bunch of the waterproof solar powered lights, but half of them were broken when they arrived. After a couple of weeks back and forth, I had enough lights to fill the frame. I did some lighting tests around the blue hour to get a rough idea of how long of an exposure I would need. If memory serves, it was about 30 seconds.

I already had my model in mind – we’ve been friends since the 7th grade. She did an amazing job! Even though she was getting attacked by mosquitos, she held still for 30 seconds at a time. She is dressed in an old nightgown that belonged to my grandmother.

I used an Alien Bees 400ws with battery pack to light the left bank, and one with a beauty dish to light the model. An SB-800 is diffused in the basket and is lighting her face. A couple SB-800’s are used to light the foliage behind the model. I didn’t want it to be jet-black behind here. And of course, there are all the underwater lights. They came on strands like Christmas lights. I had to weigh them down with rocks and tent stakes, so the currents wouldn’t wash them away.

I used a long exposure to get the blue in the sky behind the trees (I liked the way it mimicked the lights in the water), as well as giving more of a soft and dreamy look to the water. The tripod was set up in the middle of the stream with heavy duty garbage bags to keep the legs dry. I wore pair of waders to keep my legs dry.

I set everything up early in the day, with the help of my husband (it took a few hours), and then we had to wait for the sun to go down. The actual shooting part only lasted about 10 minutes. I shot a few frames on film, and some with a digital camera (God forbid anything ever happened with the film).

I am very happy with the way it turned out – exactly how I pictured it in my head. It was a lot of planning, but I think it was worth it in the end.

Posted in Photography
July 13th, 2016

Meet the Team | Ioan D.

Posted by liveBooks

Meet the Team

1ec0a184861911e1989612313815112c_7We are so excited to introduce Ioan, one of liveBooks’ outstanding support representatives! After originally being hired as a production designer, Ioan has been with the team for almost seven years and loves having the ability to learn new things through his position. When he’s not spending time with his wife, he can usually be found drawing, riding his home-built bike or playing video games on his PlayStation4.

Quick Facts:
Hometown: Brasov, Romania
Favorite liveBooks8 feature: Mosaic Grid
Favorite quote: “Impossible is nothing.” –Muhammad Ali
Favorite Brand: Adidas (More specifically, he loves Adidas Superstar Shoes!)
Favorite TV shows: Breaking Bad, The Big Bang Theory & Brooklyn Nine-Nine
You will never see Ioan without…..: a watch on his hand and a smile on his face

Posted in Meet the Team

Migration graphic (3)

We are absolutely loving the new liveBooks8 platform, and we know that you will too! With endless new features, such as advanced SEO tools and options for customizations, we are excited to provide you and your business with a dynamic and easy-to-use web design platform.

liveBooks8 is an advanced yet intuitive website designer with in-line editing. Additional features include:

  • Built in HTML5 – your responsive site will look stunning and uniform on any device. From desktop to tablet or mobile, you will no longer need to create a separate mobile version of your site! This will help improve your site’s search engine visibility and overall user experience.
  • Unique gallery options – with a large variety of gallery options, you are sure to be able to fine a beautiful and interactive display that will make your portfolio look it’s best. Additionally, you are now able to add videos to your site with our new and improved software.
  • SEO Everything – quickly add tags, descriptions, keywords, image alt text, and more to your your website so that your site is easily searchable and indexed properly.
  • Template starting points – with liveBooks, our templates are just a place to start. With endless opportunities to customize your site’s appearance, you have the ability to easily build a space that matches your vision.
  • Responsive Editor – update your website on the go with our easy-to-use, responsive editor.

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Migration Quick Facts:

  • Your site migration will take approximately two weeks to complete.
  • Migration of your current site to the new platform will be done free of charge, unless you decide to go with the White Glove option. Once you are migrated to the new platform, we will evaluate where your website falls into the new pricing packages for liveBooks8.
  • We will migrate the current SEO tags that you have on your site. However, liveBooks8 has additional SEO options/tags that we encourage you to enter on your own.
  • If you select the As Is Migration option, we will send you a preview link before your site is published. You will be able to review and approve any slight differences that there may be with your website.

Click here to pick your current migration option now!

Note: there are still a few features that are not yet available on our new HTML5 platform. These include: client proofing, password protected pages, and splash animation.

If you are brand new to liveBooks and would like to start creating your interactive HTML5 site, sign up for our free 14-day trial by clicking here.

