I celebrated Cinco de Mayo a day early; last night’s dinner was from Little Mexico. (Seafood enchiladas, for those of you wondering.)

But today has me thinking about the Latin American tradition of having a Quinceañera. For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.

So far, I’ve not had the opportunity to photograph a Quinceañera celebration, although I would love the opportunity to be part of this moment in a person’s life.

That transition is an important one for most teens. It won’t be much longer until that teen is learning to drive, getting a first job, graduating high school, and beginning an “adult” life (whatever that means).

Documenting this transition is just as important as senior photos, engagement photos or wedding photos. Because those are all once-in-a-lifetime events. Once the moment is passed, it cannot be recovered.