{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, February 28, 2012

My Biggest Obstacle.. Was ME!! || For Photographers {Tips and Tricks}

Originally this was a guest post that I did over on Jessica Chavez's blog last week {which you should check out!! So much inspiration.}, but I thought maybe it would help someone else out here too.

When I first started my business, I knew that with every fiber of my being that I could make it work. My biggest obstacle was… Where do I start? I knew what I liked, but at the time I thought I didn’t possess the technical skills to pull it off. I had ideas about what I wanted to do, and the services I wanted to provide, but ended up spending hours and hours researching and wading through endless options that would work for me.
There were workshops, inspiration blogs, people that the photography industry said were the IT photographers showing me what was popular. There were even photographers in my area that were always busy with work. I questioned their how’s and what’s, wondering what they were doing and secretly banging my head against my desk wishing I could just figure their secrets out.
Fast forward to a year and a half into my business, I finally had a little bit of experience, some technical know how and a whole lot of ambition. In January 2009 I attended my first “Spread the Love Workshop” in Washington DC put on by Justin and Mary Marantz {www.justinmarantz.com}. In the span of two days, they revolutionized the way that I thought about my business and myself. I had it all backwards. I thought that I needed to chase what other people were doing and shooting. To recreate their styles to gain clients and grow. In truth, J&M showed me that I just needed to start shooting and showing what “I” wanted to do! I needed to define who I was as an artist, what my loves were, and what I was passionate about shooting. I needed to be unafraid of myself and if people would like my work. It wasn’t an epiphany so much as the freedom that I found to just be me.
My transition was slow, not an overnight turning point. I had spent so many hours defining who I thought I should be, I had to take a step back and analyze what made me tick. Where did I really want to take my business? What steps would lead me there? What did I want to shoot? How did I want my brand to be viewed? How on earth would I start saying no to the people and projects that I didn’t want to do?
After I quit psycho analyzing myself and beating myself up about all of the things that I was doing wrong, I needed a starting point to move forward. I wanted to play on the things I thought I was doing right. First off, I am super shy. If we meet up in a group…I’m the tall girl standing by the dessert table, most likely with a cupcake in hand. I have always been that way. I knew that I was great at making connections and developing those relationships one on one, but group settings did, {and to be perfectly honest} still do trigger a major panic attack. I needed to step out of my comfort zone and start developing group relationships and personal genuine ones. I needed to be a more confident version of myself to market me.
Sounds scary, right? But it wasn’t. I gave it to God. I trusted that He would provide the encouragement that I needed to meet new people, to give me the words in new situations and that the things that I was good at would work in my favor even on a larger scale.
If I can share just two things with you, it would be to just be yourself and to genuinely invest in others. Invest in their lives and in their businesses. Find ways that you can help them without expecting anything in return. They will see you for the kind, caring person that you are. Not the one that is trying to be something that you are not.
Just be you!
{and I can't leave you without a picture..
 here's a little sneak peek of Freddy and Christy's First Look from their wedding this past weekend}
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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, February 21, 2012

Modeling Portfolio Sessions... Kendall {take 2} || San Diego Modeling Portfolio Photographer

It is amazing to see my modeling clients grow in such a short amount of time. I did a portfolio session with Kendall a couple of months ago and I knew that she was a special girl. She had never been in front of the camera before, but she already knew how to work it.
I love when I am right!! She was picked up for representation  by a fantastic agency recently and last week we decided to get together again to get add some additional pictures into her portfolio. She blew my mind! Kendall is sweet, kind hearted and smart, and this girl knows how to bring it for the camera! I cannot wait to see where she goes!








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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, February 16, 2012

{Almost}Wordless Thursday???... Vivian's Quince Preview || Carlsbad Quinceanera Photographer

Well, I'm not sure about wordless Thursday, but since I am getting ready to run out the door and sign off for a long weekend.. {almost} Wordless Thursday it is.
Meet gorgeous Miss Vivian. She's celebrating her Quinceanera in a couple of months so we got together to  do her invitation pictures and this girl is fierce! Her actual dress for the party is a surprise, but she looked gorgeous in this one for our shoot.







