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Arkansas wedding photographer // destination wedding and portrait photographer

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    Hey Friends!

    I'm Ashlee, Austin Benny Bride and blog stalker of 5 years. Dale asked me to share some wedding tips/advice with all of you!

    Tiago (my handsome hubby) and I were high school sweethearts and when we got married this past March we had been dating for six years already, five of which I was secretly planning our wedding! Tiago's family is from Brazil and my family is all from small town Texas with a lot of Czech thrown in there. My parents' wedding had about 500 people at it so we knew that ours would likely be big too and that was going to be a task with the budget we were looking at.

    I started out as a bridezilla but by the end I think I was a pretty laid back bride and finally started enjoying the process and worrying less about whether or not my wedding was going to be pinterest perfect.

    Here are the three best pieces of advice I could give to brides planning their weddings:

    1. If you're on a budget decide what is most important to you from the beginning.

    My parents, Tiago, and I all agreed that we wanted our guests to have a good time! So we knew we had to have good food and beer, wine and champagne. The other thing we knew we wanted was Benfield Photography, of course! My parents agreed to pay the average cost of an Austin photographer and Tiago and I paid the rest. We decided to look at it as an investment since our pictures would be the only thing we would have of our special day when it was over. BEST DECISION EVER! People at the wedding were raving about Dale and Mere before we even got our pictures back! The best part was we not only got amazing photographers but also wonderful new friends!
    I compromised on my vision of all white fresh flowers on all of the tables and we opted for all white silk flowers and baby's breath. I still had my dream wedding and used the money for flowers on something that we thought was more important.

    2. Hire a day of coordinator.

    We hired Kirra Daugherty an Austin wedding/event coordinator, and she was a lifesaver! When we ended up with 100 more people RSVP'ed than we had originally expected--10 days out from the wedding--Kirra immediately rented more tables, chairs, and linens for us and informed our vendors of the change. She handled a crisis the day of when the caterer's truck got stuck in the middle of a busy road in downtown Austin, (We're talking wheels off the ground, stuck in the road) and she kept everyone calm when a groomsman showed up twenty minutes late. Second, BEST DECISION EVER!

    3. Add pieces of you into the ceremony and reception.

    We tried to incorporate our families, cultures, and even ourselves into everything. We did the traditional Czech grand march, we did the Brazilian tradition of cutting the tie, we sang my favorite song, 10,000 reasons by Matt Redman, and my cousin sang Ave Maria at the ceremony, we had a country band so everyone could dance, Tiago's aunt made delicious Brazilian appetizers to be served alongside our caterers' appetizers during the cocktail hour and desserts made by my grandma and aunts after dinner, we did the Czech unveiling, and I could keep going on and on. Not only did we feel like it was OUR wedding but we honored our families by letting them be a part of it too.

    One of my favorite parts of the whole day was at the end of the night when Tiago and I just sat down and while he was taking the million bobby pins out of my hair we talked and laughed about everything that had happened, how beautiful the ceremony was, all the people who came to celebrate with us, and how much fun we had. That's what it's really about after all, right?!








    Happy Wedding Planning :]
    Ashlee

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!


    The voting for the 5th annual Benny Awards is going strong... actually this year has the most votes EVER! We have more than 8 THOUSAND votes so far!!!!

    Here are my the Benny Award nominees for best shoes (one of my favorite categories... I have a bit of a shoe thing...)































    Here's your link to vote, which you can do once per day!
    http://benfieldphotography.net/benny-awards.html

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody,

    I've been debating whether I should post about this on the blog. Tonight I asked Mere, and she said yes. It was important I ask her, because it's about her.

    Remember the wreck we got in a month ago? Well, that set in motion a chain of events that have changed our world in a million ways. First off, we went to Abby, Mere's midwife the following week and Mere was thought to be Preeclamptic (preeclampsia info here). The only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. You remember me asking for prayers on the blog a couple weeks ago that Mere hold on and let that baby cook a little more. Like a champ, she did just that. When Cece was 37 weeks, our midwife gave us the okay to induce due to Mere's really high blood pressure, and severe headaches that wouldn't go away. We went in last Friday, expecting to have the baby on Saturday (and hopefully go home on Sunday!). That didn't happen.
    Mere's body, since she was a few weeks early, wasn't ready to have a baby. She underwent some procedures and took medications that made her body ripe for delivery, but it was going too slowly because of some counter-acting medications (for blood pressure stabilization, and seizure minimizing). During the nights in the hospital, I noticed some weird breathing patterns Mere was having, and the nurses told the doctor who ordered a chest scan. It turns out that Mere had an enlarged heart (which they didn't seem too concerned with, as many pregnant women can get this), and fluid in and around her lungs, which is what they were looking for. Bad news. Also during the night, Mere's headaches reached a high point so they ordered a CT scan of her brain to check for tumors or hemorrhaging, both of which they did not find (praise Jesus!).


