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Meet Tiffany Tran

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Tran.

Tiffany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
One day, I was out buying tea with my cousins. There was a young man standing behind me–tall, dark, and handsome. Against my cousins’ and friends’ advice, I turned to the handsome man and asked him to model for me.

I was in high school at the time, barely learning photography, but was unable to resist his charm. Tall Handsome did agree to model for me–although when he finally did, he brought along a friend out of nervousness. We all became friends, and when I felt lost about the direction of my life, they pushed me towards the Art Center College of Design (Tall Handsome’s college).

And rather than pursuing a career that would only make me unhappy, they convinced me that I should do something that I would enjoy. So in pursuit of my dreams, I left high school and entered the Art Center College of Design. I studied there as a photography major and graduated a few years later with Tall Handsome (who is still as good-looking and as sweet of a friend as ever).

But I could not get through my journey without my loved ones. I’ve been able to get to where I am thanks to my supportive family, friends, and husband. They’ve been there with me through all of the hard times and helped lift me up when I was down. Through all of the late nights, long weeks, crazy projects, and small accomplishments, my loved ones have supported me and helped me. I could not be here without them.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Pursuing the things we want never takes us down a smooth road! But it’s the roughness of the road that makes us appreciate the destination so much more.

I’ve been discriminated against for my age, my gender, and my race. There were mental health issues, physical health issues, and emotional issues. But the worst part of the journey thus far was the lost of my aunt. She was like a second parent to me, a father figure, and one of my biggest supporters. She passed away from cancer while I was at Art Center. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t think, I could barely go outside or drive without choking on my tears.

It broke my heart to think that she was no longer around, no longer an arm’s reach or a phone call away. It tore at me to think that after all, she did for me, I couldn’t show her the results of my hard work. She couldn’t come to my graduation, couldn’t see me get my first job, couldn’t meet the man who eventually became my husband.

“[Losing a loved one] is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things,” wrote Lemony Snicket.

I felt so lost–and sometimes still do–but it helps to think that I work hard to be someone that she could be proud of.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a freelance narrative photographer, specializing in shooting people and food. While developing new concepts, I love to explore the polarities of emotion, life and death, loss and desire, beauty and the grotesque.

My stories can be read through the details–the expressions, the style, and the lighting. With those, I want to create worlds that engage and make people feel. I’m also known for my approach to dark humour and its place in my work!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as the accomplishment of one’s goals–whether it be to make someone’s day, remembering to feed the rabbit, to get the job that we want, or to achieve one’s dream. Success can be big or small.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Models: Lyena Hironaka, Melody Tai, Angela Pak, Muer A, Jay Park, Drew Grant

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