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New Website….LIVE!

Jul 18

In Uncategorized at 9:58am

Every studio out there has multiple things going on at once, in the background. Shooting, editing, blogging, writing, organizing, printing–it’s pretty endless the stuff you do to keep your head above water since this thing called digital landed on the front doorstep. One of the things I tell any class I teach is that if you don’t have a website, an online repository of your work, you basically don’t exist as a photog. And it can’t just be a thrown together collection of stuff. You gotta think about it, design it, and make it user friendly. The average art director, or creative at an agency, has got, oh, about 2.5 seconds to finagle their way into your website and be struck enough to keep clicking. You gotta make it simple, approachable, and fast. And, by the way, you gotta have some good pix to back up all the dissolves, fades and type treatments.

Today, we are launching a new, updated website, in collaboration with Livebooks. Notice the royal “we” there. I’ve been on the road, and Drew back at the studio has been hammering this into shape, along with Mike Cali. Drew’s got good picture sense, and good design sense, and the results, hopefully speak for themselves. I invite you to cruise a bit, if you have, you know, hopefully more than 2.5 seconds.

A few very cool tidbits about the new site…

– There’s a ton more depth to the site than any previous iteration we’ve had- stories, lots of new photos, video content built-in, etc…and there’s a bunch more on the way.

– The site is now fully scalable, thanks to Livebooks’ new Scaler feature.

Add an Image

Take a look, and let us know what you think.

A huge thank you goes out to Matt Bailey, Ryan Mahar, Adam Royer, Dayle Hendrickson, and everyone else at Livebooks who helped us piece all of this together.

More tk…..

Kris Mitchell says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

Ooooohhh, purdy!

Very nice, I’m liking the way the portfolio section is broken down. Leads to a lot less “blind clicking”

Mike De Simone says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

I’m very excited! And looking forward to more updates.
Thanks Joe.

Jim Poor says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:10 am

Looks pretty nice. First load is a bit slow for me and I’m on fiber, but other than that it’s pretty sweet.

Thanks for being so approachable during your Flash Bus tour stop in DC!

Fabio Sirna says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:18 am

My only question: why Adobe Flash? Is deprecated. Your portfolio is amazing and currently you could present it in a better way, also compatible with iPad/iPhone/iDevice and other tablet. My 2 cents :) Fabio

Lea Ciceraro says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

I actually really like the new site! My husband is a web designer and I’m a photographer, so I’m a stickler for great images on a very user-friendly site. I have a site for my photo business, but I’m about to create one for MYSELF… my personal work… and your new site has given me a lot of inspiration for it!! I love the simplicity of your home page and the photos that were chosen for it. Each one is on the screen long enough to examine it and love it, and then the slight easing as each transitions is perfect… just enough to let you know to finish up what you’re looking at so you can get ready for the next one. The home page images are beautiful. The navigation at the top of the site is simple and easy to follow. The typeface, the colors, the great use of white space. Love it all. You and your team did a really fantastic job. Congrats!!!

Tom says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

Had some trouble on Google Chrome but IE8 works great! Nice work!

Rebekah @ Abundant Life Images says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

It looks great! I especially love that the Legends Portfolio starts with the Muppets and that it includes Jack K. and such a wide variety of well-knowns. Never have seen that pic of Dana Carvey and it made me smile! <3 him!

Only problem I ran into was video for Power of Light didn't load.

PeteTsai says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

Very cool Joe! Just curious however, I noticed its running on Flash, so what happens when viewed on an ipad?

Richard Davis says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

The team have done a great job, congratulations to all! says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Joe, the new website looks really good..very ‘clean’, easy to navigate & full of great photos!! Looking forward to sitting down later and having a proer look after I’ve finished todays post production work.

barbara says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:47 am

Updated site will not load. :(

Seth M. says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

Love the new design! Thanks for the reminder. I totally need to conjure a few new braincells to wrangle up a better site… and images!!! Thanks as always for the inspiration and wisdom (:

Seth M.

Nicolas says:

on July 18, 2011 at 10:59 am


It looks nice on the screenshots but it does not seems to work on Firefox V5 :(

I’ll try with other browsers.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Wilcox says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

I love the new visuals, but I’m sorry to say I got extremely irritated with your new portfolio as it failed at literally the first thing I wanted from it.