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Jillhome

Jill’s interest in photography began in high school and continued into college. Taking elective photography classes soon led to picking up photography as a hobby, which has since turned into her career. This is her story:

After college, I travelled around the world for seven months before returning home to San Francisco to find a ‘real job.’ I took photos with a point-and-shoot camera to chronicle my time abroad. The positive feedback that I received from my photographs when I returned home encouraged me to submit my work to a variety of photography exhibitions, invest in a better camera, and figure out a way to continue traveling while improving my portfolio. Eventually, I decided to enroll in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco to pursue a master’s in Fine Arts degree in photography. For my Master’s thesis project, I chose to spend nine months documenting life in the Himalayas. I travelled throughout Nepal, India, Kashmir, Bhutan and Tibet, working with a variety of non-profit agencies. In 2009, I won a National Geographic YourShot photography contest, and I had my first photograph published in National Geographic Magazine. This was the opening that I needed to move my photography career to the next level. Since 2011, my photography has been represented by National Geographic Creative. In 2012, I received my first assignment from National Geographic Books and was sent to Sydney, Australia for five weeks to photograph the National Geographic Traveler: Sydney Guidebook. Following that, I became an intern and then freelance photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Since 2011, I have been spending my summers teaching photography to high school students in countries all over the world for National Geographic Student Expeditions.

At home in San Francisco, I photograph events, editorial, lifestyle, architectural and food-related shoots. I also provide private/group and corporate photography workshops, mentoring and portfolio reviews.

Jill Schneider Photography_0106

My style is my own personal vision of stories I am drawn to, that are unique to me. I photograph issues and iconic places which I find compelling. My goal is to create a visual of places in the world many people may not have seen while exposing them to the beauty and reality of cultures they may not have experienced.

Check out more of Jill’s recent work on her liveBooks8 site at: www.jillhsphotography.com.

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

JS: Bright, colorful, exotic

3 words

Q: How often do you typically update your website?
JS: I typically update my website every few months, after any trip that I take, or whenever I have new work to show.

People

Q: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?
JS: For my homepage, I typically pick photos that I am particularly drawn to. No specific formula. I choose photos that are vibrant, colorful, thought provoking or unique moments.

Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?
JS: I love the new liveBooks8 platform! It is very user friendly. I particularly like all of the new design features. It has a very clean and modern feel. There are more options for easier search optimization, as well. Now, I am anxiously awaiting the capability to sell my images from my website.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website? 
JS: Take your time and have patience. It took me a couple of weeks to design my website. If you have questions, call the liveBooks customer service, as they are very helpful. Show your best work…quality over quantity. A editor once told me: “you are only as good as your worst photograph on your website,” and while this may sound harsh, it always stuck with me. Try to leave people wanting to see more of your work, rather than getting bored and moving on from your site.

 

Jill Schneider Photography_0108

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

July 7th, 2016

Meet the Team | Laura A.

Posted by liveBooks

Meet the Team

LauraMeet Laura, one of liveBooks’ rockstar Senior Support Specialists! She has been a team member since February of 2006 (Happy 10 years with liveBooks, Laura!) and loves having the ability to make each and every client feel like a valued member of the liveBooks family. She enjoys using her iPhone to document and share her world and also enjoys taking walks, seeing plays & concerts and being with family in her free time. Catch her on her very own liveBooks8 site at: lauraarmata.com

Quick Facts:
Hometown:
New York, NY
Favorite liveBooks8 feature: 
varied content modules that allow you to create portfolios and pages right through the dashboard
Favorite Place to Shop: Amazon
Go-To Television Channel: PBS
Favorite Quote: “I think one of my favorite feelings is laughing with someone and realizing half way through how much you enjoy them and their existence.”

Posted in Meet the Team

Tuesdays Tip

GALLERYHEADER

At liveBooks, we love seeing clients integrate their captivating images into their websites. Whether you are a photographer showcasing your best work, or a makeup artist advertising your newest look, displaying your portfolio has never been easier than with our gallery feature. With options ranging from grids to slideshows, you are guaranteed to find a sharp and responsive gallery that will be sure to catch a potential client’s eye.

Check out the tutorial below to learn about adding and customizing galleries on your liveBooks8 site.

To add a gallery page to your liveBooks8 site:

1. Log into the liveBooks8 editor
2. Select the Content tab and click add new page

GALLERY2

3. Select the gallery page option and add the new page to your site.
GALLERY3

4. To add images to your gallery, select your new gallery page from the content tab. Upload images from your computer or select images from your existing image library.
Pro-tip: reorganize the images in your gallery, using our drag and drop technology. Use your cursor to grab images, and drag them into your desired order.
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Customize the design of your gallery:
1. After creating your gallery page, navigate to the Design tab.
2. Select the page or gallery that you would like to edit from your navigation bar and select the Page option.
3. Click “Image Gallery” and navigate to the “Type” section to select the styling of your gallery.
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4. Select your desired gallery preset from our 12 customizable options.