    Sunday morning came around, and the on-call doctor (not Abby), and told Meredith she was only dilated to a 2 and that it would likely be 8+ more hours. Feeling tortured by the headaches, the poor breathing, and the painful procedures she was undergoing to get her body ready, Mere was at a breaking point and decided to have a C-section. The surgery seemed to go well (I was in there for it, and took pictures, as was Abby... holding Mere's hand the whole time). Early Sunday morning, Cecelia Ruth Benfield was born. After they cleaned her up a bit, I cut the cord and her mom gave her her first kiss. Miraculously, Meredith's headaches went away (praise Jesus!).





    Cece's first kiss...



    But her blood pressure problems did not.

    Dancing around from high to super high, Mere's blood pressure became a primary concern for the staff at Freeman Hospital. Hourly testing, no salt diet, and in increase in her pre-delivery bp medication were set in motion to stabilize her vitals. Those methods did not work. Sunday went, Monday came and went, Tuesday came and went, Wednesday came and went... still high blood pressure, still breathing problems. The doctors ordered more tests: Echocardiogram to check to make sure her heart was functioning properly. Her heart was at 60 percent, and 50 percent was the line that indicated potential heart failure. It seemed her heart was good, just a little big (anybody who knows Mere sees the irony here). Doctor said it looked good. Mere's mom, who came in every day to let me leave the room for an hour or two, mentioned to the doctor that maybe we should get a cardiologist in on the conversation. The doctor's response: "her echo was good." Hmmm...

    The doctor then prescribed another bp medication to be used in addition to her increased dose of bp meds. She said the downside is that it could cause headaches, which it did. Mere really wanted to go home, but the doctor said she could not leave until her bp was under control.

    The next morning (Thursday morning), Mere was feeling much better. The doctor made her morning round, and hinted that if her blood pressure was good in the afternoon, we'd get to leave. Yay! The celebration was short lived. Apparently Mere got a GI (gastro-intestinal, aka stomach) bug. Much like food poisoning, with diarrhea and vominting, Mere was miserable--remember, she just had a stomach incision a few days ago... vomiting uses all those muscles, so Mere was in unbelievable pain. To compound this situation, not only did we not get to go home, Mere couldn't feed Cece. She pumped milk and I fed the baby through a syringe, using my finger to act like a nipple. It worked fine, and I enjoyed the bonding with my daughter, but Mere was really upset. She told me she felt like a bad mother, and all she wanted to do was hold Cece and feed her.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Side Note: On Thursday, something really touching took place that had Meredith and I bawling in our hospital room: Meg, our friend and Art Feeds founder, started a hashtag campaign for Mere, #igformere and many of our friends and family posted encourage quotes and/or pictures for Mere to read. It was the nicest thing to see her spirits raised by this generosity. (as of this writing, there have been 78 posts with this hashtag!)


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Friday morning, a different doctor was making the rounds. He read Mere's chart, and noticed her bp had dropped, and gave us the okay to go home ("since your bp is down, you can ride out the stomach bug wherever you want"). We were excited. We were finally going to get to be at home with our new baby girl.

    I loaded up the car (it looked like we were moving out of an apartment after being there all week), and loaded up my girls, and we were off. Only, it wasn't to the homecoming we were hoping for. By the time we made it home (Mere had slept the entire ride), Mere was miserable. The medications she was on made her very dizzy and vomitous, and she was feeling really bad. She made the decision to leave Cece here with me on our first night home, and her mother took her to Washington Regional. When she checked in there, Mere's blood pressure was 200/120. Not a typo.

    200/120. That's stroke and seizure high. The rushed her in, did more tests (same as they did in Joplin), and determined she needed to stay there. Mere was at wits end and was super upset that she couldn't be here with Cece and told the doctor. He said what the other doctor (in Joplin) should have said: You can go home and have a few days with your daughter, but no future. Or, you can stay here so we can make you better so you can have a lifetime with her. Meredith's mom told me today that she didn't think Meredith was going to make it through the night. And Meredith told me today that she saw her mom cry (for only the 3rd time in her life).

