My family and I had been in youth ministry for quite some time when we move to the Coachella Valley in 2013 and started working with kids from the migrant farm worker community. It wasn’t long before I was asked to photograph a quinceneara. A quince is a the celebration of a Hispanic girl turning 15. There’s a ton of tradition tied into and a lot of family pride on display.
A traditional quinceneara can be as expensive as a wedding with the dress, court and party all part of the day. I have another post on the quince here, but this one to me was what really captured the day. I took the liberty of editing in BW only for this view. I love the behind the scenes look at all of it.
The dress is important to say the least. It really does feel like a wedding for a 15 year old.
The party is serenaded as they walk down the street to the venue. It was easily 98 degrees that day, no breeze. After the walk, the birthday girl gets an additional musical interlude before entering the party. People on the street stop to watch and listen.
It’s amazing that an empty dirt lot can quickly turn into a lively party.
But before all that can start, there’s the traditionally Catholic service, heavy in tradition.
Huge pots of barbacoa, beans and rice!
Kicking up some dust…literally
There’s such an awesome smashing of generations and you can watch kids learn from their primos and primas.
And just as the heat was at a peak, the ice cream man showed up.
Quince’s are beautiful and so rich in tradition. What an honor to photograph one of own youth group kids!