Feliz Cumpleaños!

"Quinceañera" literally means "15 years" in Spanish. When a girl turns 15 in most Hispanic cultures, a special birthday celebration called a quinceañera (or sometimes called the "quince") is held for her in honor of her entry into womanhood.

Although the specifics of the celebration can vary across cultures, the heart of it is the same. The celebration is both a spiritual and deeply communal event that marks a turning point in a young girl's life--her transition from childhood to a young woman.

It is common in some cultures for the girl to get dressed up in an elaborate gown, attend a special service, and have an attending "Court of Honor" similar to a wedding with a bridal party. True to American culture, there is quite a variety in the way quinceañeras are interpreted here in Lebanon, PA.

As a mother of four young girls, I was greatly inspired learning about this tradition. I think it's beautiful and deeply meaningful to provide our girls with milestones in their lives that can help them in their steps toward growing into an adult.

When I friend of mine with Latin American roots asked if I would be willing to provide a photo session for their daughter, Talita, as she approached her own quinceañera, I could not have been more delighted.

For Talita's quinceanera photo shoot, I made sure to tailor everything to her specific desires. She wanted an individual portrait session in a beautiful spot outdoors.

What better location is there to express the blossoming of youth than a flower patch? We found the perfect one in which to photograph--Three Blossoms Flower Path in Newmanstown, PA. Incidentally, Rhonda the owner is the nicest lady to work with. She and her gorgeous flowers made the experience enjoyable from beginning to end.

As with my high school seniors, before our session I asked Talita about some of her favorite hobbies and interests so that we could be sure to include some. She replied that she enjoyed reading good books and dancing. Perfect.

For her two outfits, she chose a pretty floral dress with a cardigan, and a casual pair of jeans with a blouse. She used the pop-up changing tent that I provide for all my clients. Easy-peasy!

Mid-way through her portraits, there was some gorgeous natural light filtering through the trees, so we made sure to snatch that up before it slipped away. Isn't she beautiful?

As with all of my sessions, we kept this light and playful as well as captured some of the more moody shots. We are complex individuals, and I like to get every emotion I can!

We finished our 60 minute session with a dance until the last of the sun's rays fell behind the hill. This girl is so much fun!

After her session, her mother used the print credit included with their collection to purchase beautiful professional prints for their home.

These images would also make a gorgeous keepsake album to commemorate her once-in-a-lifetime quinceanera.

Congrats, Talita! ¡Muchas felicidades!