    When I went to see Mere today (Cece had to stay home this time), we had an amazing time together. She was "with-it" and looked and acted like the Meredith I know, admire, and adore. She was silly and funny and looked beautiful. When I showed her pictures and videos I shot of Cece for her, she started crying. I had watched her in pain and crying all week, and it nearly broke me. Seeing her in this much pain is the hardest thing I've endured (and I've had a pretty rough life). I show you this picture because I want you to see the realness of what she is going through, and to show you the absolute toughest and bravest woman I know:


    So, that's where we are now. This story doesn't have an ending yet. I'm hoping for one of those happily ever after kind of endings, where she and I (and Ellie) raise this beautiful little girl together as a family.


    Please pray for Meredith. Specifically, pray that the Lord heals her. Pray that her spirit remains strong and unbroken. Pray that she finds peace in knowing she is doing the right thing for our family by staying in the hospital until she is well, even if it means being away from her week-old-baby girl

    Pray for me to have the strength it takes to handle these situations in a Godly way, to be the father I should be, and the husband Meredith deserves.


    Talk to you soon,
    Dale

    P.S. Here are a few happy pics I took of Cece this week:
















    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Meg here again, hijacking the blog (does anyone know how to drive this thing?), I recently married my best friend and did so in a dress I hand dyed hombre pink. You didn’t misread that last sentence. I did, in fact, dunk my white wedding dress into a sink full of pink dye, several times. Here’s a little about how I got there:

    To those of you who have always had your dream wedding and dream dress down to a T, I commend you. You guys are my heroes. You know “the dress” ah-ha moment all brides are supposed to have? I didn’t have that. So for those of you that may be recently engaged, don’t get freaked out if you don’t. It happens to some of us. I’m not sure why, but the picture of the wedding and the dress weren’t engrained into me. Don’t get me wrong, I was SUPER into marrying my husband, I just wasn’t sure of that perfect wedding scene after my cute bearded boyfriend was like, “Will you marry me?” and I hugged him so much I forgot to say “yes” (the yes was implied, my friends).

    I had my first big SAY YES TO THAT DRESS outing. There were mimosas, they were delicious…and that was basically the highlight of the experience. I tried on about 1,639 dress options and mostly felt like some sort of mythical fairy or witch (see: The White Witch, Chronicles of Narnia) or powder puff or something. Nothing felt like “me” or comfortable. There is SO MUCH PRESSURE to be the “most beautiful you have ever been” on the day of your wedding (You will be gorgeous, but I think the “prettiest you’ve ever been” days happen unexpectedly). I felt like I was playing dress up and this all felt pretty silly. Here’s some of the silliness (forgive me for my shameful iPhone photos next to all Benfield Photography’s beautiful ones!)




    It was pretty confusing. My stipulations for this dress were:
    1) That I could dance my bum off clad in this thing
    2) Carter (my now husband) think I was pretty (not hard, he likes me with no makeup on, you know, like the lyrics from that Katy Perry song)


    By nature, creativity, deconstruction, re-working, sewing, painting, crafting, etc. are basically like breathing to me. I’m also born with the curse of thinking I can do anything. So every time I tried something on I thought, oh this would be perfect if, the sleeves were gone, it was pink, shorter, high-low, less poofy, less white, sweetheart neckline blah blah blah.

    Then, a dress happened. Not “the- dress-omigosh-I-am-in-happy-tears-over-this-thing-say-YES!” dress. More like, a wedding dress I finally felt comfortable in, one that I felt like I could dance the night away in with my husband. I had to think about myself and my love to create- wouldn’t it make sense that this need to create seeped into the item I was getting married in? Yes. Total sense. I decided to take this dress and make it everything I wanted. Here is the dress before:



    To-do to the Wedding Dress list:
    +Satin Top
    +Deep Sweetheart
    +Champagne/Coral/Blush Hombre
    +Huge overstated flower in the back
    +Pink beading
    +Long ribbons

    With the help of my sweet mom and my amazing seamstress, we did all these things to create a dress that was finally “me”. They are memories I cherish, screaming as I dunked my stark white purchase into a sink of pink dye, my older sister having a heart attack when I did, sewing beads carefully with my mother, hand stitching the huge flower for the back and seeing the thing come together. I had my “dress moment” when I finally got to try the craft of my life on. Here’s how it turned out:



    My stipulations were met, I A.) Danced the night away in my dress (Dale danced right along with me) and B.) Carter thought I looked really pretty.
    I’d wear my wedding dress every day if I could….I’m actually wearing it right now, as I type this… as I eat my frozen leftover wedding cake… joking. Maybe… don’t judge me.
    The moral of the story is, it’s ok to not have that “moment”. I think it’s incredible for those of you who do (again, you’re my heroes) but if you don’t have the moment- keep dreaming. Make that dress your own and the memories will be even more special.

