Photo Essay

Serendipity of The QuinceaƱera

Quinceanera XIV

Quinceañera (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen), sometimes called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de Quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of the Hispanic world and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from girl to woman. The celebration, however, varies significantly across countries, with celebrations in some countries taking on, for example, more religious overtones than in others. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

My city of Houston is home to many Hispanic people. The Quince is celebrated with a large party including 100 and more friends and extended family. There is a lot of food, a fancy tiered cake and dance music. Girls often have a "court" of girls and boys like attendants in a traditional wedding party. Everyone is dressed formally, tuxes for boys, while birthday girls choose ornate, poufy prom dresses in a rainbow of hues. Hot pink is a favorite. She often wears a tiara and carries a silk flower bouquet matching her gown.

One location is favored by most Quinceañeras as a backdrop for their formal portraits; it is Houston's "Central Park," Hermann Park. On the Park's border are a couple of spots with pillars, two fountains and a wrought iron gazebo. Some years ago I noticed large parties of formally dressed people posing when I went for a walk in the Park. Since I usually carried my camera, it seemed natural to stop and ask if I could photograph the lovely Quinceañeras. Whether the girl is a stunning beauty or plain, 99 % of the girls and families are delighted I want to document them. What wonderful serendipity! Now I stop every chance I get.

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11 responses

  • rekha nag

    rekha nag said (6 Dec 2012):

    U did it Michele!! The write up is wonderful. My vote!!

  • Sonia Adam Murray

    Sonia Adam Murray   gave props (6 Dec 2012):

    Very nice. This is also a tradition in Brazil where all my 5 children grew up.


    MARCO MEYO   gave props (8 Dec 2012):

    What a beautiful story and awesome photos that help tell the story of these beautiful young women!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (28 Jan 2013):

    Beyond lovely. Very nice story, too. Voted!

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett   gave props (4 Feb 2013):

    So nicely done, Michele.

  • chuck vona

    chuck vona   gave props (4 Feb 2013):

    lovely photos to enhance a great story....very nice work

  • Fausto Palafox

    Fausto Palafox said (5 Feb 2013):

    Very Nice. well done

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (13 Feb 2013):

    The portraits are certainly one of your best performance, so what better way to take pictures of the girls in the full bloom of their joie de vivre.

  • Geoff Plant

    Geoff Plant   gave props (13 Feb 2013):


  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (26 Jul 2013):

    Well done on both the narrative and portraits. My vote!

  • Ioana Caravan

    Ioana Caravan   gave props (29 Mar 2014):

    Lovely photos!

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