{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

Monday, March 29, 2010


"A Sister is God's way of proving He doesn't want us to walk alone"
~ unknown

As I watched Allison and Brooklyn play, it reminded me of my four sisters growing up. All of the laughter, the love, the hugs. I just smiled as the girls played and talked, thinking of the days spent in the sun, at the beach and just being together. 
I absolutely love these two little girls. I have had the chance to photograph them a handful of times and each one is more fun than the last. Their session this weekend was a perfect mix of all of my favorite things... a little urban, a little outdoorsy, and a lot of fun. I watched their bright eyes shine as they picked flowers for each other and just loved being together.
Suzy, thank you for inviting me into your lives to play and watch the girls grow. They are so beautiful and if the days that we have spent together are any indication, the girls are going to be best friends forever!! oxox,*Nic

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Change of Plans... Newborn Baby Payton.. 9 days old

I had this vision. Sometimes my mind just runs away with me and I think on grand scales. I  forget that the other parties that I rope into my plans aren't going to go along with them. This plan involved lots and lots of gumballs and this adorable little baby girl and well.... it didn't go as well as all of my mind planning conjured it up to be. Payton was an absolute angel though. She just wanted to eat and sleep... in peace. And even though there were no gumballs in sight and we had a little change of plans... I had too many favorites to pick from. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sneak Peek... Payton Brooke, 9 days old

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Faves... Guilty Pleasures and Cinnamon Girl Designs

It's F-f-f-riday!!! Yeah for another Friday Faves. The sun is shining, my spirits are high and I can't wait for the weekend.
This week is all about guilty pleasures.
Wegman's. We all know about my love affair with this grocery experience, but I could live in the bakery.
We bought cupcakes this week and I am pretty sure that if I had to give up red vines permanently, Wegman's cupcakes would be a dangerous replacement.
Pampered Chef. I love everything from them and even though I own almost the entire catalogue, every time they come out with a new pattern, I am forced to talk myself out of the same item in a new color.
Reality TV. I knowww.. go ahead, shake your head at me. I get it. I have no idea why I love these shows, but I do!! The Bachelor, Real Housewives, America's Next Top Model, Millionaire Matchmaker.. all of them. To be fair I do like other shows too, does Gangland count?? Hi, I'm Nicole and I am a reality tv junkie. {that's my [not so] celebrity rehab moment}
Girls Night. Oh how I love my girls. Always fun, we're way too loud and I am pretty sure we're the only ones that think we're funny!

And this one is not so much a guilty pleasure, but a huge Friday Fave.. Cinnamon Girl Designs. Timi just did a custom blog layout for me and I am in love!! It is perfect for my new logo and branding and she is a-mazing!! She has awesome premade templates too!! I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work and all around fabulousness!
You can check her out here :


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kaylee and Madilyn... Bittersweet day in Occoquan

I met Colleen and her husband Matt a couple of years ago. I was just starting out when we talked about doing a maternity session for them. She was pregnant with Kaylee and Madilyn then and I was so excited for our session. Over time our friendship has grown, her girls have grown and I have been fortunate enough to document a ton of milestones for them along the way.
Colleen is more than a friend, she has been an awesome assistant, confidant and one of those people that make your life better just by them being in it.
Since we are getting ready to move to the West Coast, and they are moving farther down the East Coast, she asked me to do one last session of Kaylee and Madilyn at 18 months, before their move. We headed to Occoquan yesterday to watch the girls explore, play bubbles and be their adorable little selves. They always look beautiful, but can you believe the silk dresses? And those adorable flower headbands?? I was oohhing and aawwing over them at every corner and almost dissolved into tears watching them hold hands to navigate their way. A bittersweet shoot as the levity hit me that it would be the last of the girls for a while.
Colleen, Matt and girls.. you have no idea how much you'll be missed, how much you have touched our lives and how lucky I am to call you friends. oxox,*Nic

