Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"All About You" update

Hey everybody!
A couple days ago I posted a blog wanting to hear how y'all were doing. My inbox exploded with emails!!! YAY!!!! That's just what I wanted!! There are also a few people who were brave enough to leave comments below, so check them out too.

I want to put a few snippets from emails so you see a little about who's reading everyday (just like you!) :)

First off, my BF from college, Regan, sent me the L-O-N-G-E-S-T email in the world - it seriously took more than 30 minutes to read it all, and included links to photo albums. She definitely gets the overachiever award. She's been globe-trotting like nobody's business: Arizona, South Carolina, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, back to Missouri and Kansas. This is the same girl who spent almost two years living in New Zealand - crazy! The coolest part is that she takes crazy-good photos from all her travels, and even sells them! Check it out here: make sure to check out her fab headshot taken by meeeeee!!!

Next up is a photographer who came to my recent workshop and is now interning with a local photographer - good for her!! She brought up something near and dear to me (inadvertently): the balance between family and work. With three girls, I explained to her the importance of maintaining that balance. It makes me appreciate Lauren and Meredith, who are in the office everyday helping my life stay MANAGEABLE!!!

Another favorite post is from another workshop attendee, who has a blog about her sweet family here I'm amazed and inspired by how upbeat she is through the tribulations her family is enduring. She's such a positive person! Certainly you should read her blog and pray for her family. Definitely an inspiration!!!!

And check this out: a bridesmaid from a 2009 wedding is in the Air Force and about to head to Afghanistan!! She said, "Our mission will be to work on behalf of the local governments and travel around our assigned province talking to tribal leaders finding out what we can do for them...anything from building wells and schools to holding health clinics. Pretty stinking neat huh?!" Um, YEAH!!!!!! Talk about making a freaking difference!

This next person I'm keeping anonymous: a family member of hers was kidnapped from a high school (I would be out of my mind!!!) and then later it turned out to be a runaway (either way - I'd be freaking!). This person is also working on becoming a photographer professionally and has an outdoor wedding booked, which is already causing anxiety. My advice: once you build a relationship with the couple, the pictures will be much easier and the day will be much smoother. Also, do a lot of advanced planning with the couple. I know you can't plan for everything, but the more everyone is on the same page, the better!

Up next, a nursing student at UAMS - she's been dating her bf for a fairly long time and is thinking of a 2011 wedding (so great that she's planning ahead!) She says, "I would love to have you photograph my wedding...and engagement pics. I absolutely love your laid back style." Well, now, that was nice! But she also says, "I love the fact that you care about everyone you do business with." And this, in fact, is what I care most about her realizing. I'm so glad that it comes across in my blog or website or facebook or however she knows this. Because it is so true: I do this because of the relationships I form with my clients. I could do anything that allowed me such a privilege - it just so happens, though, that I'm pretty good at taking pictures ;)

Lastly, I got an email from a FB friend (never met her in person) who is an amateur photog in Conway, AR. She says, "Well, I've been a follower of your blog and "fantabulous" work for a little over a year now. I'm just starting out on my photography journey and love how you capture these moments. It's been really nice to see how you've captured some of my ADPi sisters recently." BTW, I love those ADPi sisters! :) And then she says, and this is the good part, "I'm the friend with a camera glued to her face at every get together, probably driving my friends crazy!" - And you know what I say? I appreciate you! I hope every circle of friends has the friend with the camera glued to her face. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of myself growing up and really wish I did! So, good for you! If you're friends think you're crazy, let them. They'll be thankful down the road!

Okay, so that about does it! We covered the gamut, didn't we?! I wish I could post them all! I love stories, and I love knowing what's going on in the lives of my readers/followers! Please keep it up! I promise I will!

I definitely have the coolest blog readers on the planet!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Always on duty

Hey everybody!

When Ellie, Mere, and I were in Chicago, we decided to do a couple tourist-y things like hang out at the bean and go to the top of the Sears Tower. Well, while we were up top, Meredith spotted a wedding couple and you should have seen the wedding photography leap right out of her on to this couple.

She made her way over to the couple, which was out on one of those freakishly crazy clear bottom landings and snapped a few images. Here is a pretty sweet shot she got of the couple. I swear, she's always on duty!

More on our trip coming Thursday!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, September 28, 2009

Today is all about you!!

UPDATE - Thanks for your emails, everybody! I love reading about y'all! Even the sad stuff :( My favorite thing in life is to feel connected, and hopefully you feel connected to me as well! Keep the updates coming! Love y'all!

Hey everybody!