Standard Grid with Large View

Standard Grid with Large View

5. Customize the look, layout and settings of your new gallery page, using the customization options found in the design module. With the option to customize everything from columns to image display time, you are able to create a gallery that is unique to you and you and your brand.
6. Press save.

Interested in learning more about a specific liveBooks8 feature? We want to know! Send us an email at social@livebooks.com with the subject line: Tuesday’s tip.

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New Year’s Eve Fireworks - Baltimore Inner Harbor

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Baltimore Inner Harbor

Summer is officially in full swing, and the Fourth of July is just days away. After a day of celebrating in the sun, be sure to grab your camera for the evening’s main event: fireworks. Whether you’ve photographed fireworks before or are just starting out, this year, we want to challenge you to expand your creativity by taking your Fourth of July images to the next level. Charge your cameras and dig out your tripods! Get prepared and inspired, using this behind-the-scenes look at how these images from photographer Greg Pease came to life.

Guest blogger, Greg Pease, is a photographer, located in Baltimore, MD. Specializing in location photography, he uses his expertise to capture images of people in the workplace, aerials, and landscapes. Find him online at www.gregpeasephoto.com. 

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Fourth of July Fireworks – Washington DC

Fireworks displays have always sparked my imagination with their light, colors and patterns. Early in my career as a professional photographer, I began documenting my hometown of Baltimore’s revitalization in the mid 1970’s. I photographed the developing skyline, using the fireworks displays to illuminate the city and its marinas that ring around the Inner Harbor and the hundreds of boats gathered to view the fireworks above.

Fireworks provide a creative opportunity to use the quality and massive volume of light to illuminate and provide color and drama to large-scale subjects and scenes, such as landmarks, monuments and skylines at night.

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Monument Lighting Holiday Celebration, first monument to George Washington – Baltimore

In 2011, I was hired by Visit Baltimore to photograph the reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry for their kick-off ad campaign for the Star-Spangled 200 Bicentennial Celebrations commemorating the War of 1812.

 Reenactment of Bombardment of Fort McHenry Photo Notes: This photo was produced using seven reenactors and one cannon moved to multiple locations while shooting from a scissor lift fully extended 50 ft. high. The image was created in Photoshop by assembling the multiple components including the flag, cannon fire and fireworks into a single image.

Reenactment of Bombardment of Fort McHenry
Photo Notes: This photo was produced using seven re-enactors and one cannon moved to multiple locations while shooting from a scissor lift fully extended 50 ft. high. The image was created in Photoshop by assembling the multiple components including the flag, cannon fire and fireworks into a single image.

At the close of the Star-Spangled 200 Celebrations, I photographed the grand finale at Fort McHenry. I wanted to use the fireworks to create the atmosphere that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that would become our National Anthem: “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air…”

\Battle of Baltimore Reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry with Rockets Red Glare Photo Notes: Two cameras were used to shoot this photograph, one for the fireworks and the other for the Fort to create a single image.

Battle of Baltimore Reenactment of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry with Rockets Red Glare
Photo Notes: Two cameras were used to shoot this photograph, one for the fireworks and the other for the Fort to create a single image.

The Prep:
My planning begins with an aerial photo of the general area of the fireworks display. Google Earth Satellite is a pretty good source to determine where to set up cameras.
Pro-tip: Reflections in water are an enhancing feature, so look for water view locations.

The Gear
I set up two cameras, each with its own tripod.
45mm and 90mm are my favorite lenses (with a full frame sensor camera), and both are tilt/shift lenses, which enables me to shift up and down or vary my image format from horizontal to vertical to include more fireworks in the sky or water reflections below.
I use a LADDERKART (3 step) to transport equipment and to get above people standing in front of the camera/

The Details:
Long exposure noise reduction should be enabled.
f5.6 @ 5 seconds @ ISO100 was successful in many of the examples shown here.
Set your color balance. My preference is for a cool colored sky to make the generally warm fireworks visually move forward.
Shoot as the fireworks are ascending and descending, and vary the effect by shooting only the descending fireworks. This technique will prevent the fireworks from obscuring the buildings, etc.
Shoot as rapidly as you can before the smoke builds up.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks - Baltimore Inner Harbor

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Baltimore Inner Harbor

There you have it! Try out these tips this weekend, and be sure to share the results with us by tagging #bestofLB8 on social media.

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