I while back my friends/neighbors asked me to take some pictures at their granddaughter’s Quinceañera. I didn’t know what a Quinceañera was so they explained it to me. Apparently it’s the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood. She was actually sixteen, but for some reason it couldn’t take place on her 15 the birthday and so had to be postponed for a year.

After giving it some thought I accepted allbeit with some reluctance. I don’t usually take pictures at events like this. In fact I generally don’t take pictures of people at all. I’m not good with things that move around a lot and prefer things like landscapes, rocks, buildings etc. that tend to stay still. However, I thought it might be an interesting experience so I warned the people who had asked me to not get their expectations too high.

I then spent a couple of weeks worrying that I might spoil the event by ruining the pictures. I also read a lot about how to take pictures at such an event and practicing as much as I could. Here are a few of the results. There were many more: pictures of people at their tables; headshots of many of the participants; welcome sign; visitors book; speeches; table settings etc.

The family live close to the Hudson River so we started by taking some pictures at a small park right on the river. Here’s the celebrant with her parents and two brothers.

Closer view of the celebrant, her mother and younger brother.

With her grandparents.

She’s a dancer and performed a piece at the party held at her home.

With tiara.

Dancing with her father.

Dancing with her mother. I love the expression on the mother’s face.


Children’s group.

As it happened it turned out fine. The pictures we quite good and one of them, the first picture above is in my opinion one of the best ‘people’ pictures I’ve ever taken. Most importantly the family seemed to be happy with them. My thanks to them for allowing me to post them here. And I certainly learned a lot.

Taken with a Sony A7IV and various Sony and Samyang lenses.

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