Quinceañera Monica Duran turns 15

There are many coming-of-age ceremonies across different cultures and traditions. Last month, my co-worker, Karely notified me at the eleventh hour she needed my help to substitute someone as a photographer for her younger sister’s Quinceañera. The person assigned to take photos fell sick from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both Karely and her dad, Martin are very hard-working and great employees at our establishment. Photography is not my profession (yet 😜) and I usually do not put myself out for hire at private events. For the Duran family, I am just happy to oblige.

The event is almost all day long with intervals. I managed to attend the important happenings in between. The events started at the home, then at the local church. I came back to shoot a little in the evening waltz-like dance party at a community hall.

The invitation card
Card Translation from Spanish:

It’s been 15 years since my eye were opened to life, so small, as fragile as a flower, that without realizing it was growing in dreams. How some of those dreams come true. I would like to laugh and cry with joy but for that I need your company on this great and special day of my life.

The Chamberlain escorts
Martin and his mom who came from Mexico
At the Church
Mom & Dad
The three sisters
Mr. & Mrs. Duran
Monica’s school friends
The familia
Mother’s side familia
The Uncle from Mexico
Lovable Nephew

The ‘Waltz’ ball in the evening.

Placement of heeled shoes on her feet, to indicate that she is ready for womanhood.

Quinceañera Explained

Quinceañera, (Spanish: “15 years [feminine form]”) also called quinceaños or quince años or simply quince, the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood; the term is also used for the celebrant herself.

The quinceañera is both a religious and a social event that emphasizes the importance of family and society in the life of a young woman. The celebration begins with a mass attended by the girl and her family and godparents. Mass is followed by a reception, or party, to which friends and relatives are invited.

The reception features food, music, and dancing, with the girl accompanied by her “court” of damas (“maids of honour”) and chambelánes (“chamberlains”). Symbolic actions may include the presentation of a doll to a younger sister, to show that the celebrant is giving up her childhood, and the placement of heeled shoes on her feet, to indicate that she is ready for womanhood. Traditionally, the dance portion of the quince includes a choreographed waltz-type dance that is prepared and is considered one of the main events of the evening. Toasts are often offered, and sometimes the cutting of a fancy cake is also involved. The celebration is generally as elaborate as the means of the family will allow. Although the quince observance originally signified that the girl was prepared for marriage, the modern celebration is more likely to signal the beginning of formal dating. Some girls choose a trip abroad rather than a party, and others now choose not to celebrate their 15th birthday in the traditional manner. Like many other rites and ceremonies, quinceañeras continue to evolve.

Because the Aztec and Maya also had such rite-of-passage customs, it is thought that the quinceañera may have originated in the admixture of Spanish culture (including Roman Catholicism) with that of the indigenous peoples the Spaniards colonized.

Source: Britannia

Photographer’s note: Just to clarify, I do not do Wedding Photography nor am I hired photographer for Quinceañeras. Twi$$$$t my arms hard enough and I “may” consider.