{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, September 29, 2010

Obsessions: Headbands, Lemon Drop Martinis and Cute Boys

My friend Genevieve over at Celebrate TODAY... The Superchick Way is having a major half birthday giveaway and I am in party planning heaven. I have been collecting ideas for the last couple of months for our housewarming/ holiday party at Casa de Benitez and I cannot get over all of the party planning eye candy that goes on there. So many details to consider when you are throwing a shindig, food to prep and of course drinks. When I think of party drinks, my mind goes crazy. I adore martinis. Like, love love them and my go-to fave.. the Lemon Drop. So delicious.
I also love, love headbands. {Don't judge me}. I am obsessed with them.  I answered 2 emails about custom headbands before 9am this morning. That coupled with the 25+ that have their own drawer in my bathroom officially qualifies me as an addict. Ohhh sweet headbands, please don't ever go back out of style, you make my bad hair days so much better.
Awwww.. cute boys :::sigh::: they melt my heart. This little guy gets me every time. His dimples do me in and since he requested Tank and Mommy ice cream day, I had to oblige. Would you tell him no???
Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Holiday Cards are Here....

A quick driveby post...
I absolutely adore these holiday cards!! Soft and beautiful.



Basic 5x7 card

Monday, September 27, 2010

Office Time and Inspiration... and a Christmas Card Sneak Peek

This week I am gearing up for my whirlwind month of crazy that is going on in October. So it's project week here in the office. On the list.. get Christmas card samples ready, DIY printables for Madi's presidential run cookie bake and a "Mad for Plaid" style shoot {oohh my goodness I can't wait!!}. Lots of office time and inspirations in the works too {you can check out our newest launch here and join Social Circle on Facebook}.
So I might be around more than usual this week with some fun stuff to share.
Christmas Sessions have not officially been launched, but we only have 5 spots left for Novemeber!!
Email me asap if you want the info. nicole@nicolebenitez.com

Here's a peak at one of the Christmas card designs for this year.. love it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And the winner is.......

Thank you to everyone that entered the Kait Emerson Designs and NuxieMade {[Giveaway}}. We love working with them and couldn't have been more excited to give away their amazing prizes!
The winner of the Black and White Skulls Knot Dress and the NuxieMade Apple Cap

Navaeh Alexyss

Please send me an email at nicole@nicolebenitez.com

Thank you so much to everyone that entered!! KED has given us a 20% discount code to share with our readers! Use 
 for anything in the shop {excluding sale items}. If you order through etsy, make sure to convo Feanna first so she can adjust the listing for you. Code good through Sept 30th, 2010.
Happy Fall!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Inspire Me Baby.. What to Wear Fall Guides!

The number one questions asked when clients book their sessions are : What do we wear? Can you help us?
We are big fans of Inspire Me Baby here at {Nicole Benitez Photography} and since we don't always have time to put together "What to Wear" inspiration guides, these make us LOVE Inspire Me Baby that much more!
These are perfect examples of casual fall looks that will look amazing for your family session. We always offer custom style help if you get stuck, but this will give you a place to start.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hyperventilating... and a Sweet Family Shoot.

My nerves were a little on edge. I was doing a session for a sweet one month old little angel baby and her gorgeous parents. Normally that makes me ecstatic, but this morning was different. This session was for Betsy of Betsy Blue Photography.
 On the way to their house, I nearly hyperventilated. What if she hates them and I suck? and there is no direction? and.. and... For a few minutes {if I am being completely honest} I let some self doubt creep in. Shooting for other photographers always makes me insanely nervous, but shooting for someone whos work that I love, magnifies it times 100! 
Turns out, Betsy and her hubby Mark are not only gorgeous {and make equally gorgeous offspring} but they are beyond sweet and thoughtful, and thankfully needed no direction at all because I was too awed to direct. They were an Anthropologie family ad in the making and I was in love. 
We shot the entire session around their amazing property!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

{{Giveaway Alert}} Kait Emerson Designs and NuxieMade.. Enter to Win!

I know that I have said it before, but I am so incredibly blessed to work with the best vendors.. ever!!!
Today, a little surprise giveaway to start your week off right.
Remember that awesome Mini Punk Line??
Kait Emerson Designs and NuxieMade are doing a giveaway and we're hosting!!

 You can win the Skulls Black and White *Knot Apron Dress*  from KED for your
mini punk princess
A coordinating Apple Cap from NuxieMade
How to Enter:
Contest will open NOW- Friday {9/24} at **Noon**
1st Entry: Leave us a comment here on the blog

Additional Entries:
 Fan {Nicole Benitez Photography} on Facebook then come back and leave us a comment {if  you're already a fan, just leave a comment telling us that too}
Fan Kait Emerson Designs on Facebook then come back and leave us a comment {if you're already a fan, just leave a comment telling us that too}

                            Fan NuxieMade on Facebook then come back and leave us a comment {if you're already a fan, just leave a comment telling us that too}

Tweet about the giveaway then come back and leave us a comment
Write a blog post linking to the giveaway then come back and leave us a comment
Share the contest in your status on Facebook and come back and leave us a comment
7 possible entries!!
 Winner will be picked Friday afternoon at random and receive a Skulls Knot Apron Dress from KED {in choice of size} and an Apple Cap from NuxieMade {in choice of size and color}.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Future Ms. President.. Madison Rane

