{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


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Kailyn... What I've Learned || Personal

As parents we pray constantly that we are teaching our kids to grow into good and kind people. We forget that they teach us more than we each them.
I have learned more from you than I could have ever imagined as I started this journey as your mom.
I have learned to be patient, love unconditionally, hold you close even when you have errored. To stay silent and let you learn your own way and to pray in all circumstances.
The first time I held you in my arms as an infant, it was with tears streaming down my face. Scared to death on how to parent as you grew up but so full of love. Today we celebrate your 14th birthday and I am still scared to death on how to parent and but so full of love.
Happy Birthday Kailyn!
We love you.

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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I **Heart** Seniors.. Rachel's {Sneak Peek} || Del Norte High School Senior Photographer

This is definitely the most incredible year of seniors! Class of 2012 is turning out some amazing kids that are living their life for God, making huge plans and ready to rock the world!
I was lucky enough to share some time with Rachel recently and she absolutely blew me away! I knew that I would love her immediately when I checked out her pre session pinboard, but I had no idea that her heart for Jesus and outlook on life would push me over the edge.
Here's just a itty bitty sneak peek into our urban senior session in downtown San Diego. So many more coming soon!

Want a senior session with us??!!
 We're booking seniors and modeling portfolio sessions for December and January.
Email me at nicole@nicolebenitez.com for info and for available dates!
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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When I was a Senior...They Didn't Look Like This! || Fallbrook Class of 2012 Senior Pictures Photographer

I posted a couple of Lane's pictures on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago as a sneak peek and as I read through the comments, I couldn't help but laugh.. out loud! It started off with "When I was a senior... they didn't look like this!" No kidding! I thought the same thing {and no, it's not just because I went to an all girls school either}.
While I was in Northern Virginia shooting Brandy and Greg's destination wedding, I was lucky enough to meet up for a session with Lane. He is a little shy, super artistic and has a fantastic style! We wanted his session to be super urban and this downtown Fredericksburg location was ah-mazing for the vibe we were looking for. I know there was no San Diego sunshine mixed in, but a little change of scenery isn't too hard on this Southern California girl.


I told Lane that if his art career didn't work out,
  I would jump at the chance to shoot his modleing portfolio!

 







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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Monday, November 14, 2011

For Photographers... My Top 3 Favorite Resources || FAQ's and More

When I started my business, I went in blind. To be brutally honest, I had no idea how much work it would entail. I didn't know that I would spend more hours on the business side of things than actually taking pictures and making memories. I didn't know what my style was, or even how to shoot in manual mode. My website was horrid {did I mention that I'm nearly computer illiterate unless it involves shopping or..uh, shopping?}. I was a hot mess!
When I got really serious about my business, I started asking questions {without being afraid of being laughed at for what I didn't know}. I spent hours and hours looking for answers to the questions I had. I wanted to know about the technical side, marketing, pricing, posing, networking.. all of it. I wanted to nail down the best way that I could make my business work for me and my family. I also learned to shoot.. for real. Not in auto, but honest to goodness figured out the hows and whys of my camera, lighting circumstances and posing.
I am in no way the authority on how to start and grow your business, but some of the things that I have learned may help someone else and save you some headache in the searching and investigating.
Here's my top 3 favorite resources {and a few extras thrown in}.
1. Served Up Fresh~
 Common Sense Business Tools for Portrait Photographers
 Alicia has come up with so many resources under her Served Up Fresh series including Easy As Pie, Happy Place and LuxUndercover to fine tune the pricing, perfecting a business life plan and creating a luxury customer service experience to keep your clients HAPPY {and talking about you to their friends!}.
If you just don't have a clue where to start with your business, she also offers a FREE business 101 e course. It will get all of your little ducks in a row so you can be legit!
 I can't even share with you how happy her system has made my life! I have all three e books and recently did the business e course to make sure I had everything in line and hadn't missed any major steps in making sure my 3 year old was in deed where it needed to be from the beginning. My only regret was not finding Alicia at the beginning of my business! I could have avoided about 50 million hours of pricing research and trying to figure out who or what I wanted to be in my business life {and creating the boundaries between work and life!}.
2. The Joy of Marketing
Sarah Petty is simply amazing! Her knowledge and experience at running a super successful boutique portrait business has crossed over into one of the most generous and biggest resources for photographers of all levels! I first found Sarah last year and reviewed The Boutique Experience HERE, then had the opportunity to talk with her last winter One on One {you can read my blog post HERE} and she gave me some great advice on marketing myself locally in a new area. I have to say that I put her ideas into action and less than one year later.. my fears of moving to a new community and having to start my business over have been out to rest {Thank you Sarah!}. She knows her stuff and runs tons of online seminars!! You can learn so much from The Joy of Marketing and taking advantage of all of Sarah's knowledge!
3. Pinterest
Pinterest, you say?! Yes~ pinterest!! What is better for figuring out what you are drawn to, deciphering your own personal style, inspiration for posing, locations and session styling than a visual virtual place to store all of your favorite things?! I am not a fan of copycats, but I think that we can appreciate a beautiful or creative image and sometimes those images spark our own imaginations when we're running low on creative juices. Use pinterest as a place to book mark all of the things that make you... you! Use it to communicate with clients their vision with yours. Use it to figure out what types of images you are drawn to, then go out and practice and define your own style through inspiration.

