Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cassie and Walker's Little Rock Engagement

Hey everybody!

Walker makes me laugh. Hard. He's a funny guy who embraces his personality. But the best part is, he makes Cassie laugh. Hard. Cassie is a sweet young lady with a HUGE heart. Collectively, they have about the best personality of anyone I've ever photographed. No joke. (see what I did there?) ;) I think you'll even be able to see it in their engagement portraits!













Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, June 29, 2012

Natalie's Outdoor Southern Bridal Portraits

Hey everybody!

Natalie is one of those brides who can make you fall in love just by watching her laugh. She's so precious, and such a sweetheart, not to mention she's obviously drop dead gorgeous. So... it goes without saying that Meredith and I were honored to photograph her bridal and wedding portraits. Her outdoor bridals took place at sunset and her very Southern location made for some really breathtaking shots - oh, and add in that laughter and you're a goner! See what I mean?

beautiful and timeless outdoor southern bridal portraits


beautiful and timeless outdoor southern bridal portraits


beautiful and timeless outdoor southern bridal portraits


beautiful and timeless outdoor southern bridal portraits


beautiful and timeless outdoor southern bridal portraits


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Magazine Used Our Wedding Images Without Permission

Hey everybody!

If you know much about me, you know I hate drama. I've had things (images/text) stolen from me and used without my permission before, but I've always been able to handle it quickly and quietly with the other parties involved. It's the way I prefer to work.

THE PROBLEM:

But Arkansas Bride won't communicate with me.

Yes, it's Arkansas Bride who has used our images without our consent, and what's worse... they have completely fabricated a "Photographer's Favorite" submission by Benfield Photography. WE NEVER EVEN SUBMITTED A PHOTOGRAPHER FAVORITE for this issue.

On June 6th, I sent a Cease and Desist letter to the editor of Arkansas Bride, who published multiple images by Benfield Photography in the recent edition of the magazine. The next day I received this:

"Dale,
We will take down the photos online and in the digital edition as soon as possible."
But notice, she didn't take it out of the magazine!

Later in that same email she thought she'd take a jab at me and say, "I could've cared less if those weren't in the issue."

I have two issues with that statement. One, it doesn't make sense grammatically (she's actually stating that she WANTS them in the magazine by that sentence); and two, then why did Arkansas Bride publish them? Wouldn't it be better for them to sell an ad in that space?

I don't want to appear arrogant, but we don't need to be published in Arkansas Bride in order to book weddings (another one of the editor's claims). I've never had a bride email me with the sentence, "I found you in Arkansas Bride." Furthermore, we have more than triple the amount of Facebook "Likes" than Arkansas Bride - if anything they need us. AS PHOTOGRAPHERS, MAGAZINES NEED US.

And now the sad part of all of this, and the reason I've decided to take a stand: our bride can no longer submit her wedding to magazines who have an exclusivity policy (most of the most reputable blogs and magazines say it cannot be published in any other magazine). Of course, the editor had something to say about this as well:

"Last year, the [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette] published a wedding we had already run a year or so before in their Real Weddings handout, and Weddings in Arkansas frequently runs full weddings in their magazine that we've already blogged about or that we've already used a few photos from in print. If any have a written exclusivity policy, I've certainly never seen it, heard about it, nor seen them follow it."

Then she ends the letter with:
"That's all I can - and care to - say on this matter." Classy.

Yes, it looks like she's throwing her competition under the bus. That aside, I'm not about to ruin my relationship with those other publications by submitting a wedding that has already had exposure in another magazine. ONE of us has to do the right thing here.

THE SOLUTION:
We as photographers need to STAND UP to magazines and blogs who use our images without our consent! It's NOT okay! They think "oh, they need us... this is great publicity for them." I remember when magazines would pay photographers. It wasn't that long ago. However, that is no longer the case. We as a photographer body have enabled them to use our images without compensation.

We DON'T need blog and magazine features to survive! They NEED US to survive! They can't publish image boxes that are blank. We need to take back the respect we deserve.

Additionally, photographers, we need to stop agreeing to giving images without our logo or name on them! In the world of Pinterest, if a wedding blog publishes my image in its post, it's THEM who gets the clickback, not me (or you, if it's your image)! I get emails daily from Pinterest users who see my images... BECAUSE I HAVE MY LOGO ON THE IMAGE. Let's not give in to requests to take off our logos. If everybody would do this, the blogs would have nothing to run unless it rightly changed it's policies.

