Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Year!

I wish I had the power to just insert days here and there! Sometimes, I feel like I need those days to get caught up... ha ha!

This post is the official update-you-on-everything post.

:: 13 months of giving :: This month I spent time, money, and attention to the following:
The Mocha Club! See how much the price of two mochas can go!


Race for the Cure! Our team, Brides for the Cure, is off and running! Jenessa (of J. Bailey Occasions, check out her blog), Amy (of Sincerely Yours), and myself have formed a team and are contacting wedding professionals in the area to get some KILLER prizes for our participants. If you wanna sign up for the Race, call or email us! We'd be so happy to set you up!!


:: We getting back into crazy shooting mode (like there was ever a real break... ha ha) and we're really excited for what's coming up! We've got senior fashion shoots, engagements, urban belly shoots, so stay tuned for lots of new images in the coming weeks!

:: Something big... something Really BIG is coming up. I think we'll be able to announce it by March 21st. This is going to be so great!

:: Though it was a shortened month, we set records in pretty much every website viewing category I keep track of including most hits (over 15,000!). That's amazing! Thank you all so much for spreading the word!

::Unrelated, how cute is this couple?! They happen to be the sweetest little couple and are featured on our new engagement website. Check it here.


Happy Leap Year! Talk to you in March!
Dale

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rockstar seminar in the Big-D



Hey everybody!

Earlier this week I went to Dallas and had the great privilege to spend some time talking with a couple of the biggest wedding photographers known to man! I hung out with Bob Davis, who shot Eva Longoria and Tony Parker's wedding, Eddie Murphy's most recent wedding (ha ha), and Oprah's Legend Ball. Also, Mike Colon of SoCal (whose packages start at 20 thousand dollars - ridiculous, right?!) was there to talk about marketing and best-business strategies.

Though I didn't learn a lot, I felt really encouraged because most of the things they talked about, I was already doing in my photo business. My good friends from Graphistudio were also there and asked me to display my albums (I had them in my car b/c I met with a bride at my hotel the night before). All the photographers were looking at my images! How cool is that?!



A cool shot I took of Bob's shadow - the background is a shot is is taking...


Me with Bob Davis, celeb photog!


Me with new friend from Kansas


Me with Mike Colon

Major update!

Hey everyone,

Check out my website (www.benfieldphotography.net)!
It's cooler, it's prettier, it's easier to navigate. Let me know what you think! And spread the love! That is, spread the link!

Have a superb day! I'm going to sleep for a bit (it's 4am).
Dale

Coming up in the next couple days ::
::New engagement website for Gary and Christy
::Momo and Bobo's (our grandparent contest winners) love story - you won't wanna miss this! The images are so sweet!
::My before-promised super-star photographer action from Dallas (I'm waiting on a couple pics from a fellow photog)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SPREAD THE DAVE!


Hey everybody! I got a really cool email today from Dave Barnes and gang. They thanked me again for the blog I did about him a while back (see my archives for September). Anyway, they want to send me an advanced copy of his new cd, Me And You And The World (available April 1). Also, a poster and stickers. How sweet are they?!

Here's some more cool news! The day after the CD releases, he's going to be in Fayetteville! (more details on that when I find out) I've now given you two ways to experience the rockin' coolness of Dave Barnes - you'll be happy you did!

To pre-order, click the links below. Also, how cool is this: you get two copies of the CD, so you can give it as a gift: SPREAD THE DAVE! And one more thing, "On a night like this" is one of my all-time favorite DB songs and it's on this CD! Can you tell I'm excited?!?!
2 CD's + DVD -
2 CD's + DVD + T-shirt - The prices are not bad!

Once I get the CD, I'll fill you in on how I like it (sorry, I won't post the songs - gotta help out my boy!). So stay tuned for that!

Have a great day everyone!
Dale

P.S. Coming up... my recent trip to Dallas with mega-superstar action... and another engagement website... and another super sweet surprise!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Girls... you have a new reason to get pregnant!


Who says maternity pictures have to be in a boring studio? Who says a pregnant mother has to be nude to be sexy? Apparently, we're breaking the rules...

Introducing... Urban Bellies.

