{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, May 31, 2011

Landyn... Lifestyle {Sneak Peek} || La Jolla Lifestyle Photographer

This week started with a bang and we are busy... I promise I'll have some fun stuff and a tutorial coming soon.. but as I run out to a Modeling Portfolio shoot, I wanted to leave you with a sneak peek of beautiful Landyn. We had a blast at her lifestyle session and I am dying to share the rest.


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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Been a Year... and a Homecoming || Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Photographer

One year ago we left our Marine Corps family, drove from the east coast to the west over a 5 day span {and tornado season through the midwest} and settled into the start of our new chapter in life in sunny Southern California. Erik retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service, the kids were to move for the 5th time in 8 years and I was starting our business over in a new location with no client base and a whole lot of dreams and ideas. I was scared.
I cried.. a lot, I prayed... a lot, and I had no idea what we were in for. Luckily for us, our prayers were answered. I can't tell you how proud of my family I am. Erik has been promoted 3 times in the last 11 months, the munchkins have settled into their schools and made some great friends and I have been blessed with the most amazing friends and clients. God knew exactly where He was putting us even before we left our Marine Corps family.
Last night I stood back and watched the scene unfold. It has been a year since I had to worry about Afghanistan or Iraq trips,  a year since I had to endure months on end of sleepless nights, of single parenting, of climbing into a warm bed by myself,  of not having your best friend a phone call away. A year beyond the underlying worry of a deployment and having the person you love the most half a world away.
The night was marked with unmeasurable pride as I watched our friends, part of our Marine Corps family, reunite after a seven month deployment. I watched as the nervous anticipation took over while they waited for the incoming buses to arrive. I watched as they searched the crowd of Marines to find "their" Marine. I watched as their eyes locked and smiles of pure joy plastered their faces. I watched as they embraced and felt the love pour out of their souls. I watched as their prayers were answered and they were right back where they were supposed to be.. together with their best friend.
I cannot begin to explain the honor I felt to be there to capture their reunion.
Welcome Home Troy.







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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE
View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Layton... Class of 2011 || Fallbrook High School Senior Pictures Photographer

I look back to when I was in high school and I wish that I could tell my 16 year old self what I know now. No, I wouldn't change the course that my life was set, rather rested in the fact that things get better {and worse and better again}, God always has a plan {even if it isn't ours} and to follow your dreams {no matter how hard or far off they seem}. I think if I had known or listened to the advice I am sure my parents tried to give me and that I try to give my kids now, I could have found my passion much sooner and been unafraid to try, to fail and to succeed.
The class of 2011 is prepping for their commencement day and I am struck with curiosity at what they want to do.. what they want to be and where their lives will take them. For Layton, he is headed to college as a film major. He is insanely creative, talented and I can't wait to see what God has in store for him. 






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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Megan.. Class of 2012 {Senior Rep} || Del Norte High School Senior Photographer

It's just about graduation time and that has everyone thinking about announcements and parties and summer fun {ok, I am thinking about summer fun already!}. We have definitely been doing a lot of senior sessions  and I have to say that I love them ALL!
Megan was no exception! She is beautiful and smart, super sweet and just all around fantastic! She is also a Class of 2012 Senior Rep for {Nicole Benitez Photography}, so you'll being seeing more of her.
If you are a 2011 Senior and still need pictures or announcements.. there is still time {although not much!!}. Feel free to email me to book asap. nicole@nicolebenitez.com
And... in just a couple of weeks we are announcing a 2012 Senior Promotion for July and August.
So be on the look out.
A little sneak peek of Megan's session at Rose Haven..



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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Kailyn.. Summer Mini Session || Fallbrook Children's Photographer

Little girls are just angels who haven't yet spread their wings.
-- Author Unknown
I adore photographing little girls. Maybe it's because I have four of my own. The light in their eyes, the giggle behind their smiles. The carefree nature in the way they explore the world.
Kailyn  is a gorgeous little girl with an infection's smile and God's grace in her spirit. She radiates sunshine and I couldn't wait to share some of her pictures from our recent mini session.
Happy Monday!









