Hannah Thimsen

Hanna Thimsen

Relic Photographic owner Hanna Thimsen and her sister Heidi Burtch are currently accepting applications for up to $10,000 worth of prom photos to support Valley graduates who lost their opportunity to experience a normal prom or even graduation this year due to COVID-19.

“Rather than feel sorry for ourselves... We can’t make money right now. What can we do? We can give back. So, we’ve chosen to just try to be positive in this circumstance and this is what we came up with,” Thimsen said. “We feel like we can bless somebody else who may be hurting in this circumstance.”

Thimsen said they work with families with high schoolers and do prom photos all the time and immediately thought of what the 2020 seniors were going through this year, and came up with a way they could make the most out of this lull in business.

“We just thought it would be a cool way to give seniors something they could hold onto,” Thimsen said.“Obviously this doesn’t make up for everything they’ve missed but I think it does go a long way.”

Thimsen and her sister grew up in the Valley. Thimsen graduated from the Matanuska Christian School and Burtch graduated from Colony High School. Thistle claimed they’ve never had a fight their entire life to this day.

“We like, lucked out in the sibling cart,” Thimsen said with a laugh. “We’re kind of the same person.”

Their mother, Lianne Hobbs, said the two have always been close and looked out for each other. Burtch even volunteered to be a model for her older sister’s photography projects in high school.

“They make a perfect team, complimenting each other very well,” Hobbs said. “In fact, it’s kind of funny because, here we are through adulthood working together… It’s kind of a full circle and a running family joke.”

Thimsen started Relic Photographic over 10 years ago. She said that her sister joined up along the way and they’ve been working together seamlessly ever since.

“I decided to chase down an old dream and it all worked out and it’s been my bread and butter for the last decade and my sister’s as well,” Thimsen said.

Interested seniors can submit forms that include a section where they explain why the photos would be meaningful to them and how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Thimsen said she’s read a lot of great stories so far and the community feedback for the project has been very positive. She said that she’s hoping to reach as many grads from as many schools as possible.

“It’s fun we get to be a part of making it a little better,” Thimsen said. “We would love to bless as many people as we can.”

Those interested in getting a prom photo with Relic Photography can submit their applications via email or by messaging them on their Facebook page.

For more information, call 907-841-8232 or email relicalaska@gmail.com.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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