Guest Blogger: Dale Benfield

Hey everybody!

I’m a professional plate spinner living in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

You know, the people who have all these plates spinning on poles, running around like a crazy person keeping everything afloat, praying that it all doesn’t come crashing down. Yep, that’s me… as a metaphor.  I started Benfield Photography, a boutique wedding and portrait photography company, more than 10 years ago, and now we’ve grown it to a great little company that I’m completely crazy about.  Most of you are professional photographers who own your own studio, so you know exactly what I mean by plate spinning.  You handle shooting, processing, marketing, professional development, social media, print fulfillment, album design, and all the other daily tasks it takes to have a successful studio.

Instead of giving you a boring bio, I thought I’d just tell you that I’m here to help you in your business.  I don’t know everything, but I do know plenty, and I’m an open book.  I taught for many years at the collegiate level and really loved it, but it was one too many plates.  So, I thought I’d be a regular contributor to the MpixPro blog to satisfy my hunger for teaching, and maybe make some photographer friends in the process.  If you have comments or questions about anything, leave them below and I’ll do my best to make this a two-way conversation.

Lastly, I thought I’d leave you with a few images of mine because blog posts are way cooler when they have images.

Hoping to help you keep your plates from crashing,
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18 Responses to “Guest Blogger: Dale Benfield”

  1. Lanne says:

    Dale – Congrats on your first post. Briliant, witty and charming as always. I love the energy that bounces off the screen from you. I have RSS feed’ed’d (how does one say that?) and will keep an eye out for more posts! Look forward to many two way conversations and more gorgeous images… the top one and the ‘fish tank’ picture are divine..

  2. Sara Beth says:

    Hi Dale!! I’m glad you’re going to be sharing on here. I love your work! I look forward to learning more! 🙂

  3. Thanks Lanne! The “fish tank” picture was actually taken underwater at a trash the dress shoot in a freshwater cave in Mexico! I was scared taking my camera and lens underwater, but the housing I got for my camera was great. Thanks again for you super sweet words!

  4. Hey Sara Beth! Thank you! I just checked out your blog and it’s so fun! Did you know Blogger now does pages, so you can do your price sheet and “meet Sara” as pages at the top of your blog (just like wordpress blogs) – here’s a link about it:
    Have a great day!

  5. Fran Johnson says:

    Hi Dale!

    Greetings from Joplin, Missouri! I was wondering if you could tell me what questions to ask the young couple before my first engagement session with them? Their wedding is in June of 2010.


  6. Fran Johnson says:

    P.S. Dale,

    I love your work too! I’m honored to be on your list to receive updates/photos from you. I look forward to clicking on that “dot” to check out the latest. You inspire me and I appreciate you telling us about Mpixpro…I love it!


  7. Hey Fran! Good to hear from you – it’s been awhile!
    That’s a great question! I definitely could do an entire blog post about it in the future but for now, here’s the nuts and bolts of what I do:
    1) Get them talking about them!! This is the most important step. The more they find themselves talking the more they will like you and the more they will loosen up.
    2) Don’t be salesy, but be confident. Show what you like to sell.
    3) Don’t be fake. People spot it a mile away. I’m my flamboyant self when I meet with a couple, and they either love me or hate me. If they hate me, so be it. If they love me, I like my chances of booking that job.
    4) Specific questions we ask: how did you meet? how did he propose? how did they hear about us (normally this one is asked through email or our first phone conversation
    5) Ask them all about their wedding, and offer advice if there is something you can help with. When they know you care, they will love you right back.

    Okay, so that’s pretty much a blog post right there. Maybe I’ll copy and paste here in a couple months… ha ha! But seriously. 😉

  8. Cherron says:

    Aww, Dale, you are all over the place!

  9. Tara Gibson says:

    Dale you are famous : ) Great post and gorgeous images

  10. Fran Johnson says:

    Thank you, Dale, for such quick response!! I’m excited! These are great tips! This info came just in time because I’m meeting with the couple to discuss engagement pictures this Sunday, so again, thanks so much for your quick reponse!


  11. Jenn Lewis says:

    Amazing work! Where do you get your actions? Love the processing on that first pic… fantastic. Also, do you have particular photographers who inspire you?

    Thanks for sharing your talent!


  12. Hey Jenn,
    I love Totally Rad Actions – and we make our own.
    There are plenty of photogs who inspire me. That’d be a great post for me to do one day! Off the top of my head, I love Jose Villa (who is also one of the nicest people I know), Bobbi and Mike build a great relationship with their clients (we try to do the same) and are so personable, and Elizabeth Messina, to name just a few. Oh, also Ben Chrisman. Okay, done now. 😉

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