10 Questions with Antonio Crutchley

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and sought-after wedding photographers in Florida, White House Wedding Photography. Miami based Antonio is the founder and owner of White House Wedding Photography.

White House Wedding Photography

Photographer - Antonio Crutchley

10 Questions with Antonio Crutchley

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hey, there bride to be! My name is Antonio Crutchley, and I am the founder and lead photographer for White House Wedding Photography. White House Wedding Photography is located in the Design District in Miami, Florida, and provides wedding photography services in South Florida, nationally, and in the Caribbean.

Before I tell you how I got started in wedding photography, let me share a little about myself. I was born and raised in beautiful Jamaica, where my love for the arts was discovered but never pursued.

Growing up in Jamaica, I love art. I think art was the only subject I excelled in at school. In all my art classes, I was the top student, and all my classmates would come to me for help with their art projects. Additionally, my mother would always hand me her point and shoot camera to take pictures. She would tell everyone that I took beautiful pictures. I never dreamed that I would become a professional photographer with my own business.

Fast forward some years later. I migrated to the United States, and my love for art took a back seat to a military career. As an adult, I didn’t see how I could make a living at art. Nevertheless, throughout my military career, my love for art would still exist. I owned several point-and-shoot cameras, and towards the end of my military career, I bought a Canon A1 35mm camera with some lens at an auction.

To make a long story short, I retired from the military and went back to school for a second undergrad degree. Before I went back to school, I received my real estate license and worked in a real estate office. I wanted to take advantage of the government educational benefits, but I didn’t want to study something as challenging as my first computer science degree. So I enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

During my first three weeks at Brooks Institute, I rediscovered my love for art, particularly photography. I began to realize how I felt when I have a camera in my hands. Something magical was happening to me. I felt a sense of purpose - I felt like I belong. The camera gave me a sense of joy and satisfaction. It piqued my curiosity for visual interpretation. To this day, I still have those same feelings whenever I picked up a camera.

Shortly after starting school and realizing how much I love photography and how it made me feel, I resigned from my real estate job and focused all my energy on learning photography. My wife Paula and I started my first photography business Antonio & Paula Crutchley Photography. I didn’t have any interest in wedding photography, and I spent most of my time pursuing and learning about commercial photography.

My wife Paula, god bless her heart, was the one who kept encouraging me to get into wedding photography. Once I decided to venture into wedding photography, Paula would assist with marketing and finding clients. She was also my sidekick at many of my earlier weddings. Paula has a Master’s in Business Management, and her skills in organizing and attention to detail were paramount during my early days.

Today I absolutely love telling couples love stories. I am forever grateful to the countless couples who have allowed me to be a part of their essential life celebration of love and commitment. I am double grateful for my wife, who had the foresight to push me into wedding photography, believing in me, and for her continued support.

Over the years, I have been featured in some prestigious wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Bridal Beauty, The Knot, WeddingWire, and more. I was also commissioned to photograph on the set of the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills the surprise proposal of Brendan Fitzpatrick to Morgan Stewart. Furthermore, I am the proud winner of the International Wedding Photographer of The Year 2020 in the engagement category and overall runner-up.

2. How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?

I have been capturing couples’ love stories for eight-plus years now. I have photographed approximately 200 weddings from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles to Boston and Miami.

I shot my first wedding back in 2011 after about a year in photography school and my dear wife’s constant nudging to get into photography weddings. The bride was actually a good friend of my wife, and I shot the wedding like a friend invited to the wedding. I didn’t charge the couple for photographing their wedding, and they knew that I had never shot a wedding before.

It was a good experience for me. From that very first wedding, I learned that wedding photography is challenging and requires a lot of skills and experience. Since then, I have come a long way, but I am still learning and evolving as a wedding photographer.

