Born in Wichita, Kansas
, Alan Dorow grew up near the geographical center of the United States. While he always thought photographers looked like they were having a good time with their work, he didn't take up photography until a college class with Brooks Institute graduate Steve Harper. Harper introduced him to the work of classic photojournalists and artists like W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Gary Winograd.
Working on newspapers in Jacksonville, Florida and Tucson, Arizona became an inspiration for working with the layout and editing of photographs. As a freelance photographer in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s, he shot assignments for a variety of magazine and corporate clients, including Time, Fortune
, Forbes and Sports Illustrated.
While working as an assistant picture editor under Kathy Ryan at the New York Times Magazine, he took a keen interest in the display of photographs in different mediums, including the newly emerging Internet. While working for a year as a visiting professor at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), he learned how to use Photoshop to put together entirely new types of images, leading to his Animal Crackers series.
He started Tango Interactive in 1996 to develop web projects and interactive media. Working with Keith McManus, they redeveloped the 6,000 page website for the Inter American Development Bank
. Tango developed a variety of projects for Photo District News
, focusing on photography-related web sites. With Adam Stoltman, he put together and developed Journal E (later called Musarium
). Some of these development ideas were later integrated into SiteWelder
, which was introduced in 2002 at the Photo Plus Expo in New York. Along with SiteWelder partner Mason Miller, the pair has developed extensive online web-building tools for photographers, artists and people who want to easily develop web sites.
He currently lives and works in northern Virginia with his wife Lauren Stockbower. His daughter Sabrina is a graduate of Indiana University and recently returned from a year of teaching abroad in Valparaison, Chile. Lauren is a freelance picture editor and educator.