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Arkansas wedding photographer // destination wedding and portrait photographer
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    Hey everybody!

    What do you think of when you imaging a wedding reception in an airplane hangar? Among other things, I imagined a bridal gown that was going to look black by then end of the night. But that was not the case with Meredith and Hunter's Stuttgart wedding. Shawna Young and her team at Young Designs transformed the outdoor air location in a dreamy wonderland fit for a bride as beautiful as Meredith. This mega post is going to take you through the story of her Stuttgart wedding, as well as show you some beautiful outdoor portraits we were able to shoot (thanks to Arkansas' unusually warm December), and also the immaculate wedding details. Enjoy!





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Abby and Austin could be some of the only people to improve the perfect scenery offered by Crystal Bridges Museum and fall in the Ozarks. Shooting the young, smitten couple proved to me that Christmas tree farms, and the Christmas season in general, serve as one of the great backdrops for a love that could only be described as picture-perfect.
















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I can not be MORE obsessed with this lifestyle session I did with Benny power couple Sloane and Zach Hocker!  OBSESSED!  This is my new favorite type of shoot to do when the weather is oh so cold outside.  Email me if you wanna book an in home session to TREAT YO SELF! dale@benfieldphotography.com . Now, enjoy the rest from this session!













    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I'm super super thankful that I've been able to team up with Impressions Online Boutique this year to create some killer images and shoot at some really fun locations.  Recently we teamed up to photograph the Impressions Christmas fashion collection. I'm really obsessed with how these turned out so I just had to share!  Enjoy!



















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Christmas is almost upon us (yessss!!!), and I, for one, am so excited. I mean, is there anything in this world better than Christmas?! I'm a very sensory-driven person, so when Emily told me she wanted to do a shoot of her making potpourri with her husband, John, I was all in! You can check out her potpourri recipe on her blog (it's super simple, and smells insane!). Check out her blog here, and check out my favorite pics down below :)






















    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I was going to start this blog post about Kathleen's wedding at the Graystone Quarry with a terrible pun: this wedding rocked. Haha, I decided against it... ... ... but did I?

    It really was an incredible day.  My brother and I arrived at noon and were so sweetly welcomed by the owner and staff as we made our way into the room you see below...





    Then I made my way over to Kathleen while my brother went to hang with the guys.  Y'all look how gorgeous this bride is.
    And this laughing picture makes me SO happy. 
    The guys were hilarious, and may or may not have tried to hop in the boat to paddle around before the wedding (don't worry, they were talked out of their shenanigans)
    Wow. This dress... this bride...

    ... and these shoes...
    Completely obsessed.



    I am obsessed with the setting here.  Though we were right outside of Nashville, Graystone Quarry looks like something you'd find in the Pacific Northwest.


    This one is maybe my favorite.  WOW.

    Oh wait... maybe this one. I actually got in trouble for this because we were too close to the edge. I honestly didn't know I wasn't supposed to be here, and though it got this sick shot, I hope I get invited back to Graystone Quarry if I solemnly swear to be good. ;)


    I love shooting with my brother because while we have similar styles, we shoot at different angles.  Here's his shot of the first kiss as husband and wife...
    And here's mine...
    hehehehehe...
    After the ceremony, the staff and Graystone Quarry drove us around the property in a golf cart and allowed us to shoot in some really amazing locations.




    Pretty obsessed with this one too. Not my normally pose, but I really wanted to show their love and the back of the dress :)
    I made a cool collage at the top of this post, but here are a few more details from the reception...



    And sweet moments...


    Another reason having two photographers is a great idea...




    James Franco look alike?  That shirt is 100.




    Congratulations JD and Kathleen! We are so honored to have spent your day with you!


    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hi Daddy's followers!

    One of my favorite Christmas sayings has always been: Jesus is the reason for the season.

    It's sweet, it rhymes, and there is so much meaning behind it. December, to me, is the time for celebrating Jesus' birthday, hanging out with family and appreciating all of the things we take for granted everyday (AND Star Wars marathons ;)). So, I would like to take a minute and talk about a few of the things I am thankful for.

    1) My mama and daddy. I am so blessed to have y'all as parents because you care about me and support me no matter what! Thanks for being my built in, lifelong best friends and exposing me to the BEST music.

    2) My beautiful (inside and out), silly little sister, Cece. Thank you for being my fave little princess and teaching me to love without words.

