Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mere's Secret Session Boudoir Mobile Site is LIVE

Hey everybody!

Today Meredith and I worked on launching her new mobile site for the iphone and ipad!
Check out the new secret session boudoir site on your iphone - it's the same web url: www.arkansasboudoir.com - it just has a detection redirect for mobile users. Cool right? If you don't have an iphone, that's okay... here's what it looks like:



Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. On the full site, we've announced some new travel dates for her secret sessions - if you're interested in any of these sessions, contact Mere before they're all gone!

Dallas: March 13, March 18, March 19
Austin: March 15, March 16, March 30
Little Rock: April 29, June 10

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sign Up For Daily Photo Tips!

Hey everybody!

I thought I'd start doing something super fun for my photographer friends out there (as if I don't have enough daily projects): I'm going to share daily tips on all things photography/photograph business related! I already have a massive list of topics generated (but I'm always welcome to your suggestions), so I'm excited to get started sharing.

It's easy to sign up, and I won't sell your email (I promise!) :) Just fill out the form and you're in. (if you don't get a tip right away, don't worry... I'm going to collect for a short period)






I Want Daily Photo Tips!


* indicates required





















Moms with cameras, feel free to sign up as well, though I'm going to share a lot about marketing, pricing, etc, so it might not always be applicable.


I hope you sign up - it should be a super fun way to share! Likely, I won't be posting the content on the blog, so make sure to get your name in!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. Tomorrow starts NSFW posts on the blog for a few days, so only check it when you get home! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Caterer in NWA: Ruth's Chris! Mmmmm...

Hey everybody!

Today's post is for all the brides out there...

Before we left for Paris a few weeks ago, we had the chance to sit down with our new friends at Ruth's Chris in Rogers, who had some exciting news for us (and for our brides!): they are now catering special events!

As you know, I LOVE good food - is there a better restaurant in NWA? I'm not sure! Their steaks are to-die-for! So, just imagine my excitement when I pictured myself eating delicious steaks at weddings! Does life get better? Nope!

Here's some info...

And you can download a sample menu pdf here

Make sure to tell them that I sent you - I wanna feel like I'm doing my little part in the world! Oh, and if you book them, tell me! Maybe I can give you something free for feeding me yummy food at your reception! :)

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sharing + Caring

Hey everybody!

It must be "get on my soapbox" week... because it's time for me to rant to photographers.

Hey photographers! I know there are a lot of you who read my blog. If you know me in person, you know how I feel about this already, but it's worth repeating...

Let's get over the old-school competition mindset! It bugs the crap out of me that photographers are so secretive, competitive, and in some cases MEAN! What's there to fear?

Would it amaze you to know that on many occasions I've loaned out my equipment (for free!) to local photographers? Just today I picked up my ringflash from Ryan Klintworth's house (he works with Maura Johnson). In the past I've helped out photographers who wanted to try out lenses, replace camera bodies, given backdrops, etc. I don't, even for a second, think that loaning my equipment is bad for business. C'mon!

Secondly, for many photogs in the area, I'm an open book! (for those who don't wanna talk, or who take advantage of my willingness to share no longer get these privileges) I get emails daily (literally!) from photographers who ask me all sorts of questions... anything from how should they create their pricing to what to do if they have an unhappy customer to how to market themselves to brides. Though my own client emails come first, I treat these emails with respect and always try to get back to them in a timely manner. Am I crazy??? Am I training my competition to outbook me??? Get real!

This doesn't concern me for the following reasons:
1) I'm me. Nobody else is. My clients love me for me, not because I shoot with Canon, or because I have some secret answers, or whatever.
2) There are enough brides for everybody! We only take 30-40 weddings per year, and there are bazillions of brides in Arkansas. Why can't we share the love? Which brings me to...
3) Photographers can be referral sources! I've sent tons of brides to other photogs (based on budget, style, etc.), and I'll keep doing so. There may be a time when I'm in need of a bride for a certain date and my photo buddies hook it up.

Lastly, let me just say... photographers should be natural friends with other photographers! We're creative, we do the same thing for a living, we know all the same people (vendors, etc.), we have the same struggles, the same schedule, ... and on and on!

Some of my very best friends are photographers. There's no tip too secret, nothing I wouldn't give if they asked. To me, that's more important than maintaining a stiff level of competition.

(pics of me with photographer friends)




Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sweet 16 Surprise Party!

Hey everybody,

I don't remember much from my 16th birthday, but if it was anything like this one, I'd hold on to every last amazing detail. J Bailey Occasions (our great friend Jenessa Bailey) coordinated this fabulous Ft Smith sweet 16 surprise birthday party, and we were honored to be a part of it. (Huge props to Jessica, who rocked these shots!)