An Urban Belly shoot is the new maternity shoot. We're combining our fashion photography with maternity portraits. Unlike the traditional and common nude (or scantily clad) maternity portraits, the result is something you'll display proudly in your home, something you'll show to your family and friends, and something you'll cherish to remember this special time in your life!

Urban Belly session is a different shoot. It is a location shoot. It is a multi-outfit shoot. It is a fun shoot. It is a sexy shoot.

So, you wanna book one? Call or email me to set up a session!

Not pregnant? That's okay! You can also get these sessions as gifts!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

P.S. I'm not posting another blog until you've told everyone you know about this!

Oh what a week!

Hey everybody!
A new record has been set!! I'm a stats junkie, thanks to old school Tecmo Bowl for NES. I'm addicted to stats, so when I saw this week's website numbers, I was in Hog Heaven!

Did you know, this week we set records for:

Most page visits in a day!
Most unique visitors in a day!
Most page visits in a week!
Most unique visitors in a week!
Most page visits in a month (and we still have a week left!)
Most unique visitors in a month!
We've been well over a THOUSAND hits a day (yesterday, we were over 1500!!!!)

I know I'm not doing this! So, thank YOU all!! Please keep it up!

Humbly yours,
Dale

Friday, February 22, 2008

I love making people happy!

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because it makes those I photograph so happy! Sound cheesy? Well, let me just say I love getting notes like this:

"Dale,

You did an awesome job on the website. We're sorry that we made you wait so long. The images are absolutely amazing we knew we liked the ones you posted on your blog, but we are in awe of the rest of them. You and Meredith are blessed with an amazing gift. Thank you so much. We will be calling soon to nail down the details for July. :)

-Mitch"

To my friend Mitch: You've given Mere and me such a wonderful opportunity! You and Maggie are amazing people and we are honored to be a part of your proposal, engagement, and wedding!

For more, check out the custom site (directly) below!
Thanks,
Dale

Mitch and Maggie: The Website!




Hey everybody! I'm really excited to announce that Mitch and Maggie's custom engagement website is up and running. They had wanted me to wait until some details were ironed out, which about killed me b/c when you have images like this, you wanna show them all off!

I've also put their slideshow on their site, but you can check it below. Make sure and go to the site, though, and read their amazing proposal story (among the other fun stuff!).

::In other news, thanks to those of you who have been terribly patient through my stressful couple of days - you know who you are!

::I promise, it won't be long now... our new maternity style is going to be unvieled by the end of this weekend. The images Mere and I have taken recently rock! They will set your hair on fire!

::Thanks for promoting my weddings site. For the past couple days (aside from my "stressful" situation) we've been getting hits like CRAZY!!! I'm loving it! Please... keep it up! Multiple brides are emailing me every single day!!!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Caralisa and Seth's custom engagement site...

Hey everybody!
Today I've been working on another custom engagement site. I really like the design, and I hope you do too! This was for Caralisa and Seth, who met me in Hot Springs for their e-session. Here's the link:

www.benfieldphotography.net/engagements/sethcaralisa/index.html

Also, here's their slideshow:


Thanks for all your support. You all rock!
Dale

She's so fast!

Hey everyone,
Check out the nice words I got from Heather A. (whose website is below). She's a super sweetie!

"Hey Dale,

I just looked at the pictures again and I wanted to let you and Meredith know how much I love ALL of them! I was going to put the best ones into the Favorites folder, but I ended up putting almost all of them in there! lol.

Thanks again...you guys were amazing!

--Heather"

Talk to you soon,
Dale


New custom website!

Hey everybody!
I've been up all night working on Heather and John's custom-designed website! I've worked out the kinks and the end product is really great! I want you to check it out! Below, I've put my video of the images, but make sure to check out their site!
www.benfieldphotography.net/paul-applegate.html

Coming up:
-Our new maternity style! You can't miss this; Mere and I are really proud of it! Coming this week.
-2 more custom websites on the horizon

Talk to you soon!
Dale


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Monday's Child modeling shoot (part 2)

Hey everybody!

I've had the tremendous honor of photographing with Monday's Child's fantastic Spring/Summer line of clothing. After putting out an email to our mailing list, I was SWAMPED with emails immediately! Our slots filled up in record time and for good reason: these parents have darling children!!

Check out these rockin' photos!!