3. How would you describe your photography style?

My style is more Contemporary Editorial. I want my photographs to reflect the correct colors and skin tones present when the photographs are taken. My photos are appropriately lit and in focus. I try to avoid creating dark and moody pictures except for black and white. One of the things that I hate in wedding photography is a white sky, especially when there are a beautiful blue sky and white puffy clouds. I try my best not to create a white sky whenever possible.

When it comes to wedding photography style, though, I often get annoyed when asked what is my wedding photography style? Why? Because it is such a common question that is misunderstood by many brides. Furthermore, there is so many inconsistency with wedding photography styles. Is photographing with film a style? What makes fine art a style? How about the different lighting techniques such as light and airy and dark and moody? Are these all styles? Who’s to say! One thing for sure it is enough to drive any bride crazy.

Here is my take on wedding photography styles to make things a little easier for brides to understand. First, don’t get wrapped up in trying to figure out a photographer’s style. Look at their photos and ask yourself if you love the photos. If you love the photos, then ask what it is about the photos that you love. For example, are they light and airy, or are they dark and moody? Are the colors natural? You know, grass green, skin pale or tan, dress white or gray? That sort of stuff.

Second understand that if you are having a full day of wedding coverage and not just a micro wedding, your photographer will need to be a pro in shooting in many different lighting situations and dealing with many people doing different things. Wedding photographers at the top of their game will have a preferred style, but they will be well-rounded in multiple styles and will perform incredibly well in any given situation.

4. How well in advance should couples book their wedding photographer?

Couples should book their wedding photographers as soon as possible, especially if the photographer is in high demand. Before the pandemic, I was booking couples a year out. In general, I tell couples to try and book their wedding photographer as soon as they book their wedding venue. The worst thing to do is to wait until the last minute to book your wedding photographer.

Booking your photographer six to four months out is really cutting it close and not giving yourself enough time to get engagement photos done. Three months and closer is just risky. Besides, the top photographers may not be available to you that close to your wedding day, and you may have to settle for a second rate photographer.

5. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

I value the unique experience of every couples’ wedding weekend and don’t believe in a “one size fits all.” Therefore, I take the time to make sure I have all the information from each couple, so I don’t leave out anything important to them or overquote them for things they don’t need.

On average, my couples invest $3500 for photography. Seven hours is the bare minimum required to document the most critical moments of the wedding day professionally.

All my custom packages include unlimited print rights. Every photo delivered to brides goes through my unique digital enhancement process so that they are aesthetically beautiful. Additionally, I only gave high-resolution unwatermarked photos to brides via a modern online gallery.

The modern online gallery takes the hassle out of sharing photos with family and friends. No need to burn a disk or copy to a thumb drive! Brides can share the gallery link. Plus, brides will have the option to hide photos they don’t want to share with anyone, purchase prints, and pick the photos they want for their albums and thank you cards. Delivering via a modern gallery just make it so much easier for the bride.

I also offer complete custom packages because I understand that no two brides are alike. My custom packages are the most popular. Brides seem to love my custom packages because each custom package is unique to each brides’ needs.

Travel and accommodation costs may be applied to packages for weddings outside of a seventy-five-mile radius of my business address - 4300 Biscayne Blv Miami, FL.

The best thing for brides interested in my packages to do is to start a conversation with me. They will get the most benefits by working with me to build a perfect package for their wedding.

6. Are you the wedding photographer who will be shooting on the wedding day? Who else is there in your team?

My approach to the wedding day began the minute a bride hire me. When a couple booked me to photograph their wedding, I will start preparing the couple for the wedding day right away. The first email they will receive from me will thank them for trusting me with documenting their love story. In that same email, I will lay out what they can expect from me from then to the wedding day and beyond.

Halfway through to the wedding day, I will start prepping the bride to get the most out of her wedding photos. Brides don’t know what it takes to get amazingly beautiful wedding photos and have fun while doing it. They only get one shot at getting married, but I have photographed hundreds of weddings. So, I try my very best to educate, guide, and help my couples get what they want from me, their photographer.