    Are there any creative and daring Brides out there? If you’d like a tutorial on how to dye your wedding dress, comment below and let me know! Then maybe I can talk Dale into letting me guest post again with some step-by-steps on how to give your dress a special color for your big day.

    Xo
    Meg







    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hello Y’all!

    You can only imagine how excited I was when I received an e-mail from Dale asking me to be a guest blogger while he and Meredith are enjoying snuggles from precious Cece! If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting the two of them you know they have hearts the size of the moon, so I am delighted to help them in any way I can!
    As you read this post it’s important to keep two things in mind: I’m from a very small town- Marvell, Arkansas, in the heart of the Delta, and I’m a 2nd grade teacher. I believe these two characteristics were evident in the style of my wedding! Dale asked if I could give a few DIY tips since most of my wedding consists of personal touches and was FULL of DIY projects!

    When Ben popped the question on August 4, 2011, I, like most other brides was ecstatic! I had stumbled upon Dale’s blog when I was a freshman in college and knew from that moment that I wanted him to photograph my wedding! So, of course, he was the first person I contacted as far as planning goes!

    Being from a small town, I knew I wanted my wedding to feel “comfortable” yet chic. I had always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding. This leads me to a piece of advice: THIS IS YOUR DAY! During the wedding planning process there will be PLENTY of sweet helpful people who want to offer advice and insight- which you should receive with open arms, but you must keep in mind that this is your day, you call the shots, and in the end you want this day to symbolize the two of you, your beliefs, and the love you share!

    As I said- I am a 2nd grade teacher therefore, I believe creativity and “crafts” are just a way of life for me. I discovered a wonderful website that fit my style: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/ . It is reasonably priced and full of fun finds! This website allowed me to create so many things that truly symbolized our relationship and the journey we took to get to our wedding day.

    One of my favorite things about the centerpieces at our reception was the standing chalkboards inside the floral pieces. I was able to order these in bulk from save on crafts. I used a white chalkboard marker to write scripture that was meaningful to us, phrases we say to each other often, and song lyrics that reminded me of the two of us. Looking back at the pictures (that Dale & Mere captured), I can see that they not only fit into the style of the wedding but they were wonderful reminders of “US”.


    Another DIY project I took on was making hanging fabric (ball) lanterns to hang in the trees above the ceremony. I ordered white paper (ball) lanterns in various sizes in bulk. I then bought (many) yards of fabric, traced circles onto the fabric, and used a rotary cutter to cut out the circles. I gathered each circle in the middle, and hot glued the point to the lantern. I hung them in the trees using fishing wire. I will tell you this was a very time-consuming project, but the end result was exactly what I envisioned---and who knows maybe I’ll find use of those wonderful little pretties (that are sitting in a storage bin in the attic) for decorations in a wedding shower, baby shower, or MAYBE a nursery…?!



    DIY project #3 was our table runners. Burlap played a big role in our wedding. I cut burlap for DAYS! Then, I discovered I’m allergic—what fun! I ordered a 100 ft role of burlap and cut 2 ft x 6 ft strips to make table runners. My talented mother-in-law sewed on white lace to the ends of each strip. They were gorgeous!

    I also made my own programs! YEP! By doing so I saved $480. Going through the Elementary Education and Master’s Programs at the U of A required that I make lots of “cute” things using a computer, so after getting the quote on the programs I wanted, I decided to try making my own before clicking “submit” on my Etsy order. I was completely satisfied with my production- as were my parents.

