Saturday, September 29, 2007

Go Cubs Go!



The Chicago Cubs clinched their spot in the playoffs tonight with a win over the Reds (sorry Adam, and sorry Tom)and a Brewers' loss to the Padres! If you know me at all, you know that I was ecstatic, followed by emotional. Yes, tears were shed when Kerry Wood came on screen (he ALWAYS gets me emotional)and hugged Ron Santo. It is now one of my favorite moments! You'll also know that every year I claim that it is the Cubs' year to win a world series. And you obviously know that the Cubs haven't one the WS in 99 years (yes, that's the longest drought since Cavemen rode dinosaurs to work. Regardless (or "rugaadluss," if you will), it seems that I might be right!

A little back story on those who might not have realized that I was a Cubs fan...
Many times over the past 15 or so years, I've been asked, "You're from Missouri, why aren't you a Cardinals fan?" The answer lies in my lengthy history with the Cubs. Thanks to WGN, along with the crazy antics of Harry Carey, my Grandpa and I would sit and watch the Cubs games on TV. I fell in love with the lovable losers and couldn't wait for game days to watch my favorite players of the 80s: Mark Grace, Ryne Sandberg (I even played 2nd base because of him), and Andre Dawson. My favorite player of all time is Greg Maddux, who also played for the Cubs in the 80s. I learned a lot about the game from watching WGN in my pre-teens and teens, but more than that, I learned to love something that was bigger than I was.

The second answer to why I'm not a Cardinals fan is because when I was younger, the only time I got to go to a Cubs game was when they were playing the Cardinals. I remember my first Cubs game. Dad took Steven and me to St. Louis for a weekend. We did some cool stuff (I saw a picture the other day from the weekend and my dad gets mega props for not dying of embarrassment from my brother and my looks... we were goofy!). The main thing, though, was that he took us to a Cubs game and they beat the Cardinals. Every year I go to Cubs games and it is much more affordable to go to St. Louis.

This year (and twice before), I've been fortunate enough to go to Wrigley to watch them play. This is another main reason I'm a fan. To be a part of something so legendary is very humbling (I sound as if I play for the Cubs or something). The atmosphere is so fun in Wrigleyville! By the way, if you go to a Wrigley game, you MUST go to the Cubby Bear across the street before and after the game: Party Central!
Anyway, the stadium is named the Friendly Confines for a reason. Chicago people may be rude as hell if you meet them on the street, but once you walk through the turnstiles into the stadium, something comes over you. You now are in a secret club where you high five, yell together, cry together, win together, and lose together.
That is, if you're a Cubs fan, or player. One of my favorite stories from Tom (yes, the same one mentioned above as a Reds fan) is about the day he began to accept the Cubs. He was in college and his roommate, a Cubs fan, made him sit down and watch a game. The opposing outfielder was running back to make a fly ball catch when, all of a sudden, a Cubs fan threw his beer on the player, causing him to drop the ball. You gotta love that.

So, congratulations, Cubs! And here's a big high five to all you Cubs fans out there... it's gonna happen.

Enjoy some of the photographs I've taken of the lovable (not-so-much) losers.


beautiful Wrigley...


The August 1st game, when they first sat on top of the Central Division with a walk-off win!


A play by Rich Hill (who I saw that morning at Starbucks across the street!) to D-Lee


And of course, my man, Zambrano (aka Z-man, aka Z-pack)...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bridal Fair coming up...

To all you planning brides, mother of brides, and grooms:
A wedding fair is scheduled for October 14th, 2007, at the Springdale (AR) Holiday Inn and Convention Center. There are going to be lots of vendors, two fashion shows (at 1pm and 3pm), and a Wedding Photography seminar (hosted by Benfield Photography!) We're very excited to present some cool things going on with wedding photography. You DON'T want to miss it!! For more info, contact Heather at The Morning News (479-872-5124). Come by and see me!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Open up and say...