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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, February 15, 2012

From the Trenches... Talia Rubino Minikin Model and Talent Agency {part 4} || San Diego Modeling Portfolio Photographer

FROM THE TRENCHES …
 Growing up, I loved reading American Girl books. The books captivated me with their stories of history and the celebration of being an independent young girl. They taught life lessons about the importance of family, friends, and responsibility. It was a true moment of excitement to learn that I was going to be a part of the latest American Girl book series. My role was to model as Sadie and Sophie Rubin, the mirror image twin sisters of Rebecca Rubin. The photographer/ illustrator assigned to the job was Robert Hunt. Mr. Hunt was wonderful to work with due to his positive energy and organizational direction. The photo shoots felt very natural and made the experience even more enjoyable. The process took three years to complete as the photographer would illustrate the portraits that were published in the American Girl books. Mr. Hunt was great to work with; demanding in his efforts but gave great direction and positive reinforcement. A side note: the first model to play the role of Rebecca Rubin was dismissed after the first year of shooting as she was non-compliant. Her difficult attitude and resistance to following directions lead her to lose an amazing opportunity. I am most grateful to have had this job as it was an experience that I will never forget. The role of Sophie Rubin provided an exposure not only to the historical aspects of what goes in to develop and research an American Girl doll, but I also met an amazing cast from the costume designers, the hair dressers and the actors who composed Rebecca Rubin's family.

- Talia Rubino, Public Relations/Social Media, Minikin Model & Talent
Talia Rubino is a former child actor and model and shares this story from an American Girl shoot.




We are so excited to have Minikin Model and Talent Agency is doing a four part 
guest post blog series right here! Part one {Getting an Agent} can be found HERE. Part two {What's in a Headshot} can be found HERE. Part 3 {The Audition Look} can be found HERE. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day... La Couture Amore Style || San Diego Commercial Photographer

I absolutely adore the idea of Valentine's Day. I feel like an incredibly blessed girl pretty much every day of the year even when things aren't all flowery and sparkly in life, but because of my incredible husband {who went out in his pajamas before I woke up this morning to get me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers} and my munchkins~ I know that I am loved. I pretty much love l.o.v.e and all things that go along with it. The big and the little and all of the every day in between.
I also love my job! Especially when it comes in the form of a box of goodies from La Couture Amore. Stephanie's creations are some of the most unique and beautiful that I have ever seen. She sent me a picture of an idea that she had a couple of months ago via pinterest and let me run with it! If you know anything about me, it's that I am a fashion junkie! Editorial, beautiful, fun, fashion junkie.. that pretty much sums it all up, so I knew that the vision I was dreaming up wasn't quite complete without a custom piece or two from Kirra's Boutique. Kristin created the most gorgeous and soft luxe tulle skirts and they paired perfectly with La Couture Amore's head pieces and sashes.
Our vision comes to life...













Accessories: La Couture Amore
Custom Luxe Skirts: Kirra's Boutique
Props: Fansea Finds
Hair and Makeup: Nicole Lennox
Models: Nicole Lennox, Sarah Beth

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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, February 9, 2012

MelissaJane Spring 2012 ... All things Fancy Collection || Couture Childrens Commercial Line Fashion Photographer

I finished editing these images and starting typing, but the problem was that I had no idea what I was trying to say. I would start, back space, back space, back space. Start again, back space some more.
I am just so in love with these kids, these designs and no words seemed to do the post justice.
So I'll say a simple THANK YOU to MelissaJane for asking me to shoot her amazing spring collection, to Rashae of Fansea Finds for the amazing furniture to style the shoot with and to the gorgeous kids that came out to model for us... they knocked my socks off!!

























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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