Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shiloh and Jonathan's Arkansas Wedding: A Preview

Hey everybody!

Over the next few days, we're going to share a super special wedding with you. Shiloh and Jonathan, our super hot New York couple (she's from Ft. Smith) got married at Pratt Place this past Saturday and had an Arkansas-themed wedding (more on that coming up)!

Today's image LOOKS like one of our portraits - but believe it or not - it was just a really sweet moment, with great light, a great background, and an amazing couple. This was just after Shiloh and Jonathan walked back up the aisle as husband and wife. Isn't it so sweet?


I can't wait to share all about this wedding with you!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Night Sky

Hey everybody!

I walked outside a couple nights ago and saw a super cool sky.  I grabbed a camera, threw the ISO on 6400 and shot off a few frames.  I love the image because of not only the clouds, but also that you can see the starry night behind them.



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Zelda Steps

Hey everybody!

Three or four years ago, I coined a term that has since become almost a daily use in my vernacular: "Zelda steps."

As a child, I used to play the game, "The Legend of Zelda" for hours and days at a time. I truly believe that it helped my little kid brain become the puzzle solver it is today.

Since the original Zelda game, which I beat, I finished every Zelda game for Nintento, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and Game cube. Each game made me smarter. They forced me to pay attention to detail and, more importantly, not cut corners. That's where Zelda steps come in.

Zelda steps are little things you must do in a particular order. Like, in order get this done, I must first do this; and to do that, I have to do this other thing first. Et cetera.

I love and hate Zelda steps. They're often so tedious that it's almost maddening; however, when accomplished, the victory is much sweeter knowing that it was done correctly, without cutting corners, and with every detail attended to.

So, if you hear me mention Zelda steps, you know exactly what I'm referring to. Feel free to use this in your own conversations so that, one day, it'll get put in some dictionary somewhere. :)

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mentor for a Cause! ~~ F/Stop Breast Cancer ~~

**edited to add: Totally Rad Actions is donating Lightroom presets (a $99 value) to the auction winners. **


Hey everybody!

I'm overly-excited to announce that I have been asked (and I've accepted) to be a photography mentor in an upcoming auction to help raise $$$ to stop breast cancer!

F/Stop Breast Cancer (clever name, huh?!) is a groundbreaking photography auction that includes both mentor sessions and photography products to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.

I'll have more information about it soon, as well as a link to where you can bid on me and some of the biggest names in the wedding photography world! Some of my friends... Becker, Jose Villa, and the Image is Found... and many other fab photogs have also volunteered. What a great group! See the entire list here:
http://www.lydiashannon.com/photography-auction-breast-cancer-lydia-shannon-komen/

The auction will run for five days from Thursday, October 14th - Tuesday, October 19th, so mark your calendars! I'll also be giving away a YEAR [b]school membership to the winner of my auction! Yaya!!!!

Stay tuned and start saving some $$ for a good cause!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NSFW: Natalie's California Secret Session

Hey everybody!

California girls edition of NSFW posts continue today. Natalie, who was getting married just weeks after this session, got her new husband a little black book as a wedding gift. What a great gift, if you ask me. :)



Natalie wanted to do this pose. Love it.


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NSFW: Athena's Secret Session

Hey everybody!

As always, Meredith has been doing a phenomenal job at capturing beautiful and classy images of her clients. Today is the secret session travel edition, which took place in San Francisco, CA. She had a number of girls contact her when we announced the travel dates and she actually sold out of the sessions. Yay for her!

Our lovely friend Athena (Meredith and Lauren photographed her wedding, remember?) was one of many Mere photographed at the W in San Francisco. She gave her new husband Ryan quite the gift when he saw these images.

Have a look!

Great job Mere!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, September 24, 2010

A present from one of our favorite couples!

Hey everybody!

One of our very favorite all-time wedding couples, Athena and Ryan (see their wedding here), sent us the best super sweet surprise - APPLE swag!! It also came with a REALLY SWEET note! Yay!!

I have a couple posts to share about Athena and Ryan coming up, but I could wait to publicly thank them for being so rad! Why can't all my grooms have the Apple hookup? :)



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Storybook Runway: Ellie as Fancy Nancy for United Way

Hey everybody!