You’ve got some awesome shots on that home-page, so I wanted to get more info about one. Can’t click the photo. Goes nowhere. So I went to the portfolio to find it. Oh – there it is, the featured image in the first column! Can’t click that either. So I tried trawling through all the categories. I gave up unable to find it, and frankly a bit pissed off.

So I decided to leave a comment on your blog. So I clicked “blog”. Nothing. Clicked again, noticed it was trying to open a pop-up window, which Chrome is automatically blocking – because no one wants pop-ups. So, because it blocks it every time you click, I had to go back to my RSS reader to find the direct url to your blog.

I JUST tried to look at the portfolio again and it switched me to a different window – I thought I’d lost everything I’d just typed.

Sorry Joe, but the site is un-friendly and infuriating. Text isn’t selectable in the portfolio either so Googling for more info about something you’re talking about in there means hand-typing from memory. And on the iPad you get the “mobile” version of the site – despite it having a bigger screen than most computers of 6 years ago, a full WIFI connection, and more horsepower than a PC of four years ago.

Tim Skipper says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:22 am


Love the new site. If I was an art director I’d hire you. :)

Sam Saccone says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hello, Mr.Mcnally,

I have been following your blog for several years and using your work as inspiration for years as well.

I have to scratch my head now with your new website. Flash is a dinosar. Why did you decide to use it for your new site. I know livebooks has a fall back for non flash browsers but still. Flash just does not make sense for photo web sites anymore. I am interested to hear your thoughts.



Michelle says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:41 am

It loads quickly and I love the re-sizeable images on the front page. Quick and intuitive navigation and in my humble opinion, it looks great!

Adrian says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

Fantastic website, but above all, the most beautiful photography ever! I’ve been waiting for a while for more photos, more content. If there is still somebody out there, who doesn’t know who you are, this site is a great representation of what you achieved and what you’re capable of.


Fred Troilo says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Looks great Joe!

Matthew Strauss says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The new website didn’t work for me. I saw the logo on the top left, with a one inch by one inch slideshow behind the logo. I tried reloading it, same thing.


Aja says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I don’t like the popup feature (not mobile device friendly)! I should prefer that clicking on the blog link open the blog in the same window.

Michael says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

While not a fan of Flash, but this works pretty good. Clean and loads pretty fast on my sometimes broadband connection.

Couple of problems. The pop-up blocker is preventing me from looking at the blog. I thought the link was broke until I noticed the pop-up warning.

Second is more of a visual thing, the store link doesn’t belong (cue Sesame Street music). “Store” shows as a link but isn’t and the drop down doesn’t fit.

Livebooks maybe an option for my local camera/photography group. We are looking to maybe move services.

Stefano says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I love it. Thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge with us amateurs photographers, you are so inspiring and so clear in your explanations that I really enjoy reading your books and watching your videos: you put together art, teaching and fun. Thank you Joe!
Stefano from Italy

Ton says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Great new site Joe, compliments!

Isn’t it possible to pre load the images in the background while viewing the portfolio?

Drew Gurian says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Hey guys,

Just wanted to address a few comments/issues, which BTW are greatly appreciated- so thanks for taking the time to do this!

– Blog/DVD Links now open in the same window, so pop-up blockers shouldn’t be an issue any longer.

– YES, images do load a *bit* slowly, and this is because of the scalability of the site– in other words, we had to upload rather large photos in order for it to appear smooth on even a 30″ display. This is just the nature of having a scalable site, while still maintaining great image quality throughout.

– As for anyone with loading issues, empty your browser’s cache and reload the site- should work fine..and please drop me a line with any specific/detailed issues you may be experiencing to

– Concerning the use of Flash..gotta love how heated these debates get! Joe puts most things tech-related in my hands, and I sort of just find the best options. For a staff that’s often on the road and constantly producing new work, having a GREAT back-end like Livebooks has is essential…any of us can easily figure it out, and keeps us from making any excuses not to keep things updated. Sure- many places are moving away from Flash, but it’s still widely used, and as long as there’s a decent iphone/mobile device option from Livebooks, we’re honestly very happy with it.

Feel free to send any further comments along to me at, as I’d like to continue this convo and learn more about all this wherever I can.