Approximately thirty days before the wedding, I will have a final consult with my couples. This consultation ensures that I understand precisely how the wedding day will unfold and what is important to my couples. I will offer to help them with their wedding day timeline. I will also make recommendations for the best results on the wedding day.

On the day of the wedding, I will arrive at the appointed place and time with my assistant. In general, I will start with the ladies. I liked to get all the detail shots out of the way first, such as the wedding dress, shoes, jewelries, etc. I always recommend that the bride make a Champagne toast with her mom and girls before everyone gets into their dress. The campaign toast is really a sweet moment, and it makes for some authentic photos.

If the package didn’t include a second photographer, I would head to the groom’s room at an appropriate time. In the groom’s room, the routine will be similar to working in the girls’ room. First, I would photograph the details, boutonniere, tux, shoes, rings, etc. I will then capture the groom and his boys getting dress. After I am finished with the boys, I will head back to the bride’s room to get shots of her getting buttoned up in her dress, putting on her earrings, etc.

When getting ready photos are completed, I would move into the first look and couple’s session followed by the bridal party session. If there is no first look, my assistant and I will head to the ceremony location for detailed shots and guests arriving.

When my couples chose not to do the first look, the ceremony will be followed by family and bridal party session. After the family and bridal party session, I will take the newlywed to a beautiful location for some romantic couples portraits. These are generally the photos that are added to the album and printed for wall prints.

Upon completion of the newlywed session, I will head straight to the reception location. I love to get to the reception location early to get all the detailed shots before the guest starts to enter the reception area. The reception photographs typically include the grand entrance, first dance, cake cutting, and toasts.

I typically take a break during dinner to get something to eat, download files, and change camera batteries and cards. At the end of my time, I will check in with the newlyweds to see if they have any photography needs before breaking down my camera. Once my cameras are stowed, and I am ready to depart, I will find the newlyweds, thank them for the opportunity and tell them what they can expect next.

7. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

I am located in Miami, FL, and I primarily serve the South Florida community from Sanibel Island to Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and the Keys. However, no destination is too far for me to travel for epic love stories. I’m a sucker for traveling, and I love a good road trip.

Furthermore, I started my photography business in Santa Barbara, California, and I have done weddings all over California. I would absolutely love to capture a love story in Savanna, Georgia. I lived in Sicily for three years, so I am down for destination Italy too, plus I know how to curse in Italian. :) I am Jamaica-born and bred, so throw in Jamaica and all those other Caribbean Islands. San Juan Puerto Rico? Deal me in!

8. Are albums or prints included in your packages?

All my packages include unlimited print rights, and my top tier packages include albums. Brides get to pick the photos for their album. I design the album and send it to brides for their review and change request. Album proofing is done online via a modern proofing app. It is fast and efficient. No pdfs or files going back and forth.

Once the bride approves the album design, I will send it to my partner lab in Italy for print production. The typical turn around time from the lab is 12 to 14 weeks. Albums are shipped directly to me for quality inspection before hand-delivering or mailing to brides.

Couples can purchase large wall prints, small prints, framed prints, and fine art prints directly from their online gallery.

9. How long after the wedding will the couple receive the images? How will they be delivered?

Couples can expect a sneak peek within 24 hours of their wedding. On some occasions, a sneak peek may be available before I depart the wedding. My standard is to deliver the digital enhance, high-resolution photos to clients within 4 - 5 weeks. I edit every single photo that is delivered to ensure that they are the best.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

My cancelation and refund clause state that if a couple cancels their wedding, they must notify me immediately by phone and writing. Couples will make every effort to avoid canceling their wedding. If they canceled their wedding because of a change of mind, no monies would be refunded to the couple.

My Force Majure/Act of God clause is very comprehensive. So to summarise, it said that in the event of a Force Majure/Act of God event, the client and I would work together to find a suitable date that works for both of us. In case a date can’t be agreed on by the client and me, I will have sole discretion in refunding all monies paid minus any expenses.

Gallery

Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020