Frequently asked questions
You probably want to make sure you find the right web-designer for your project and learn as much as possible about them and their process.
For transparency and clarity, this is my attempt at answering common questions I get from photographers regarding building websites.
If you have another question in mind, please send me a quick email, I'll answer it asap.
Who is running this site?
Why the name "ForegroundWeb"? What does it mean?
Your photography website is in the foreground of what your clients/buyers see (with all your shooting and editing happening in the background). Plus foreground is a photographic term, it made sense.
Do you prefer email or phone/skype?
Email is preferable because it's a passive interaction, it doesn't interrupt any work in progress. I reply to all emails within 24 to 48 hours. For calls, I prefer Skype or Google Hangouts, scheduled in advance.
Do you build photography websites?
Do you do non-photography websites?
I intentionally only focus on photography-related work, it's my passion. So unless it's something adjacent (illustration, painting & other creative arts), I'm probably not a good fit. But you could contact me anyway, I might be able to recommend someone good.
How much does a website cost?
Are your project deposits refundable?
All deposits are nonrefundable. Deposits guarantee that I block time for your project in my work calendar (so I can properly focus on your site). I turn away other projects in that time frame, so the deposit protects us both, not to mention it being a strong sign of commitment on both parts.
Can you start now?
Unlikely. Projects are sometimes booked a few weeks in advance, and over-booking is the enemy. Please contact me to ask about my availability, but I'm naturally protective of my time, so that I can give current clients more of my time & attention.
How long does it take to get a new website?
Building a new website from scratch can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months. Every project varies in complexity, especially if other professionals are involved (outside designers, copywriters, etc.)
As part of my process, at the beginning of the project, I'll give you a more precise target date for finishing the site.
What does building a photography site involve?
Please read my detailed Process page.
My work process might seem complex, but everything serves a purpose, you're not just hiring a monkey to push some buttons. I value my time, and to work well together, you need to value my time as well, so I've set those steps/requirements in place to make sure that we're a good fit and that the project runs smoothly.
How do you decide who to work with?
It's a combination of science and gut feeling, there are many red flags that I look for.
Not being technically savvy is not a deal-breaker for me (I'm used to hand-holding inexperienced clients till they learn the ins-and-outs of their website).
But if you're open-minded (after all, you're hiring me for my technical expertise instead of ordering me around) and enthusiastic (which gives you the energy to collaborate and work on your content), the project will run smoothly.
But most importantly, life is short. My ideal client is honest and kind.
What happens when a project goes south?
First of all, if I make a mistake or miss a deadline, I'll be first to admit it. I have a well-defined process in place just so that I avoid 'hiccups' as much as possible.
If you start treating me poorly during a project, it's usually a sign that either you've lost your enthusiasm for the project (new goals, personal problems, etc.), or I did something, and you don't feel comfortable telling me (lack of communication). In both these situations, there's really nothing I can do for you, it's in your hands.
Nonetheless, as one does in a (work) relationship, I'm willing to get on a call with you and talk through it to try to salvage the project.
What info do you need for a website?
But preparing the content beforehand is the most important thing. Building a design based on existing content is a much simpler process than guessing what the site content will be. Having content ready hastens the process and makes it easier for everyone involved.
Can you copy a particular website I like?
Besides the obvious copyright infringement implications, is it really a good idea?
A unique design is what sets a photographer/business apart, tailored to its own goals and personality.
Do you work with clients around the world? Will the time zone difference affect things?
I live in Bucharest, Romania, but most of my web-design clients are overseas (US, Canada, Australia), so I'm used to working remotely with different time zones around the clock. Past clients have been very happy with my responsiveness and availability.
Can you critique my images or do a portfolio review?
Sorry, I won't do photo critiques, I only specialize in websites and related technical aspects, I only work with your content (and that includes images, of course). I can recommend companies that offer this kind of service, though.
ForegroundWeb doesn't load well in my browser (and I found I typo).
Unless you use Internet Explorer, by all means, do let me know, I'll fix it asap.
I have read this entire FAQ, but I still have a question for you, Alex!