{modern, stylized and urban couture~ san diego county based destination photographer}

Nicole Benitez

I am a Modern Stylized and Urban Couture Photographer based in San Diego {Southern California} and always available for session and wedding travel. Specializing in Modeling Portfolios, Commercial and Editorial Photography, Weddings, Couples, Kids and Seniors.

I love God, cupcakes, handbags, shoes, my family and wine. We recently moved back to California after my husband retired from the Marine Corps and we are living life in the Southern California sunshine.

Thanks for stopping by, make sure you leave some comment love so I know you were here. oxox

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Faves.. TomTom, Red Vines and Car Karaoke

This morning I embarked on a 330 mile journey to Connecticut. Ummm, I didn't actually look at the directions, I just figured that TomTom would take care of it, and he did. Maybe I should have at least glanced at the route, I would have been well aware of the fact that I would spend half of my afternoon on the New Jersey turnpike and another hour completely white knuckled driving through NYC.
With a little love from a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha-skinny and my favorite red vines, I made my way from Washington DC to Connecticut. The time was a blur as I rocked out to my own version of car karaoke. I can't carry a tune to save my life. No really, I can't, it even hurts my ears. But it's my favorite time to sing at the top of my lungs pretending that I am a rock star and no one gets hurt. My new favorite song is I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum. I heard it about 83968586956 times today, so I had plenty of practice. I'll spare you a YouTube video, but in my car, I was awesome.
This week I am sending a little token of internet Mommy goodness your way- The Meanest Mom. Jana at the Meanest Mom is downright hilarious. A friend of mine sent me the link to her blog well over a year ago and I am addicted. Jana is real, honest and side splitting funny. My life never seemed more normal after reading the hijinks of her clan. Make sure to check out her "Best Of" .. you might fall on the floor from laughing so hard.
A picture of Liberty and mommy from our trip to Great Wolf Lodge last month.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today is the day that everything changes!!

Today is the day that everything changes and we live life on fast forward for a for a few months. I am not sure if I feel like celebrating or crying, but I am incredibly proud. Erik has decided to put in his retirement papers after 20 years of service to the United States Marine Corps.
I have to admit that I didn't really believe him when he first started talking about it. I thought that he was feeling the stress of traveling Sunday through Friday nearly every week for the last 4 years. I didn't imagine what he would say next. "I am ready for the next part of our life. The one that doesn't take me to foreign countries for undisclosed amounts of time, require us to move every 3 to 4 years or make me miss you so much because we're forced to be apart. I want to be there for dinners and teacher conferences and go to all of the kids sporting events."
My heart stopped. He loves being a Marine, but he loves us more and doesn't want to miss out on the life God has given us. So as we navigate through the next few months on fast forward trying to get things settled for the next installment of The Benitez Chronicles, I am proud of My Marine and all that he has accomplished. I am proud of the husband he is, the father he is and the life that God has given us together.
So, I have to admit that I am a little scared [who am I kidding, I'm terrified] of the future, moving and reestablishing in Southern California, I am also excited. I cannot wait to be back on the beach, near our families and enjoying our time together. I cannot wait to see what our future holds and I know that today is the day that everything changes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daxton and Larkyn.. 10 days old || Newborn Twins

We all know how much I love babies. And twin babies are like hitting the lottery. I love them. I love the matching and the coordinating, decorating and especially the naming. I love the anticipation that comes with the waiting. So maybe I don't love the running out of room, out of breath, growing entirely too big to house them part, or the initial sleepless nights.. but this time I didn't have to go through any of that but their mommy is a saint for enduring these first few sleepless weeks.
Meet Daxton and Larkyn. Just 10 days old and full of all of the things I love...matching and coordinating, lots of baby snuggles and sweet sweet faces. Ooh... and their names!! I love them! Boy/ Girl twins with unique and perfect names. Their tiny little features were enough to send me into baby euphoria.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Throwback: The Los Angeles Rams

My 4th birthday was an occasion I will never forget. It was November 20th, and a rainy and unseasonably cold day in Los Angeles. My dad is a huge football fan and bought tickets to his favorite football team, the Los Angeles Rams game that happened to fall on my birthday. I think he felt guilty about leaving me on my special occasion, so he decided to bring me along. Who doesn't want to bring their 4 year old to a game??
I couldn't sleep the night before. I dreamed of watching my first game from the stands and cheering for our beloved blue and yellow. I awoke with a horrible stomach ache, but my dad decided that all I needed was a thermos of chicken noodle soup and my favorite Funny Face pancake breakfast from Ihop and I would be ready for game time. Little did he know that I really was sick!
I was sick in the Ihop bathroom after I devoured my Funny Face, sick at the game almost on cue between quarters, and crawled into bed as soon as we arrived back home. No birthday cake, no presents and no better birthday than the one spent with my dad at my first professional football game.
Although I am a San Diego Charger fan now, the LA Rams of old still hold a special place in my heart.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Faves... Tide, Lolita and Scentsy

