Trope Stories | Chris Holmes

This week we share the second episode of Trope Stories, a video conversation with our network of photographers and an examination of their work. In this episode, London-based photographer Chris Holmes and host Terry Maday discuss creative and photographic beginnings, the current realities of life, and most importantly, Chris’s love of poetry and London, as celebrated in his book Hidden in Chaos. 

Please check out our YouTube Channel to see Chris’ podcast and all future videos from Trope. If you prefer to listen, the audio version is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify.

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With a move and a new baby in the mix, Chris reflects on his journey to photography and how he incorporates poetry into his body of work. Here are a few excerpts from his podcast:

We live in a digital world, of course, we're scrolling and clicking and liking, and in that digital world I think we forget sometimes how great it is to be able to walk into an art gallery with an exhibit of photographs. What was it like when the Trope gallery opened in London?

A quite surreal experience, I think. I've never seen my work hung up on a wall, let alone next to the fellow Trope photographers who, through Instagram, I've admired them and seen their journey. To be displayed next to them was humbling. To see it in print, in the flesh, it was a day I'll never forget because it cemented my confidence in my work.

What does photography do for your soul and why do you choose to pursue it and put so much time into it?

For me, it's a distraction from my busy job and everything else. A quite selfish catharsis for me through the entire process. Getting up, deciding where I'm going, taking the photos. It's a release because it's focused on that single thing. It helps distract and immerse myself into that outlet. It's a way of wiping the slate clean. 

With your level of experience, you can fully appreciate now that when you set out to capture an image in advance, and it did not turn out the way you had hoped, you're given a gift in a new way. What does that say about staying open to the mindset of 'this may not work, but this idea that I didn't even think of might be a better execution of the original?'

I suppose it's just evolution. It comes down to confidence because you could quite easily not get the shot and move on. But you learn and grow. Through trial and error I've managed to learn techniques that I translate to the photos. And looking for alternatives. It's about practice, evolving the eye and evolving the confidence.