    Of course, I would still be cutting out circles to finish fabric balls to this day if I hadn’t had help from friends and family with all of the DIY projects I thought up, but luckily we have so many wonderful people in our lives that were willing to help with whatever we needed. The best advice I received during wedding planning really had nothing to do with wedding planning at all. I was told “People won’t remember all of the tiny details of your wedding, but they will remember your attitude and how you handled things”. It was important to us to make sure everyone that played a part in our wedding knew how much we appreciated them, and that we knew how truly blessed we were to have them. So, keep in mind that you may not use the advice or make the decisions that everyone demands of you, but you want your wedding day to be remembered as a joyous occasion rather than the day Bridezilla married Frankenstein!

    I wish you all happy planning, and pray you are able to soak up every tiny memory that you are about to make!

    Thank you, Dale for allowing me to ramble on about my perfect day!
    Jamie







    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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  • 01/16/13--20:52: Guess Who's Home!!!
  • Hey everybody!

    I've been waiting to share this news until we were sure it was going to stay this way... I mean, last time I brought Mere home she had to go back to the hospital pretty much immediately. This time, however, I think she's home for good!! The doctors at Washington Regional worked to determine the right balance of multiple blood pressure medicines to keep it at a semi-normal level, and were able to get pretty much all the fluid off and out of her lungs (which means she breathes better... which means she sleeps better... which means she heals better).

    Things haven't gotten back to "normal" just yet, and we're so thankful that our family members are taking turns helping us out in these first nights home as a family, but I'm sure we'll get into a routine quickly!

    Mere and I just want to say how much we appreciate all the messages, flowers, and (most of all) prayers over the past few weeks. Knowing that you all have our backs is an amazing feeling.


    And now a few words from Mere...
    Wow! I've been so overwhelmed with the total outpouring of true love we've received throughout the past couple weeks! I am completely humbled that so many people care so much for our little family. I will cherish each of the messages, texts, gifts, and phone calls forever. Your prayers worked and I am on the road to recovery! Praise Jesus! My wish is that you would now begin to pray for the mothers that never come home, the mothers that never recover, and their families.

    While I was in the hospital my sister in law, Leanne, sent me a quote that carried me through one of my most difficult days. I want to share it with you because you might have a difficult day sometime and maybe this will get you through...

    "And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in." ~Haruki Murakami

    I am a stronger person for coming through this storm. I believe I will be a better mother because of it. I will never take time with Cece for granted. I made a promise to myself never to look back on the things I missed out on, but instead to make new memories and new "firsts." 

     Thank you ALL, from the bottom of my enlarged heart, for caring about my family.  

     ~mere

    P.S. Can I get three cheers for my hubby Dale?? What other wife could leave her newborn baby completely alone with her husband on their first night home? Dale and Cece spent the first 15 or so hours at home all by themselves so my mom could be with me in the hospital. He is my hero.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    While Mere was in the hospital, Cece and I got to come visit on her one week birthday! It was a pretty special time! The doctors were worried about Cece getting exposed to the flu that is currently so prevalent in the hospital, so we had a secret meeting right inside the lobby doors!



    And then when Mere finally got to come home, she changed her first diaper... Baby Girl was so happy to see her Momma!



    Talk to you soon,
    Dale



    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!
    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    It's nice to get back to work! Life has settled considerably and while we're still getting in to the groove of things with baby and Mere home safe and sound, I've been getting caught up on everything at Benfield Photography: Benny Awards planning, photo editing, order fulfilling, travel booking, and of course... blogging! I want to give a big thanks to all my guest bloggers over the past couple weeks. It took my blogging-per-day time from 1-2 hours to about 15 minutes! And it was all such great content! I'm hoping they continue sending me great posts over the next couple months because there is so much great stuff to learn from their experience!

    And now... back to my regular blogging! I have a lovely bride-to-be to share with you today! Allison Waldrip first reached out to me last year and we became friends almost instantly! She knew a proposal was still far off (and that's not what we originally became buddies over), but we laid the ground work for a great relationship anyway!

    In December, I received a very lovely text from my friend, showing me a darling picture of her proposal from Aaron. (on a side note, he went all out - such a sweetie!!) Since we aren't afraid of shooting any time of year, I scheduled their engagement portrait session in late December in the pretty winter light (if you know how to use it!). Here are some of my favorites from Allison and Aaron's Fayetteville engagement session...








    Benny Backlight, even in December, friends!













    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    I have more from Allison and Aaron's Winter engagement portrait session we shot in Fayetteville a few weeks back. Oh, how I love thme! They are such a lovely couple... adorable and sweet as pie, so I was happy to be able to capture so many pretty images of them! Here are more of my favorites...