Coming up: our new maternity style... you WON'T wanna miss it! It's our unique style with a unique name!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale





Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Birthday ME!!!!

Hey everyone! It's my birthday!! Woohoo!!
Last night, Meredith surprised me with a birthday party at the HogHaus on Dickson. I thought it was going to be a quiet little dinner with a couple friends, but as we ascended the stairs of the HogHaus, I was given a stammering surprise by lots of my buddies! It was my first surprise party.
Thanks to everyone who came! It really meant a lot!

Some of my favorite things from the night are:
HogHaus Beer dip
Mere singing karaoke to me
A shot of something I'm not allowed to say
My petits fours (pedifores) birthday cake from Ricks - the BEST!
All my friends showing up to bring number 28 in right!

Have a great day!
Dale

The invite - too cute!


My awesome Rick's cake!


Martha Marie and Matt's cute picture!


Yummm... Curly Tail!


The birthday boy...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Number 2...

If one goes "number 2" it means poop. Well, that's what place I got out of 1500 photographers who entered the contest on Bludomain.com. If you check it out (she listed all the votes), you'll see I lost by ONE measly vote! That's poop! ;)

The cool thing is 3 of the 6 celebrity photographers chose my image, so I'm really excited about that!

It was fun, though! Maybe next time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Hey everybody!

In celebration of Valentine's Day Mere and I wanted to do something fun for our friends and fellow blog readers, so here goes...

The first person to e-mail (dalebenfield@gmail.com) me that got engaged today will get a free engagement session and a custom designed 10"x10" engagement guestbook! We don't know if this will last an hour, a day, or a week so if you don't know anyone tell your friends family and co-workers about it and maybe they'll know someone! There's got to be some guy in town that went "all out" this Valentine's Day and we want to reward him!

Talk to you soon!
Dale


WoW! I'm a finalist...

Hey everybody! Exciting news!!
I entered a contest recently and of 1500 images submitted by 1500 photographers, I'm in the final 10!!! I'm so excited! Here's the quoted text from the website:

"Lust- Seduction- Adoration + Red Bull!!! The examination of the word "LOVE!

The biggest BLU contest EVER! Over 1,500 entries. I narrowed it down to my favorite 10 finalists. Now our judging panel of 9 BLU concierges + 10 BLU staff + 5 celebrity photographers will VOTE the final winner. Who will win a free flight, 3 night stay at WPPI and one VIP party pass to the hottest party in Las Vegas hosted by BLUDOMAIN? Stay tuned winner will be announced by midnight! The contest rules: Send us a photograph of "LOVE" + in the photo you must display a can of Red Bull." <-- how cool is it that celebrity photographers are going to be checking out my photo?!?!!!!

To see the others, check the website here: http://bludomain.com/blog.cfm

A special thanks to Courtney and Brad for their time, and Bradley and Meridith for their house!

Remember to check the blog at 10pm tonight (per my earlier post)!!

Talk to you in a bit,
Dale

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's Day surprise...

Hey everybody!

Valentine's Day is Thursday. Are there guys out there planning anything really special? I mean, REALLY special? If you or someone you know is, check my blog at 10:00pm Thursday evening. I'm going to post a time-sensitive blog entry. You will NOT want to miss it!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

Monday, February 11, 2008

Register Online for BRIDES FOR THE CURE!


Hi everyone,

Here are the directions for registering for our Race for the Cure team online:

1. Click here to go to the registration page.

2. On the right side of the page click on the "Join an Existing Team" Button.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will see a spot where you can type in our team name, Brides for the Cure, and then click "Search for a Team."

4. From here, just follow the steps to register and you're good to go!

Thanks for being a part of our team!

Brides for the Cure!!!!

J.Bailey Occasions and Benfield Photography invite you to join our team, "Brides for the Cure" on Saturday, April 19th for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! Every bride is looking for a great way to shape up for her Big Day, so why not do it for a good cause? Women everywhere are affected by breast cancer every day and we want to be a part of finding the cure! So, grab your mom, your bridesmaids, and your handsome groom and join our team for the Race!

The team member with the best race time will receive a wonderful wedding gift package from local vendors!

