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Alan Karchmer has been a freelance architectural photographer for about forty years. His life in photography began while studying architecture. He got a camera and found that he had a good eye for form and space, and photography came naturally. Karchmer completed his Masters degree and began a career in architectural photography at that point.

He brings to his work an authoritative sense of space, form, texture, light and use. He hones in on defining angles in photographs that capture the spirit, life, and poetry of the architect’s vision. Karchmer’s photographs have been published in the architectural press worldwide, and appeared in major museum exhibitions.

Q&A with Alan Karchmer

Q1: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

Image-centric, simple, engaging

Q2: How often do you typically update your website?

Not as often as I should, about twice a year.

Q3: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

First priority is strength of image. Then I look to represent the range of my portfolio and importance of the projects shown.

Q4: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

The ability to filter and find images within the Image Library using keywording.

Q5: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

Think about what your prospective clients are looking for.

livBooks is a great platform for showcasing photography. The EditSuite interface is robust, intuitive, and easy to navigate and there is tremendous range to customize to tailor to your needs and aesthetic preferences. During the development stage when transitioning from the old Flash site to liveBooks8 I found support to be prompt, responsive, and thorough.

See more of Alan Karchmer’s work here.

T-2 Tanglewood House 2, West Stockbridge MA, Architect: Schwartz Silver Architects

When online portfolios emerged as a marketing tool, the layout recipe for pages was simple: a block of text and an image to go with it was the standard for most pages, while portfolios used one page for each gallery. Now, with the evolution of social media and apps, we’ve got the hang of scrolling and customer anticipate to get all the info they need from one single stacked page.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we should all build only one-page websites, but a little stacking will greatly improve the way your visitors engage with your content. A stacked page will:

  • Paint a clear picture for your customers and draw their attention on all aspects of your work.
  • Aid Google spiders to better understand what your website is about when they crawl it; consequently, a stacked page has a greater change to place your website higher on Google’s rankings.

Stacked Homepage

We’ve covered the guide to an ideal homepage and, as you might have guessed, it’s stacked. Use this layout to introduce your business and its many facets in a few well-placed info blocks. You want to be as clear as possible in a short, yet complex, page.

Stacked Galleries

Our platform features many gallery layout options for you to choose from, and slideshows are the best choice for stacking. Use text blocks to introduce each collection or choose a unique background color for each of them, add borders or leave them as they are, your stacked galleries will give your visitors a proper understanding of your aesthetic.

Stacked Info Page

Use this page to fully introduce yourself. An image and a block of text is great to set the tone, but keep going! Use a simple list to showcase your clients, publications and awards. Follow this with testimonials from previous projects. Add a slideshow video gallery, a service and price list, items with professionals you work with, leave nothing out.

Our platform features a great number of website templates that use stacked pages. Black&White is a great example of how a stacked homepage should look and feel, Audio used stacked galleries, while Flash has a one-page layout. These are just a few examples of how we use stacking when designing our website templates. See for yourself with a free trial!

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)

Donald M. Jones of Great Gray Imagery has been a full-time Wildlife Photographer for the past 25 years. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 10 seasons following college (B.S.’ Forestry and Finance) before his Photography career. It was during those years that he honed his skills and began selling images to outdoor publications around the country.

With the blessing’s of his wife, he went full time and didn’t look back. Donald M. Jones’ coverage spans the North American continent rather than the entire planet, as he thought it was more important to be a good husband and father than a globe trotter – he has no regrets…

Jones’ specialty is mammals, though birds are very close to his heart – just tougher to make a living with. All his subjects are wild – no Game Farms, pets or zoo animals. Jones’ clients are varied from most all the larger Natural History and sporting magazines to calendars, advertising companies, etc. His 12th book “Wild Montana” was just released this past March.

Elk (Cervus canadensis)

Q&A with Donald M. Jones

Q1: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

DMJ: Simple – Clean – Vibrant

Q2: How often do you typically update your website?

DMJ: I update my “Recent Adventures” Portfolio about every 6-8 weeks. I add new images to my existing portfolios as I produce images that I feel will bolster a particular portfolio.

Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) mother and pup, Price William Sound, Alaska.

Q3: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

DMJ: My homepage is simple. The name of my business is “Great Gray Imagery” Named after the largest Owl in North America. As a kid I always wanted to see a Great Gray Owl, I was fascinated by them so I named my business after them – yet I still had never seen one. Time has past and I have had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with them (I will this weekend as a matter of fact) so what better homepage image than a full frontal of the “Gray Ghost” the Great Gray Owl.

Q4: What is your favorite feature of liveBooks?

DMJ: The uploading of new images is very simple and having the ability to design from my office desktop, awesome.

Mountain Goat (Oreamnos americanus)

Q5:What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

DMJ: I’ll comment on what I know and that’s Wildlife. If you are showcasing portfolios on a certain species be sure you show your depth of your coverage. I see too many sites where an individual wants to showcase a certain species, i.e. Elk – yet there coverage is all taken from a two week period once a year – I feel you don’t want a portfolio to look like you shot it over the holiday week. You want to have your perspective clients to say “if he has this, this, this and that, what else might he have.” I find it’s better to have 10 subjects done well than 100 subjects superficially done.

I find my website to critically important to those new clients but it’s my searchable database through my website that is the gift that keeps on giving with old and new clients alike. Let your website be a sampling of who you are but let those that care to review your entire library (or nearly entire library…) at there whim day or night.

See more from Donald M. Jones here:

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Michael Grecco is an award-winning internationally renowned director and photographer of celebrity portraits, advertising and editorial commissions, private collections and fine art.

One of the most respected and sought after visual storytellers in the world, his conceptual vision and signature dramatic lighting create distinctive images that are evocative, sophisticated and comedic. Grecco has been shooting iconic portraits of the most recognized entertainment stars such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Will Ferrell and Penelope Cruz.

Known not only for his high-concept imagery and his ability to light like no other, Grecco is also valued for his innate ability to connect with each subject to bring out surprising nuance and a conceptual twist that makes even the most recognizable faces intriguing and fresh. Photographing intimate portraits of celebrities, boxers, rappers, scientists, and business leaders, Grecco’s images captivate our attention and imagination. Thus he delivers on every aspect of his client’s vision, satisfying the most recognized brands including Apple, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Direct TV, and Pfizer.

On the pulse point of cutting edge technology and innovation, Grecco is a regarded expert and celebrated speaker on creativity, photography and his signature lighting and directorial technique worldwide. As a Hasselblad Master he is a sought after trainer, traveling the globe speaking and leading informative and hands on workshops.

His provocative documentary movie and accompanying book Naked Ambition has earned critical acclaim. His award winning still images are published the world over in magazines such as Esquire, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and Time.

Grecco is often referred to as the Master of Lighting. He is the author of the best-selling photographer’s guidebook: Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity and Editorial Photography, which is now available as an eBook. His lectures on photography are popular and he has been profiled extensively in key photographic trade journals.

Michael Grecco is based in Los Angeles. He is a devoted father to three children. In his spare time he can be seen exploring his hometown subcultures on his Triumph Bonneville with his favorite camera in tow, ready to find, capture and inspire.

Q&A with Michael Grecco

Q1: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?


Q2: How do you choose the work you display on your homepage?

MG: I worked closely with my film editor in picking images, Cinemagraphs and motion segments that would work together in the director’s real. All the images are from the portfolios on the site and then he made the final selects to use in the finished piece.

Q3: What is your favorite feature of liveBooks?

MG: That they have an already formatted backend that makes changing the content easy.

Q4: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

MG: Take your time and do it right. We redid things that did not work, and it makes a difference in the end product.

Q5: Tell us about a recent project that you’re proud of.

MG: I am currently working on a 6-part documentary TV series, documentary film, book and fashion line based on some of my archival images.

“To shoot dramatic and conceptual portraits, I create moments to capture with my lens that unlock the hidden story of our innermost being to reveal the drama, comedy, and irony of who we really are.” – Michael Grecco

See more of Michael Grecco’s work here:


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