{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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Receipt Hoarding and Stepping out

Moving does crazy things to people. I am learning a lot about myself and my habits. The number one bad habit I have, I am a receipt hoarded. Yes, I keep receipts for the big things, electronics, furniture, cars, but this week I found receipts from lunches in 2005. Really, 2oo5? A $16 lunch receipt, I also found other treasures that included a $6 scarf from one of my favorite antique shops, the school book fair, and my oil changes... from the last seven years. My receipt obsession is really becoming a problem.
Moving also brings up feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Starting over is scary and today was one of those days. We only have 12 days left until all of our possessions are packed into a moving truck and hauled to the west coast. 14 days until Erik retires from our Marine Corps life and 17 days until we are officially on the road... headed home. The kids will make new friends, and are ready to be somewhere permanent, but to be brutally honest, I am scared to death. I am that girl that tells lame jokes that only little kids laugh at {if you are a client, you know that I am not kidding}, I prefer to be in the corner of the room rather than in the center, and am always ready to listen, rarely ready to share.
I had to step back and take a few deep breaths. Our time is moving forward, and although I still want to tell lame jokes and hang out in the corner, I am going to force myself to step out. Step out and have faith. God is guiding and I have to trust that He already knows where we will be and what our path is. I also have to force myself to be raw and vulnerable and unafraid. Still ready to listen, but also ready to share.
Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I'll leave you with these... I was dying to share these from my recent senior session, but promised to wait until after prom. I loooovvvvveee them!! She is so beautiful.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kelsey... Sneak Peek

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Emma... Carlsbad || Southern California Baby Photographer

As our move to Southern California is sneaking up on us {correction: it is not sneaking, it is running!!} I am finishing up my last sessions in Virginia until October, and I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by. Today, I met up with eight month old baby Emma who is a living doll.  I know I have said it before, but when friends ask me to do sessions for their families or children, I am a basket case. It makes me almost to the point where I am more nervous than they are.
Courtney warned me that Emma only smiles at her big brother and barely graces any one else with more than an amused glance. Big brother was at school and I was feeling the pressure, but Miss Emma was on her game today. I could not be any more excited to share a few, she smiled the afternoon away. All of my stress and worry were for nothing! She was absolutely perfect.

Baby Emma.. Sneak Peek

 I couldn't resist sharing one from this afternoons session with Emma. She is beyond adorable!
Complete preview coming soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sisters... Capturing Every Second

This weekend we cleaned out out garage, which is pretty much one of my least favorite activities in the universe. Ok, maybe it is not that bad because Erik does most of the work, but it does rank pretty high on my least favorite chores list, right next to window washing and door scrubbing and any other domestic duty. In my garage cleaning rebellion, I sat down with a box of pictures. I searched through the treasure box from an era when I actually printed every picture that we had ever taken of the kids.
It doesn't take much to side track me, and that box of the kids baby pictures kept me busy for at least an hour. I poured over each and every one of them. I ooohhed and aawwed over every fat roll {and crinkled my nose at mine}, every cute outfit and every adorable baby smile. Looking at them now, I am reminded that they are not babies anymore, and my obsession with capturing each second {yes, second} of their lives has grown as they have gotten older.
This weekend I met up with sister~ Kaitlyn, Maggie and Ellie May. When they stepped out of the car in their adorable outfits, chucks and beaming smiles, I knew it was going to be a ton of fun. We laughed and played and watched them enjoy being kids and it reminded me once again that God has me right where he needs me to be... capturing every second.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Senior...Class of 2011, Part I

We chatted for months through email and facebook. Alyssa graduates in 2011 and is a busy girl, so she wanted to get her senior pictures done in the spring so she could devote her entire year senior year to school. Alyssa is smart AND beautiful! She is also a little quiet, but hilarious, playful and fun. She wanted to do her senior shoot at the playground and I am so happy that she chose somewhere that really fit her personality! 
Her BFF Chelsea also jumped in for some fun. I laughed so hard  at the two of them that I almost had tears rolling down my cheeks. The best part... this is only Part I. Can't wait to share the rest!
Ali~ You are beautiful and so much fun! Thank you for all of your planning and ideas. I had a blast with you! 

A fun little vintage wash..

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boys Scare Me... The Pierce Family

Boys scare me... They really, really scare me. I have four sisters, I have four daughters and consider myself an expert on all things girlie. When Tank came along, I spent nearly all of my pregnant months trying to figure out what I would do with him. All things sports, video game and fighting related have worked themselves out and he is mommy's snuggle boy, but daddy's rough and tumble, bike riding, video game playing boy. 
Almost four years immersed in boyhood later, they still scare me. When Leah contacted me about a session for her amazing family, I started to feel a little bit of panic. Boys.. two of them and not itty bitty ones that are happy playing peek a boo and bubbles. Aaron and Andrew are all rough and tumble, but some of the most cooperative and well behaved boys I have ever met. They threw my fears out the window as we wandered around Occoquan talking about baseball, friends and bike riding. 
Their parents? A-mazing!! Leah {look at those eyes!!} and Jarrod rocked it!!



Laughter and Fun... The Katolin Family

Life is unpredictable. No amount of planning can prepare you for the events of the day no matter how hard you try. Some sessions are also completely unpredictable. When two year olds are involved anything can happen. 
Little Miss Elyse is an explorer. Curious, funny, a bit timid, but full of wonder and two! Her baby sister Madelyn is adorable, bright eyed and just happy to watch her big sister running and laughing and playing. 
I can't stress enough how much I love my families! The Katolin Family just wanted to hang out, have fun and do what they do best.. love each other. We wandered around Prince William Forest, chatting and laughing so hard that I could barely hold the camera straight. 
Andrea and Dennis.. thank you! You are hysterical, wonderful and all around fantastic people. It also helps that {you and} your girls are beyond adorable.. thank you for sharing them with me.  oxox, *Nicole

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chatham Manor... The Orange Family

There are places that make me happy. Like really, really Disneyland Day, happy. The birds start chirping, the sun is shining, first day of spring... happy. Chatham Manor is one of those places. When the Orange Family chose their location for their family session I wanted to sing, in my super off key, rock star in my car kind of way.
I have not been to Chatham Manor since the fall and I could not wait to go back for a Springtime visit. It did not disappoint as one of my favorite Northern Virginia locations. 
Kelli, Ronnie, Gracie and Jaxsen, you rock!! Thank you thank you thank you for making my job so incredibly! oxox *Nicole

Monday, April 12, 2010

Angela and Keith... The Brenize Family Part II

She said that her friends describe her as natural and organic. She said maybe she's a little classic and boring... Angela is anything but boring. Fierce, fun and gorgeous. She could pull off an ad campaign all on her own. Then there is Keith, her complete other half and just as amazing as his wife.
 I don't generally split family session previews up, but how could I pass on posting a few of these two?? I love when my families {and couples} are willing to be unafraid and try anything. If they go in willing to go for it and have fun, they results are beyond anything I could dream up.
I cannot begin to imagine why God has blessed me over and over with the most amazing clients, but I am so thankful that He does. oxox