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Lifestyle // Good Neighbors
Christina O’Connor

Justin Trimner and Van Tran-Trimner

Photo from My Tran

Photo from My Tran

Last school year, Kalani High School digital photography instructor Van Tran-Trimner covered a unit on portraiture, using class members as models. Liking her work, some students asked her to re-do their senior portraits. They were so happy with their photos that they encouraged her to do it professionally.

This year, Tran-Trimner and husband Justin Trimner are offering senior portraits through their newly launched company, The Girl and The Boy Photography. This time, though, there’s a twist: They will be donating 10 percent of proceeds from senior portrait services to high school photography and yearbook programs.

“(My students) inspired me to go into business,” Tran-Trimner says. “But I didn’t want it to be just profit-driven. Since I am a teacher first, I really wanted to build the photography program. I thought that if students really want me to take their pictures, then why not use part of that money to fund our program?”

At Kalani, Tran-Trimner explains, funds for art classes such as photography are limited.

“At our school, we have to rely on lab fees from our students to buy any equipment. But not all students can afford lab fees to take an art class, which is unfortunate,” says Tran-Trimner, who is originally from Minnesota. She first came to the Islands for an Americorps position with Honolulu Community Action Program, working on a diplomacy course for high school drop-outs.

Funds will be provided to each students’ own school. Tran-Trimner imagines that the money will go toward whatever the schools need, like photography equipment or paying student fees.

“I think it is just a good way to give back to the community,” she says. “And it is something that I am passionate about – I love photography, and being able to capture a moment in someone’s life, especially a milestone like graduating high school, a wedding, an engagement, having a child. It’s truly an honor every time someone asks me to photograph that moment in their life.”

The couple also was inspired to help others after they won a wedding photography giveaway for their ceremony last year.

“Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to hire a photographer for our wedding,” Tran-Trimner says.

“What (the photographer) did for us, we thought that we could do the same thing,” Tran-Trimner says. “So it’s kind of like paying it forward. As teachers, we teach that every day in our classrooms – give back to the community and do something good. And my students do that, and I want to do that, too.”

For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 489-8556 or visit thegirlandtheboyphotography.com.

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