Planning, organizing, to-do lists; it's like music to my ears. But I've learned that "control" and "photography" mix as well as oil and water. When I first started getting hired, I couldn't go into a photo shoot without an air-tight plan. I had to know what was going to happen, how it was going to happen, and when those happenings were taking place. Clients would send me their Pinterest boards and I'd take every single one of those poses and try to recreate them. I thought it made me feel prepared but it was actually hindering me from being creative and capturing my clients true personalities; especially with children photo shoots. I was envious of those photographers who got toddlers to sit politely in a field and look straight at the camera with a huge smile but not all kids have field-sitting personalities. Some kids are wild, some are shy, some are talkative, some like doing the exact opposite you ask them to, and all of it is great! Let your wild child jump and yell, let your shy kiddo hide behind your leg, just let them be them. I soon realized that my favorite photographs were the ones I didn't plan at all and the ones I did plan for all seemed devoid of personality. I'm not saying that I don't plan at all before a shoot these days (I'm still a person) or that posed photos are lame, I'm just saying that you can't plan awesome, spontaneous moments and there's life in those photographs.
King Liam is a perfect example! I've been taking Liam's photographs since he was in the womb. He's polite, funny, hip, and will smile like a growling animal. He also likes to run, and discover things, and taking photos is his last priority which it should be! If I was 3, photos would not be my jam. So, I focused on capturing his personality. I hope Jose, Lizz, and Liam can enjoy these photos for years to come! I imagine them being shown to his first girlfriend and he won't be embarrassed because he was such a cool kid :D