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Arkansas wedding photographer // destination wedding and portrait photographer

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    Hey everybody!

    I've been in Vegas this week for Photoshop World tradeshow and expo.  As a professional photographer (or I guest, as any professional), I believe it's super important that we never stop growing, learning, improving, and changing. Through tradeshows like Photoshop World, I'm able to do that in a concentrated (which to me equals effective) way. 

    This show is so much different than WPPI (which I still hope to go to every year because of the relationships I've formed and to force me to keep my finger on the pulse of the photo/wedding industry). But again, different is good... change is good...  I'm finding beautiful little nuggets of wisdom and know-how that are going to make my workflow better in Benfield Photograpy.

    That, in turn, does two amazing things for me: 1) it allows me to spend more time with my family.  SUPER important! and 2) it allows me to make my clients happier.  Also SUPER important.  It's a win-win!  Aren't those the best?!

    So, if you've been emailing me this week, that's why it has taken a little bit longer (1/2 day) for me to respond (instead of a few minutes).  I'll be back home tomorrow and hope to implement some exciting new changes, that you'll probably never see, but the results of which you'll hopefully notice! :)



    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I think I'm partial because I love this family so much, but aren't they all so pretty? :)  We had our great friends over for dinner recently and we took them outside to shoot a few portraits during our favorite light of the day: Benny Backlight! :)  Yay for family portraits!













    We're so happy for this family!! (and Cece was happy to have a couple little play buddies!)

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I was just looking over our web statistics (as I often do) because I'm a total nerd about things like that. I've said this before on the blog... I am humbled and so thankful that this little baby blog of mine has grown into such a great way to connect with y'all! When I started it a bazillion years ago, and even when I decided I was going to blog every single day (aka Dec 31 2008), I swore the only people who read the blog were my family, and me.


    Well, I suppose it's more than that now. I'm really thankful for you. Whether you bookmark us and come back every day, subscribe and get this in your inbox, or even if this is your first time on the blog. I'm touched you're here. And even more, I'm touched that so many people share this blog with their friends and family (especially the newly-engaged family and friends... haha!).

    Seriously, thank you!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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  • 09/07/13--22:30: Cece Turns 8 Months!


  • Hey everybody!

    Sweet little Baby Cece is 8 months old (as of Friday)! She's hilarious. If you've seen us out and about (her favorite store is Target), you'll see that she's never met a stranger! She'll smile and squeal to pretty much anybody as long as she's awake, and is constantly cracking momma and me up. Her favorite new activity is playing guitar. Well, grabbing and plucking the strings as I play for her. She loves watching Yo Gabba Gabba (yeah, still), and she also loves watching Lennon and Maisy play their cup song version of Call Your Girlfriend. She also walks around in her little walker and bumps into all sorts of stuff. Today I caught her reaching into the trash. I don't know why I told you that. ;)

    Anyway, here's a shot I took of her before the first hogs game of the season. What.A.Cutie.




    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    What a sweet couple Jaci and Cody are! I've known Cody since he was a kid... he belongs to a really great family that was instrumental in guiding me at a young age! They sure raised a smart man; I mean, could there be a better fit for him than Jaci? She's sweet, gorgeous, and so fun!













    I'm going to go ahead an ruin the surprise: there will be more from this session on the blog Tuesday!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    More pretty pics today!  Jaci is a big Benfield Photography fan, and a big Benny Backlight fan... I was so happy that the sun played its part to perfection during her engagement session in Joplin. Enjoy!















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Did you know that we create engagement websites for any of our couples who want them? For Free? Yep! We're super nerdy over here at Benfield Photography and love hooking our couples up with fun things like this! Here are a few that we've been working on recently:

    {this first one is for our super smart chem engineer couple... aren't we clever?!}







    If you're recently engaged, hit us up to book your date before it's gone! It's been a crazy couple of months over here and there aren't many left for 2014!!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    A couple like Katie and Joe help remind me why I love shooting weddings. These two were so comfortable with each other in front of the camera and were so clearly in love that it made working with them that much more fun. Katie is ALWAYS all smiles anyway, but Joe did nothing but help create the perfect portrait by getting her to laugh! They were also all about photos and made sure to schedule extra time for portraits... which Jessica and I always appreciate. ;)

    This is one of my favorite shots of the entire day. Laughing is certainly something these two do a lot...


