Honorable Mention / 2021 / Portraiture / Culture


This photograph was taken in Downtown LA at the studio/store of the Queen of Quinceañera, April Black Diamond. Quinceañera is the traditional Mexican celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and transition to womanhood. As Mexican American families become more prosperous, the competition for the biggest gowns and parties has become big business. The parties resemble lavish debutante balls, and gowns alone sometimes fetch in the tens of thousands of dollars- despite being worn only once. I recently photographed Yelenis being fitted for her dress, with the help of Zharmell, April's daughter.