THE END:
So, I'm not doing this to rip Arkansas Bride a new one - I can't unprint their magazine, but I just have to be able to tell the bride I did everything I could for her (even forfeit my relationship with the magazine). She still won't be able to have her wedding featured, but maybe we can make a difference for other brides in the future. And sure, I could sue, but court costs and attorney's fees make it unfeasible (unless some lawyer reads this and thinks otherwise). In the end, I sent a request for the magazine to pay my normal photo assignment fee, and they have just flat out ignored me.

My only hope is that other photographers read this and realize that we've let our standards slip, and have compromised our practices and have stopped putting value in our work. We've sold out. For what? A featured blog post? Is it worth it? Not in the long run.


Talk to you soon,
Dale



P.S. If you want to voice your opinion, leave a comment. Or better yet, here's Arkansas Bride's Facebook page, and their twitter name is: @ArkansasBride





Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kristin and Jason's Little Rock Wedding and Bridal Portraits

Hey everybody!

More from our stunner-of-a-couple, Kristin and Jason. Okay, I don't wanna make too big of a deal out of this, but I just want to point out that three years later, Kristin still just stepped right into her wedding dress as her sister zipped it up. That's not all too common, I must say! She looked AMAZING in it! (Jason, you were pretty dapper, too, friend!) Let's look!

little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer




Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kristin and Jason's Little Rock Engagement Shoot

Hey everybody!

Enough of the sad stuff, let's see some Lovin'! :) Kristin and Jason are a gorgeous couple. They are both super smart, sweet and funny, and I feel like if they lived close, we'd all be best friends. I pretty much hung out with them all weekend, as we photographed not only their re-wedding images, but also some bridals (you'll see some tomorrow) and their engagement portraits. Maybe it would be more correct to call it an anniversary session, as they've been married three happy years, but nonetheless it was an engagement-style session. Off we go...

little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer


little rock arkansas wedding and engagement photographer



Come back tomorrow for some bridal and wedding portraits in and around the Capital Hotel in Little Rock (so pretty!).

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Make-Up Wedding? What If Your Photographer Never Gave You Your Wedding Images?


Hey everybody!

I have another super sentimental blogpost to share today. It breaks my heart that there are photographers out there who give the rest of us a bad name. As you know from my crazy workflow and super OCD tendencies that no such thing would ever be the case for our wedding clients, but here's a story of a couple I recently photographed whom it DID happen to!

from Kristin:

Jason and I had a beautiful wedding on April 4, 2009.

Last year, we officially gave up on ever seeing our wedding photos after we heard that our photographers had disappeared in the night. When my husband surprised me with a re-shoot of our wedding photos for our 3rd anniversary, I could not have been more excited...that is until he told me that Benfield Photography would be shooting them for us!

TEARS!

I've been a huge admirer of Dale's work for a couple years now and could not believe that he would be taking our wedding photos. Upon meeting Dale in person, it was like seeing an old friend that you haven't seen in years. I knew immediately that we were going to have lots of fun! This was such a unique and special experience for the two of us (ahem, how many grooms get to go to the bridal shoot?)!

Unlike a real wedding, there was no stress or tight timelines! We could relax and enjoy being together and spending time with our family and closest friends. I am so thankful that our entire wedding party made the trip to Little Rock for the photos!

It was so neat to see how much our lives have changed over the past three years!

However unfortunate and hearbreaking it is that we will never have our original wedding photos, we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to re-take the photos with such a talented photographer!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for forever memorializing our love for each other and the most special day of our lives.





I was so happy to be a part of this celebration, and you'll be happy to know that Kristin and Jason already have their image files! :)

More from their special weekend coming tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Power of a Shot - A Thank You Letter

Hey everybody!

I love that new Powershot commercial - I totally dig their slogan, "Power of a Shot." That's what today's post is all about.

I got a super sweet email from our friend, Elizabeth, whose grandparents won a contest on our blog four years ago for Valentine's Day. It was a super sweet message and wanted to share it with you.

I love this because it really demonstrates the power of pictures. I think it hit me particularly hard because Meredith's grandpa just passed away a week ago. :( I was happy to see that for Mere's grandpa's funeral, the family had a ton of pictures from his life.

from Elizabeth:
I just wanted to say on behalf of my whole family thank you. About a week and a half ago my grandfather (Bob'O) passed away. As my family was figuring out how to best celebrate him and all that he meant to us we remembered that you had them write their love story as part of the contest they won back then. We actually had someone retell it at his funeral, but we also realized that the pictures you guys took were the last pictures we had of the both of them healthy.





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...