    Katie and Joe made sure to schedule 15 minutes just before sunset so we could get that pretty romantic light...


    It was our first time to shoot at The Round Barn in Springfield, MO but it was a perfect reception place and perfect for photos...


    Jess made sure to snag the perfect head shot.


    And a few more smiles...



    Talk to you soon,
    Lauren


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    Hey everybody!

    I've already mentioned how much Jessica and I love Katie and Joe but... we also loved their wedding. It was full of adorable details created mostly by Katie and Joe. It was also full of some of the sweetest moments.

    Joe called me the night before the wedding and said, "I have an idea." I loved how excited he was for us to be there that he made the extra effort to help us plan. He made sure Jessica knew how to get to the reception so she could sneak out just after the wedding and get photos of all the untouched reception details.


    The Round Barn was an absolutely gorgeous reception venue.




    Here's Katie with her mom before the ceremony... all smiles of course!


    The first meeting was one of the sweetest moments I've had a chance to photograph. I can't speak for Jess but I think she would agree.


    These two had a moment together in prayer during the ceremony just before they nailed a box closed full of keepsakes and reminders of moments they loved during their relationship together. It was a "time capsule" to open when hard times might try to tear them apart. LOVE this idea.




    I was lucky enough to go to high school with a few of these silly girls and even luckier to work with them on a wedding day.




    and now the party pics...











    Talk to you soon,
    Lauren


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    Hey everybody!

    Jess and I couldn't leave you without one more post of Katie and Joe's gorgeous portraits.

    Jess got this gorgeous sunset portrait. Katie and Joe snuck out of the reception for 15 minutes (we love that!).


    This one is another one of my favorites because I think it captures their personalities and the mood of the entire day so perfectly.








    The Round Barn again... it was gorgeous inside and out.



    Thanks Katie and Joe for being so wonderful and for giving us the opportunity to capture your special day!

    Talk to you soon,
    Lauren


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    Hey everybody!

    Sweet family alert! You probably remember Casey and Andrew from their not-awkward engagements, or their fabulous Ft. Smith wedding. Well, fast forward three years and they've welcomed a BEAUTIFUL little girl into the world! yay!














    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I never do mini-sessions, but I thought it would be the perfect way to shoot our Dallas families (and previous Benny couples) in the short time that I'm going to be there.
    I will be shooting full engagements and bridals throughout the week, but Tuesday is up for grabs! I'm going to take the first few who contact me at dale@benfieldphotography.com
    The 30 minute session is $150 - perfect for Christmas card pics, y'all!!





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    UPDATE: Images are SOLD OUT! (thank you!!)






    Hey everybody!

    We sold out of our Texas mini-sessions (I even added one more to a super sweet couple!) and I got quite a few emails saying I should do a Little Rock day, so I am!! Yep, I'm heading to Little Rock for a day of fun!

    The 30 minute session is $150 and is perfect for your Christmas cards! :) Book it using the link below; you'll get to pick your preferred time slot at time of booking! 2:30 (yeah, I know that's not on the picture!), 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30
    http://benfieldphoto.com/lr-mini


    I'll update this post when it sells out, so no need to worry... if the picture above doesn't say "sold out" on it, you're good to go!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    It's not a question I get very often, but every once in a while I'll be doing a shoot and whomever I've been photographing lets curiosity get the better of them.

    "Can I see the back of the camera?"

    I guess it comes from my years of shooting film. Remember that stuff? I shot weddings (and portraits) on film from 1998-2003! Anyway, we weren't able to show images on the back of the camera back then, and I loved the excitement created by my clients seeing a print of themselves from the shoot for the very first time. What I'm getting at is... I rarely show clients the back of the camera! I'd say maybe 1 out of every 100 or 200 shoots (not shots.... PHOTO SHOOTS).

    That being said, I showed my bride one of her shots on the back of the camera Saturday. Why? Because I didn't want her to think that I had photoshopped this image to look like this. This happened with my gear, camera settings, sun positioning, etc. All the stuff that makes me who I am as a photographer (I had to re-write that last line because I sounded super conceited - haha!!!) In a couple days I'm going to be sharing this wedding with you, but I wanted to illustrate my point of why I normally don't show images, but when I do it's for a very specific reason! Anyway, here's the shot! {should I try to trademark Benny rainbow light? haha!}




    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    If it looks like Amy was just laughing through her entire engagement shoot with us, it's because she WAS! Mere and I had SUCH a fun time with this couple! And if Doug wasn't cracking jokes, then I was, and the pictures are so precious because of it! Take a peek!












