How To Photograph a Quinceañera | Photography Tips

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Ah, summer! The best time to throw a party!

I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks that I use for quinceañeras or parties and what it takes to photograph some amazing moments. This guide will ultimately show you what to do during an event. Live and in-the-moment, I take you on my journey throughout the event from prep to packing up! You can also read more about behind-the-scenes here: Esmeralda’s Quinceañera Party!

Prepped & Ready To Go!

This may seem like a no brainer, but I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen a photographer lose track of their bags, or forget which bag has what. You want to make sure that you have all of your photography equipment and gear ready and handy at any moment. For instance, the most efficient method that I have found is using a small suitcase and maybe an extra backpack. It keeps everything neat, organized and protected. After all, who wants to lug around a whole bunch of bags, and miss a perfect photo opportunity. I find its easiest with a suitcase with wheels on the bottom. Chances are, you already have other personal stuff you need to carry in or just want the stress and hands-free option. Whatever kind you choose, make sure to find a bag that suits you best.

Always Arrive Early!

Sure, I know those relaxing mornings sipping on your nice hot coffee are great, but dawdle on this day and you run the risk of getting caught when all the guests are arriving. With quinceañera parties as big as this one, you always want to arrive at the perfect time, without the stress of coming in at the same time as guests. My suggestion is to always arrive about one hour to thirty minutes early. This gives you some time to look around the venue to spark new ideas, set-up your equipment, and greet the family. Excited for the day, you head towards the venue, scoping out perfect shots.

Set-Up Time!

The power and elegance of a venue come to life when you see all the decorations set up. You want to start by setting up all of your flashes and video lights around the reception area. If you’re doing video too, you want to make sure that your microphones are ready and set up as well.

Ready, Set, Snap!

At this point, you’re ready to start shooting some great pictures! I start by meeting with the birthday girl and family to take some “getting ready” photos and solo portraits shots. For portraits, always remember to find a spot that has some shading.

Then we move onto taking snaps of the quinceañera’s damas and if they have them, chambelanes. You want to make sure to talk with them throughout the shooting process so they all feel comfortable, this will ensure that the photos come out looking beautiful. Guide them through any poses or where they should stand to get some great shots!

Quince’s are far from your regular backyard BBQ. You want to make sure details are never missed. That’s why I always make sure to use video light when shooting details and decorations.

From prep to the party, the next step is work with some different lighting for picture taking. Flash is great when you’re working with video. Make sure to get with your videographer if it is another member of your team to time when flash is needed. In these photos I took some snaps with the camera flash off. This allows the lighting from the back to illuminate the photo.

I hope this guide will help you photograph any Quinceañera - no matter how big! Just remember to use these trusty tips and breathe!

Watch The Video Below to Journey With Me Throughout This Quince!

Venue: Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club

Camera 1: Sonya7rii /

Camera 2: Sony a99 /

iPhone 7Plus:


Sigma Art 18-35mm 1.8 /

SONY70-200 mm 2.8 (newer version available)/

Have A Sweet 15/16 Or Quinceañera Coming Up?