Thursday, February 1, 2007

Inside the liveBooks photo portfolio service


By David Gewirtz

Last week, we had the opportunity to speak with Andy Patrick, a social entrepreneur and CEO of liveBooks, a resource for photographers. We learned about how you can promote your photography to how we can all save the planet.

This week, we continue our interview letting him dive deep into liveBooks, shown in Figure A. You'll learn both how it might help you promote your own photography and learn more about the inner workings of the site itself.


This is a sample photo from a liveBooks portfolio site. (click for larger image) David:

So, what exactly is liveBooks?


liveBooks is an innovative online software solution that provides a custom designed Flash-based Web site with easy-to-use editing tools for controlling all the content on the photographer's Web site.

The combination of custom design time when developing the Web site and the creative control delivered through the easy drag-and-drop usability of our online editSuite tools means that photographers have complete creative control over their online presence without ever having to learn HTML or Flash.

Through the use of liveBooks, photographers are able to take their business to the next level. Using our online management tool -- the editSuite -- photographers are able to keep the work on their site current, uploading custom portfolios for potential clients when needed. The drag-and-drop nature of these tools saves time in the Web marketing workflow of liveBooks' clients, freeing up much needed time for their real work which is being a photographer.

In addition, because liveBooks' Web sites deliver large, high-quality images that load quickly and intuitive navigation with the focus on the photographer's work, many of our clients are booking jobs without ever meeting their clients or showing printed samples. This not only saves time but expands the opportunity pool reaching potential buyers worldwide rather than locally or regionally.


It looks like a Macintosh application based on the screenshots. Is it a downloadable Mac application?


No, liveBooks editSuite tools are delivered online meaning there is nothing to install on your computer and they can be used regardless of the type of computer that you have. Our only requirements are that you have an Internet connection and a Web browser with the Flash Player 8 or higher installed.

The liveBooks editSuite tools allow photographers to easily upload their images and store them in online libraries for easy access and use in their online portfolios. Once in the libraries, photographers can drag-and-drop these images into their portfolios with the option to sequence and re-sequence them whenever they like, as shown in Figure B.