Photographer Snaps Alternative Prom Pics

For photographer Van Tran-Trimner, her work isn’t just about taking pretty pictures.

“It’s about savoring the beautiful moments in life — about being able to hold onto a beautiful moment a little while longer, because life passes by too fast,” she says. “Photography is magical in the way it can freeze a moment in time.”


Image 1 of 3

Samples of The Girl & The Boy's prom pics with model Itzel Rios THE GIRL & THE BOY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOS

That’s the goal of the company she runs with husband Justin Trimner, The Girl & The Boy Photography, which shoots a range of portraits — from senior portraits to engagements photos. And now they’re offering alternative prom pics for high schoolers, an idea Tran-Trimner had after hearing her students’ dissatisfaction with those standard, stand-right-here-and-smile prom shots.

“My students were talking about how awesome it would be if they could have a non-cheesy photo of themselves for prom,” explains Tran-Trimner, who teaches photography at Kalani High School. “I just wanted to give a different option so they can remember prom the way they want to.”

Similar to what you may find in a wedding or magazine shoot, these prom pics are designed to display the details in dresses and accessories in a chic, elegant way.

To ensure that students are getting the most out of their prom photo shoot, The Girl & The Boy has a three-part process for all of its shoots, beginning with a planning session.

“I spend a lot of time getting to know each person, and I ask them what kind of images they are looking for,” says Tran-Trimner. “I find that taking that time to really get to know the person and plan out all of those details are essential factors in creating the best photo for them.”

Based on the initial conversation, she comes up with ideal locations and poses. After that, it’s time for the photo session itself, which takes between one and one-and-a-half hours. Later, Tran-Trimner combs through the edited photos with the client so they can select their favorite images.

“It’s really important to me that they love their photos,” she says.

Helping students, after all, is the crux of The Girl & The Boy Photography’s business model. The pair launched the company in 2013, after Tran-Trimner redid senior portraits for a group of her students. She put a portion of proceeds from those shoots back into photography programs at various local schools.

For each prom photo session, $50 will go toward buying camera equipment for her class.

Tran-Trimner, who also has worked in education for at-risk youths and as a wedding photographer, has been interested in photography since she can remember. Her parents and grandparents came to the United States as refugees from Vietnam — and photos were among the few possessions they brought with them. She used to flip through her parents’ old photos, fascinated with how the images conveyed these peeks into their lives.

Tran-Trimner’s grandmother only brought one photo of herself with her from Vietnam: a professional studio portrait.

“She would just look at it so fondly and tell me about it,” Tran-Trimner recalls. “I guess I just want to have an opportunity for people to have really beautiful portraits of themselves.

“For me, that is why I love photography — because of the meaning that photographs can hold, and being able to provide meaningful photographs to people, and create these beautiful photos for people to love and cherish.”

For more information or to schedule your prom photo shoot, call 489-8556 or visit