    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    So I have to show off a few more of Amy and Doug's Fayetteville engagement session. Amy is also a photographer, so her style and clothing choice was pretty much perfection! I love photographing photographers! Have a look at a few more of my faves! Yes... more laughing!! LOVE!












    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Natalie and Mike were married over a year ago, but after a year-long deployment for Mike, the couple wanted to have a big party to celebrate their marriage with family and friends at Natalie's parents' home in Carthage, MO.


    Natalie and Mike met on a road trip... in separate cars!  It's such a fun story... they were passing each other back and forth and at a toll booth, he asked her for her number!  How fun is that? {that's the short story... Mike is pretty good at telling the full version, as I found out when I took them to dinner to discuss their wedding.}





    At dinner with them, Mike told me he didn't like pictures of the couple that chopped off their heads... he's from California, and that's a pretty popular Cali-photog shot.  So, what do I do?  Chop off their heads, of course.  Haha! When I shot this, I was secretly having a little fun, but as it turns out... I love this shot!








    Natalie and Mike still wanted to have a small ceremony with their family and friends, so they recited some really sweet self-written vows.


    And planted a dogwood in the really sweet ceremony...


    OMG... these kiddos!  Adore!


    The couple choreographed a really sweet first dance!





    You know how daddy-daughter moments get me!



    Come back tomorrow for a few more of my favorite portraits!

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!


    I have a few more pretty portraits from Natalie and Mike's outdoor wedding in Carthage! Her parents' land was a dream for portraits. Even in mid-afternoon I was able to find some GORGEOUS light!





    If you follow the blog daily, you've seen this dream shot before!















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!
    Being a photographer, it's so hard to have good shots of yourself... for two reasons: 1) you give all the "good light" slots to your clients, and 2) who's going to take them?

    With our style of shooting, we can't take too many clients per day because our style has a unique look that we've worked on perfecting for years, and you can only get that if situations A, B, C, and D are correct (like I'd tell you! haha!). Anyway, that boils down to a difficult choice: either we have pretty pictures of our clients (who pay the bills), or pretty pictures of ourselves (which does NOT pay the bills).

    Secondly, who's going to take the pics? I can't hold out the camera selfie-style and take pics like I have of my clients, so it definitely won't be my particular style. I could throw the camera on a tripod and use the self timer or even a remote shutter, but it's never easy to plan what is going to happen with a little baby 10 seconds from the time I press the shutter; and a remote just seems so fake! I'd much rather another human look at our moment and judge it as the perfect time to press the shutter (plus the pose below would never work with a remote). So, what's a photographer to do?

    I've shown Jenny Kate (Cece's nanny) a thing or two about how to use our cameras, and yesterday our kiddo shoot ended about 10 minutes early! That means, I still had a few minutes to get back home, do a quick clothing change, and hop out into the backyard for a few pics with my baby girl! I'm very thankful for our staff, and their ability to learn and talent in what they do! If you have a great staff as a photographer, reason two from above is a non-issue!

    All that blabbing leads up to this... one of my very favorite all-time Cece + Daddy pics!




    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I told you recently how Ellie started 3rd grade. In Joplin, third graders can be tested to see if they qualify for the gifted program, and Ellie's teacher recommended her to be tested. After having a meeting with the test administrator, the gifted teacher, and Ellie's counselor, they thought that Ellie should be tested (yay!). So, the first part was an IQ test; the test administrator said she'd need to score 125 or above on it to qualify for the second part of the test, which was a performance based test. Though we haven't received her scores yet, we know that she did well enough on the IQ to take the performance based test, and we found out today that she did well enough on that to be admitted into the program! (double yay!) She probably didn't use terms like "double yay" on her test. Haha!
    I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding IQ tests (especially for kiddos), and also surrounding gifted programs in general; however, I get to be a proud dad knowing that her teacher believed in her enough to take the test, and for my daughter who not only is a good student and hard worker, but a good test taker! I am constantly amazed by my sweet Ellie, especially now that I get to see her as a big sister to Cece. Though positive things are always happening in her life, she never expects them and is always grateful and surprised when they do. She is such a sweet soul and I'm honored to be her dad.



    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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