    3) And best of all... Jesus. You are my savior, who loves me unconditionally and I thank you for that more than anything ever.


       



    Cece, you are the absolute sweetest.





    I love this bracelet from my dad with the autism puzzle piece charm.





    "Give thanks with a grateful heart"
    1 Thessalonians 5:18


    Merry Christmas,
    Ellie


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    Hey everybody!

    Emily is absolutely KILLING it with her family for this year's edition of Christmas cards. What a beautiful family in a beautiful city. Christmas is so close! May your holidays be merry and bright, just like these pictures!






    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Celebrating a new life in New York-there aren't words to express. This couple was so awesome to shoot, and can you really beat Central Park? They're great, these pictures are great, and y'all are great. Take a look!










    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    There is NOTHING more picturesque than a rooftop session-the lights, the skyline in the background-it's just perfect. Elle Harper is so fantastic, and I can't wait to go back to New York City! Here's some of my favorite shots:









    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I love hosting the Benny Awards so much!  This is my 10th year to celebrate my wedding couples by nominating my favorites in different categories and letting y'all vote on them - the winners receive real prizes, so you're doing some real good!  Here are the nominees for one of the biggest categories: Best Wedding Portrait...

    Go vote now!  www.benfieldphoto.com/bennyawards





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I couldn't be more thankful for the Brown Family, or more in love with their sweet kiddos. I've photographed them multiple times a year for every year of their lives, and our last session was in one of the best locations I've ever shot family portraits: the Christmas Tree Farm in Pea Ridge. These tree farm portraits are cool because it has such a specific aesthetic that we haven't explored before.

    We arrived at the tree farm and just walked for a bit while I looked for the best light. Then we pretty much just played around for a bit (hopefully that wore out the kids so they went to bed exhausted that night - a little gift for mom and dad, haha!). I love being a child at heart because it helps me connect with children during our photo sessions. Have a look at a few faves!





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Shooting fashion photography has it's challenges.  Balancing a quick turnaround with great quality is a tight-rope walk.  However, over the past few years, this has been the fastest growing area of my business, thanks to shooting some really rad bloggers and for my relationship with Shop Impressions Online Boutique.  A couple months ago we all hopped on a plane to LAX (with my dream and a cardigan) to shoot the new line Impression was excited to launch. 

    We spent a couple days in the desert - but it's not what you think.  Palm Springs is the prettiest dessert in the world, filled with incredible houses, pops of color everywhere, great restaurants, and about a million places to photograph models (no wonder Coachella is here!). We photographed from dusk until dawn with four models who all brought their A-game to the multi-day session. This is probably one of my longest posts of all time, but worth the scroll... I promise you.





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    When one of your high school best friends gets married, you're thankful to be invited.  To be asked to be the one to photograph it so 1) all the world can see and 2) you can let them have a lifetime of memories captured... you're straight up honored. That's exactly how I felt photographing Tabrina and Andy's wedding at Southwind Hills near Oklahoma City.  The venue was stunning and the staff were legit professionals, which allowed the wedding day to run smoothly and efficiently.

























    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Northwest Arkansas is killing it with all this fashion! Recently I got to sit down with my friend Helen Strickland over brunch and catch up after our fitness fashion shoot. Okay, so only part of it was fitness fashion... the rest was more like blogger style. That's not important... what IS important is what we chatted about over mimosas at Pressroom in Bentonville. Helen has been booking speaking engagements across the country sharing her story (you should follow her on insta for deets). This particular weekend she had an engagement with a local sorority house and went over her points with me... I loved hearing how her story has shaped who she is and what her message has become for young women everywhere. Okay... have a peek at our shoot :)





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    One of my very favorite new wedding venues in NWA over the past couple years has been the GORGEOUS Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville. The staff there is wonderful, the chandeliers are breathtaking, and I love the updates they've made to the outdoor area. I was so happy when Bethany and Chase said they were going to get married here... having everything centrally located like this is super convenient and put me at the most ease while I photographed each of them getting ready and all their gorgeous wedding details.

    Have a look at their wedding images, which happened on the most beautiful spring day (you never know what the weather will be this time of year... AMIRIGHT?)







    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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  • 04/18/18--13:37: Newborn Portraits for Cruz


  • Hey everybody!

