{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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

{Cyber Monday} Imagine... Images for a Cure WIN A FREE SESSION

Cyber Monday now Extended to TUESDAY!!!
We all know that I am obsessed with shopping, especially black friday and cyber monday. Is there anything cozier than shopping in your pj's, from your couch, under a blanket??!!
So I had a little idea this morning and wanted to do something special in the last few days of The Images for a Cure Event. I know it isn't technically shopping, but a way to help out an amazing cause AND win a free mini session with me!
For every $10 donation to IFAC, you'll be entered to win a free mini session AND disc of images {$475 value!!} So if you donate $50, you'll get 5 entries ect..
All you have to do is donate any denomination in $10 increments HERE, then forward your receipt to me! nicole@nicolebenitez.com  We are so close to reaching our goal of $15,000 can you help??!!

The fine print...
Session must take place in Southern California {anytime}, Las Vegas {mid February} or Northern Virginia { late March}. Even if you are not in one of these areas, please consider donating to this amazing cause!
Winner will be announced Wednesday December 1st.
Good for all sessions {except wedding coverage}

Imagine if you had the power to save lives. Your daughter's, mother's, sister's, best friend's, grandmother's aunt's. Imagine that you had the power. Because... You do!
Images for a Cure is an amazing organization that we are proud to take part of again this year. Photographers from around the world take one day and donate all proceeds from their session fees to Images for a Cure to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
Last year {Nicole Benitez Photography} offered up a day of mini sessions. We heard stories of survival, stories or loss, but mostly story to inspire change. We want to see a cure found in our lifetime and are honored to support Images for a Cure again this year.
Instead of one day of mini sessions... we are offering mini and full sessions through the end of the year! Simply use this link to donate your session fee directly to Images for a Cure by Nov 30th, forward the receipt to me at nicole@nicolebenitez.com and book for any available date through the end of 2010.
If you are outside of the Southern California area... there are hundreds of photographers participating from all over the world. You can find them HERE
If you simply want to make a difference and donate, any denomination is greatly appreciated and will be used in the battle to fight Breast Cancer.
{Details for Nicole Benitez Photography and IFAC}
Mini Session Donation $125
Full Session Donation $200
Donations must be made by November 30, 2010 and receipt forwarded to me to confirm participation.
Book for any available date through December 30, 2010
No limit on the number of sessions that can be set through donation {think gifts for the holidays!!}
Engagement, Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Kids, Senior and Family Sessions ect..
If you have any questions, please contact me. I will be happy to answer any questions or confirm date requests. nicole@nicolebenitez.com

Last year, Images for a Cure raised nearly $13,000 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Help us surpass that amount this year.
Imagine if sweet faces like this one didn't have to worry about Breast Cancer in their lifetime. You have the power. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's almost someone's birthday... a sneak peek

Our oldest daughter officially hits teenage status on Friday, so I took her out for a little mini session today. Time is flying by and I want to remember.. every second of a colicky baby, holding her while dancing around the kitchen floor, her first steps, her first laugh and every one since, the endless questions, the way she rolls her eyes at me when she thinks I am ridiculous and the beautiful soul that sits behind her gorgeous hazel eyes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Their BFF... Happy {almost} Birthday Taylor

This week has been incredibly blessed with some of the most gorgeous little girls I have ever seen. Miss Taylor is up on the blog today and she is just a few weeks shy of her 6th Birthday. I was informed by Harley and Liberty after their first day of soccer practice that they knew Taylor was going to be their BFF.
It seems that they were right, the girls are inseparable and are already planning sleepovers through high school. She is sweet and adorable and a pretty amazing soccer player too.. I think we'll keep her!
Happy {almost} Birthday Taylor!! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Jones Family... Autumn at the Harbor

