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Small Business Stories: Ricardo Dutkowiak

Get to know the face behind heyricardo, a portrait photographer based in Delft.

A young man with fair skin, glasses, and a pink shirt smiles into the camera.
Ricardo Dutkowiak - heyricardo

Let's get started!

It's finally time to launch Small Business Stories (SBS), and I couldn't be more pleased to start out by featuring Ricardo.

Ricardo Dutkowiak of heyricardo is a German native and portrait photographer based in Delft.

He moved from Germany to study photography and branding in Rotterdam and now runs his own photography business alongside his day job doing video production for Coolblue. I reached out to Ricardo to be the first interviewee for this series back in October, and he graciously accepted.

Over a cup of coffee near Delft's beestenmarkt, we discussed all things small business, from motivating moments to marketing struggles.

One of the questions I asked Ricardo was how his background prepared him for his photography career. For Ricardo, it did a lot. His studies gave him a boost of course, but so have his current and former roles with Coolblue. "I learned about good branding and how to write for other brands using a style guide. With my video production role, I incorporate those unique writing styles to tell a story outside of the images." Ricardo said this skill really helped him when it came to rewriting the copy for his website. He wanted a website that reflected his purpose. Ricardo is all about clean, timeless, authentic photos and images that truly capture the essence of his subjects. Frankly, he nailed it – just take a look at some of the images below.

"When interacting with clients, I strive to find the balance between fun and professional. It's about seeing the person beyond their role."
A grid of nine photos from Hey Ricardo's instagram page.
Photography by heyricardo

When planning a shoot, Ricardo also sets up a call or a meeting so that he can get to know his subjects and make sure they are comfortable before getting in front of the camera. "The photos are just better when you connect," he says. Ricardo loves seeing the person behind the lens and learning their stories. He likes to let clients choose their own shooting locations and says it helps people to feel more authentic and connect with their roots.

For other small business owners

Ricardo and I also talked about something we have in common: getting stuck in the "perfect plan" mode. Essentially, worrying too much about something being perfect before trying it.

Because this is something many small business owners seem to struggle with, I asked Ricardo this: What do you know now that you wish you'd known five years ago?

"Missed opportunities aren't the end."

"There's always a way society will tell you to do things, but just try things out your way. You don't have to have it all figured out now. Just start. And keep your mindset open." Pretty good advice for us all, no? In return, Ricardo left a question for the next business owner in the SBS series: "When it comes to social media marketing, do you go all in with one channel or spread your focus over many different channels?" For the answer, check out next month's story about Stephanie Ward of Firefly Coaching (and read some great small business tips as well!).

To get in touch with Ricardo, you can find him here: Website Instagram

See you next time!


Are you a small business owner located in the Netherlands? Would you like to expand your network?

If you're interested in being featured as part of the Small Business Stories series, let's chat!

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