We launched the new site the first week of February. The update was long overdue and has already made a very significant impact on our business. My relationship with liveBooks has been fantastic.
It was very important to me to have a site that we could easily update. liveBooks has phenomenal back-end software that is simply drag and drop to add new images once we have sized them to the correct aspect ratio. We’ve added several images and made a few changes already since our February launch.
The primary reason that we went with liveBooks, however, is that liveBooks sites are all about the images. The basic site design is very clean and simple which really highlights the imagery. Our entire business philosophy is based on strong photography and this site allows us to show it off. Some photographers sell the sizzle -Â we sell the steak and our new site helps us succeed in that goal. We don’t try to wow you with catchy phrases, we don’t try to dazzle you with objects flying all over the screen, we just want visitors to focus on the content of our images.
I also need to give credit to my good friend Rick Brotherton at Brotherton Creative. Rick designed my new logo and branding materials last year and he came up with the overall site design, including the red wallpaper background that gives the site such a nice, rich feel. Red is a difficult color to display images against and Rick came up with a great solution that actually enhances the viewing experience.
I want to say thanks to my liveBooks rep J Sandifer for all the motivation he provided in FINALLY getting this site finished. J really pushed me to stop dragging my feet and get this done! If you’re interested in a liveBooks site, please give J a call. He’ll take great care of you. J is a photographer himself and he really understands our needs.
While I’m at it, I want to say a few words about our new blog. We updated the blog back in December. As with the website, we wanted a blog interface that emphasized the imagery. We wanted a one column format so that we could make the images as large as possible.
Many of my friends have spent a lot of money on custom blog sites. We ended up going with the ProPhoto2 blog theme for WordPress. It’s a templated theme that is almost infinitely customizable. The author of the theme, Jared Henderson at Netrivet Software, put a lot of thought into the design and came up with a simple to use interface that allows photographers to easily modify the theme to fit their needs.
We were able to incorporate much of our own branding, including the same red wallpaper background as is on our main website. This allows us to have a very consistent look between the sites.
The nicest thing is that we get great display with those big, beefy 900pixel images.