Thanks very much,

Drew Gurian says:

on July 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Matt Wilcox:

Sorry to hear that you’re not enjoying the navigation on our new site…

The image that you’ve mentioned is part of the slideshow when the website opens, hence not being able to click on it– it’s simply a showcase/preview of what’s inside the site. (for your reference, it’s actually the very first image in the “Environment” portfolio, and is a father/daughter shot in Iceland- he was a runner who won tons of medals in his younger years, and still competes).

As for the blog link, I did adjust that, so it opens in the same window now, and concerning not being able to copy text, that’s just a quality of flash.

Please do take another look, and feel free to send any other comments/questions my way:


Dave Persaud says:

on July 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’m also using this new Scaler wed site design from Livebooks and I’m very pleased with it so far. I like this design that you guys went with. Its very minimal and easy to navigate.


Gerard says:

on July 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Great work on the new website. I like the depth shown in the varied portfolios – as a fan of your photos and reader of your books, I’ve seen many of the photos before, but many are new to me. The stories also combine your flair for writing with beautiful imagery, which is a really fantastic combination.

Not sure why, but the ‘Contact’ link doesn’t seem to work for me in Google Chrome, though it does in Firefox. In Chrome, it takes me to the website’s front page, but without the text links in the top right…

Simon Jacobs says:

on July 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Gentlemen, with the greatest of respect- it looks dreadful on an iPad.


Matt Wilcox says:

on July 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I’m sure there are technical reasons for the images not being clickable, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they feel like they should be clickable, and the annoyance of them not being. A slideshow with clickable content is a perfectly normal experience, and is the sort of thing this design feels like it should be doing.

It’s hard to criticise too much because we don’t know the conditions you’re working under or the reason certain decisions were made, and it’s nice to see such quick action on the other bits that are easier to control, so thanks for getting the new-window problem sorted.

With that said, I am with the other guys – using Flash for a simple site in 2011 seems like a strange move that certainly isn’t thinking about the future. Mobile accessed websites are set to be more popular than computer-accessed sites within a couple of years, and yet Flash doesn’t run on many of those devices. The site is not doing anything at all that can’t already be done in HTML/CSS/JS using modern best practices, and the lack of normal browser functionality (selecting text, a back button that actually works, the ability to save images without resorting to screen-captures) is irritating. I appreciate that the back-end needs to work in a way that you guys are going to actually want to use it – but this isn’t a complex site. It’s got a portfolio gallery, a blog, and a few miscellaneous pages. I can think of a few CMS systems that could be designed to work with your needs, including restricted access per user-level, and yet produce a proper HTML version of this design with no front-end functionality loss and a superior user experience.

Thanks for the heads up on the image I was looking for. Alas, it turns out there’s no extra information about that one anyway. A great picture with no opportunity to learn anything at all about it; no context, no explanation of the assignment, the shot, or the people.

Grzegorz Biermanski says:

on July 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Hi Joe,
maybe not related to the post… but just wanted to tell you, that you are my most inspiring photographer out there from which I get my inspiration from. This picture taken by my recently, is my attempt to recreate your “style”:
Hopefully, one day when you’ll come to UK, I’ll be able to attempt one of your seminars and thank you in person.

Thank you,

James Pratt says:

on July 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Not wild about the flash based site. I am not a fan of flash, since each designer creates different navigation and flash sights all have different, and often goofy navigation. Not to mention they don’t run well on iPad or iPhone. I think flash is great for the photographers ego, but leaves a lot to be desired for the customer experience.

Also, you don’t have a way to get to your “home” page. I kept clicking on Joe’s name and it didn’t do anything. There is no home button or home menu page. Took me a while to figure out that “portfolio” is home. See what I mean about all the different navigation styles in flash? Nothing consistent from one site to the next.

I have been very impressed with Photoshelter. Very photographer oriented and no flash, plus you can customize to your hearts content. Very fast all the time. Really like it.

Always love Joe’s photos and his commentary!

Paul Amyes says:

on July 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Hate to say it but the site is very slow to load, and when viewed on my iPad looks awful. Good website design should not have to have the user to empty their cache before viewing. It really is a way to put people off.

George Pahountis says:

on July 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

it works fine, a bit slow to load,I like the simple,to the point design.My respects to the master!

Jim says:

on July 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

For all the excitement you bring to photography, the Website is pretty much Vanilla.

Warren Small says:

on July 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Absolutely awesome design and presentation. Congrats!

