A tradition throughout Latin America from Mexico to Argentina, a quinceañera, marks a teenage girl’s transition into womanhood. Celebrated in many different ways from religious ceremonies, lavish parties and choreographed dances, for Cubans the main focus is a glamorous photo shoot.
The quinceañera celebration was almost destroyed by the Cuban Revolution; traditional photos typically featured the teenager in a ball gown and crown. Today, photo shoots begin with the transformation into a princess then young adult rock star, police officer, cowgirl, schoolgirl, nurse, or swimsuit model all with accompanying props. Photos capture this special day to last for a lifetime to show friends and family in a Mis Quince book and printed photographs to decorate walls.
For some, the quinceañera ends with an elaborate party, but for most it’s a small gathering with close friends and family, with food, drink, and a dance party.