Anticipating the Celebration – 4th of July with the Tillard Family at Holland’s Kollen Park

Some nights are made for staying up late. December 31 and July 4, near polar opposites on the calendar, are two of those nights. One marks new beginnings, a new year, and looking forward towards the future. The other, a celebration of those who have gone before us, fighting for freedoms we often take for granted.

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend time with good friends over the long 4th of July weekend, including our dear friends the Tillards. I’m so thankful for the ways that this girl put up with me through three loonnnnnggg years of college, and for the way her husband has become best friends with mine! I’m also so glad that after nearly 10 years away from Holland, we could pick right back up where we left off when I returned to this lovely place!

But their kids. Oh my, can I say cute? I officially brought my camera to the firework show Monday night to, well, capture the fireworks. But really, I just wanted to capture these adorable faces!

firework faces holland kollen park kid photography

Because sometimes, the anticipation of what’s to come is just too.stinking.much to hold inside. Can you believe this little mouse?

And then there was his brother… taking selfies with dad and jumping for joy of the coming fireworks in his own way.

firework faces holland mi family photographyThe lights continued to dim… the crowd grew restless… and watches all over the field lit up as parents checked the time. And then, with a boom, the brilliant night-flowers filled center stage.

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Happy (belated) 4th of July!!

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J’s Gorgeous Quinceañera Celebration in Holland’s Baker Lofts and Kollen Park

 

“Beauty is a radiance that originates from within and comes from inner security and a strong character.”
– Jane Seymour


There are moments in every girls life that make us grow up, with or without our knowledge, and I consider it a distinct privilege to be invited into these precious moments and help capture them for all time. J’s 15th birthday quinceañera celebration at Baker Lofts was one of these occasions for this young woman and her family as she took yet another gorgeous step into her future. It was a celebration of a faith that is fully her own, of an extended family that has stood beside and behind her, and of the amazing faithfulness of a God who has and will continue to make her more and more beautiful inside and out each day as she grows fully into the radiant and joyful woman she was made to be!

I met J and her family for pictures at sunny Kollen Park after a lovely service at our church. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to photograph the ceremony at the church, but all the accessories (shoes, jewelry, tiara) she’s wearing in these pictures were given as symbolic gifts at the service beforehand. Each represented her moving forward into her own faith and not just relying on that of her parents. I love the strong spiritual symbolism!

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, a quinceañera is a Hispanic and Latin American coming-of-age celebration for girls that has a lot of similarities to a wedding… without the groom, of course! There’s the gorgeous 15 year old girl…

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…and her party of damas and chambelanes (girl- and boy- friends), including a “man of honor” who accompanies her throughout the big day.

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Of course, what young woman can come of age without a picture with all her uncles? Watch out guys! I’d say this gorgeous girl is in good hands! 🙂Jade's Quince - Low-Res (32)

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After a few more family and friend pictures, they fixed her dress so she could breathe in the heat, and we grabbed a few more precious pictures with her father before heading to Baker Lofts for the reception.

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That dress! And I thought I had a hard time getting into the car after my wedding. I love these shots of her father helping her in!

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Jade's Quince - Low-Res (61)

In the interest of space, I will be sharing the rest of the fun in a follow-up post later this week. Get ready for more pictures of this incredible young woman (and that dress!), food, choreographed dancing, lots of cell phones (hey, they’re teenagers after all), and of course, a birthday piñata!

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A World of Fun at Tulip Time’s Kinderplaats!

 

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This year was my first real chance to experience Tulip Time. As a Hope student, we always seemed to leave before “the big event,” and last year we were too busy planning a wedding to stop and smell the tulips! But this year I was determined to enjoy the week to the fullest.

And boy, did I come to understand what the locals mean when they say the week is crazy! My husband and I were glad we lived within walking distance of everything, since we wouldn’t have been able to park any closer anyway.

I got the chance to volunteer as a photographer at Tulip Time’s Kinderplaats, which is a fun and games time for the littles at Kollen Park. The wind off Lake Macatawa brought shivers, but the smiles on kids faces shone brighter than the sun! It was a blast watching the kids get stickers on their “passports” as they raced from one Netherlands province to another and rode fun rides at the carnival.

Here are a few of the pictures from the day (posted with parental permission, of course!)

Rescue Transport Tulip Time Kinderplaats Holland MI

Exploring a fire truck is FUN! And so is a rescue boat 🙂

Tulips Collage Holland MIGotta love those bright Tulip Time tulips –
they were almost as fun to photograph as the people!

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Did I mention it was a bit cold?

Petting Farm Tulip Time Kinderplaats Holland MI Collage

The petting zoo was a big hit for the people AND animals 🙂
Score one for creative parents in the cold!

Camel Kinderplaats Holland MI Collage

I’ve never ridden on a camel before, but it looked like fun!
It was great watching from the sidelines, too 🙂

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This warrior found his own way to stay warm – and made it all the way to the top!

And then there were all the fun Tulip Time carnival rides…

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This guy was having a blast!

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And so were these girls… 😉

Measuring Up Collage

…while these littles saw how they measured up against the height restrictions!

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This one didn’t quite make it…Tulip Time Kinderplaats Holland MI 2016 (45)

But this one did!

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What a great end to this fun day!

 

Want to see more pictures from Kinderplaats 2016? Click Here!

 

Love what you see? Excited to get capture your own family in-action? Contact Crystal Chung O'Chung Photographyand we’ll create a stress-free, fabulous and fun session just for you!
I can’t wait to help you get timeless artistic memories on your walls
that make you smile every time you walk in the door!

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