This is an open letter from our in-house photographer Maks Ciechanowski to a few unnamed startup founders in Berlin, who continue to make some questionable decisions when it comes to the all-important “founder photo.”

Dear founders,

You’re doing it wrong. Yeah you got your business rolling, but remember your customers and the media love visual content. Your business model is sleek. But how are your pictures? For many potential customers, this is a lasting image of your brand/business. So they need to be on point.

These easy steps will help you to take proper founder pictures. Remember: no selfies allowed.

1. Know your photographerIMG_9849

Just holla at him or her. A proper briefing is essential, the photographer should have a clue of what the business is actually about and you should listen to the photographer’s advice. Just make sure everybody is at the same page. So please iron your shirt and leave out the small patterns and crazy colors.

LUK_7362P.S. You should probably go for a professional photographer. I know all of your friends have an iPhone or two and maybe even a DSLR, but as you will see below there are more important things a photographer should be capable of except of holding a camera and pushing a button. And also take some time to take a look at the work they did before.

2. “Oh shoot, that was today?”

I know you’re busy running a business, but how come you manage all the other appointments but forget about your shooting? You should listen now. A photographer may make you look awesome when you give him or her a chance, but if you’re looking like you had no sleep for two weeks there’s not much to change about it. And here’s another one to think of: A good photographer always wants to make that excellent shot for three main reasons:

  1. IMG_6056-3He or she want a satisfied customer.
  2. They’re artists and aren’t happy about a so-so shot.
  3. If they only have some so-so shots in their portfolio they probably won’t get new customers. Have some respect bro!

3. Let me guess… you’re not photogenic


Believe me if I only got like a half of a half of a penny for every time I heard this, I’d have packed up and moved full-time to the beach. I can’t remember a single shooting without this statement. But hey, there’s hope! You just hired a professional photographer and received some advice about what to wear and on the set you’ll also get some instructions how to sit/stand/smile and so on. It’s their job to make you shine.

4. Be confident

Most people don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera and this is an important aspect speaking for hiring a pro. They will guide you through this. A photographer is also some kind of psychologist. Calming, caring, listening and reacting to you so you feel more comfortable. And do you know why? One can see the fear in your eyes.


5. Just put it away!

Ah yeah… You’re an internet startup entrepreneur. It’s always nice to have something in the picture which relates to your business but please close the Macbook showing your homepage right next to you and simply put it away.


Maks is a Junior Communications Manager at RCKT. and is part of the team since the beginning. As one of “the creatives” he is not only our photographer and filmmaker, but also responsible for creating any awesome stuff regarding visualisations.IMG_9789-2

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