Craig Derrick is one of the many expats who have been lured in by the beauty and lifestyle Croatia offers and is now residing in the capital Zagreb.
The UK-born photographer, who has worked for Formula 1 and snapped the Royal Family and a number of celebrities, spoke to Flash.hr‘s Josip Novosel about why he traded the UK for Croatia and more.
First up why Croatia?
I had (on the outside) what appeared to be everything but then I came to Croatia on vacation 8 years ago, and as a photographer, was stunned by the amazing places I visited and so decided this would be my next adventure.
You are a professional photographer and worked for Formula 1, how did that come about?
In the UK I lived in a place called Cheltenham, lots of famous people lived there and also a very famous horse festival is there every year. I was contracted by the local equivalent of Gloria Magazine so I was recommended by lots of people due to the quality of work I produced.
F1 was my passion from a young age….I have never missed watching it on TV for 25 years. An old colleague in the UK offered my the opportunity to work in F1 for the 2019 season….I couldn’t resist, so for 2019 I travelled to the F1 in Silverstone, Barcelona, Hungary and Abu Dhabi working in F1 before the Covid put a stop…but I hope to return again someday.
You are now doing amazing 360 photography, mainly hotels, villas, restaurants, yachts…
I have been doing 360 Virtual Tours for over 20 Years and was taught by one of the best 360 photographers in England. Prices in the UK are a lot higher than here in Croatia but also the understanding of 360 Virtual Tours is more. Here, it is still seen as a new (unknown extravagant) thing. I know the value of my work so won’t lower the cost. If someone wants it the best then it costs.
A good way to explain it is this: Anyone can buy the best cooker in the world but it doesn’t make them a great chef. Anyone can by the best camera in the world, it wont make them the best photographer. I was taught by the best, I continually learn to improve, and through my 20 plus years of experience I know that what I do, and how I do it. The attention to details, customer service and quality is hard to beat. (You can see more here – http://adriaticimages.com/360o-virtual-tours-3-2/)
How was it starting a business in Croatia and can you compare it with the UK?
Starting the business was fairly easy but the paperwork, bureaucracy and nepotism is crazy. I have always said that in business it is not what you know but who… in Croatia…this is multiplied 1000 times and as an “outsider” it is even harder.
You also started something called Magic Mirror, can you explain what that is?
I saw this great photo-booth over 6 years ago and got one from the UK. I was the first in Croatia to bring this here. Magic Mirror is perfect for weddings, parties, events etc. You can see more here. www.magicmirror.hr.
How is learning the language going?
So, my best friend in the UK is called Jessie. And when I arrived to Croatia 8 years ago I was living in Orašac in Dubrovnik. Every day at the bar I kept on hearing “Jessie, jessie” and I keep thinking….hang on…my friend must be here. A few days after I realise it is ”ĐESI” and not ”Jessie”. Welcome to my first Croatian lesson haha. I still didn’t learn your language. It’s really hard.
You also mentioned you would like to work with Rimac.
I would love to work with Rimac and take what I learned in F1 to Rimac to see if it something they would be interesting in understanding. He and his company are the cutting edge of car technology in Croatia and I admire Mate Rimac for what he has achieved in this area. A true entrepreneur and risk taker who has managed to produce the best and fastest electric car in the world.
You can contact Craig about his 360 tours or for Magic Mirror for events at [email protected]