Luminary Love

Jun 16, 2018
Engagements
Oh man. Last night we photographed Gillian & Carmelo's engagement shoot at Longwood Gardens expecting a spectacular ending at the nighttime Fountain Gardens performance - which was spectacular. It also happened to be Luminary Night and I'm crazy for this image! 
 
Gillian & Carmelo you two are rock stars - such fun! 
 
Douglas

Styled Shoot II: Luxe Chateau & Abandoned Trains

Feb 7, 2018
Weddings
These styled shoots are addictive. 
 
We had such success with the last one we wanted to push a bit further: Involve a groom, a venue, a craaaazy cool abandoned train. 
 
Our intent was the same: What can be done outside the confines of a wedding day that we can learn from and then, ultimately, fold into a real wedding day shoot? What happens when you have complete control? Why can't you put a bride on top of the table? 
 
This shoot was a huge success and I hope you see its influence in the real weddings I post here later this year. I learned a lot. 
 
Behind the scenes we had a great deal of help. Thanks first and foremost to the amazing and gifted wedding floral design and location stylist Sarah Petryk of Allium Floral Design who can walk into any space and create genius. Thanks as well to our host venue Hotel du Village, a luxurious French chateau near New Hope, Pennsylvania. Much thanks and gratitude for the talents of models Tyree Scott and Cheyanne Wood. 
 
Hair/Make Up: Alisha Nicole 
Dress: BHLDN 
Suit: C.E. Roth Formal Wear 
Jewelry: chloe & isabel 
Chocolates:Dolce Patisserie

Philly Blog Love!

Jan 9, 2018
News
I am STOKED to have the premiere Philadelphia wedding blog Philly In Love feature my recent styled photo shoot Spellbound!!! 
 
Check it: Philly In Love!!!!!! 
 
Thanks again to wedding and event planner extraordinaire Marian Braccia of Porch & Pearls and Dayna Venneri DeFazio who brought her mad skills to hair and makeup.  
 
And of course thanks to Philly In Love for the love! You should check out their wonderful blog! 
 
Douglas

Right Now

Jan 4, 2018
Weddings
I'm crazy for this photo of Lauren and Phil at Brookside Country Club. I love the deep browns of early winter with the final hint of fall in the tress. 
 
Lauren and Phil were wonderful and I appreciate the time they gave me to explore and look deeply - they gave me the chance to find images that would have otherwise gone unseen. 
 
Douglas 

Spellbound: The Fine Art of a Styled Shoot

Dec 18, 2017
Weddings
I like to compare a wedding day to a free fall. As a photographer, who's done more than three-hundred weddings, I know I will step off the preverbal cliff the second I enter bride prep. There is nothing for me to hold on to; no one who can stop me; no safety net to catch me. It's intense and that's why I love it! 
 
A styled shoot however, gives me the opportunity to keep my feet on the ground. I can relax, wait for the light and explore different moods and angles. All of this is done collaboratively with knowing and trusted colleagues. I rely on them to contribute in a way that makes us all better; And they do.  
 
They know the kind of dress that will express the mood; They discuss locations and make educated and refined choices; Each move made-each pose, the way the dress lays, the color palette, and on and on-is a conscious team effort.  
 
During this styled shoot I had the help of Wedding Coordinator Marian Braccia. She is the owner of Philadelphia based Porch & Pearls. Marian combed through wedding gown shops, vintage markets, and even a closet of a great aunt, to curate dresses and accessories. 
 
She brought in Hair and Make-Up artist Dayna Venneri DeFazio. Using more than ten years of expertise, Dayna created skin that was dewey and reflective. The hairstyle was swept high to keep the focus on the neckline of the gown and the bold flower crown.  
 
The model was the stunning Samantha Sjostedt. The goal was to have a woman who could show strength and independence-Samantha did just that. She donned sheer dresses in temperatures dipping into the 20s, wore three inch heals on top of boulders and looked right through the camera-landing the perfect look over and over again. 
 
The month of November matched the dark, velvet-like mood we were trying to create. November is that in-between time of year when the fall color is gone and we are left with luxurious browns-beautiful, gorgeous, intoxicating browns. No other place presents itself more beautifully than the Binky Lee Preserve. 
 
Great thanks to Marian, Dayna and Samantha for their substantial contributions. Styled shoots are a group effort-each of us would be lost in free fall without the other. 
 
 
Photography: Douglas Benedict Photography | Planning: Porch & Pearls | Hair and Make-Up: Dayna Venneri DeFazio | Model: Samantha Sjostedt | Dress: L'amour by Calla Blance | Dress Shop: Sposabella Bridal | Location: Binky Lee Preserve