The full story:
This is who I am and what I stand for...
Here's my background (and how it's relevant)
I'm Alex, 32 years old, living in Bucharest (Romania) with my much better half and our tail-chasing cat.
I have a degree in Computer Science, but I'm mostly self‑taught, low-tempered and optimistic.
I was always really attracted to photography and spent a few years doing that after my graduation and a few other jobs. I vividly remember how difficult it was to explain to my folks why I was no longer pursuing the security of a regular office job.
I built my own photography studio and devoured all the articles and books about photography gear and technique. Also shot a few weddings and portrait session to make a living.
But I slowly transitioned to working with photographers on their website, and have been doing that ever since (I've now worked with hundreds of photographers from over 20 countries). Since 2009, I've worked with everything from beginner photographers to full-time pros and large agencies. I founded ForegroundWeb in May 2014, and I love running my own business, I'm pretty much unemployable now.
I deeply understand the struggles of running your own business and trying to promote your best work out into the world. And I think I can understand how an artists' mind works sometimes, or at least relate to it, and this has helped me in my interactions with professional photographers over the years.
I'm from Romania.
Yes, Romania. Not the US, not a rich European country either.
Romania is quite a poor & corrupt country and generally seen with bad eyes throughout the world, I get that.
But I'm here to also try to change that perspective a little. The country has some breathtaking places to visit. Romanians have invented many products we use today. We have very famous sports personalities (you might have heard of Nadia Comaneci who got a perfect 10 in gymnastics, Ilie Nastase - #1 in tennis, and Hagi if you're a soccer fan). And we have incredibly talented and smart Romanians throughout all major universities and companies.
Not (necessarily) trying to associate myself with them, just saying that people have bad preconceptions sometimes, and you need to look beyond them.
This is what I'm passionate about
First and foremost, I'm in love with photography. Otherwise, I wouldn't be working with photographers.
Honing your skills at such a beautiful form of art is difficult enough, but having to deal with all the technical aspects is often overwhelming to many photographers.
I'm here to help with all those aspects, letting you return to the core of your business: shooting great images.
My BS-filters are finely tuned
In everything I do, I want to be helpful and to encourage kindness.
So I choose not to work with people who come with the wrong attitude (superiority, arrogance), life's too short to spread bad feelings out into the world. Even though English is not my native language, I've learned to understand many of its nuances. And because I also have a good understanding of non-verbal communication, I can smell bad intentions a mile away.
And I have no tolerance for dodgy marketing tactics or black-hat SEO practices. There's a ton of "Top 100 tips & tricks" douchebaggery online, but just like extreme dieting, it can give you some quick results, but it won't last long.
Why I have the knowledge to help you
Besides studying 14 different programming languages at the university level, I've always been adept at any technical skills. My parents were both engineers, which made me good with exact sciences (through I'm definitely studying more abstract arts as I grow older).
I'm a quick learner, and that's how I've gotten to know WordPress inside-out and to be proficient in tens of other web-design tools & services. If you've heard of it, I probably already used it.
And I'm always staying in touch with the web-design industry, learning about all the new tools and technologies that appear, sorting through all of the craziness to find the best tools for every project.
Why I created ForegroundWeb
First of all, I empathize with photographers. I also started out as one, didn't know how to promote my work or to make a living out of it.
Secondly, photographers are creative people, and they're spreading something beautiful into the world (their art). The world needs more of that.
ForegroundWeb is my attempt to improve the photography website standards out there, to help creative photographers with the technical yet important task of building & improving their website.
I try to do that through offering professional web-design services, and through longform articles and an extensive content area, all about photography websites.
Where did the name "ForegroundWeb" come from?
I was obviously looking for a photographic term, and settled on "foreground".
In an abstract way, your website is the foreground of all your work, it's what people (and photo buyers) see. Shooting and editing images happen in the background.