When people love what they do, that passion shines through in their work. And when two people love each other–and just happen to work together–that devotion shines through in their business. Yuriy and Julia Manchik are one such example: this husband-and-wife team of wedding photographers travels the world, capturing beautifully-styled weddings and sharing their globetrotting photos on Mr. + Mrs. Globetrot. No matter how far-flung the destination is (Iceland and Cuba, most recently) or close to their Seattle home base (like the Utah backdrop to their Bowery shoot), the Manchiks manage to make each moment enthralling.
The Manchiks carry the Leather Bowery Bag in Antique Cognac.
ONA: How did you get into photography/videography?
JM: Yuriy gave us a head start by buying a nice camera as a teenager and then deciding to make some money with it. He photographed a couple of weddings for dirt cheap on Craigslist and liked it. Next thing you know, he was setting up a website, making business cards, and about a year later quit his full-time job. Business comes naturally to him. When he met Julia (she was in Seattle for a summer), he gave her a camera and brought her along to assignments just for fun. Yuriy told her to pretend like she knew what she was doing. Turns out Julia wasn’t so bad at it, and a year later when she moved to Seattle, Yuriy “hired” her to shoot with him… and asked her to be his girlfriend.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
JM: We shoot with a Nikon D700 and D800 for the majority of our work. Our favorite lenses are the 35mm 1.4 and 45mm tilt-shilft. We always shoot together, so it’s nice that we can use our favorite lenses at the same time. More for personal work, Yuriy likes to shoot with his Leica M3 and Mamiya 7ii.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?
JM: Weddings are our priority and the way we pay our rent. Funny thing is, shooting anything but a wedding fuels our creativity because it’s something new and challenging. We recently put together a fashion shoot in Iceland and really enjoy doing shoots where we (mostly Julia) can also do the styling. We love to travel and have learned a lot from photographing faraway places and people who don’t speak our language. We keep a personal travel blog to share our photographs and keep challenging ourselves to shoot no matter where we go.
A dream project would be to style and shoot a lookbook for a brand in an incredible foreign setting like Morocco or Peru.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer/videographer?
JM: As full-time, self-employed photographers, the hardest thing is balancing work and life. Especially as a married couple who works together. We work too much, too late at night, and bring the work to every trip we take. Social media is one of the muddiest areas, because we use it for our personal lives to stay in touch with friends and family, and also to connect with clients for our business. We are still learning how to take a Sunday off from work, but we’re getting better. In the beginning, you’ll work your butt off 24/7 and not even care. With time, you wisen up and realize your life will pass by if all you do is work (no matter how much you enjoy it).
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
JM: We aim to capture things as they happen, instead of setting them up. We try to make our clients comfortable and give as much or as little guidance as they need… some couples require more than others. Our style is laid-back and natural.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer/videographer just starting out?
JM: No matter what you’re doing to make money, always shoot what you love to shoot because that’s where you’ll grow and experiment the most.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
JM: Probably heard about you through some cool, stylish, rockstar photographer… but it’s hard to say with the internet.