A New Year

A new year calls for new strides towards success and hope. We were curious to hear what creative aspirations our featured photographers were setting for themselves in 2021. Some had detailed ideas for specific projects, while others talked of hopes to simply be better. What we heard was motivating and inspiring. 


Ope Odueyungbo @greatarsenal

Trope London, Trope Hong Kong, Emerging Photographers

2020 has been a very challenging year for us all. For 2021, I don't want to be too hard on myself when it comes to going through tough situations within my creative field. I want to focus more on the growth aspect of things rather than the goal itself. Having goals is great and can definitely be a source of motivation, but learning to see the growth regardless of outcome is just as important. There’s positivity and progress in growth!


Jess Barnieh @jesso

Trope Tokyo

I want to work on undoing the idea of ‘perfection’. A lot of the time, I dismiss what I’ve created as not being good enough because it’s not ‘perfect’. I overthink it, and then I don’t share it. I’m going to be kinder to the things I make and value the process, progress, and enjoyment more.


Mike Szpot @illkoncept

Trope Chicago

During a meeting in early December, I had a major realization regarding my self-perception both as an artist and professional photographer. Recently while marketing myself as an artist and brand, I realized I’ve been conforming to algorithms, numbers, and influence over artistry, originality, and the value of authenticity. I’ve been pitching to brands my influencer-type status, flexing the audience I’ve accumulated over the years, rather than selling myself as the passionate fine-art photographer that I truly am. Algorithms in social media constantly dictate what is popular, pigeonholing some creatives into only capturing or sharing what is trendy and performs the best on their social platforms. I want 2021 to be the year of anti-algorithmic culture. I want to shamelessly share work that I love to create, increase my focus on passion projects, all the while being recognized and paid for that same unique vision, not simply because I have 100k followers on Instagram. Photography is one of the most important things in my life, I refuse to let a computer influence my decision making regarding the way I creatively express myself as an individual.