Saturday, July 31, 2010

Katy's Bridal Portraits

Hey everybody!

I've got some more bridal portraits for you today. Katy, who married Jose Valdez recently, is such a pretty bride. My photographer friend Ashley accompanied me on this bridal session and we captured some really great shots. Take a look!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, July 30, 2010

KNWA Throws A Wedding: UPDATE: Couples Selected



Hey everybody!

I {{heart}} giving! Now, YOU can pick to whom Benfield Photography gives! We're involved in KWNA's Wedding Giveaway, and the final three couples have been selected. It's your turn to do your part in the selection process. Choose your favorite couple and vote for them! Here's a quick preview of the couples, but all the of info/stories can be found here.


The winner, might I just say, is one LUCKY couple! They get paper lovelies from Amy Hannon at Sincerely Yours (member of Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book of vendors! and will be featured in an upcoming Martha Stewart magazine - heeeeeello!); I also just saw via facebook (where I get all my news these days) that our friend Jessica Kersey, a super talented wedding planner, will be working with the winning couple! Say whaaaaaaat?!?!

Okay, go vote!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beautiful, Beautiful Bridals

Hey everybody!

We just returned from North Carolina where we photographed Abby's wedding to Nathan.  Among a million other great things, maybe the best thing about it is that I can finally show off some of my favorite bridal portraits ever!  Seriously, ever!

Abby is a super stunning, super pretty bride.  I'm a sucker for red hair, sure, but her funky fun personality just makes her such a great subject to photograph.  

Also, I'm a sucker for her dress!  It's really something!  Perfect for Abby, and the perfect color for a romantic feel when paired with her perfect hair color.  Okay, enough already.  Let's see pictures!

Talk to you soon,
Dale






Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daddy Daughter Date Night! Beauty and the Beast

Hey everybody!

One of Ellie's birthday presents was a special little daddy/daughter date night that included seeing the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast at the Walton Arts Center. The WAC is one of my favorite things about living in Fayetteville - so many great shows come through here and have totally enriched my (and Ellie's) life.

We started the night at Bordino's - I reminded Ellie that Bordino's was where I proposed to Meredith. Her eyes immediately shot up to the balcony. And she knew she was going someplace special. We ordered meatballs for dinner, which she turned into a meatball sandwhich that she washed down with a Shirley Temple - a rare treat.

Then, with her American Girl Doll, Lanie, dressed up as Belle (thanks to Etsy), and Ellie dressed up as Sleeping Beauty, we hopped over to the WAC. We brought a handful of books to donate to kids in need as we checked in at the box office. I didn't remember what seats I got, as I bought them the day they were announced about half a year ago (it seems), so I was excited when I saw they were row C. I was even more excited when I saw that row C was actually the front row. And we were in the middle. Don't know how that happened.

Anyway... on with the show. It was, seriously, incredible! I don't want to give anything away (not that you don't already know the story), but the acting was so wonderful. Le Fou and Lumiere were outstanding and super hilarious. The Beast and Belle made you want to run on stage and throw a bear hug around them. Their voices were both unbelievable.

If you have children, please take them if you're able. It's such a great show, and it's such a special thing to expose your child to the arts at an early age. Ellie, during intermission, said to me, "I wonder what it's like to be Belle up on stage." Then, she became fascinated with the pit orchestra and had to look during the intro to the second act. I love that she is soaking all this in.

So, anyway, that was daddy/daughter date night. Super fun, super sweet. I hope she remembers it for a long long time.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thanks to the person behind me for taking a picture of us with my iPhone.  The OLD iPhone. blugh.  ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cassie and Danny's Joplin Engagement Session

Hey everybody!

Man, Cassie and I go waaaaay back! I actually met her when I, yes I, was in high school. Her mother was the theatre director and I was a member of ITS (Internation Thespian Society) and, sweet little ol' Cassie played kid parts in a couple of the plays I was in. That must have been almost 15 years ago. Can I believe that I'm that old? No, I cannot. I refuse.

So sweet little ol' Cassie is all grown up, getting married, and in law school. Awesome for her! I couldn't be happier for her and for Danny!

Picture time!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I'm Reading: Roadtrip edition

Hey everybody!

Meredith and I have been trekking across the country and back since last Thursday. We had a wedding in North Carolina, and typically we would fly but decided it would be fun to drive for a change. It helped that there was a good stopping point in Nashville, but it also helped that we have been ADDICTED to the Millenium book trilogy, and have been listening to it during the 8 hours of driving in California, and now the 26 hours of driving on our current trip.

By the time we get home tomorrow, we'll have finished the first two books in the series, which means it's time for my book review. I don't like to give spoilers, so feel free to read this all without fear of a ruined ending.




The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which is just about as suspenseful of a story I've ever read, is one of those that once you start, you will be physically unable to stop. The story of journalist Blomkvist, recently charged with libel, then hired to document a family chronicle and secretly uncover the truth behind an unresolved disappearance, ends with thick suspense and some frightening action. Along the way, he teams up with super gifted Lisbeth Salander.

You know how I love gifted characters!

