Monday, October 28, 2013

Joanne's Debut (18th Birthday) at the Cerritos Sheraton

Last week Chanda and I had the pleasure of photographing the big milestone in every Filipino girl's life - her 18th birthday!  Otherwise known as a Debut, it is the coming of age for a young Filipino woman, which is celebrated by inviting her closest friends and family together in an "18-themed" reception.  As a gift to Joanne, her Godmother hired us to photograph this momentous event.  Once Chanda and I arrived at the hotel, we got a chance to watch the Cotillon court rehearse their dances, and then headed up to the room where they were all getting ready.  Now we're used to large bridal parties and such, but since this is an 18th birthday celebration, the court is composed of 18 couples, not counting the Debutante and her escort.  Altogether, the court consists of 18 people (9 couples), and believe it or not, all 18 of them were getting ready in the same room.  Needless to say, it was a room full of excitement.  We spent some time up there, and then instructed the couples to come down to the front of the hotel for portraits.

We were already on a short timeline, and to make matters worse, as we headed down the elevator, the fire alarm went off.  While we were waiting for the couples to arrive for their portraits, we could see them exiting the building, along with all the other guests. . . the hotel was being evacuated!  I thought to myself that this could not be happening, but order was restored shortly, and they all finished getting dressed and we got our portraits of the court done.

Once the reception started, it was fun, fun, fun.  There was a photo booth, appetizers, and drinks.  Across the hall, there was a 40 year high school reunion going on, and since I have not ever been to a high school reunion, I kind of got to see a little bit of what it's like.  The best part was seeing all these older people catching up.  It actually was really cool, and I sort of wished that our very own high school reunion plans didn't go to waste (long story. . . high school doesn't come without its drama you know).   Anyway, back to the Debut!  It was fun, and the various special dances that the court put on were totally awesome.  We were treated to a waltz among other styles of dance, culminating in the final dance, where each couple got to put their own special spin on their own poses and such.  Overall, it was a fun night!  Enjoy the photos!

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