Hey, I want to take a few minutes to share why I became a wedding photographer because I believe that it is important for you to know my why. After all, out of all the vendors that will make up your dream wedding team, your photographer will be closest to you for the longest time on your wedding day.
Hiring your wedding photographer requires more than looking at their portfolio. You should also consider their personality and passion for their work. My deepest wish is for you to have endless fun while creating some amazingly beautiful photos on the day of your wedding.
Before I became a wedding photographer, I served in the United States Navy as a Construction Mechanic. I was the guy that performed automotive repairs on the Navy’s construction equipment – everything from a lawnmower to a crane. Back then, I really loved what I was doing.
I traveled a lot all over the world, living in new places and learning about new cultures. I lived in Sicily for a while, 2 tours to Okinawa, Japan, Guam, and Cuba. I wish I could say I have tons of photographs from all my traveling, but I really don’t. I have some photos from films shot during the early years of my career, and that’s it.
I have always loved photography, but when it was time to make a transition from military life to civilian life, I chose real estate.
So, fast forward to my post-military experience. After my military career, I got my real estate license and started working in a real estate office as a realtor agent. It was totally different from the military, but I enjoyed it.
Shortly after I started my real estate career, I decided to go back to school for photography. I wanted to take advantage of my government educational benefit while still working as a realtor. Furthermore, I already have a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. I didn’t want to study anything even slightly as challenging as computer science.
Photography seems to be the easiest thing to study. I imagine it would be easy ( come on, it’s photography 🤣 – how hard can it be?), and I would be able to go to school part-time and work my real estate job full-time. No one told me that there were math and science in photography – say what? Yea, I kid you not!
Understanding the science of light and shadows and learning to calculate the exposures for different lighting conditions was a new language for me. But you know what? I love every minute of it! During the first few weeks of studying photography, I began to reconnect with my artistic potential.
I quickly discovered that photography was my life’s passion. Do you know the warm and cheerful feelings you get when you fall in love for the first time? Yea, that one – ha-ha! I don’t know how else to explain it, but something magical happens within me whenever I pick up a camera. This is how I knew I had to quit my real estate job and focus on photography, which was precisely what I did.
While I was in school, wedding photography wasn’t really my forte. Editorial and commercial photography was what I really interested in. So that was where I focused all my energy. On the other hand, my wife couldn’t see how it was possible to make a living from editorial and commercial photography. She would gently encourage me from time to time to pursue wedding photography.
Before long, I was photographing my wife’s friend’s wedding, and then I took on a client for a really, really low price (the photos reflect the price too). With a couple of weddings under my belt, I began to fall in love with weddings. So I took a couple of classes to better understand wedding lighting, workflow, and marketing. Then I started to build my wedding portfolio and set up my first wedding photography business – Antonio & Paula Crutchley Wedding Photography. From there, things just began to happen. My work was getting published in some of the top wedding blogs, such as Style Me Pretty and others.
Today, photographing weddings is my sole passion! It is what I love to do. It fills me with pure joy and excitement.
See my photographic journey below:
My first time experiencing snow in Washington DC – shot on a Vivitar 35mm camera on Fuji 100 film.
Washington DC was my first Duty Station and I used to just go and take photographs of anything that interest me. All my money used to go to developing films – thank God for digital :)!
Malta is a group of three beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. A great place for a destination wedding. Valletta is the capital.
I lived in Catania, Sicily for a while. Sicily is the Southernmost island of Italy. The people are warm and friendly, and I consider moving back there to live many times – I love it that much! Every time I open my mouth to speak Spanish here in Miami, Italian comes out!
Type of work I used to do before becoming a wedding photographer. It is all digital – no film here!
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