Vendor Love:
Gorgeous dress and leggings from Kait Emerson Designs
Custom couture headband from GumDrops Hair Candy

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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Prom 2011... {A little Sneak Peek} || Fallbrook Senior Photographer

It's Sunday night.. and I promised I wouldn't work today, but I cannot help but post a few from yesterday's prom session.
Fab-U-Lous!! and I want that gorgeous Betsy Johnson dress... and the shoes!! Ok, maybe not the shoes, {because they would make me about 6'5"} but if I was 5'5" I would rock them..
Anastasia and Layton. you two are incredible!! More coming this week, but I couldn't resist. Hope prom was awesome! oxox



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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE

View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saying No!!... and Staying True to You {and a Sneak Peek} || Pasadena Children's Photographer

He was contantly telling me that I was taking on too much. "You're wasting time doing things you don't even love." And it was true {but don't tell him I said so}. My goal this year was to streamline my business, do projects that I love, work with people that I love and take clients that are a good fit for me and me for them.
This year, I started saying "no". It kills me, really to say no to anything.. but I wasn't sleeping. Spending less time with my kids. I wasn't giving myself permission to take days off and it was killing me. I was exhausted and run down. So I decided that I needed to change and give myself permission to live out the ideal business model that I was creating for myself and essentially my life.
I finally settled into hiring an assistant {who is fab-u-lous!}, and sticking to my own rules for myself and the direction that I want to go. Since then.. things have been amazing. Not perfect, but allowing myself to truly dream, freedom to fail and structure to get it all done has been the best thing that I could do for my life.
I have no idea what prompted me to write this post today... but hopefully I helped just one person to give yourself the freedom to do what you want, what you dream.. your way, even if it means saying no.

I'll leave you with a quick little sneak peek... I am working on a fun magazine project with A Blissful Nest, and while I can't actually share our shoot {until next month}...  I can share a few of our adorable little models!! Happy Friday!






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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE
View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer Lovin... on a Rainy Southern California Day || {commercial} Huntington Beach Kids Photographer

It is another gloomy day in Southern California as I sit looking out my office window. Rain, rain, rain. I definitely can't complain, the rain makes me more productive, as I definitely don't want to leave the house. To be honest though, I am longing for summer beach days with the munchkins.. only 20 school days left and we are free to explore until Labor Day. 
We'll be spending a lot of outdoor time and this gorgeous caftan from Kait Emerson Designs is the perfect coverup for the pool and beach for my girls. I am crushing on all things swim related and cannot wait to get my girls the coordinating Kangacoo Designs swimsuits when they launch next week and adorable made to match hats by Chickapee Creations!!
Summer.. I cannot wait for sunny days playing in the sand!






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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE

View my Portfolio HERE
View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kangacoo Designs.. Swimwear Launch 2011 || {Commercial} Orange County Children's Modeling

I remember when I was about nine I carried a sketch book around. I doodled fancy ball gowns on stick figures and super chic pencil skirts and off the shoulder shirts. I longed to create. I am horrible at drawing anything that doesn't resemble a stick person or a cow-horse {yup, ask my kids... it really is a cross between a cow and a horse and not on purpose}, so my designer dream was very short lived, but I have never given up my love for all things fashion. Adults, kids, babies... I love it all. Beautifully made clothing inspires me to be creative in the ways I know how, and I still can't draw.
The {commercial} designers that I am lucky enough to work with never cease to amaze me. Sometimes I sit in awe and just look over their designs.. colors, fabrics, coordinates. I am addicted. When Katie at Kangacoo Designs told me about the summer swimsuit line she was launching, I could not wait to see what amazingness she came up with!! I sat in awe and just looked at the colors,  fabrics and adorable coordinates from Kait Emerson Designs {gorgeous caftan.. complete post on this adorable piece tomorrow} and Chickapee Creations {custom beach hats}.
Add some sunshine and your cutie will be ready to hit the sand.















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To book a Session or Wedding or for more info, contact me HERE
View my Portfolio HERE
View more of the Blog HERE

Like me on Facebook HERE

Follow Me on Twitter HERE