Whether she is at the Linqia office doing influencer marketing or out in nature shooting photos for her freelance business, Transpectrum, Karina Tran is always utilizing her creativity as a means to connect with people.
Karina currently works at Bay Area-based influencer marketing company Linqia as a brand success manager. She decided to pursue influencer marketing to learn more about the process of working with creatives. Karina chose this company in particular for its “human-focused” culture. She also runs a freelance business specializing in portrait photography.
At just 13, Karina found her passion and love language in photography. Having just received an iPod Touch, she began taking photos of things she encountered throughout the day and found beautiful. Soon after, Karina’s father gifted her a proper camera, which she used to take photos of her friends as a way to show them affection.
“If I can make people see what I see when I look at them, then I should just do that,” Karina says.
As demand for photos increased amongst her peers, 16-year-old Karina decided to begin charging for her services. This is where the story of Transpectrum began.
Karina’s love for the “intimate experience” photography provides her has yielded her incredible opportunities, such as working behind-the-scenes for two of Mackenzie Ziegler’s music videos, “Donuts” and “Cozy With Me.”
This experience allowed Karina to connect with other established creatives and learn more about their journeys into Hollywood.
Despite her accolades, Karina’s journey was far from easy. In fact, her current path was not at all what she had originally set out to do.
As the eldest daughter of divorced immigrant parents, Karina struggled with differentiating between her own values and those of her mother growing up. She felt guilt when thinking about the ways in which her mother struggled in order to give Karina the life she has.
“She struggled in ways I wish she never had to,” Karina says.
Karina did not want her mother to struggle for nothing, so she decided to follow the traditional path to getting a stable job, even going as far as attending a high school that specializes in engineering. However, once she began college at the University of San Francisco (USF), she came to an important realization.
Karina remembered that times have significantly changed since the days that her mother was in her position. For instance, Karina’s mother encouraged her to follow a more traditional path, specifically engineering, for stability. However, these days, creative fields can also provide stability. Therefore, many of Karina’s mother’s beliefs simply do not hold true in today’s society.
It was this epiphany that allowed Karina to succeed during her time at USF and graduate summa cum laude.
“There is an endless amount of opportunities and possibilities for people out there,” Karina says. “There are a lot of constraints that you live with, literally just being a woman. ‘[She can be both]’ is a great way to encourage a community to do whatever the hell they want.”