You couldn’t tell just by looking at her, standing a sweet petite 4’10 and sporting a smile that is equal parts sunshine and quirky familiarity, but this chick packs a punch. When I met Trina, I reached out after seeing her sleek powerful pictures on my instagram timeline and we quickly made plans to shoot downtown within the week. I am a total rookie, I was nervous even just to DM her. Professional and polite and relatable are words I would use to describe my first impression of her from the internet to picking her up on the southside to us finding decent parking downtown; she made me comfortable. And just as quickly as she made me feel it, it wasn’t long until I realized I was working with a gifted individual. Any traces of hesitation and indecision were scooted off center stage to make way for a fiery passion and wicked eye for angles, architecture and color tones. She is powerful behind the camera, and made me feel like Tyra Banks’ pale niece. However, don’t be fooled, power and direction from behind the lens is not all there is to her.
I asked Trina what it means to her to be a “creative” and she explained how complex it really is and how it affects who she is. On a personal level, she attributes mental health and being misunderstood to drive her to reveal emotions through the camera and her models, that otherwise she couldn’t or, per usual, most people don’t take the time to listen and feel her. Her passion has spread out from herself, and by her definition being a creative is also a way to inspire others to take that leap. Trina also attributes personal growth to her journey as a creative, as her photography became a service she developed herself as a business woman and created a personal professionalism and standard of ethics which not everyone has.
Her advice she wishes she could tell the younger Trina or any new photographers-to-be is that “nothing is handed to you”. She has this concept down. Trina is a grab the opportunity out of the air kind of gal, but also someone willing to reach out and create networks for herself. Another thing she had to digest as a photographer is that people will always compare your work to others, and she’s learned to accept and absorb those things. A firm believer in collaborations, Trina hopes for all creatives, in St. Louis or otherwise, to start banding together instead of creating or feeding off of animosity.
On the topic of St. Louis, Trina is loud and proud and observant. 314’s time is coming, and she is going to be a part of it. Making moves, like the go-getter she is, while we talked Trina dropped the news that she’s going to New York soon. Traveling and investing in herself she has even bought a deadly cool film camera. Beyond photography, this girl is w o k e. Something super admirable about her is on her photography insta (@trinarager) is that her captions range from minimalist to full fledged, uncut rants as her fire comes out once again. She believes in fighting the wrongs of the world, learning about other cultures and snapping on those who deserve it. For all around updates, check out her website trinarager.com, you get a taste for her ability to connect with her models and her killer eye. Keep an eye out for her this summer STL and don’t sleep or hesitate to contact her for a collab. I’m so glad I met her, she’s one of a kind.