Check out the breathtaking details from the sweet 16 party...
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography
amazing sweet 16 party photography

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ellie's Photo Project: Look Closely

Hey everybody,

Ellie wanted to do a photo project today so I thought I'd give her one that I used to give my high school journalism students: look deeply and closely. I did this by having her find the letters of her name. Her project is below.



This is a great project for kids of any age (as long as they know their letters), and I don't think twice about sending her outside with a camera (you can substitute for a phone camera if you're afraid of your kiddo dropping it - I have insurance... and backups).

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Las Vegas WPPI - via Instagram

Hey everybody!

Meredith and I just had a great week sharing and caring with photographers in Las Vegas at WPPI. As with most trips, I wanna share my trip with you using images I took and shared on Instagram.

I felt like we ate like royalty (and were treated like royalty, thanks to my very favorite lab on the planet, Millers Professional Imaging). Tom Collichio's Craftsteak was by far my favorite, and ranks up among the top three meals I've ever had in my life (wedding dinner was #1, and Tom Collichio's Craft in Dallas was #2). Other great meals from the trip: Mix, In and Out Burger, Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, and Wolfgang Puck, who you'll see gave me a big fat thumbs up. :)




I had a great time with my photo bff, JP Elario, and enjoyed hearing him give his platform presentation for the 2nd straight year (great job bro!), and I enjoyed seeing my dropitMODERN friends, and Miller's and MpixPro gang. I also liked connecting with other Arkansas photogs while there (it's funny that we travel a bazillion miles away to get together). I love the time I got to spend with Ryan (pictured above), and Geoff (my ol' pal) - a couple of past mentees who are kickin' booty now.

All in all, WPPI is a great time for photographers and well worth the money (and craziness you must endure if you go to Vegas). My advice to photographers is always to go, and always to connect with as many photogs as possible.

Lastly, I'm still on Vegas time, so this blog post is NOT late. Actually, I would have already posted it had I not been pulled over on the way home. Erg.

Talk to you soon,
Dale

(PS. If you want captions for all the images above, follow me on instagram! @dalebenfield)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sweet Words from our lovely clients!

Hey everybody,

Oh, how we love our clients! And happily, they love us too! :) Recently, at our Benny Awards party, it turned into a Benfield Photography love fest at the Benny Booth, and our friends shot video and we got all sorts of sweet comments from our clients. Yay! Listen to all the nice things they said about us...



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Time to Make Time

Hey everybody,

Today's going to be an atypical post. I know there probably aren't too many DADS who read this blog (if I'm reading my stats right, most of my readers are females between the ages of 18 and 35), but that's okay. I just wanna say what I feel like saying.

I think that for the most part, dads out there don't make time. I know they're busy... they (typically) have the job of providing for their family, which involves traveling with their work... I get it.

Believe me, I get it.

But if I can do it, I think any dad can. I travel a lot - actually, so far this month I've only slept in MY bed 4 nights (out of 21)! I've been out of town, out of state, out of country. It makes it difficult to have quality time. However...

When I'm around Ellie, that time belongs to her. I'm stingy with my Ellie-time, and I go out of my way to give "being a dad" my all. When I have a chance to connect, I don't hold back. Take Flat Ellie, for example. She made Flat Ellie as a school project to take on adventures. Whenever I travel, I bring Flat Ellie with me on my adventures, and then come back and teach Ellie's class (as well as plan a craft and a treat).


I'm not saying dads need to go to the extreme (though I think kids appreciate it), but I think it's important that dads make special time for their kids, even if something else needs to be sacrificed. Let's step up, dads, and show our kids how much we care about them! Even if it's something as simple as a weekly date night.



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paris Engagement Shoot, part 1

Hey everybody!

I've got a great Parisian engagement shoot for y'all to see! I teased it a few days ago, but alas the wait is over! Enjoy! Could you believe it was snowing in Paris??? Ah... dreamy!!

I also wanted to post these all in black and white - what do you think??

engagement portraits in Paris
engagement portraits in Paris
engagement portraits in Paris
engagement portraits in Paris
engagement portraits in Paris

More from this amazing shoot coming tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WPPI Schedule - Come Say HI!!!

Hey everybody!

It's WPPI time again, our annual trip to Las Vegas for the biggest tradeshow for wedding photographers in the world. Meredith and I again have the honor of speaking at WPPI, which makes it my 4th year in a row to share knowledge with bazillions of wedding photographers from all over the world. Here's our WPPI schedule... if you're going to WPPI, come say hi to us!!