    Brooke and Ryan are already the coolest parents on the block.  That came as no surprise to me... they're easily two of my coolest friends!  Cruz was born just over a month ago and I recently got to go see his room and meet the little dude... and man is he handsome!  I brought my camera and shot some portraits of him, and with the family.  Here are some of my favorites from the session.  Congrats, fam! XO


    I wanted to get one of his crib bc c'mon... how cute!


    Hey pretty eyes...


    Love this family so much...


    ... because of this photo. Haha Ryan you're the best.




    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I have been SO excited to share this wedding with you! In all my years of shooting weddings... I've never seen such a before and after transformation than I witnessed as I pulled up to the family farm shop in McGehee, Arkansas.  Shawna and her team at Young Designs took a blank canvas and transformed it into the masterpiece you'll see below.

    Thomas and Anna's wedding day was beautiful and lovely, despite the rain.  Rain on a wedding day is supposed to be good luck, I hear, and while I don't really believe in "luck" I do know that 1) rain didn't hold us back from taking exceptional photos and having a fun and amazing time, but also, 2) marriages are more important that weddings.

    My heart broke a little as I watched tears fall from Anna's eyes as I arrived for her getting-ready photos. While I know it seemed like the end of the world to her in that moment, I knew that through the care and diligence with which Shawna would execute a backup plan (which, tbh, is just as dreamy as so many Plan-A's I've photographed) that Anna had nothing to be sad about. Additionally (if you follow me on insta you might already know this), it motivated me to create something super extra with her wedding portraits (see the bridge pic below).  The way everyone joined forces to a killer wedding for Anna and Thomas couldn't be more inspiring.

    Ok... enough with all the words. Let's look at pretty pictures, shall we?


    Anna's mom, Amanda, is the coolest and sweetest MOB... I love that I was able to capture these moments of her helping her daughter get dressed for the wedding ceremony.


    I never "push" for first looks, but man oh man... the potential energy in this image is everything.


    Oooookaaaayyy cute and sassy bridesmaids...



    This is the series of images I created on the bridge when the rain stopped.  Crazy thing is, I've always wanted to shoot with these trees and finally got the perfect chance to use them for wedding couple portraits.


    The reception space - farm shop turned into glam wedding reception - was too pretty to not also use for portraits.


    So, I made a collage (for those Pinterest users out there, PIN THIS!), but also included the individual shots in case you wanna see details...




    I just love the way she's looking at him.  Hahaha... goals.


    So, I lit the reception and party pics differently from what I typically do at a wedding and I'm obsessed with how natural it looks.  I didn't overpower skintones and got to preserve the lighting and ambiance of the reception.  Do you agree?


    So I have to end with this... because it's just TOOO good. 



    Can I just share one more thing?  I got this text from the lovely MOB today:

    Dale, let me say... I have never seen a photographer with more talent! The insta story was AMAZING!!! 

    You have an amazing gift and I’m so glad we were fortunate enough to get to have you as our photographer! We love and appreciate all we see!!! YOU my man are amazing beyond belief!! We just love you and plan on you being in our lives forever, and capturing important moments in our world as well! 


    Real tears.

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Rarely do I photograph a couple that is equal parts adorable and sexy. They're either oozing with cuteness, or a total smokeshow.  Delaney and Alex fit this bill literally 50/50. They made the trek up and over from Jonesboro for our engagement portraits in Fayetteville, and we made the most of what spring had to offer.  Take a peek!





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I have a freaking GORGEOUS bridal portrait session for you today! Abby wanted something a little VOGUE-inspired for bridal pictures, and she absolutely slayyyed this session. Have a peek at a few of my favorite bridal portraits...





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    I've photographed weddings far and wide, from California to NYC to Italy, but don't think you need to go to one of those places to have a jawdropping wedding.  Bentonville, and Northwest Arkansas, has a number of incredible wedding venues ranging from rustic to classic to elegant. 

    One of my favorite current elegant venues is the Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville. The location is really dreamy and is conveniently located and situated... I can't say enough properly nice things about it. 

    Abby and Austin chose this venue to share their vows and dance the night away. A touching (and hilarious) ceremony gave way to a fun party--the guests never left the dance floor, thanks to Brock Entertainment.

    One of my favorite moments from the wedding day (there are a TON) was when abby sprayed the bridesmaid bags (there's probably a fancier word for this) with her perfume for an "smell memory." How cute and clever!  I love olfactory memories, and the idea to plant one on the wedding day is a genius touch.