Kaylee and Madilyn... A Little Sneak Peek

Monday, March 15, 2010

Botox and Newborn Baby Taylor... 3 weeks old

Some days events come out of the blue and knock the wind right out of you. Like you've been sucker punched in the stomach and the rest of your day is a big blur. Today was one of those days where something came out of left field and I had a "huh" dumbfounded look permanently etched into my brow that may need botox soon. As soon as I saw sweet baby Taylor Ann's face, I knew her little smile would brighten my spirit with just a glance.
I met this 3 week old cutie this weekend and was amazed at not only how beautiful Taylor was, but her older sisters too. Grandma sent adorable big sister shirts that were begging for a little photo shoot. I watched the girls dote on their new baby sister and loved every second. Lucky Baby Taylor to be surrounded by so much love. oxox

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Faves: Playing Tourist, March Madness and Kelly Kozial

It feels like forever since I have done a Friday faves, but I'm back and loving this spring weather. We have lived in the Washington DC area for nearly 4 years now and I never get tired of this city and all of the fun things to do. My mom was recently in town for a week and she had a short list of places that were must sees. I love playing tourist so I was game for whatever she had in mind.
So we hit up the Postal Museum, Union Station, The Smithsonian American History Museum, my favorite
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History that houses the Hope Diamond, The Harry Winston Gallery, the Butterfly habitat and
dinosaurs. Last but not least the Smithsonian National Zoo
The spring like weather was nearly perfect for all of our exploring and I was so excited to see the lingering piles of snow melt away.
I cannot believe that it is almost the middle of March. We have 2 months left in Virginia and I am in a little bit of a panic. How on earth am I going to be able to get everything done in 2 months for a cross country move?? Ohh, but the excitement is building.. San Diego, here we come!! I am also super excited for March Madness!! The NCAA tourney is just days away and I love it. College basketball is by far my favorite sport and I am giddy cheering for my favorite teams. I'll be glued to my tv for the next couple of weeks watching it all unfold.
Oohh I am also in love with Kelly Koziol. Not love.. like love, love.. but love. She is fantastic, fun, smart and fabulous!!I think we are kindred spirits and have way too much fun together!! This week we did girls night dinner and I don't think we ever stopped talking. But its always like that with us. Thanks Kelly! You're my Friday fave.
I have to end with who I'm inspired by. This week is my sweet friend Christin Kolzig . Christin is based in FL, but moving to Washington State this summer. Her style is beautiful, warm and soul searching. Love her!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Random Thoughts...

This week I have been all over the place. I can't focus on any one task to save my life, but I am making progress on a ton. I thought today would be a perfect time for a random thoughts kind of day.
I am addicted to The Millionaire Matchmaker. Sometimes it's a train wreck, but I can't look away.
My DVR is one of my favorite things in the house, but sometimes I still watch the commercials because I love them.
I miss my best friend. She lives in Japan.
I miss my sisters too. They are all in Cali and I can't wait to spend time with them.
I got to play tourist in Washington DC this past week while my mom was visiting. I love this city.
I lay awake at night and make lists of things I need to do the following day.
I have lists of lists.
I am addicted t0 red vines, but I gave candy up for lent. I am counting the days.
I love to cook, but I love to bake even more.
Roadtripping with the kids is one of my favorite things to do.

I just finished the pictures for the Focus Workshop and I love them.. all!
What's a post without pictures?? How cute are these kids?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Melanie and Jordan's... Abilene,Texas Wedding

I sat in my room with a single light on. It was 6:30am and I was nervous. The butterflies fluttered around with increasing speed and I knew that my day was about to begin. Slowly I rose, doubled and tripled check my camera, back up camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards, phone charge. Time to shower and get dressed. It was go time.
I met Melanie and Jordan sometime last June at a friends graduation party. They were a gorgeous couple that seemed to love life, laugh loud and enjoy every moment together. A few months later, Melanie got in touch with me and asked if I would shoot their engagement session. We met up in Historic Fredericksburg on a freezing cold fall day. We had a blast despite the frigid temperatures and at the end, they delivered the ultimate surprise and asked if I would travel to Abilene, Texas for their destination wedding.
I was welcomed to Texas as part of the family last weekend and their wedding was nothing short of an amazing display of their love for one another, for family and friends. To say that the butterflies went away would be completely lying, but with a lot of praying and an amazing couple, it was an incredible day.
Melanie and Jordan, I know you are having a wonderful time on your cruise. Thank you both for sharing your life with me and asking me to come along to document your gorgeous wedding day! Thank you for sharing your family and your friends. Love you both!! *Nic