Monday:
1pm - hanging in the dropitMODERN booth with my photo bff JP Elario to have a Q&A with photogs


2:30: Meredith and I are speaking at the Miller's / MpixPro booth. Our topic: Customer Service is the New Marketing - read more about our talk, along with some fun q&a on the MpixPro blog.


4pm - Millers/MpixPro focus group meeting - I love that I have a lab that seeks our feedback with products, services, prices, etc.

7pm - the dropitMODERN gang, JP, and I are heading to dinner at MIX (I'm super excited to eat at an Alain Ducasse restaurant)

9pm - Heading to the Prohibition Rebellion party with the dinner gang.

Tuesday: Meredith is shooting boudoir / secret sessions at the Barbie Suite at the Palms - How cool is this???


11:30am - hanging at the DIM booth again for some q&a - come meet me and ask me anything!

9pm - VIP get together with the MpixPro/Miller's gang, and a bunch of cool photogs!

Wednesday: 2:30 I'll be helping with JP's platform class
Dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill

Thursday: fly back home, sleep in my own bed. :)

Seriously, if you see me come say hi! I love WPPI because it gives me a chance to connect with other photographers!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blogging for Photographers - Book Review!

Hey everybody!

I just checked in to my iTunes book, Blogging for Photographers, in the bookstore, and found a great review! Yay!! I thought I'd give y'all a reminder to buy the book if you're interested in blogging for your business.

Here's a link to buy the book:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blogging-for-photographers/id473906232?mt=11

Blogging For Photographers iBook

Simply Amazing

by Fotoqueen1982

Dale really thinks outside the box with this one! I always viewed blogging as a dreaded task that needed to be done every once in a while, mainly so my photography website would be found by search engines more easily. I'll admit it, I was wrong! I'm pumped to start blogging now, and not just to gain new clients and show off my work, but to show the world what I'm up to!

Blogging for Photographers really shows how to create interesting, eye-catching blog posts, and how to utilize those posts to gain a loyal blog following, and henceforth, and HUGE customer base. I mean, who doesn't want a bigger, better customer base? The book is a super easy read. Honestly, I started it and couldn't put it down! I finished it in less than 24 hours, but I already know I will be using it for a reference for months, if not years, to come. Dale has been captivating me with his blog for years, and Blogging for Photographers gave the same warm fuzzies. It's a must-read for the serious photographer looking to expand!
<---Thanks for the super great review!! Hugs to you!!!


Have a happy weekend!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Joplin Prom Makeover!

Hey everybody!

Today I finally get to share a secret that I've been keeping for months: We are helping make over the Joplin High School prom and are giving my alma mater their DREAM PROM - woop woop!! We got to ambush the seniors today at the high school (at the Joplin Mall); it was super fun addressing the students (and the teachers I used to work alongside)!

Even cooler, Katy Perry (yep... THAT KATY PERRY!) recorded a video for the seniors announcing the ambush!

Here's a Joplin news station's story on the ambush




It feels so good to give back to Joplin after all they've been through (no... Katy Perry isn't paying me to shoot pictures - she just did the video - heehee).

Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. On a non-related note, today is my birthday! I'm 32... isn't that crazy???

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ellie's Kiddo Snow Portrait Session

Hey everybody!

We have been waiting SO LONG for it to snow!! Well, on Monday it happened! Ellie had a snowday, which means we had a photo shoot! It was cold, yes. But it was fun! Look at my little sweetie!!





Look at the little stinker... (wait for it...)


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Paris Engagement Pictures - Ooh La La!

Hey everybody!

Most of you have heard that Meredith and I just got back from Paris. While we were there, we worked (Mere had secret sessions), and Lauren flew over from Rome to help me shoot this engagement session. Yep, engagement portrait session in Paris, France. Bananas.

Here's a teaser from the shoot, which we'll be sharing with you shortly!

engagement shoot in Paris


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, February 13, 2012

Riffraff Benny Booth: The Video Finale!

Hey everybody,

Don't you just love all these fun Benny Booth pics from Riffraff's third birthday party? They (like Benfield Photography) have the BEST clients! They are super fun and super fashionable (again, like Benfield Photography clients), so we had a pretty hilarious night!

I whipped up a video slideshow of our photo booth pictures for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy it!


Talk to you soon,
Dale



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Riffraff Benny Booth Madness!

Hey everybody!

I have more fun Benny Booth pics today from the Riffraff 3rd birthday party. Such fun friends! Happy birthday to Riffraff and congratulations to Kirsten for filling the void of creating a store that's not only super fun, but filled with fabulous finds and fashion for Fayetteville! (how's that for alliteration?!!!)












This is just too hilarious not to include! Oh, how I love Kenna and Brooke!


I whipped up a fun video from the shoot tomorrow, so you'll want to come back by!

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...