Friday Faves are here!! Things that make my life happier just by being fabulous. There is something I love about things that smell good. I am a sucker for food, perfume and laundry supplies. Honestly, I would crawl into a box of Tide with Downy and live there. That may be the reason that I looooovvvveeee Scentsy. It is like heaven in a melty little square. Throw in a stylish burner that begs me to rotate it with my mood and I am a sucker. My winter favorite has been Cinnamint. I cannot even begin to explain how good this one is [its even on in my house now!!] A little bit of cinnamon, a little bit of mint and a whole lot of fresh yumminess.
Ohhh Lolita, how you steal my heart with your funky and fun designs. And.. you make products that house a few of my very favorite things.. wine, martinis, ice cream. You also come with recipes that need to be tested for quality assurance or just crazy curiosity. We were destined to meet and be BFF's!

Last Friday Fave...my friend Mandy Sroka spotlighted me on her blog a few weeks ago and I loved the concept. She throws a shout out to photogs that she is checking out, finds inspiring or has something awesome to share. I liked the simplicity and the thought so much that am stealing it, and spotlighting her for my first Friday Fave Shout out. Mandy is witty, modern and lovely. Her photography matches perfectly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Twinsers Celebrate their 1825th Day Birthday.

5 years ago yesterday Harley Mackenzie and Liberty Cadence made their grand entrance into the world. They were so itty bitty at only 5lbs and 4lbs respectively. I don't remember much of the first few weeks. Sleep deprivation and hunger ruled my days and my nights were full of infomercials and sweet babies that wanted to stay wide awake and snuggle.
Fast forward 1825 days... I cannot believe how quickly they have passed. The twinsers are no longer the cause of my sleep derivation or the reason that I am caught up on the latest and greatest products that the cyber world has to offer, but my sweet babies still love to snuggle.
Happy 5th Birthday my twinsers! I love you!! oxox

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hotel Monaco || Alexandria... The DuPre Family

I love bright colors, the sun, a grassy field, a rose garden. Something about the way that colors relate to each other enlivens my spirit. I think that my mood is almost co-dependent on colors. Silly, I know, but I can't help but think that my brain goes into hibernate on a dreary day, but I am bursting with energy when the sun shines high in a beautiful blue sky.
When Erin and Ryan asked to photograph their gorgeous family and we chatted about locations, I could not contain my happiness when she told me what they had decided. Hotel Monaco Alexandria is among one of my favorite boutique hotels. Located in Historic Alexandria, it is among one of the most beautiful that the area has to offer. The colors are amazing, the atmosphere inviting and the perfect place for an afternoon with some adorable kiddos and their gorgeous parents!
Erin and Ryan.. oh.my.gosh!! You two are incredible and the kids were fantastic!! What a wonderful way to spend the day! oxox, *Nic

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Conruyt Family, Vox Angeli and Surprises

Sometimes the people I meet surprise me in ways that I never imagined. This weekend I had the pleasure of photographing the Conruyt Family. I knew that Marc and Stacey were incredible parents that love their children, each other and God. I couldn't have even guessed the amount of laughter that our afternoon would hold, or the fun I would have getting to know them or the little things that I would discover that make their family incredible.
Where to even begin?? Agathe, the youngest might be the cutest little girl... ever!!! She is just 3 1/2 and that girl can work a camera like no other. Her expressions were hysterical and she was an angel. Margaux is an incredible musician and she loves to cheer. She was a dream as we headed out into the drizzly cold afternoon and just smiled her gorgeous smile. Romain.. what to say about Romain. A bit shy at first, but I learned that he is a bit of a jokester, a fantastic piano player and loves to tease his sisters. Miss Claire is also an incredible musician and singer and is part of the French Group Vox Angeli. She sounds like an angel and her spirit is truly just as sweet. I also met their au pair Clotilde Le Roux, whom is a beautiful addition to their family.
Marc and Stacey, Thank you for sharing your family with me. You are all amazing! oxox, *Nicole

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sierra Turns 1!!! || Fredericksburg Children's Photographer

There is something magical as a baby encounters their complete first year. They are officially entering into toddler hood and all of the growing and fun that is in store.. Its a right of passage that begs for a party, complete with an adorable cake, family and friends. I love parties. Throwing them, going to them, shooting them.. I love it all.
I first met Sierra in October when I photographed her for her 9 month pictures during the Images for a Cure event. You can see them Here and Here . I fell in love with her smile, her giggles and her cute outfits!! So when her beautiful mommy asked me to shoot her birthday party, I couldn't resist!!
Her beautiful blue eyes were enough to melt my heart, but when you add in giggles and hugs and the cutest first birthday dress and cake that I have ever seen... I could barely contain my happiness.
Arilla and Chris, Thank you thank you thank you for asking me to commemorate Sierra's special day!! I had the best time and it was just perfect! oxox, *Nic
Happy 1st Birthday Sierra!!