    Alright... let's dive in to some images!



    writing the note to her groom got Abby a tad emotional, which of course I think is so precious and perfect.



    Because her girlfriends are so close with her, Abby wanted a lot of time spent with them on the wedding day. It was my honor (and frankly, my pleasure) to document all that.  Even though  Especially since I got to be showered in champagne.




    A first look with the bridesmaids... obsessed.


    then it was the boy's turn.  Austin was so sweet with her as he turned to see his bride for the first time in her dress. This is maybe my favorite shot of the day because of the emotion involved.


    one final first look... bring in the pup, who also helped Austin propose.


    For their second portrait session of the day, we brought in some of that gorgeous Benny Backlight.  My favorite way to light my wedding couples when the light is just right (thank ya Jesus!)


    Then we had a party.  A non-stop dance fest.


    So happy I remembered to grab a selfie with the happy couple.  Mostly because I was feeling cute. hahaha just kidding (sorta).




    Congratulations, you love birds!  I adore you both and I'm so excited for your marriage.

    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    It pains me, and yet gives me the most pride, to say that Saturday was Ellie's 14th birthday.  And what better way to celebrate her than by shooting birthday pictures!  She picked out some outfits and we've chosen a couple new locations in Bentonville for portraits. Yesterday we also photographed at Uptown in Fayetteville and also shot at Onyx in Bentonville.  This young lady... I tell you what... is something remarkable. I can go on and on about how amazing she is and what she means to me (if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this, because I did this on Saturday). The bottom line is this: she is mature and lovely and everything I wish I could be at her age.  Here are her favorites, which SHE edited and uploaded to this blog. :)













    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Let me just say that when I typically encounter a Friday wedding that starts earlier in the day... it doesn't typically end the way this did. The Ravington is a gorgeous wedding venue in Bentonville (ok, so technically it's in Centerton, let me be clear). I remember taking the hardhat tour of this wedding venue about 9 months before it opened and was already so impressed with the space.  Since then, I've photographed weddings at the Ravington (and some fashion stuff too) and they absolutely made their dream wedding venue come to life!

    You'll see in the detail collage below that the bridal suite is one of the most beautifully lit bridal suites I've ever photographed (see the image of the dress hanging), and the aesthetic throughout the rest of the wedding venue, with its gorgeous chandeliers and, shiplap, exposed brick, and wood floors make this an Arkansas wedding dream.



    Paige had the sweetest brides maids who prayed over her during the day and danced around her during the evening.


    I love this moment during the wedding ceremony...




    My favorite moment of the day: Kolby showing off his bride


    Then we stepped outside for a few portraits - aren't they such a pretty couple?







    and a fun couple, hahaha!





    They stayed on the dance floor the entire night! 

    Okay... this is what I meant by a Friday evening wedding getting LIT.

    The best... and look to the right at the kid getting his eyes covered, hahaha!

    What a fun wedding reception!






    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Before we hopped on a flight, I did a lot of research about where to shoot engagement pictures in Alaska.  With the help of the bride, and a dear friend of mine (hey Sidra!), we narrowed down a few options for the engagement portraits: Beluga Point, Hatcher Pass, and a couple others. After a fun hike the day before, we decided that Beluga Point was the perfect backdrop for engagement portrait heaven.

    Though... not that easy to traverse; our shoes were covered in mud (the kind you pay a lot of money for during a spa day). While I didn't mind the messiness, we had to be careful to not get Sidra's clothes messy (because, duh... photo shoot).

    Our efforts were not in vain.  The pictures are one of my all-time favorite engagement sessions (and I've shot half a thousand of them), and the couple is one of the most nearest and dearest to my heart. I definitely had extra motivation to knock it out of the park for them.  I think I did, but you be the judge!





    Talk to you soon,
    Dale


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    Hey everybody!

    Did you ever know something 100% in your heart, but you almost screw it up?  So goes the story of my proposal to Tyler.

    First off, there was some work that went into this before we ever hopped on the plane... not only in designing the ring, but also discussing my plan with Tyler's family and with my Ellie.