The first time that I made rice crispy treats it was 100% fail. Like too much butter, too few marshmallows, greasy mess type of fail. I am definitely not Bakerella {although I love her}, but things have come along way since that first catastrophe.
Last week Madi announced that she wanted to run for 6th grade class president.
She brainstormed, came up with a poster campaign and wanted to sweeten the voting with a few treats. She also requested a little photo shoot for a new picture for the posters. Since we decided on a stylized session and she was willingly offering to model for me, I took advantage and we went all out for some school pictures too.
I cannot believe my baby girl is growing up and running for president! It looks like we are having family bake night at some point this week, thankfully our rice crispy treats are perfected and we have a secret chocolate chip cookie recipe to help her campaign along.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Love... Happy Anniversary

I have been sitting here staring at a blank screen for at least 30 minutes. Not because I don't have anything to say, but because there are no words that I know to describe how I feel. I prayed that God would lay the words on my heart that would show you just how important you are to my life. So I sat and just listened.
I love you.
 I can't imagine my life without you in it.You are the man that completes me, that allows me to follow my dreams with out question {and a lot of advice}. The one that supports me without fail and the one that makes everyday better just by being in it. My heart needs to be near you, listening to the sound of yours. My hand in yours for all of time.
Thank you for being my everything! Even though we are apart this week, know that I love you more now than when I married you.
Happy Anniversary my love.

A picture of my grand parents that sits on our mantle. A beautiful reminder of love.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Images for a Cure.. Participating Photographer.

My, how things have changed in the last year! 
 I just looked back at my blog from a year ago to try to find an Images for a Cure related post and was lost in the memories that were made. Last year we ran a day of {sold out} mini sessions and 100% of the session fee proceeds went directly to Images for a Cure and benefited the Breast Cancer Researh Foundation. This year, I am proud to announce that we are participating again!!! Instead of running one day of mini sessions, we are going to be offering three days!!
Images for a Cure is building a new website to launch early October and will have direct links for more information and to donate. Once the site is launched I will release our dates and details on how to book with {Nicole Benitez Photography}!
If you would like to be one of the first to book.. I'll make sure you have the information as soon as we release!! Or if you need information on becoming a participating photographer for IFAC or booking a session with a photographer in your area.. drop me an email and I'll get you hooked up.
I am humbled and thankful for all of our clients!! You have allowed me into your lives and your hearts.  Your stories and memories have touched me beyond compare and I am looking forward to new memories and stories this year! oxox, *Nicole

{2009 STATS}
239 Photographers
44 States and 3 Countries
Raised $12,900 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (bcrfcure.org)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Obsessions... Blush Envy, Fall TV and NuxieMade

 If we're facebook friends, then you already know about my morning. Running on my treadmill, in my pajamas, while watching the Bachelor Pad dvr'd {don't judge me}. I am not sure if I was so unmotivated that I refused to change, or the smartest girl ever to not create more laundry for my family of 7. I am going with the latter! Even better than my pj run was watching the last weeks of summer tv.
Now that Fall is knocking at our door, I look forward to heading back to Virginia to shoot a gorgeous wedding at Herrington on the Bay and seeing the leaves change... something that doesn't happen in Southern California. I also look forward to the Fall tv lineup! Now that Sons of Anarchy has started to kick off my tv watching schedule, I want all of my fave shows back. Bring on Glee, Grey's and America's Next Top Model. I can't wait for a few new shows too. Detroit 1-8-7 is at the top of my list.
Also, with the launch of Kait Emerson's Mini Punk line, I had the chance to work with gorgeous hat designer NuxieMade. I am in love with everything that Melissa  makes and am having a serious obsession with buying all 4 of the girls hats in every color!
Last obsession of the week... Blush Envy! I spotted her gorgeous accessories on another blog a few weeks ago and could not get over how cute her stuff was. So when she ran a little special last week, I knew it was meant to be! I could not decide what color to order her gorgeous flower paper ring in.. so I went with my fave color and when it arrived. Ooommmgooosssshhhh!! So cute!! These would be a perfect bridemaid or birthday gift!
I need new accessories to stalk and shows to dvr.. what are your fall obsessions??

And the winner is......

Thank you again to Kangacoo Designs for hooking us up with a Mod Tunic Dress to giveaway!!
And the winner is......

Genevieve Le Bel!!!
Congrats girlie!!
Email me and I'll send you details on how to claim your prize!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shawna and Jeff... Married!! Catamaran Wedding, San Diego || Part 2

Tender looks, warm embraces, laughter all around. Their closest friends and families surrounding them with well wishes and so much love... Those are the memories that linger from Shawna and Jeff's Catamaran Wedding in San Diego..
I had big plans for last week. Lists upon lists of todo's and must do's. And well, I got sick. I never get sick. Like, ever. It's rare that I take a full day off, but last week Tank was sick and needed some extra cuddle time, then I was sick and I think it was God's way of saying slow down {but 3 days of slow down is way too many}. So now we're back full force and as I was looking through Shawna and Jeff's wedding, I couldn't help but be swept away in their day all over again... one full of tender looks, warm embraces and laughter all around.
The Catamaran was gorgeous!! Private beach and gorgeous ceremony site. The perfect venue for a late summer wedding.

Thanks for this one of the guys Kristen !! You rocked.

While I was shooting Jeff waiting for Shawna to come down the aisle here:

Kristen grabbed this shot of Shawna and her dad. One of my favorites of the day!

This is how Jeff greeted his bride to be...  I melted.
Gorgeous cake by: Flour Power in San Diego
The First Dance.. the perfect end to a beautiful night.

You can check out the slideshow{here}