The last few weddings and shoots I've booked have been because somebody has referred me to them. I can't say how much this means to me! I've got a lot of "big mouths" out there spreading the word and I want them all to know that I sincerely appreciate it.

Updated wedding page...

The good guys at Animoto.com have recently popped out of nowhere with a really great program to create exciting slideshows with images. I've been using them for a few weeks now and love their creativity. Soon, they're going to enable the slideshows to be downloaded and burned to dvds, as well as enabling iPhone capabilities.

I've put one on my blog (a little ways down), but have put multiple shows up on my wedding page

Have a look-see!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Keep on checking the website!

I just checked my website stats for this month and was excited to see that September 6th had over 1000 hits (1052, to be exact)!!! I'm humbled. Thanks everyone! I really appreciate you all checking out my work, forwarding it to friends, posting it on your myspaces, facebooks, etc. You're all very good to me!

Beth's Trash the Dress video!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some feedback in my email...

"Dale and Meredith,

No other words come to mind except absolutely amazing...We could say thank you a million times and it wouldn't be enough. This was the most wonderful day of our lives and you made it picture perfect. When I look at these pictures I feel like I am actually back in the moment. Like I said before, no one else can capture the moment like you can.

We looooove our pictures!!"

Thanks, Candace and Mike!
Here are a couple more from the wedding day:



A hilarious shirt, right?!


Strut Your Mutt!

Juliette, owner of Luxe in Fayetteville, contacted Meredith the other day and invited us to Strut Your Mutt, a fashion show held at the Dickson Street Theatre. The event, hosted by Luxe and Lola Boutique, showcased clothing from Lola Boutique and dogs from the Fayetteville Animal Shelter. The dogs, by the way, stole the show! They were adorable! After the fashion show, Ultra Suede performed some classics for the standing-room-only crowd.





Lindsay trashes her dress

I love doing these shoots! I've also learned that Gatehouse media is writing a story about trash the dress sessions for which I've been interviewed... I'll keep you posted! I'm very excited about it!
Lindsay was great and we had so much fun shooting!





Wednesday, September 19, 2007

An evening with Jessica and Chris...

I just met with Jessica and her parents about her upcoming wedding next summer... she's so funny! Here's what she had to say about her wedding: "Think 'TheGreat Gatsby' without the drama, but romantic none the less. I hope someone hasn't scooped you up already!" As a former English teacher, I love brides with a voice! Thanks Jessica and Chris; I am quite excited to photograph your 8/8/08 wedding (at 8:00, of course)!
Dale

Congratulations Candace and Mike!!

Hey Everybody!
Meredith and I had the wonderful honor of photographing Candace and Mike's wedding at the Phelps' house in Carthage, Missouri, September 8th. The pictures are so wonderful! Her wedding and reception were there and the historic location made for such memorable story-telling images. See for yourself! Oh, and if you're not shy, leave comments!
Happy viewing,
Dale

What a beautiful bride, yes?! Can you believe that just a few short years ago, I was her yearbook teacher?! I'm getting old!


Dad shots ALWAYS get me!!!


The lighting was amazing!


Keaton could be the sweetest boy I've ever met. Not lying.


I love the historic atmosphere of the Phelps' House...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I love exclamation points too!!!!!

I got the following from Leah, the bride below, after she saw her engagement portraits:

"OMG!!! I LOVE IT!!!! So do all my friends!! Thanks sooo much!!!"

Thanks, Leah! I'm glad you love 'em! It was so fun!!

D

A new custom-designed website!

Hey Everybody!
When a wedding couple has me photograph their engagement shoot, I create a personalized, custom website for them with their images. Leah (who I mentioned in an earlier blog) and her fiance, Brent, met with me and Meredith last week for an engagement session and so I thought I'd post their site here on the blog for all to see. Enjoy! And if you're getting engaged and like my style and want a custom website too, gimme a call (4174379414)!!