Bogdan says:

on July 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The site is pretty nice looking except for anyone using any kind of Apple mobile device… sorry. There are excellent WordPress templates out there that would do your work justice while being cross device friendly and eminently maintainable.
If BigFolio would offer a non-flash based solution I would change my site over in a heartbeat.

Just my two Canadian cents.

The content however… you know that already :-) (hint: it’s not all that bad :-) )


andreas says:

on July 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm

2011 – and someone still using flash on a new website? My computer is burning my lap seeing the movies. And I went from 3 hours of battery time to 34 minutes. Very nice. Very green.

Kourosh Azar says:

on July 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Hi guys,

Site looks great as do the images, don’t like Flash much but it’s the images that matter.

Just wanted to let you know the Biography link from the blog links to the Video page on the Livebooks site.


Joey Baker says:

on July 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Congrats on the new site! I feel a bit sheepish bringing it up, but I happened to first pull it up on an iPad, and I’m not sure the experience is … ideal.

There are no photos on first load, and getting to any is three menu levels deep. The most unfortunate thing is that the portfolios take forever to load, and are very slow to switch photos.

Seems like such a shame รขโ‚ฌโ€ the iPad is a great photo displaying device!

Szymon says:

on July 19, 2011 at 1:54 am

For me the site did work at the start of it but now (I’m at work) it’s not.
I’m using IE and Firefox browsers.
The first impression was good :) But I did not have the time to look at all of the content.
Hope you can fix it quick.
Great pix.
Keep up the good work Joe.

Andor says:

on July 19, 2011 at 2:10 am

It looks amazing – and i hate to say, but true: slowness _is_ a problem indeed (I guess this comes from Flash, but more pro web-geeks can tell it better).

But, like i said, the content is still awesome in all ways.

Doug says:

on July 19, 2011 at 2:28 am

Looks very nice…been thinking about Livebooks myself, and a new domain entirely. Going to take a good look at them once again I think. It loads relatively fast even on my currently slow internet connection. Not a huge fan of flash sites myself, but it seems to work here.

I’ll be eager to see it on my iPad when I get home. I see some complaints about this, hopefully that will be resolved.

Lulu Niu says:

on July 19, 2011 at 2:58 am

Hi Joe,
I am a fan from China.
I like your pics very much!They are amazing!
Your photo always make me feel warm, the light is perfect.
The new web site is fabulous!Waiting for your more photos and blog~

Hope one day I can see you in person~~

Good day~

Brian Walter says:

on July 19, 2011 at 3:26 am

Awesome work! I love it!

Simon says:

on July 19, 2011 at 4:06 am

Love the new site and have experienced no speed issues or glitches at all, on any of the computers or browsers I have viewed it on.
One question though – when are the Numnuts T-shirts going to be available through the store link?


Andriy says:

on July 19, 2011 at 6:39 am

Site looks nice on the computer but it’s not optimized for mobile devices

Glyn Dewis says:

on July 19, 2011 at 7:10 am

Way to go on the new site Joe and respect to Drew for the design and picture choice!
I went with Livebooks for my own site a little over a year ago and have been incredibly impressed with their level of customer service.

Interesting that you mentioned about the ‘Scaler’ function; been getting a few emails about that lately so I guess I’d better take them up no the facility.

Again, great work…

I’m off to peruse a little more :)


Joe McNally says:

on July 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

many thanks Glyn….appreciate it, always good to hear from you….best, Joe

Gale says:

on July 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

The only thing that bothers me is the light grey text. Tough to read for the eyes…

Love all you do and read all I can and buy all the books..

Wish I could go to St Lucia.
Need a winning lottery ticket..

To bad photography is really for the rich folks:>))))

Bob says:

on July 19, 2011 at 11:10 am


Keep on moving forward…the rest of us are following!


JerseyStyle Photography says:

on July 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I know how hard it is to redo, and relaunch, a website, especially one so media-rich as this one. Joe, I’m sure you and your team thought about all the angles (Flash, no Flash, load times, etc.) I’m sure you made the right decisions for the way you want to present your work. As I said on Twitter, nice job. More noir would be nice….;-)….but nice job to you, Drew and the rest of the team.
~ Mark

Charlie says:

on July 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Looks fantastic, Joe. More in depth than yout last site but, at the same time, clean as a whistle! Great collaboration.

James says:

on July 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Site is amazing! Not sure what all the hubbub is about, 97% of internet traffic is capable of flash!

