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Your 2016 Guide to Quinceanera Photographers

For a fifteen-year-old girl fortunate enough to celebrate one, her Quinceanera celebration is nothing short of magical. Clearly, she’ll want to look at the fabulous photos of her fairytale day for years to come. For this reason, it’s crucial to hire the right photographer for your Quinceanera!

To help you in your search, here are some tips on what to expect, how to find the perfect Quince photographer and some helpful hints on getting the most beautiful must-take Quinceanera photos possible.

What Quince Photographers Do

The role of the Quince photographer starts several weeks—or at least several days—before the celebration day. There are also relatively standard formats to follow when it comes to photographing this type of major celebration.

1. First up is a photo shoot that’s similar to an engagement session but this time with the focus on the young Quinceanera. The objective is to capture her beauty and elegance and may be done at a location of her choosing. It also may include planning for fancier clothes, hair, and makeup.

2. Next is the Quinceanera day pre-celebration preparation. The photographer will arrive a few hours before the event and take pictures of the celebrant being dolled up, photograph her ceremony articles—tiara, shoes, Bible, etc.—photograph her family, her court, and usually take some photos of meaningful things around the home such as favorite toys or pictures of the celebrant growing up.

3. After the home picture, he or she will photograph the Quinceanera Mass including the guests, the Quinceanera and her court making their entrance and then their exit, and highlights of the celebration itself. There may also be some formal poses taken inside and/or outside of the church.

Note: The photographer may have to abide by certain restrictions set by the church so some poses of the Mass may be recreated after the ceremony but before the celebrant and her court depart for the reception.

4. The photographer will then either travel with and take pictures of the entourage en route or go on ahead to the venue to be there before anyone arrives. He or she will take photographs of the venue and its decor, the arrival of the Quinceanera and her court, and photograph the guests trickling in and settling down.

5. Finally, the photographer will be busy capturing precious moments of the party itself, and also take a few more formal photos of the Quinceanera, her family, and her entourage. Of particular importance are program elements such as the Last Doll, the High Heeled Shoes, the father-daughter dance, and the speeches, among other things.

You can expect your Quinceanera photographer to focus on you, the celebrant, and your family during the formal photo shoots, giving direction to people to move around a bit or shift position to get the best angles to make everyone look attractive. Come party time, though, he or she may seem to fade into the woodwork so that everyone can focus on the fun. From time to time, again he may pop in and ask you to pose a certain way to get a beautiful shot.

Most of the time, however, your photographer  will remain in the background shooting as much as he can in an effort to capture beautiful stolen moments of people having fun and loving each other.

Where to Find a Quinceanera Photographer

Since the skills required for good Quinceanera photography don’t diverge that much from wedding photography, any skilled photographer that you know or that comes highly recommended should be good. If presented with the choice between a regular events photographer and one who has had specific experience with Quinceaneras, of course, choose the one with Quince experience. He or she will already know what to expect and may even make helpful suggestions that make your photos and setups even better.

Should You Hire a Pro Photographer?

Of course, we know a Quinceanera is already quite costly. However, it’s important to hire the best photographer you can afford and have these precious photographs taken professionally, specifically because they’ll be cherished forever. Additionally, while anybody can take a picture, a professional photographer will know the angles and lighting that best highlight the subject. There’s also the added element of post-production when the photos are edited, things like adjusting the lighting, removing blemishes, etc.

You might be considering asking a friend to do the photography. If that’s your very best option, then, by all means, go for it. It’s still better than nothing. However, choose a friend whom you think has the best potential to come up with great looking photos. It’s also a plus if he knows how to do post-processing and has his own pro equipment. If you can, offer to pay for his services—perhaps half or at least a third of a professional fee—because this will help his motivation to be as professional as possible. If he refuses payment, though, give him a generous token of appreciation after the event.

Regarding cost, photography rates for a Quinceanera aren’t far from what you’d spend on a very formal Sweet Sixteen or Debutante party—generally either $50-$300 per hour or a package price including a basic number of finished photos. If you wish, ask if the photographer has discounted packages and then choose the one that’s closest to what you had in mind

Prepping for Photography

Here are some suggestions on how to make the photo shoots—whether pictorial, ceremony, or reception—go more smoothly:

  • Provide a list beforehand. Things will go faster if he knows what photos you want and if there are any particulars that you want him to pay special attention to.
  • Have everything ready. By the time your photographer arrives, make sure that the venue is ready and that the preparations for you and your family are well underway. If she’s billing by the hour, you don’t want that time to run down with her waiting too long for everyone to get ready.
  • Be cooperative. When he asks you to smile or look a certain way, just do it! He knows what he’s doing, so relax and trust him.
  • Make suggestions. The photographer will appreciate knowing if there’s something that you want that’s not “the usual” such as a photo of the Quinceanera with the beloved family dog. She wants you to look at your pictures, over and over for years to come, so she’ll welcome your suggestions.
  • Offer refreshments. The polite thing to do is to provide the Quinceanera photographer and his crew with some type of simple food and drink, even before the reception. Photography can sometimes be exhausting, and some snacks can help keep both energy and spirits up to do an even better job.

Tip: When it comes to modern Quinceanera photos, there are definitely some must-have shots. Here’s a guide to get you started so you won’t miss anything and can help you make suggestions for your photo pro.


These tips should help you find the right photographer for your Quinceanera. Here’s hoping you have lots of beautiful shots for framing, posting on social media, and much ooh-ing and aww-ing over you, the celebrant!