Let’s Start with your name & what you do?
My name is Adam Crump and I run AC Creative which is a photography business based out of Wrexham & AC Create which is a company specialising in crafts such as diorama’s, props, painted figures and models.
Before we take a deep dive into your business I know you love to cook so, if you could only make and eat one meal for the rest of your life, what’s your go too?
I think it would have to be my 12 hour Beef Raghu ,it’s cooked in a garlic, tomato and white wine sauce then serve it with pasta and cheese, you’re in heaven!
What kind of jobs were you working before you decided to set up your own business?
So I’m a qualified chef and I was working in the hospitality industry but it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do and I wasn’t a fan of the hours a chef has to work!
It’s a pretty big move to go from cooking to photography, was it something which you previously had experience in?
Well my uncle is a photographer so we always had cameras around the house but I only ever used the cheap and simple digital cameras. The process of photography has always fascinated me though, I would watch documentaries about photographers and even with those basic cameras once a picture was printed or uploaded then I would start picking apart what I did and didn’t like about it.
Tell me a bit about those first few months of self employment when you’ve completely changed industry, what do you do first?
So I would go out and take photos of the simplest every day objects so that I could come back home and learn how to hone my craft. Even in just 12 months of shooting on professional DSLR I can go back to a photo I took a year ago which at the time I thought was great and now I think that it’s a terrible photo! Taking that time to shoot was really important because it also meant that I had built up a portfolio to show clients.
You’re a member of The Wrexham Enterprise Hub, how did you find out about the project?
You know I think it was as simple as I was walking passed and curiosity got the better of me. For awhile I had no idea what the hub was, I thought it looked very important so wasn’t sure if I could go in! I was eventually convinced by my advisor on the NEA programme to go in, so I met with Carl and it almost felt like I was part of the community the very next day.
I really like that the hub is so welcoming, it doesn’t feel corporate and intimidating! Also I feel like every event which I have attended at the hub, I have taken something positive from them which I have then used to grow my business.
What’s surprised you the most about setting up a business?
Probably all the paperwork and admin. There’s so many systems, from invoices, to client details to my own business banking, promotional materials and so much more!
Are there any projects or jobs that when looking back over your first 12 months that you’re especially proud of?
I’m very proud of the fact that Voicebox has brought me on to be their resident photographer for the year. There’s also the fact I got to photograph Terry Waite who was unveiling the new Llangollen canal boat and I was able to work with performance poet Evrah Rose and display work in Ty Pawb.
Since becoming a photographer it’s made me see Wrexham in a completely new light. I think it was easy to write it off before I started to look through a creative lens and realise just how many great projects and talented people are in the town. I’m so glad that I get to help shine a light on that talent and bring it out to a wider audience.
It’s hard enough to set up one business but then 12 months in you set up a brand new branch, AC Create. What was the incentive behind this?
So although I am known as a photographer in town, on Instagram and some Facebook groups I was known for recreating film props and customising figures and I wanted to take that from just being something on social media and then turn it into a business so I could share my skillset and help a wider range of people.
Is it harder to establish a work life balance when the work you’re doing is something which you are so passionate about?
Whenever I go out I always take a camera with me! But I have a separation between what is photography for myself and in my own time and what is for a client and under deadline, so for example I recently went for a walk up Llanberis and took some nature shots but didn’t have the pressure of editing them a certain way.
For those reading who are interested in setting up their own businesses what is the most important piece of advice that you would share with them?
I think it comes down to being passionate about it, you have to make sure you’re putting in 110% and that going above and beyond the call of duty doesn’t feel like a huge chore but instead you really want to. For instance I had a client last year who had suffered some unfortunate family news and we didn’t know if the planned wedding was going to happen, when it did happen myself and the team provided the clients with extra photography beyond what they had paid for just because we knew how important that day was to them and we love seeing our clients happy.
Final question, the most powerful agent in the world has said that you have the opportunity to go on tour with any band, dead or alive and be their photographer. Who do you pick?
I think it would have to be Slipknot because of the amazing show they put on, it has masks, props and lots of really visually interesting dynamics to it!
There you go, another members story (so far!) if you wanted to keep up to date with Adam and his creative ventures you can give him a follow on