    Talk to you soon,
    Dale



    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    Benny Award voting is over (and set a record number of votes!), and I didn't want to influence the voting by posting these, so I've been waiting to show you Lauren's bridal portraits for far too long! I think you'll see that she's worth the wait! She's so pretty inside and out, and I love her dress and bolero! Isn't she gorgeous?!










    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hi there! Chelsey here!

    Here at Benfield Photography, senior portraits are my specialty! I love photographing seniors, especially super fun seniors like Jessye! This aspiring actress was up for anything so we drove all around Fayetteville to get these fabulous shots. A gorgeous model + yummy light = .... well, see for yourself!





















    xoxo



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    Hey everybody!

    For the thirst straight year, I've been selected to be a mentor up for auction to raise money for Thirst Relief! Me and some of the biggest names in photography (Jerry Ghionis, Dane Sanders, Lindsay Adler, Mike Colon, Jen & Steve Bebb, to name a few) are up for mentor auctions for this great cause, and I'd love for you to help!

    Did you know...
    *** Nearly1 billion people around the world lack access to clean drinking water.
    *** 2.5 million people die each year due to waterborne-related disease (90% of which are children under the age of 5).
    *** Every week, diarrhoeal disease due to easily preventable causes claims the lives of 30,000 people, most of them young children.
    *** Waterborne illness, considered normally mild in healthy adults, becomes an incurable death sentence for those affected by HIV/AIDS. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, millions of people lack access to the basic necessity of clean drinking water. In this same region, some 25 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. The result – over 2 million children and adults die of HIV/AIDS annually in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

    Thirst Relief has made it their mission to overcome death and disease resulting from the consumption of contaminated water by providing safe, clean drinking water to those in need around the world.





    If you're a photographer who has sent me emails over the past year, I encourage you to take part in this auction when it goes live... 10 days from now. If you're a photographer who has never contacted me (um... why not?!) but would like a 90 minute mentor session covering anything and everything you want to chat about, I encourage you to take part.

    The auction winner also is going to receive some great prizes from some of my friends in the photo biz:

    NEW PRODUCT: Miller's Signature Album from Miller's Professional Imaging: a $300 value
    $180 gift certificate from Shootsac (enough for a new shootsac, or to use on a Hip Slip, Covers, or toward a Tote & Shoot: a $180 value
    A copy of Dale's Blogging for Photographers handbook from the iTunes bookstore
    A copy of Dale's 101 Photo Tips for Photographers
    Zenfolio Premium Business account + a branded Manfrotto Photo bag. a $350 value.

    Total extra value: $880


    1. General info about the Auction and Benefit Shoot: http://thirstrelief.org/site/auction
    2. eBay page where auction takes place: http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=thirstreliefinternational



    Talk to you soon,
    Dale

    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    Ellie and I had a fun project this weekend: shoot Barbie and Ken's Wedding! Of course, we had to plan out the shots, find the outfits, and design the wedding set (with Mimi's help)... all in all, a pretty exciting weekend! However, we can't show you the wedding without showing Barbie and Ken's engagement portraits first! Ellie did all the shooting on these, so the credit goes solely to her! Great job, Sweetie!


















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    Today's post showcases the main event: Ken and Barbie's wedding images! Ellie worked so hard on making these images: planning the shots, designing, arranging, shooting... she had a great vision and I was honored to be her assistant for this project! I let her use my Canon 5D MK3 camera, 100mm macro (for most of the shots), 50mm 1.2, and 85mm 1.2 lenses - so pretty much MY wedding day set up. While she doesn't know how to set the camera dials, she does a great job with composition and focusing, so I'm of course a proud dada ("dada" is what Ellie calls me). Without further adieu, here are Barbie and Ken's wedding images...

    (oh, and leave Ellie a comment!)

    Barbie's pink wedding details...



    Barbie and her bridesmaid having a nice, relaxing morning at the spa...



    Barbie gettin' her hair did... :)



    Then it was time for Barbie to put on her lovely wedding dress...



    Against their photographers wishes (haha... totally kidding!), they didn't have a first look before the wedding.  Here is our lovely bride Barbie walking down the aisle to her groom, Ken, waiting and looking on...






    Ken, you may now kiss your bride Barbie...



    A fun sorority pic after the ceremony of Barbie and her girls...



    Cake cutting time!!  Barbie had a fab rustic wedding with lots of natural light!



