We are honored to introduce Douglas Benedict of Bethlehem, Pa to you this week. He is a Lehigh Valley wedding photographer with great talent that is backed with great technique and experience; exactly the team member you want on your big day!
How did you get started in this business?
Against my will! I was a photojournalist and had no interest in weddings. A friend-of-a-friend had searched high and low for a wedding photographer she liked. The photography she found was too contrived and traditional. After much coaxing and cajoling she convinced me to photograph her wedding. On that day I changed my attitude 100%. I remember thinking, “This is amazing. This is the thing for me.”
What are some of your favorite aspects of your business?
I love to tell stories with photos. I want my work to be authentic and honest and I want my photography to show beauty, love and joy.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
The first time the couple sees each other on their wedding day is magical. A wedding dress is a very powerful symbol and when the groom sees his fiancé in her dress it’s emotionally overwhelming in the most wonderful way. The face of the bride – just seeing his reaction to her – is priceless. It gives me chills every time.
What song/music is in heavy rotation for you right now?
I recently discovered Sturgill Simpson and he is my jam right now.
What is one of your hobbies?
I am an exercise junkie and exercise every day – including wedding days! I run, I work out and recently discovered Bikram Yoga and I’m crazy for it.
What brought you to the Lehigh Valley?
I moved to the Lehigh Valley after college to work as a photographer for The Morning Call newspaper. I worked there for fifteen years and that’s where I really learned my craft.
What is your best advice for a couple planning their wedding?
Pace yourself, find vendors you love and trust them.
What is your fondest wedding memory-either from your wedding, if you are married, or from a wedding you attended?
I had four brides who were best friends. They only had each other as bridesmaids. I photographed all four weddings so at each wedding one of them was the bride and the other three were bridesmaids!
What is your favorite restaurant to eat at in the Lehigh Valley? Your favorite dish to order?
The Albondigas de Cordero from Tapas on Main in Bethlehem is the finest dish in all the land!!!!
What is your favorite movie and/or book genre?
I love to read and tend to lean toward Contemporary Fiction. I just finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and it was amazing.
What is a common mistake you see couples make while planning a wedding?
Couples forget the wedding is about them. Don’t try to please others. Break rules. This is not a competition. Make the wedding exactly what you want it to be.
Do you have an embarrassing wedding moment? That happened to you/or that you observed?
I once had a groom named “Douglas” and I kept forgetting his name. I am terrible with names. Just terrible. When I shoot there are a million pieces of information processing in my brain and I just drop the ball.
What is your favorite season and why?
Fall! The weather is cool and the colors outside are vibrant.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like spending time with my family and being outside with them. I like any excuse to be outside and moving. A day without a screen is a gift.
What does the perfect day look like to you?
Up super early to exercise before the kids are awake. Help get the kids out the door, hit the office (Americano in hand) and immerse myself in work. Home in time for dinner with the family. If I don’t have a wedding I am in bed with a book and a drink by 9pm. That’s a great day!!!
What do you wish couples knew about your part of the wedding industry?
I wish couples understood that I am there to take care of them. It’s my job. My couples are not trained models and I know how to put them at ease, make them look amazing and have fun!
What is the best way for a couple to prepare to meet with you?
Couples should look at as much photography as possible in order to learn what they like and respond to emotionally. There are many styles of wedding photography and before they walk into a meeting they need to be familiar with the photographer’s work: Does this photographer work in a style that resonates with me?