I've written two versions of today's blog post, and struggled with how I was going to tell this story. I've decided to go with the lighthearded, all-fun-and-games version.

I LOVE the United Way in Northwest Arkansas. They do so many great things, and I've volunteered for them for the past few years, happily shooting whenever they need me. This year I took a more active part and became a donor as well. I heard about all the cool things they're hoping to do this year, and I wanted to be a part of it.

One of the main things they wanted to do, which is right in line with this former English teacher's hopes and dreams, is to start a local chapter of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. I love this project, and I love what UW decided to do to raise money for it: a Storybook Runway! Once I heard about it, I knew Elizabeth would LOVE to participate.

This past Saturday, I got to dress her up as her favorite storybook character, Fancy Nancy, and strut the runway at Mason's in an effort to stylishly help area kids. To her, Saturday was fun. To me, it was a chance to give other kiddos the same chance for success that Elizabeth has. While having fun.

Here we are before we left the house...
And here's Elizabeth with her new best friend, Miss Arkansas 2010 Adrielle Churchill. Ellie couldn't stop hanging out with her and talking about her. Cutie cute.
Lastly, here's our strut. Impressive, huh?! Haha! {{if you get this in your email, you have to go to the actual blog post to watch the clip: http://www.benfieldphotography.blogspot.com}}


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anna's Bridal Video, by NILO Productions

Hey everybody!

Today I have to show off what my amazingly talented friend, Nic from Nilo Productions, created. Anna, a super fashionable bride was married a few days ago so it's finally okay to show this - he'd been holding on to it for awhile! Anyway, did Nic do an amazing job?
If you're into remembering your vows... email Nic right now to see if he's available for your wedding!



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I got this today!

Hey everybody!

Lookie what I got today!


Yes, I know... don't they come out with a new version all the time? Answer: yes. However, every time a new version is released, there is good reason for it. I look forward to exploring all the fun new things I can do, and all the ways I'll be more efficient with Adobe CS5.

Lastly, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Photoshop links with you (photographers, you're welcome :-) )
Adobe TV - my super top favorite
http://twitter.com/photoshoptips - yeah, so, it's a twitter link - who cares!
Probably the best, but not free: http://www.photoshopuser.com/
http://photoshoptutorials.ws
http://www.photoshopessentials.com
"Unofficial CS5 Blog"

Do YOU have others that I should know about? Leave me a comment!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Talented Groom...

Hey everybody!

So, it seems like you know Luke and Lauren by now, I'm sure, but there's one aspect I have yet to discuss with you: Luke is a really talented musician! During the band's break at the reception, Luke brought up his own band and entertained his wedding guests. While Meredith took photos, I put my Canon 5D mkII on live view and shot some HD video of our groom serenading the crowd. I'm no videographer (hire NILO if you're looking for one) but I didn't want to miss this!

Enjoy!




Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Southern Wedding Portraits!

Hey everybody!

As if it hasn't been enough... as if I hadn't already posted some really gorgeous portraits of Luke and Lauren... I have MORE!

Luke and Lauren were great to incorporate her late father into many aspects of the day, and the airplane hangar we photographed at is just another example.

How about this bridal portrait? Normally we don't do bridal portraits on the wedding day, but we both thought she should have a portrait with her dad's plane.

I smell new sample album. Don't you? :)

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Southern Wedding Reception Story: Lauren and Luke tie the knot

Hey everybody!

Are you enjoying this? I think it's totally fun sharing little bits every day about Luke and Lauren's super sweet southern wedding. It was such a fun wedding to photograph.

One of my all-time favorite first dance shots: not only is the emotion great, but the lighting with the tree in the background and string lights, and even the little boy sitting and watching...
Followed by a little of this...
Chi-O time! From your friends... the official Chi Omega photographer... :)
I really love the motion in this dancing shot...
They literally RAN through the sparklers - such fun energy!
Mere rocked the car shot.

Come back tomorrow. You won't even believe what we have scheduled for the blog.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, September 17, 2010

Southern Wedding Reception Details: Luke and Lauren tie the knot

Hey everybody!