When you move away, you convince yourself that there are things that you don't miss anymore. Like wearing sundresses on Christmas Day or hanging out at the beach because you can... in the middle of Autumn. Then you are back and you're doing the things you grew up loving, and wondering why on earth you tried to talk yourself out of missing them.
I met up with the Jones Family last week, in the middle of Autumn, at the beach, just because. They were amazing and I couldn't get over this family of blue eyed beautiful people! It was the perfect location for a Southern California fall shoot and I fell in love with the colors of the harbor and how happy they all were.
Jones Family.. I **heart** you all!! Love the location, love the colors, love your gorgeous family!! Enjoy your preview. oxox,*Nic

Jones Family... a little sneak peek

I cannot wait to share more from this family session tonight.. but here's a quick teaser. Those gorgeous blue eyes kill me!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1 year old Jaydin... Sneak Peek Carlsbad || Childrens Photographer

Jaydin just turned one and melted me with those huge blue eyes!!
Just a little sneak peek of the Little Miss.

If you are wondering..she's wearing Kait Emerson Designs {one of our faves!} and coordinating headband from Simply Chic Headwear! **Love**

New Assistant...Will work for M&M's

I had a handsome little assistant tag along for our session with Miss Hannah and lucky for me he works CHEAP! M&M's and a walk on the pier were all he demanded for a days pay.
Sometimes in the 3 and 4 year old age group it is fun to bring one of my kids along to be assistants for the shoot. The older girls will come up with silly games and never tire or tag or tickles. Tank was my big helper on the Eliza Kate/ NuxieMade Commercial Model Shoot with Hannah and it definitely helped her relax and think of our day more of a play date than work.
So much fun for all of us and who can resist smiling at a handsome little man with giant dimples and silly jokes??

Monday, November 15, 2010

Urban Kids... Little Miss Hannah {Commercial}

I am bursting at the seams to share this session! Julie and I became fast facebook friends what seems like forever ago, so when she asked if I would shoot a session for her adorable daughter Hannah's portfolio, I could not resist! Julie is kind hearted, a beautiful spirit and an inspiring woman of God and Hannah takes after her mommy in every way!
When Julie told me we had gorgeous Eliza Kate Designs clothes and NuxieMade accessories, I did a happy dance around my living room. Full on arms in the air, feet going like I was in Footloose happy dance {I was quite the vision!!} it was that good!
To say that Hannah brought her A-game today was an understatement! I **heart** her!

Hannah's mommy also happens to be an amazing wedding and event planner in Orange County!! If you ever need a dose of party inspiration, make sure you follow her at Kinser Event Company! 

Making it Count... {Personal}.

Last week there were lists, and orders, blogging to be done, galleries to finish and clients and kids and responsibility. Then the world flipped in an instant. There needed to be more hugs, more kisses, more I love you's and more family time.
My brother in law lost his father last week and we grieved with their family over the loss of a beautiful soul that was fun, eclectic and had a heart of gold. The minister spoke of Dennis Sr's life and that he did things his way, never missed an opportunity to share his feeling with those he loved, and making it count.
It touched my heart.. to the core. I questioned the way I have been doing things, running my business, balancing family time and if I was really making it count.
When I pass, I don't want my kids to remember that I worked all of the time, told them I'd play in a few minutes, or that I stayed editing behind my computer instead of hanging outside with them or reading a book. I want them to remember the extra hugs and kisses, the snuggles and the I love you's that were meant with all of my heart.
Go out and make it count. With every breath be purposeful and kind and never miss the opportunity to share your feelings with those you love.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winter in Kangacooo.... {Boutique Kids Line Commercial Shoot}

They put on their dresses and squealed in delight. "Mommy, thank you so much for our new softies. Can we call Mrs Katie right now and tell her how much we love these?"
That is the reaction that I got when Harley and Liberty put on their first set of Kangacoo Design dresses. They were in love and things haven't changed. Their closet has accumulated some other gorgeous designs and coats from Kangacoo and they love them all.  So when Katie asked me to do another commercial shoot for her winter line, I was super excited to see the new designs and shoot some adorable kiddos.
 As a mom of twins, I adore seeing them interact, watching them play and capturing the connection that they share. Our twin models for this shoot were adorable and didn't disappoint in sweet personalities and  Katie's gorgeous daughter upped the fun! They did such a fantastic job.
You can check out all things Kangacoo here
and on Facebook here
Thank you to Simply Chic for the adorable coordinating headband!