Happy viewing,
~Dale

Click here (NOT on the picture) for the website!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Speaking of Mocha Club...

After the post below, I decided to check out what Mocha Club was in detail. Meredith told me the night of the concert that she was thinking about joining. Anyway, I just now did it! I've signed up under Benfield Photography - Dale Benfield. The way it works is you start a team and try to build your team. So... if you've been searching for something to be involved in and help, join my team!

Dave Barnes rocks the Greek Theatre


Last week, Dave Barnes came to Fayetteville for a show at the Greek Theatre to benefit the Mocha Club. He built up the evening well and then ended with his "wedding medley." I saw Dave Barnes 5 or so years ago with Matt Wertz at a small church in Joplin. It was nice to see how far DB has come. I sent this photo to him and he responded:
"Dale-what a great pic! Do you have any more?" - Of course I do. It's what I do.

Trash the Dress session - not your mother's bridal portrait

For all of you out there who enjoy wedding photography... check this out! One of the latest trends is having another photo shoot after the wedding in which you don't care about getting the dress messy. I mean, you're not going to get married again, right? And gone are the days where daughters wear a mother's dress (in the off chance that a bride is the same size, the dress is probably grossly out of style).

So... here are some images of Beth, who graciously told Meredith and me that she was up for anything. Hee hee! We had a blast taking photos of her and the images are fantastic! Don't you agree?!









New website... well, updated website ;)

Hey fans. :)
It seems like I work 20 hours a day lately! I suppose it is in the heart of wedding season for me. When I'm not shooting weddings, I've been working on the website. I wanted to get away from the Flash site I designed last year. Flash is cool, no doubt, but with search engine stuff and loading on everybody's computer, css and html is the way to go. I do have flash embeded on many-a-page, and one of my favorites is a slideshow by animoto on the about us page, but it's all really cool! Check it out and let me know what you think. It's much easier to update a page now, so let me know if there is anything I should change.

Check it out here
Also, make sure to check out the wedding site and engagement site

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

That didn't take long!! Check out what was emailed to me today...

"Dear Dale and Meredith,

I just want to tell you how much we love our pictures, both the engagement and the wedding. You guys were so much fun to work with and you did such an amazing job. Everyone keeps talking about the slide show you did at the reception. I've been bragging about you guys ever since we did the engagement shoot, but I knew even before that we would have an awesome time together and have awesome pictures. Both of you are both so creative and you let us be creative too. That was really important to me because I didn't want the run of the mill wedding pictures. To me those types of photos always looked so awkward and fake.

Because of you guys, Bradley and I will be able to look back at our wedding and remember what a beautiful day it was. You really captured the beauty, and feeling of our day. These pictures are really something special they show something that no other photographers I met with could have produced. I had a certain vision in mind for the way I wanted my photos to look and you brought that vision to life. We not only met two great photographers, but we made two very special friends. I can't wait to get together with you to figure out how were going to use all of these great photos.

Sincerely,

Bradley and Meridith Smith!"


------------------------------
It was our pleasure Meridith!! We're so glad you love the photographs!

Dale and Mere

Does a stress free wedding really exist?!

Yes! That's exactly what Meridith and Bradley Smith had Saturday, September 1st, at Twin Hills Country Club. Meridith was not your typical bride. She was carefree and stressfree, and we could not have had more fun! For the wedding party, as well as portraits of her and Bradley, we went downtown and photographed in the streets. It was her idea a few weeks ago, but I was quickly on board! Because of her uniqueness, the images from her wedding day are also unique, and I couldn't love them more!

Congratulations, Bradley and Meridith! We can't wait to see you guys again! Let's meet at Bonefish Grill soon!

Enjoy,
Dale and Mere

Stone Chapel at Matt Lane Farm wedding: Anna and Shelton

Hey everybody! Wonderful wonderful. That's how I want to describe Anna and Shelton's wedding day at the Stone Chapel at Matt La...