We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonio Crutchley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Antonio, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I can’t recall exactly my thought process behind starting my own business. All I know is that I wanted something other than a regular 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. job. Perhaps, because I grew up around businesses. I always knew that I was going to have a business – thanks to my mother. My mother was a solopreneur long before the term become popular.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Please tell us more about your business. White House Wedding Photography was created to help modern couples capture all the magic of their wedding day. The company is located in the Design District next door to the famous Wynwood Art District with services in Miami Beach, Coral Gables, the Keys and pretty much all of South Florida. I am also available for travel. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others? There are so many things that set me apart from other photographers -beside being always available to couples to help them capture one of the best days of their lives, and my passion for photography and work. I’m genuinely committed to giving all my clients a fun filled experience that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. What are you most proud of or excited about? I am most excited about telling the stories of each couples’ celebration of love. I am even more excited in curating a body of work that represents todays wedding style for future generations. How did you get to where you are today business-wise? I am where I am today in business through pure hard work and determination. I love my art, but I also learned earlier on that simply creating beautiful art was not enough to make a living. I learned that I would have to go into business for myself in order to make a living doing what I love. Was it easy? No, it wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t easy. The easy thing to do would be to get a regular job – nah! Beautiful photographs are not a life necessity, so convincing someone that they should hire a professional photographer to photograph their life’s events is quite a challenging task. However, this is only one part of the challenge. Understanding and running a business on a small budget is really tough. You have to become very familiar with business finances, taxes, marketing, pricing, sales, and many other things in order to be successful. Above all, you have to be very disciplined – you can’t just stop working at 5pm or only work during the week. When you are a solopreneur, you are always on the job! If not, how did you overcome the challenges? Besides hard work, not giving up and having a supportive wife, it helps to have an alternate income source. For me photography is my second act. I served in the US Navy for 20 years and I honestly don’t think I would have been as successful as I am today without my veteran’s income. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? I have learned that you have to be malleable, you have to learn fast and make changes fast. If you are resistant to learning, adopting and changing, you will have a hard time succeeding in any business. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? I want the world to know and particularly couples planning their wedding that my business is me. Interacting with White House Wedding Photography means you are interacting with Antonio Crutchley. I love capturing all the sweetest moments on a couples wedding day and I am committed to giving my clients 110%. I am authentically me – honest, dependable and epic fun!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For Visual When I have families or friends who visit me from out of town, I usually take them in Wynwood. I love to hang back a little and watch their excitement as they soak in the various art pieces. Downtown Miami the Bayside Market Place, and the Riverwalk area is also one of my favorite places to show off to my family and friends. I like to start walking through the Bayside Market place exiting on the bayside and continuing down by Bayfront Park and down to the Riverwalk area. It is just a beautiful place to take in the scenery. Museum Park is another fabulous place to take in the water views and watched the boats go by. Foood & Adult Beverage I love Tap 42 in Midtown – they make one of the best red sangrias and their burgers and fries… Ohh! My wife loves the margaritas at Beaker & Gray on North Miami Ave. Beaker & Gray also serve a delicious mouthwatering lamb belly tips dish. For something a little bit more romantic, you have to check out Amara at Paraiso. It’s a little bit on the high side, but you really can’t beat the bay’s view – fabulous food and excellent service. There are just too many things to do and see here in Miami – I’m not even talking Miami Beach, Brickell, or Coconut Groove. Let me just wrapped it up by mentioning another favorite eatery of mine. Clive’s Cafe is a Jamaican restaurant located on Second Ave. They serve some of the best curry goat, oxtail, fry fish, and other Jamaican dishes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to say big thanks to the many clients who have trusted me to capture their celebration of love. Without whom there would be no White House Wedding Photography. Tiffany & Jimmy, Monica, and Jonny, Junia, and Gamaliel, Maija, and Hedi, David, Tim, Evelyn are just a few of our fabulous clients. There are way too many wonderful clients to list here. To the photography faculty of Brooks Institute, thank you so much for giving me a solid photography foundation to build on. To my dear friend and photographer Peter Grant, thank you a million times for inviting me to your studio and giving me the lay of the land when I first moved here to Miami. I will never forget your kindness – my friend. Finally, I couldn’t do any of this without my supportive wife Paula Crutchley; she has been my rock, the wind beneath my wings, my business mentor and partner. Thank you is not enough; I love you dearly and appreciate all your love and support!