I know you're probably thinking the same thing I was when I first met this little fella. Where in the world did that name came from? The first thing that came to mind was that whole hip-hop language that Snoop made famous when he throws extra z's into everything. Come to find out that did have something do to with it. The name seemed to fit him though. When I look at him, I acutally see a Mizzo. His mom just reminded me of what his real name is and now I can't even picture it since all I see is Mizzo.
As for his mom, Teleza is one of the folks who helped get Des Moines First Fridays on the map. That's another backstory in itself. I'll try to give you the Cliff Notes version. Y'all should already know what a First Fridays is. Every major city has one. Still not sure? Google it right quick. Anyway, when Des Moines first started doing it, they had a regular photog showing up shooting it. He eventually stopped showing up. I stepped in to fill his shoes. It was a gig that ended up being the early foundation of XL-Images. Thanks to the opportunity they gave me, I was able to get networking that would evolve into the present day XL-Images.
There are still instances when the First Fridays crew will contract me for other events and/or sessions. They've seen me in action so they know my worth ethic. Moreover, they've seen my work so they know I have a quality product. Their ongoing support has led to professional headshots for Michelle, an anniversary celebration (which turned out better than many actual weddings I've been to) for Kraig and now children photos for Teleza.
When she first told me she was looking to do some photos for her son, I thought she meant just your standard school pictures. But I knew that couldn't have been what she had in mind. She knows me well enough to know how much I hate those school pictures. No way I was going to have her son's pics look canned. Which is why I insisted on a location that I know can always produce good images: the rose garden at the Des Moines Art Center. I know some photogs are stingy about their locations and not wanting to give them up. I don't get into all that. If you can do pictures at the same location and have them come out hot, then more power to you. We're all going to have a different eye so you either have it or you don't.
I really wasn't expecting lil dude to come to the shoot all decked out. Just figured Teleza would have in some casual gear like jeans and a polo. Nothing too fancy. Then she has him bust out with this suave little outfit complete with a shirt, tie and vest. A VEST! Dude was killin' it! And was wearing it well too. He was dressing better than me!
I couldn't be lucky enough that he would be easy to work with too, could I? Think again. Mizzo was one of the best mannered little boys I've ever met. Whenever I asked him to hit a certain mark and/or pose, he did it without fail. Then he would have the perfect expression to go with it. None of those contrived smiles that you see so many kids doing when they take photos. Mizzo was looking like a little mini-model.
I finished the session and the end result was I call an editing nightmare. But a good one. That's where you have such a plethora of great images that you have a difficult time trying to decide which ones will make the final cut. It created a snowball effect leading up to now. Because then I had trouble choosing which of his pics would make the Top Captures. It really wasn't a matter of if one would. It was a matter of WHICH one would.