When my dad owned the Photo Place (the lab where I got my first "real" job), he knew every customer by name. He also encouraged me to know every customer by name. Not only that, he was genuinely concerned with what was going on in their life. Because of that, I believe the same thing was engrained in me to genuinely care about my clients.


I feel like everyday I get on here and blab about what I've been doing. I have, in fact, been quite busy... enough to keep a steady blog-versation going, one-sided as it may be. Well, today I wanna do a little something different.

I have about a thousand people who read this everyday, whether it be in an inbox, an RSS, or a drop-by. And I wanna know what you're doing! What's going on in your life?! You already know what's going on in mine!

If you have a minute, I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, or if you wanna share some juicy good-stuff with me (i.e. "Hey! I'm pregnant!" or "I think I'm going to propose!" or "I wish my kids would close their mouths for five minutes!" etc.) email me: dalebenfield@gmail.com

I am genuinely interested in what's going on with my followers and fans, and would love to chat it up!

Talk to you soon!
Dale

Sunday, September 27, 2009

NWA Bridal fair success!!




Hey everybody!

What a fun day we had at today's bridal fair! Not only did we meet lots of fun couples (and moms), we booked a couple weddings for 2010 and we had a fun time hanging out with our NW Arkansas vendor friends!

Jenessa, Amy, and I had what I like to call a SUPERBOOTH - which was 5 booths in 1. We re-created a some weddings we have done together (and set up one of our future weddings) to show how fabulous a wedding can be if you have us all make your wedding details perfect! Check out a few shots from the day, and then a shot of us with all our buddies (thanks Adam Dodson for taking the photo! You rock!!)

If you were one of the brides who stopped by and saw our super big fabulous albums, and have decided you can't afford not to have us photograph your wedding, contact us right now!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. Here are the links to the Superfriends!
Benfield Photography
J Bailey Occasions
Sincerely Yours
Nilo Productions
Groove Productions




Saturday, September 26, 2009

2010 bookings: only 8 spots left! Congratulations to Natalie and Michael!

Hey everybody!

Remember that heartbreaking post about us being booked for 2010, and then how we decided to take 10 more weddings? We'll we've already booked 2 more since then, leaving only 8 spots!! With the bridal fair tomorrow, I'm excited to meet upcoming brides to book our final spots!!

We also want to welcome our newest Benfield Photography couple. You might already know them, or remember them from this image. To see more from this post, click here.




If you're newly engaged, the time to act is now! You deserve to have amazing pictures and amazing service. Contact us or view our wedding images to see if we're right for you!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another dream team production! Jim and Pamela's wedding vendors

Hey everybody!

I have some talented friends! By the way, I can brag about them much easier than I can brag about myself. Sure, if you're looking for a wedding photographer I do think you should pick us! But I have such a fun time talking about how amazing my wedding vendor buddies are.

First up, my fab fave: Jenessa Bailey with J. Bailey Occasions. Her wedding planning skills are straight up through the roof! It was yet another wedding that ran super smoothly (we were actually ahead of schedule) and everybody was super chillax!



Next, our buddy Nic with Nilo Productions rocked out a little video. He is such a talented wedding videographer and hard worker, not to mention one of my fastest growing BFFs. Not that he's actually changing in size, just that we are becoming better and better friends by the day - thanks mostly to Gmail's video chat. Also, he's super hilarious!



Third on the list of super-duper vendors is Amy Hannon with Sincerely Yours. She created some really fabulous invites, but also these luxe programs (not the rings - ha ha!) Have Amy take care of all your paper needs: from Save the Dates to Invites to programs to thank-yous!



At the reception, we loved the floral and centerpiece designs by Tanarah. This was the first time I was able to meet and work with Distinctive Designs by Tanarah, and I'm sure it won't be the last. She was super organized and created designs that were SO Pam!



Finally, I wanna give a shout out to the Rockets. They have such a great song list and really know how to work the crowd. I love it when they get out in the audience - so fun! What a talented group.

I got a fever... and the only prescription... is more cowbell...



Okay, there we go. It was a dream team of vendors that made Pamela and Jim's wedding day so memorable. One more reason why I absolutely LOVE my job.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Little Rock Wedding Photography: Jim and Pam tie the knot

Hey everybody!

Sit back and enjoy the story of Jim and Pam's wedding day through the wedding photography...

I love making these detail boards - the problem is, sometimes you have some really amazing vertical pieces. Well, problem solved! Pam's wedding scheme was very classy with champagne tones and monograms-a-plenty! The floral design was done by Distinctive Designs by Tanarah, and the wedding was coordinated and planned by Arkansas wedding planner Jenessa Bailey. We'll have more about the vendors tomorrow! in the meantime check out the details below:

Pam was stunning, even before hair was done and dress was on - how is that possible?!!