The talented researcher, Salander, overcomes serious obstacles on her way to uncovering a serial killer - I cheered out loud when I discovered what she did to her caretaker who sexually assaulted her. Anyway, her character is very unique and the story, though not for the faint of heart, is a powerful awakening into a dark world.

The second book in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire, continues the story with equal suspense and mystery. Salander is accused of a triple murder, and Blomkvist fights to clear her name.

Once we finish, we'll quickly be on our way to the bookstore to pick up the final book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
Here are links to the book if you want your own copy:
http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Dragon-Tattoo-Stieg-Larsson/dp/0307269752
http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Played-Fire-Vintage/dp/030745455X/ref=pd_sim_b_1
http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Kicked-Hornets-Nest/dp/030726999X/ref=pd_sim_b_2

If you're taking a family vacation, do NOT get this series on CD for the car. Lots of cussing and adult situations will have your kids cussing and asking what [insert adult topic] is, but if you're among adults, I highly recommend it.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kids' Room at Rachel & Travis' Wedding

Hey everybody!

Of the hundreds of weddings I've photographed for more than a decade, I've never seen a room like this. Ki and Jenessa created a children's dream room with the upscale swagger of a fancy reception dinner room. The Inn at Carnall Hall provided the classroom for the 30+ kids at Rachel and Travis' wedding, and after J Bailey Occasions finished it, I don't know of a kid that would love to spend the night in it.

Isn't this so sweet?

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rachel and Travis Tie the Knot: the wedding details!

Hey everybody!

The wonderfully talented Jenessa Bailey had the golden touch with Rachel and Travis' wedding.  Everything she touched turned into extraordinary.  She's great at planning all the little details of the wedding, and I love capturing them.  To add to it all, Rachel has super style.  She picked out details herself that are quite to die for.  Add that the wedding was at the Inn at Carnall Hall and you have a recipe for a fabulous wedding. Take a look for yourself!

My fun wedding board of details - mimosas, outside chandeliers, and lots of bling...


The Burberry shoes for the kids are so rad!

You think this table display is cool? (well, yes!) Well, just wait until you see the special tables for the kids - coming tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rachel and Travis Tie the Knot: the wedding portraits

Hey everybody!

I can think of a million adjectives that describe Rachel and Travis. The most prominent: Fun. They know how to have a great time, and enjoy each other's company immensely. They're super passionate for each other, which helps the couple portraits be exceptional.

Take a look at a few of my favorites we took just moments after their wedding at the Inn at Carnall Hall.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three Thoughts This Thursday

Hey everybody!

There have been a few things that have happened in the past 48 hours, mostly unrelated, that I thought would make good messages for the blog.

1) Two nights ago I had to have a bummer of a conversation with a bride who was in the process of booking Benfield Photography for her wedding. Backing up a bit... she brought along a bridesmaid to have some sushi with Meredith and me and we had a great conversation over dinner. Meredith and I were looking forward to photograph her Little Rock wedding. Well, she had to check a couple things before she booked and, lo and behold, another bride (which we've never met) emailed and paid a deposit all within 5 minutes. I didn't even have time to get the other bride on the phone before new bride grabbed the retainer link and sent in her fee to hold the date. I was SO excited that someone was so adamant about having Benfield Photography at her wedding; on the other hand, I was super bummed that we weren't able to book the bride we had began a relationship with. Moral of this story is to book AS SOON AS you know you want us at your wedding, so that I don't have to have any more uncomfortable conversations!

2) Tonight, a wonderful 2011 bride, who we've met lots of times at a million different weddings we've photographed in the last 12 months, asked if we had October 22nd, 2011, open. We're already booked that day. Dang! I hate that! She thought she was planning ahead, and realistically she was, but she already reserved her venues for the 22nd. I'm super sad we don't get to photograph her wedding because, seriously people, this girl is SUCH a SWEETHEART!! If it were me, I'd rather have photography be my top priority (but then again, I AM a photographer - ha ha!) than a date and/or a place. Maybe she could have booked another October date (the 22nd is our only booked date that month as of right now) if we could have communicated more. Brides, call us! We'd be more than happy to send your our open dates for a certain month!

3) In something TOTALLY unrelated... I pulled into the Sheraton in Nashville about 20 minutes ago (oh, by the way, thank you Lauren for house-sitting!), and the valet guy was such a thoughtless jerk. Because he was the first person I saw at this hotel, and made such a bad impression, I have such a negative feeling about the entire Nashville Sheraton. Business owners, if you have someone in addition to yourself representing your company, make sure they understand the impact of first impressions. They're hard to overcome. I'm a SPG member, and try to stay at SPG hotels whenever possible, but unless there is a drastic change to my current stay at the Nashville Sheraton, I won't be staying here again.

Rant over. I wish I could throw some pretty pictures on the blog, but I promise you'll have some sweet eye-candy tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy 6th BIrthday Ellie!

Hey everybody!

It's Ellie's birthday today! I thought we could take a quick look back over the past year of my favorite images. I could write forever about how I wish she would stay this age, just like I wanted her to stay 5 last year... 4 the year before.

And now, my favorites from my 5-year-old Ellie...

And, if this works correctly, you should see us doing the flutterwagon.



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...