    Barbie and Ken shared a very sweet first dance as their friends looked on...



    Then it was PARTY TIME!!



    Ken and Barbie's guests threw gold star confetti as the gorgeous bride and her groom made their exit...



    And away Barbie and Ken go in her sweet ride...



    Congrats Barbie and Ken! :) And great job Ellie!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale

    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    Okay, okay... you want more Barbie and Ken engagement portraits... I don't blame you! Ellie did such a good job of posing her Barbie and Ken, and I'm super proud of her for shooting these! It was neat to be able to combine my passion with hers as a great way to spend lots of fun time together!

    Be sure to leave Ellie comments!





















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    The voting is over, the awards have been dealt... here are the 2013 Benny Award winners for Best Wedding Portrait, Best Engagement Portraits, Best Bridal Portraits, and Best Kiss...

    Best Wedding Portait, 1st place:



    Best Wedding Portrait, 2nd place:



    Best Wedding Portrait, 3rd place:



    Best Bridal Portrait, 1st place:



    Best Bridal Portrait, 2nd place:



    Best Bridal Portrait, 3rd place:



    Best Engagement Portrait, 1st place:



    Best Engagement Portrait, 2nd place:



    Best Engagement Portrait, 3rd place:



    Best Kiss:



    Thanks to all who voted... this year there were more than 9000 votes!! Amazing!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    We're back for another Shoot Your Kids Workshop for Moms with Cameras, and beginning photographers. This one day workshop, which includes yummy lunch, is perfect for beginning photographers who want to learn to use their cameras and want to learn (via my fun and easy teaching style) Dale's favorite tips for improving your photography, regardless of which camera you have!
    The workshop will take place on Saturday, February 9th, 2013, in Fayetteville. We will start at 10am and will be finished by 3pm. We only do these one or two times per year, and they always sell out within a few days, so make sure to sign up fast!


    The price for the workshop is $150. However, I have set up a promo code for $50 OFF if you reserve your spot by Jan 28th (expires at midnight). The code is: ACTFAST50

    Sign up here: shootyourkidsworkshop.com!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding



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    Hey everybody!

    I know most parents show off their kiddo's nursery before they have the baby, but some wrenches got thrown into that plan! I'm happy to share a beautiful nursery nevertheless... special thanks to Kirsten Blowers (our BFF and owner of Riffraff in Fayetteville). She totally did it all - planning, designing, and executing - and it looks so great! I couldn't be happier! Oh, and more props to Chelsey (Benfield Photography AND Riffraff employee) for painting the Shine Bright on the wall!

    Shine Bright - our superthought for this Sunday - I've already discussed how we should shine in this post, but it warrants revisiting. We have the power every time we interact with another person to make that interaction a positive one or a negative one. I want to be the person (and I want Cece to be the person) who shines brightly so as to pick others up. There is another quote about how no darkness can escape the light of a single candle, and it's my wish: that Cece will be that light to her friends, family, and anyone else she interacts with throughout her life.















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale

    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    We seem to be ALL OVER this month's Citiscapes magazine!  We had THREE weddings featured - yeah... that's a lot! And we also had the lead-in full page shot for the wedding section, and a bunch of little images throughout!  We're so happy that they loved our photos and published them! Woop woop!!






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


    Talk to you soon,
    Dale Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!
    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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  • 01/29/13--19:46: SYK Workshop - Sold Out!
  • Hey everybody!



    Yay! Another quick sell-out for the Shoot Your Kids Workshop on February 9th. If you missed out, there might be another one in the summer - if not, it'll be in January.

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale

    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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    Hey everybody!

    We have a classic and pretty engagement session today! Sarah contacted me right after she got engaged (and I'm so glad she did!!) because we've shot nearly 20 of Sarah's friends' weddings! Obviously, we LOVE it when our happy clients tell their friends about us! Anyway... I digress... We photographed her engagements all around Fayetteville, and she and Rob were the sweetest. You can tell just by looking at them!
















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


    Thanks for stopping by! I've updated the blog every single day since 2008 (over 4 years), so be sure to come back tomorrow! Here are some fun and helpful links!

    Contact Dale Vista West Ranch Wedding in Austin TX Couture bridals and exquisite wedding details Outdoor wedding, featured in Southern Bride Magazine
    Hollywood themed wedding by Lauren Adorable engagement video buy photo tips ebook for photographers marlsgate wedding

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