I love this moment between Pamela and her mother at Fellowship Bible Church before she put on her dress...


Okay, I forgot to put this fabulous portrait on the blog yesterday, and couldn't stand it being left out! This was outside Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock...


And then it was first dance time at the Chenal Valley Country Club in Little Rock. The Rockets performed during the reception.






Jim and Pamela, Meredith and I just adore you two! It's been fun getting to know you over the past year and we wish you the absolute best! Hope you had fun in Paris!!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arkansas Wedding Photographer: Chenal Valley: Jim and Pam tie the knot!

Hey everybody!

Jim and Pam (the other Jim and Pam) were married last Saturday at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, with a reception at the Chenal Valley Country Club. We've photographed at Chenal Valley a few different times this past year and every time we shoot there we get different shots - there are just so many great backdrops there! Take a look at a handful of portraits we captured of Jim and Pam below. And leave some lovin'!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. Come back tomorrow to see the day unfold!






Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Arkansas Wedding Photographer: Garvan Gardens: Leslie and Taylor tie the knot

Hey everybody!

My superstar Orange County wedding photographer buddy Becker flew in to Little Rock last week for his workshop, which I wrote about here. However, his main reason for coming to this "fly-over state" was to photograph a wedding at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. Since I've shot at Garvan Gardens a few times (most recently at Bree and Donald's wedding), I offered to second shoot the wedding and was happy when my buddy obliged (thanks again, Becker, for having me second shoot!!) Make sure to check out more from Leslie and Taylor's great Garvan Gardens wedding on Becker's Blog.

Here are some details from the wedding day. I particularly adore the Christian Louboutin shoes. Go ahead, tell me I'm a girl for even knowing about Christian Louboutin shoes in the first place.

And then a close up of some of the bling Leslie wore on her wedding day:

Some final touches by the talented make-up artist. Leslie looked so gorgeous!

And then the veil, which was a gorgeous birdcage veil that looked so dramatic and romantic. By the way, 2nd shooting was such a stretch for me, but so fun! I was able to pull back and just go with the flow, while also trying as much as possible to stay out of Becker's shot. Ha ha! It forces you to be a little creative, which is how I ended up with this shot:

Next, it was time for her first meeting with Taylor. How about this amazing staircase at the Arlington Hotel!

What a sweet moment when they first saw each other. I love couples like this! So sweet...

Leslie was just naturally beautiful. Becker got a ridiculously amazing shot down in the lobby against the elevator. Here's my take on the scene...

And for my non-photog readers, the fella in the midst of the ladies here is Becker. I love the mix of natural and ambient light here:

Okay... so here we are at Garvan Gardens. How sweet is this little angel!!!

This was a sweet moment captured just before we started the family portraits. It almost looks like a portrait - that's how natural and beautiful this couple is!

Then we actually did head off to some portrait action:

This might be my favorite portrait of the day right here. Some lovely 1.2 goodness!

And then a couple wide shots (I typically don't shoot wide on portraits, but Becker was shooting with my favorite - the 50mm 1.2, so I thought I'd be a little different than usual. I liked it a lot!)


And now it was time to say some vows. Here's the bride with her father walking down the aisle at Anthony Chapel:

I love picking off little moments like this during ceremonies:

And then it was time to get dowwwwwnnnn!!!

Finally, my single favorite image of the day was this moment at the reception. By the way, GUYS, this is how you kiss a girl:


Leslie and Taylor, it was great to spend the day with you both! I wish your family the absolute best!

Becker, thanks so much for an unforgettable, action-packed 5 days. Sorry if I frightened you - ha ha! I'll see you again soon, my friend! I had such a blast!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, September 21, 2009

Arkansas Wedding Photographer: Jenny and Bennett tie the knot!

Hey everybody!

Jenny and Bennett had a gorgeous wedding day for photography at the First Methodist Church in Benton, Arkansas. Jessica and Lauren were there to capture not just the amazing wedding portraits, but also the details and moments of the wedding day.

After leaving the Benton First Methodist Church, the gang drove into Little Rock for the wedding reception at Next Level Events where Tragikly White was waiting to get the party started. Though Lauren and Jessica had it covered, I wanted to see Next Level Events, Jenny and Bennett, and Tragikly White, so I headed over after my wedding finished and joined the party. It was super fun with lots of dancing and great music. I remember seeing them at Kelli and Beau's wedding, and were excited to see them again.

Check out some images that tell the story of the wedding day below.

Talk to you soon,
Dale










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