I have been sworn to secrecy over my favorite dress that is launching in the Spring,
but it is the cutest dress.. ever!! I cannot wait to get these for my girls.
A little peek at the top ...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

{Designer Spotlight}... Kait Emerson Designs

The number one question I get when clients book their session is "What should we wear?" I absolutely LOVE stylized sessions. I love to take a minimal or eloborate theme and weave it through the session between clothing, accessories, furniture and location. I love unique, I love fun and I love to style!
Clothes are a huge part of what you portray in your session and sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what you really want! I have started including more "What to Wear" inspiration to give clients a starting point, but I also wanted to take it a step further.
{Designer Spotlight} was born to show off some of our favorites... and lend a little inspiration to match your style. It's no secret that I adore Kait Emerson Designs. We are lucky enough to have collaborated on a few projects and I cannot get over how gorgeous the designs are.
Kait Emerson Designs is our first {Designer Spotlight}
Feanna at Kait Emerson has put together a gorgeous Christmas inspired collection and has a mini winter collection out {Check out some of the designs below from our recent shoot!!} Swoon Worthy!!
And.... coming later this week,  I am going to show off a few custom designs that she sent for the twins! Adorable!!!
Check her out at Kait Emerson Designs, on Facebook {leave her some love and let her know we sent you} and on Etsy
And as a special treat: 20% off at Kait Emerson Designs use code NBENITEZ20 {convo her first on etsy for a listing adjustment}. Code good through November 30th! Perfect for your winter shoots!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Vega Family... Fall Maternity Session

It's impossible not to fall in love with Holly! Her sassy southern accent with a dose of country love and a genuine care for everyone around her makes her one of the sweetest people that I know. So when we found out that Holly was expecting, it was sheer excitement amongst all of her friends! I was so honored to do their annual family session a few weeks ago and even more excited that we were doing a little maternity shoot thrown in!
Baby Nellie is due early next year and the entire Vega family is anticipating her arrival. Holly wore purple in honor of Nellie's anticipated birthstone... Amethyst {how freakin cute is that??} and her boys were all smiles as they talked about their new baby sister.
I **love** Javier's old Ford Truck {truck details on the blog next week!! They are awesome!} and we tried to incorporate it in last year with no luck, the blistering fall weather just didn't allow. I am pretty sure God had worked that little detail out and saved it just for Baby Nellie. We had a gorgeous fall day to take the truck for a spin and make a few beautiful memories with their growing family!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Herrington on the Bay Wedding... {Tiffany and Charles} Part II

When sunset struck across the Chesapeake Bay, it was magical and represented everything they loved most. Their friends reminisced of times past, their family of childhood memories and the two of them with adventures taken and those they dreamed to take in the future.
 Tiffany and Charles surrounded by those closest to them, chose to celebrate the start of their life together at the gorgeous Herrington on the Bay Eco Friendly Resort on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. .
The weather for coastal Maryland is quite unpredictable in October, but a perfect warm autumn day awaited Tiffany and Charles. The details were amazing and it all came together seamlessly.
Prepping for the day was a piece of cake..
Tiffany, you are gorgeous!

Tiffany and Charles opted to see each other for a "first look" prior to the ceremony. This gave them a chance to steal a few minutes of the day to celebrate each other and gave us plenty of time to get some amazing shots of them prior to their sunset ceremony.

 Gorgeous Sunset Ceremony!!!

More from around Herrington on the Bay

And a super secret surprise for their guests!! Tiffany and Charles took dance lessons for months and had an amazing choreographed First Dance. Gorgeous and some of my favorite shots of the day!
A special shout out to DJ CJ Curtis. He was phenomenal. The dance floor was packed the entire night and the play list..  A+++

And a special thank you to Mandy Sroka for shooting with me!! I had such a great time and your work... breathtaking!!