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Thousands of professional photographers use the brand leader in Germany to sell their photos to their customers. Over the past two years, fotograf.de has been expanding to also work with photographers in other countries.
Since January 2017, fotograf.de is a trusted partner of the MoBerries network. We spoke with Ana Walka, HR Manager at fotograf.de, about their business, office atmosphere, and experience with MoBerries.
What is fotograf.de and why is now the time for your company to exist?
Fotograf.de is a software company, which through our online shop system offers different services to professional photographers. It’s an online business platform for photographers particularly in the school and pre-school sector for all their post-photo-shooting processes, including editing the pictures, payment, production, and distribution of the photographs, as well as communication with their clients, so primarily the parents.
It’s the time for our company to exist simply because this niche has a huge growth potential. During our first years, our founders discovered that pre-school and school photography, every year 150 million kids are being photographed, but only 20% of these pictures are processed online, meaning 80% are processed offline manually. Those are the clients we want to win for us, by taking these offline processes and automating and digitalizing them in a customizable online shop.
What motivates you to get up and come here every morning?
It’s actually two things. On one side, it’s really the team and my colleagues. And on the other side, the spectrum of responsibilityI have. With regards to the team, of course, it’s very nice because we have the advantage here that we’re still very small, so we really are like a family. After one or two weeks when you’re new, you will get to know everyone by name, whether you want it or not J This is something I really enjoy because I want to come to work & know what is going on in the lives of my colleagues, have a quick exchange here, a quick chat there.
I can try out different things, really see what works best for myself, so there’s definitely no micromanagement there.
With regards to my spectrum of responsibilities, I really enjoy that my team leader trusts me, they give me the space to make my own decisions. I can try out different things, really see what works best for myself, so there’s definitely no micromanagement there. You’re basically your own manager, this is for me personally very important.
What do you think a potential candidate would be most surprised to find out about you?
Honestly, the fact that we’re such a small company when it comes to the number of employees. We exist for 8 years on the market, we are about 44 full-time employees, working primarily from our Berlin office towards the rest of the world.
We have loads of natives working with us, towards their respective markets like the US, UK, France. They are all together with us here. Another funny fact, we have an R2D2 driving around in the office, which is a leftover from one of the Star Wars-themes movie nights we had. He never left.
What are you gaining through a partnership with MoBerries?
Actually, I’ve been working with MoBerries ever since I started working as a recruiter for fotograf.de. I’ve been very happy with the candidates we got through MoBerries. I have to say it’s very convenient to use MoBerries as a platform. They do some work for me! You pre-match the right candidates for the positions we post, it takes some workload off me. What’s left for me to do is have a look at these matches and see if they fit our expectations — mostly they do, which is great! The next step is to do a Skype interview. We hired some great candidates though MoBerries.
What would you tell a potential candidate to convince them to work at fotograf.de?
In one sentence, I would say: Don’t be afraid to f*** it up! This is the mindset we’re looking for in the candidates, throughout all types of positions, from development to sales. It’s important for us that people come in with ideas and open minds. They are not afraid to try out new things, take risks. On the other side of course, we as an employer need to be there and enable it for them. This means we must give them the space and a possibility to try out their ideas, develop & share their skills. And importantly, we want our employees to share not only their positive experiences but also the negative ones. We want to look at them as valuable lessons. This is something we offer to our employees and we think it can encourage potential candidates to decide to join us.
Special thanks to Ana Walka for taking the time to interview with us!