Site is crisp, clean and super easy to use. Loaded fast, with no troubles and man are the images impressive. Found myself spending the afternoon looking over the amazing portfolios! Keep on setting the standard and appreciate you putting yourself out there as you do!

Michael Huitt says:

on July 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Clean, easy to navigate and feature rich. Love the new site… and the photography as always is breathtaking and inspiring.

Thanks, Joe!

– Michael

Chris says:

on July 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hi Joe & Drew, The portfolio website does look great and works well on my PCs and Macs, but on our iPads and iPhone it’s really, really bad.

I know Drew stated you had you reasons for the Flash based site, (and I’m sure they are good reasons) but what really shocks me is that Livebooks doesn’t have a better solution for you! I had always thought LiveBooks was probably one of the premier photography website designers/providers. In this case it doesn’t appear to be true.

From a non-flash perspective that’s too bad, Joe’s portfolio website should really reflect the wonderful work he has spent a life time creating. In my opinion the iPad is one of the perfect mediums (digitally) to provide that experience.


Bob Copp says:

on July 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I love your work…Who doesn’t and what’s not to love.
Regarding the “site,” when you write something, I want to read it (I have all your books). In “The 21st Century Grid,” it is impossible, because of the fancy colors of the copy, for me to read. Frustrating. What is the problem with plain old black text? I understand that designers have to be designers, but isn’t copy supposed to be readable?

ric woods says:

on July 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I cant wait to see your new stuff.Back in the saddle now Joe?
Your energy is an inspiration. ric

David Apeji says:

on July 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Beautiful new site. Reminds me why you’re my favorite shooter.

Eric Politzer says:

on July 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Joe, the site looks great. especially happy to see all the classic work you have done archived more extensively online! but got to say that I still LOVE the pic of the father and daughter you took in Iceland!!

wishing you all the best from the other Land of Light — northern Norway.



Michel says:

on July 20, 2011 at 12:55 am

Great new site, love it. It looks very smooth, it’s exactly according to my taste. Actually it is very similar to my own website which I developed all by myself. Being a photographer with an IT background personally I believe I came up with a design that best showcases a photographer’s portfolio. Sleek, clean, easy to use, fast, and where it’s all about the photos an nothing else. However I don’t think I would add a PDF download link to my own site, don’t see the point of that. And…white is also my favorite background color :)

Aaron Wulf says:

on July 20, 2011 at 2:28 am

Very clean site, Joe. Super easy to view and go through. I definitely like the changes!
Hope you’re well,

Imajez says:

on July 20, 2011 at 6:51 am

I like the website as it allows the photos to shine through. But then as I redid mine recently and ended up with a similar large scalable photos on a minimal white design, I’m bound to be a bit biased. ๐Ÿ˜‰
One thing I was not so keen on was the thumbnail implementation. I’d prefer it if thumbnails were not placed over image and when thumbnails are clicked on, they stayed on [but not on image!]. Also initial image loading seems a bit slow – is that because images are being generated on the fly to fit browser, as I have a 50Mb connection here?

bycostello says:

on July 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

great looking site and so many beautiful images…

John E Adams says:

on July 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

Just stumbled on your amazing work during lunch today, what a treat and inspiration!

Love the site layout. The service they provide looks first rate and the scaler feature is a very nice addon for them.



Dave Prelosky says:

on July 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm

While I fee a bit presumptuous offering a comment about someone’s site, consider this scenario:
An art director looking for the right photographer for a project lands on the Joe McNally website and has an Eureka! moment. Wanting to sprint off to the buyer’s office with the news, he wants to take “proof of concept” along. Yes, they could wait and open the same site and page – or the AD could print a PDF and arrive with the goods in hand.

Or the PDF’s could be for folks who like to hang pretty pictures on the fridge…

Jean-Philippe Papougnot says:

on August 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

Joe, your world is fascinating and I sincerely admire you not only as a photog but also the Man behind the camera who shares so much humanity through his beautifully crafted pictures. What a superb example you are and you make.
No doubt that your new website will inspire us even more!
Please, please, please, do come to UK for a series of workshops: London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin for a good pint of Guiness. Please…

AI says:

on September 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Congratulations on your new inspiring website. I love the minimalistic theme. Keep sharing your beautiful works Joe!

Somer Dietzman says:

on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

have you heard any new stuff being released?

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