If you still want to spend a bazillion hours reinventing the wheel, by all means go and rock it out.. but if you just want to run a killer successful portrait or wedding business~ Network and develop genuine relationships with those that are willing to help! Talk with other professionals, ask questions and learn what they use to make themselves stand out, ask them the hows and whys of how they came up with their systems and pricing, ask about the technical side. There are so many people willing to help steer you in the right direction, just make sure you pass it on when someone asks you!


If you have any questions for a future FAQ, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me
nicole@nicolebenitez.com

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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am in Love... MelissaJane Boutique {sneak peek} || Children's Commercial and Modeling Portfolio Photographer San Diego

I am a little biased, but I am pretty sure that I am completely in love. MelissaJane Boutique sent over a gorgeous dress and coordinating shrug and between my little Miss Harley, our fabulous location and the outfit..
It's L-O-V-E!!!
Just a quick sneak peek for the night.


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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas... Babiekins Magazine || Children's Magazine Editorial Photographer

Babiekins Magazine launched their Winter 2011 Issue {issue 7} last week and to say that we were ECSTATIC to be included amongst some absolutely amazing photographers in this issue is an understatement {read about it HERE}.
I had a blast working with the Babiekins team {hi Priscila, Jessie and Heather!} and our adorable little models!! So so much fun and some of my favorite winter images to date!
These definitely put me in the mood for the Christmas Season {even with gorgeous sunny 75 degree Southern California weather}.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
 Heather from Three Ring Circus is just insanely talented at vintage clothes finds and styling and paired this gorgeous dress with a custom creation from Pom Flair. I was IN LOVE!!




 


A huge thank you to Babiekins for featuring my work throughout Issue 7.
<3 you ladies!!
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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marissa... Class of 2012 Seniors || El Camino High School Senior Photographer

There are people that you meet that you know are destined for great things! Marissa is that one! She has a heart that shines for God, a love for her family that is evident in every consideration and is drop dead beautiful on top of it.
 I want to be her when I grow up. <3 <3 All kidding aside, I am honored to have met her and her amazing family a few weeks ago to do her Class of 2012 Senior pictures and cannot wait to share her with you!
Marissa wanted something super fun for her senior experience. After talking with her and her mom and putting a pinboard together,  we decided that this old train line aboard Camp Pendleton was the perfect backdrop for color texture and a whole lot of fun.
Marissa had some outfits in mind and did an awesome job of putting together accessories and clothing pieces that were trendy and completely her! I have to send a HUGE shout out to Jeanette Crutchfield for an amazing job on hair and makeup! She made Marissa look fab!










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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

And The Winner Is.... MelissaJane Boutique Giveaway Winner || Commercial Photographer

The winner of the gorgeous MelissaJane Boutique Leopard Train Dress is...


# 57~ RORY
Congrats!!! I'll be sending you an email shortly!!
Thank you all so so much for entering! I promise to have more goodies in the coming weeks, so keep checking back for tips, tricks, sneak peeks and a few giveaways!

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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE

Sunday, November 6, 2011

{{Featured}} Babiekins Magazine... Issue 7 || Commercial and Editorial Photographer

Sometimes it is scary to dream big... but my dreams are surpassing anything that I ever imagined when I started my business a little over 3 years ago. My timing was not ideal with a 2 year old, two three year olds, and a 9 and 10 year old that were crazy busy with school and sports {yup, you read that right, certifiably crazy starting a business with 5 kids~ 3 of which were toddlers}. 
All in all, it was the right time for me. I wanted to do it, knew in my heart that I could make it work and was blessed with a husband that supported what I wanted to do. Although I have had to work incredibly hard at the work/ home life balance {there was a lot more unbalance before the balance finally came}... it has come along and I am learning to be unafraid to dream as big as I can, and pray for more.
In my dreams.. shooting and being published in a magazine were up near the top of my business bucket list and this past week that dream came true.
Babiekins Issue 7 is out and we're featured in a few spots through out the magazine. I can't tell you how much I love the Babiekins team! They are an incredibly talented bunch of women that balance work, family and home life and are unafraid to dream big! I am honored to have worked along side them!

You can check out the entire Babiekins Issue 7 HERE

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To book a Session, Portfolio Shoot, 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

Find Me on Pinterest HERE