It's been torture not putting these images up until now. I wanted to lead off all their posts with a shot of their reception, and not jumping the gun has taken a lot of internal strength.
Randall from Eventures made the trek to Marvel, Arkansas, to set up some really breathtaking tables for this fabulous Southern Wedding.
Outdoor weddings have such great lighting. Ahhhhh....
These actually belonged in the other detail post, but I forgot. Couldn't not show them...
I love this wide shot that showcases the background too...
He plays guitar (more on that in a later post) so his grooms cake showed that. Lauren said she wanted the cakes to look homemade and pretty. Done and done!
Okay, I know... I know... this shot has people in it, but I just had to show the shot as a detail (I couldn't wait) that Meredith took from above of the reception.

Reception story time tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tradition, SCHMadition...

Hey everybody!

Every couple we photograph asks us if they should see each other before the wedding. The truthful answer we give every time is that we would never make a couple see each other before the wedding if they didn't want to. Then, we give the pros of seeing each other before the wedding:
1) The bride is typically a ball of nerves on her wedding day, and the fact that she can't see the person who keeps her grounded adds to wedding day stress.
2) The tradition behind waiting to see the bride is based on when weddings were arranged. Pretty sure nobody's backing out of our current day weddings.
3) We can do ALL the formal portraits before, and spend more time on couple portraits.
4) The bride and groom can get the party started as soon as they head back up the aisle - a definite gift for their guests to not make them wait.
5) It gives the bride and groom a real chance to spend time together on an otherwise crazy whirlwind day. They can pray together (some couples even take communion during that special time) or just chat with their best friend.

Anytime our couple sees each other before the wedding, Meredith and I make it a point to create a special moment for the bride and groom. Here is Luke and Lauren's in a multiple exposure shot of the couple. I love the sun flare that came into the shot.


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Luke and Lauren's Southern Wedding Story

Hey everybody!

I love Arkansas. So much! Luke and Lauren's wedding is one of the purest reasons why. A September 4th wedding, outdoors, yields amazing results. By the way, September 4th was Lauren's parents wedding anniversary - what an extremely touching way to honor her late father's memory.

That was a sappy paragraph, wasn't it?!! If you knew Luke and Lauren like I do, you'd probably get all touchy-feely too. They truly are unique and wonderful. I promise you by the time Friday or Saturday rolls around you'll feel like you know them as well as their best friends.

With that, let's start telling the story of their lovely Southern Wedding.
Momma helping daughter in that pretty room I showed you yesterday.
Love this shot - piano, stairs, gorgeous Southern Bride. :)
Believe it or not, our lovely Southern Bride was in the back seat of our car in this shot. Light was yummy on our way to their first meeting.
LOVE her face as she sees Lauren for the first time. Are you kidding me? This girl makes my job EASY.
My heart just melted into my guts.
A nice wide view of the ceremony, complete with the two adorable readers...
How PRESH are these two ring bearers. What kids this age bow their heads during the prayer. I swear this almost makes me cry!
The SWEETEST ending to a ceremony... ever.
And away they go to the reception. You're gonna die when you see it!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wedding Ceremony Details: Luke and Lauren tie the knot

Hey everybody!

In order to tell this story properly I've got to break up the details into ceremony and reception. Tomorrow I'm going to share the ceremony story with you, so commit these amazing details to memory.

I actually love all these details, but if I had to pick one... the flower girl's dress. Or shoes. Or dress. Dang it!

Lauren couldn't just pick one pair of shoes. Can you blame her? Both these are rockin'!


Brides, take note: see how spotless and bright her getting-ready room is? We loooove this as photographers.


I love how she incorporated her father into different aspects of the wedding and reception. It made it even more special because I remember Lauren telling Meredith and me that she really fell deeply in love with Luke as he stayed by her side throughout her father's passing. Men, that's a real MAN! Isn't that bouquet astounding?!


Okay, I loved this! Lauren and Luke kept a consistent theme throughout, and paid close attention to make sure every detail matched. I mean, how cool is the mosquito repellant? There was also water bottles and hand sanitizer to complete the set.


The final detail prep shot for tomorrow's story... let's set the scene for Luke and Lauren's wedding ceremony backdrop. My heart overflows!


Can't wait to show you more tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Abby + Austin's NWA Engagement Pictures

Hey everybody! Abby and Austin could be some of the only people to improve the perfect scenery offered by Crystal Bridges Museum and fa...