    Designing the ring was a fun process. I knew a little bit about what Tyler wanted (ethically sourced diamond, something vintage-inspired), so I worked with Brilliant Earth and loved my experience.  While the original estimate was 2 months, I was able to sweet talk and streamline the process. The update on my ring was that it would be ready the Friday before we were heading to Alaska - the plan was working perfectly!  Except wait... how would I get the ring? I did some more sweet talking and had them ship it straight to my friend in Alaska.

    One of my favorite parts of the entire process was talking with Ellie about it.  Since Tyler and I are rarely apart, it was difficult finding a time to share everything with Ellie without Tyler knowing.  But alas... Ellie's busy schedule and mine finally aligned (albeit via facetime), and I was able to sit down with Ellie and let her in on my plan.

    We both laughed and talked about life and how things work out and she shared her heart with me about Tyler and how happy she was for me (bless that girl) and while I won't write everything we discussed,  I did take this sweet screenshot of me sharing the news.  How precious, right?


    Ok on to the actual trip... with excited hearts, we made it to Alaska! I've been to Alaska once before to photograph a wedding, but I was traveling solo and didn't get to enjoy it with someone I cared about seeing cool stuff with, and Alaska is the ultimate cool stuff.

    I asked Tyler if she would do an Alaska photo shoot with me because my phone is filled with selfies and pictures of her, but none that aren't selfies of the two of us. When she agreed (because duh) I knew I had a cool way for it to be captured on camera. Check.

    I spent the two days before the proposal hiking and roaming Alaska with Tyler, and while she thought we were sightseeing, I knew it was because I wanted the perfect backdrop for the knee drop. Lighting was important bc the ring was supposed to arrive around noon so I needed later evening for pretty light, but shooting in Alaska is tricky because of the mountain placement.  However, our hiking efforts were not in vain because I found the perfect spot in the perfect light near the Alyeska resort (more on that later).

    So here's where the story takes a turn.  I didn't expect to be a ball of nerves.  On Monday, the day before the proposal, we were exploring downtown Anchorage and I was a bit of a wreck in my head.  All of a sudden we were sitting there having a drink, and it was like I wasn't even in my own body but watching from above... I started a ridiculous argument with Tyler.  And then when we made up, I brought it back up.  Sometimes I can be a complete idiot.  Thankfully, Tyler loves me anyway. See?

    Tuesday was proposal day. Right at noon, my friend sent me a text about pictures, which was code for "the ring has arrived and looks beautiful" so it was GO TIME. I tried to move the proposal up to 12:01 to get it out of my mouth, but Tyler (nor I) was picture ready.  We played around town during the afternoon and then checked in to our new hotel (the Alyeska Hotel, which was near the proposal site. It's a wonderful hotel with mountain-top restaurant) to get ready for our photoshoot.

    Our friends who were shooting our pictures met us at our hotel, and Sean and I had to use the restroom at the same time; our little cover-up for passing the ring over to me. I had purchased a box from TheMrsBox which I had already hidden in my pants pocket - hoping it wouldn't cause a ridiculous bulge.  Off we go to the site I had chosen.

    The light was beautiful. Warm, near-sunsetty light hit us perfectly. I gave Sidra my camera, which I had set for exposure and let her do her thing.  I kept running back and forth from Tyler to Sidra, working up the nerve to do the thing (but pretending to check images on the back of the camera).  Then I did the thing.  I said a few things I'd been wanting to say to Tyler, and she still had no clue. I mean, c'mon... it must be because I'm always so sweet, haha! After I said what I had wanted to say to her, I dropped to a knee and she was so surprised!  It felt wonderful to give her a surprise because 1) she loves surprises and 2) she's kind of awesome at figuring things out before they happen (which, I think, makes her a very good lawyer). Success!




    then of course we high-fived (and kissed) because we're completely awesome.










    After our photoshoot/proposal ended, I took her up to the mountain-top restaurant. I had made reservations for us and talked to the chef previously so that we could order a vegan meal (there were zero vegan options on the standard dinner menu, but I REALLY wanted to eat at that location, with that view).  The chef didn't disappoint, nor did the view.


     Our view going up the mountain to dinner (above); my sweet fiancee with her ring (below).




    The rest of trip, I felt like I was flying. The coolest, funniest, sexiest, most lovely and talented woman I know has said YES to marrying me.  What is life?  I couldn't be more blessed, more thankful, more undeserving, or more excited to marry Tyler.



    P.S. If you want to read Tyler's account of the proposal, head to her blog.


    Talk to you soon,
    Dale