Monday, December 30, 2013

Benfield Photography Year In Review: 2013

Hey everybody!

Yesterday I shared my personal 2013 with you. Today I'm sharing Benfield Photography's year... which was almost as crazy!

One of my biggest feats of the year was publishing my 400+page book, 5 Minute Fix - it took a year to write and finish the book, and I am so proud of it!

This book is the full collection of my daily photo tips that I've been sending out to a great group of pro, amateur, and hobby photographers over the past 13 months. It's written in the same tone as my blog, and I cover everything from composition tools to marketing techniques to dealing with tricky business situations to how I created some of my favorite all-time images.

Another cool project I had the time to work on and finish was our very own wedding magazine: Benfield Weddings Magazine. I'd been dreaming of doing this for years, and finally gave it the attention it deserved. When we released it, it got such attention and raves that we decided to continue publishing the magazine on a bi-annual basis!
A really cool thing we got to do this year was photograph my wedding photographers: Becker and Keats.  They've become really dear friends over the past 5 years, and we had them in from California for a couple days (they had a wedding here) and got to spend a lot of quality time with them. If you're looking for a 2014 wedding photographer, you might consider bringing Becker to your wedding!

Another amazing thing about 2013 was that our senior business exploded! I haven't been able to concentrate on seniors since I started this business in 1998 (can you believe it's been FIFTEEN YEARS???), but this year I wanted to give it some attention, and I was able to photograph some of NWA's most amazing seniors!!

Another neat thing we were able to do was photograph at the new (yet old) Fairlane Station in Springdale. The venue is so neat, and the owners are really precious! Here's a shot from a styled bridal session there.  LOVE LOVE LOVE!
wedding bridal portraits at Fairlane Station in Springdale

Of course, I continued working with Riffraff, my absolute favorite Fayetteville boutique. I shot some of their big events and styled lookbooks. Kirsten, our best friend, is always so creative when it comes to these that it takes 99 percent off our workload. She's amazing (and talented and sweet and smart and creative...).

We also hired Stephanie this year, which is pretty much the main reason why we were able to accomplish all the cool stuff we've done (i.e. the magazine, the book, etc.). I'm truly thankful for her hard work and dedication to see us succeed!  She also adores Cece and is always willing to stay after to help out if needed! Such a peach!

Among our travels, which were a LOT in 2013, we hit the Bayou for Mallory and Jake's wedding. We love southern weddings... but even more than that... we LOVE SOUTHERN BRIDES! :)

Here's another...

But I have to say... as much as I love shooting in the south, or the east or west... my favorite place of all is the photograph weddings at Excellence Playa Mujeres.  I know and love the place so well (it's where we honeymooned, and have been back many times since).
Wedding images at Excellence Playa Mujeres by destination photographer Benfield Photography

A little collar tug never hurt!  Perfect moment! Hey Excellence Playa Mujeres... why not hire me as your full-time wedding photographer?  Haha!
Wedding images at Excellence Playa Mujeres by destination photographer Benfield Photography

2013 brought in some truly amazing brides.  I love my job because I love my brides (could you imagine working with bridezillas all the time? I couldn't!) Kady was one of many caring, stylish, thoughful, creative, and beautiful Benny Brides for 2013. Talk about making my job easy!

And so was Ashley! I can never do her justice with mere words... she's beautiful, hard-working, creative, and genuine!  By the way... this is the most pinned image on Pinterest from the Benfield blog from 2013... this shot is rockin! I'm so down with clients doing whatever we ask! 

2013 brought some really great news... our good friend (and Benfield employee) Chelsey is expecting a baby!  She and Josh were MADE to be parents, and I can't wait to see how ridiculously gorgeous this baby is going to be!!

In a similar story... Chelsea and Seth (one of our very favorite Benny couples) had twins this year!  Here's one of my favorite family shots of the year!  I'm so thankful for our families, who use us time and again for all their important milestones!! It's such an honor!

Gah... when it comes to MOMENTS... this one just about seals the deal. Emotion is everywhere in this picture and I'm so thankful that I'm able to be a part of so many special days in the lives of our Benny brides.  Dorothy was a bride like no other... and I have Pinterest to thank!  Even though it presents some extra challenges, we're looking forward to the future of Benfield Photography with all the traveling we'll be doing! 

Thank you 2013!  You've been so good to us, and we are truly grateful and thankful! Mere, Ellie, Cece, and I (along with all our employees) are so appreciative of our clients, vendor friends, and supportive family and friends who made this year such a success.  We love you!!

Talk to you soon,

P.S. Here are some of our features from the year.  It's always an honor to be featured in publications, and are happy to say that more than half of our weddings get featured - it's such a testament to the creativity and awesomeness of our brides!! I wish I could show all of these, but here are a few!

Also, we've once again been honored by having a Benfield Photography photo featured as the cover of NWA Wedding Ideas! Yay!!

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