The Race entry fee is $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 12 years (yes, bring your flower girl too!). All team members will receive a Race for the Cure t-shirt, Race Packet, and a Brides for the Cure custom team t-shirt. There is a Fun Run/Walk for those of you who want a shorter course, a Kids for the Cure program, and you can even join our team and Sleep in for the Cure!

All registration is due back to Jenessa by March 7th. For registration info, please call 479-883-9073 or email jenessa@jbaileyoccasions.com.

We can't wait for you to be a part of our team!

Jenessa Bailey and Dale Benfield

Sidra... senior fashion session

Hey everyone,
I had a great time photographing Sidra today. We did a senior fashion session, reflective of my unique style of photographing seniors. I don't claim to be like any other senior photographer, and over time I've developed a style all my own. I hope you like it!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

P.S. Though we open up the schedule twice per year, if you're a senior looking for a photographer please know that we're by invitation only (sorry!!). I can, however, direct you to a great senior photographer!





Sunday, February 10, 2008

My portrait (hehe)...

Hey everybody! Check out this super cool portrait Mere took of me today during an e-session. She always impresses!

Seth and Caralisa... the e-session

Hey everybody!

Meredith and I, after an interesting detour (not the good kind) met Seth and Caralisa in Hot Springs for an engagement shoot Saturday. I was so excited; I couldn't wait to get home and start working on the images! After the session, they went with us to McClard's BBQ, a favorite restaurant of Bill Clinton. Seth told us his proposal story, which I can't wait to put on their custom-designed website! Also, Caralisa is getting our custom engagement guestbook (I'll post it on here after it's designed!). I'm really looking forward to working with them on their wedding this summer!

Coming up... a senior fashion session!

Talk to you soon!
Dale




Friday, February 8, 2008

Tomorrow...

Tomorrow Meredith and I are heading to Hot Springs for an engagement shoot. We're really exciting to be going (it's supposed to be 60!), but here's the bad news: no blog tomorrow. :(
However, I promise to have some rockin' e-session pics when we get back! We also have two other sessions this weekend so we'll be busy!
Busy is good... right?!

Have a fantastical weekend everyone!!
Dale

P.S. Don't forget to vote for the dream wedding giveaway! See below if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

P.P.S. Here's a funny story: You see the picture below where Ellie is hugging the sun in the "I am the Legacy" t-shirt? She wanted me to explain what that meant. I tried. How would you have explained it? Email or comment me and let me know!

Favorite things...



Hey everybody!
I have a new favorite things! This is the Fayetteville restaurant edition. In no particular, here are my favorite places!

1) Bordinos. This restaurant is my favorite restaurant for special occasions. It's a bit pricey, but the food is straight out something you'd see on TopChef. Atmosphere is cool and dark, perfect for dates! My meal choice: Sautéed Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Sausage and Green Apples with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, sautéed Green Beans and an Apple Brandy Reduction; then for desert: Crème Brulée made with a White Chocolate Custard topped with caramelized Sugar and fresh Fruit. See?! Straight out TopChef!

2) Flying Burrito. Ellie knows this sign by name. It's one of our favorite places! She gets the chicken quesadilla, here's my deluxe order: herb garlic (tortilla) carnitas burrito with black beans, rice, mild queso, guacamole, corn, olives, and tomotoes. I love the laid back atmosphere: cool music over the speakers, a funny and personable staff, and an overall good time.

3) Stone Mill Bakery. Chicken Salad on Cranberry Pecan bread. That's all I need to tell you about that.

4) If you're a bride who has met with Meredith and me in the past year (and had free time), we've probably been to Noodles together. I love the food (better than Olive Garden), the atmosphere is cool (sometimes there's even live music playing), and it's a great place to have a nice, long meal so we can chat and chat! My meal: Lemon Chicken Scallopini (I think they have a lighter version of that now, which I'll likely opt to get next time).

5) Loafin' Joes. For a meal delivered, this is my favorite. It's not healthy, so that (naturally) means it's delicious. Since I'm a sucker for guacamole, Ben's Favorite should be called "Benfield's Favorite" - also good is the Ranch lover's basket. You gotta love a place that makes it's own potato chips!

But wait! I wanna give you the honorable mentions!!!
Kings Pizza (by 6th street Walmart, at Calypso's crossing - BEST PIZZA!)
La Huerta (Cheap, yummy mexican with great salsa)
Hugo's - Of course! Get the Guacamole burger if you're like me; or the Turkey Club if you're like Mere.

And that does it for this edition of favorite things! Stay tuned for more!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I'm in love!!

I'm in love, I'm in love! I'm in love with my 3 year old daughter! She's so fun! All she wants to do is hang out, cuddle, take pictures; in short, all the things I love doing!

Today, we did this really fun activity I've been quite excited about: a modeling shoot for Monday's Child Children's Boutique in Fayetteville. A lot more on Monday's Child later (next week).

Anyway, we got to pick out whatever we wanted to model, then Ellie and I left for our little photo shoot. It was so fun!! She did so well at taking direction from me, and the pictures could not have been better!

Check 'em out yourself!
Dale







Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Date opened up!

Hey everybody!

I just had a cancellation for a wedding this summer. It's a very popular date: May 24th, 2008!

If you know anyone getting married on this date, SEND THEM MY WAY!!!! I'd love to meet with them. Also, if you've emailed me and I told you I was booked that day, try me again! ;)

Thanks for checkin' in!
Dale

Congratulations Momo and Bobo!!

Ladies and Gentlemen... we have a winner!
Elizabeth A. sent in a cute picture of her grandparents, Momo and Bobo (see below).

Here's her caption for the picture:
"This is a picture of my grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary at the end of last November. They are 87 and 82, and they are very much in love!!"

I love that they are in their 80s and "in love." Wait... "very much in love!!" Momo and Bobo, because you two won, you will receive a free sitting, a free 8x10, and Elizabeth will receive a free 5x7!

Congratulations!
Dale

P.S. Thank you to all who entered. It was a tough decision - you all have some cute g'parents!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A humble and sincere Thank You

Hi everybody,

Did you know... this is supposed to be "downtime" for photographers? Wedding season is in its "lull" and the weather is too unpredictable to photograph portraits. How is it, then, that this is the busiest I've been?!

There is only one answer: you all! I get calls or emails every day saying "so-and-so gave me your name as a great photographer" So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to tell you all THANK YOU! Your big mouths are the reason I can keep on doing what I love: photographing people. Please, keep on talking! I love hearing the nice things you say!

I've put a couple screen grabs (low res) of my calendar for this "slow time" below. I don't even want to show you what we've got in store for this summer! Let me just say, I'm glad I've hired Lauren to help me!

You're the best!
Dale

P.S. I'm so excited for this crazy shoot I have next week. I've partnered with a Fayetteville business. Stay tuned!

P.P.S Don't forget to vote for the wedding couple you think deserves it the most below! And tell your family and friends!



Monday, February 4, 2008

13 months of Giving... Dream Wedding Giveaway!!

Hey everybody!

I've got a really great "13 months of Giving" for this month. I've teamed up with a couple other people to offer one deserving couple a Dream Wedding! I'm honored to give this to the deserving couple, but they need your help! Below, I've put a picture of the couples along with a portion of their stories.

I'd love for you to leave comments to help us decide who we should vote for, as well as send all your family and friends to this blog so they can help out one deserving couple!

Without further adieu...

Nicole and Cody

Cody and I have been together for two wonderful but hard years. The date has been set three times and each time something comes in between. Cody proposed in February of 2005... (read more and vote)

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Jordan and Brett

I am entering my niece and her fiance for a chance at the Dream Wedding. Last November it looked as if many of their dreams would be crushed. Brett was diagnosed with testicular... (read more and vote)

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Tresha and Anthony

Winning a dream wedding is every girl's fantasy. After all, the wedding day is the most special day of a girls' life. Winning a dream wedding would give me and opportunity to give back to the... (read more and vote)

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Heather and Nathan

Nathan and I have been dating for a little over three years now. Although it has been hard to maintain our abstinence, we are both still virgins. We thank God for this each and every... (read more and vote)
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Melissa and Justin

My fiancé and I have been together a little over 4 years. We have been through ups and downs. I have experienced cervical cancer and surgery for that. He was there by my side. We have been...(read more and vote)

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Thanks for reading, and remember to send family and friends here... these couples need your vote!! The winning couple will be announced on Valentine's Day.

Talk to you soon!
Dale

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...