Throughout the past year while working on Rose City Style Guide, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a variety of uber talented people. One of the first two I met on my journey was the most genuine couple, Josh and Arica Klassen from Manifesto Photography
Here is their story…
How did you end up photographers? Tell us about your journey and what gave you the courage to start a business…
Arica’s Story:“There is a VHS tape of a one year old me, sitting on the kitchen floor with a paper and marker, screaming in pure delight at each stroke of colour I made on a paper. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved creating.
I distinctly remember at the age of 6, going out into our yard to look for rocks, bringing them inside, and painting them. I didn’t stop there. I then took those rocks door to door in my neighbourhood, and sold them to people. This was the first time I made money selling something I had created, and I was hooked.
After high school, I began working toward a degree and after a few years, I realized that I didn’t fit in with the other people in my program. I didn’t want to work for someone else. After working a few horrible ‘real jobs’, a lightbulb went off. I decided to use my natural born creativity to make a business and lifestyle that I desired.”
Joshua’s Story:“I have loved photography ever since my Dad let twelve year old me borrow his circa 1970’s film SLR on a trip to Florida. From then on, I was hooked. The ability to immortalize a moment in time has always excited me. On top of photography, I’ve always had a huge passion for business. In high school my best friend and I used to dream about what life would be like when we were managing our businesses from a laptop on a tropical beach. My head might have been in the clouds a bit.
After high school I went to university and studied computer science and mathematics and took all my electives in business management and economics. I then proceeded to work in IT and different areas of business management for 8 years. I still chased photography, but didn’t try to make make a life out of it until I met this crazy beautiful and talented woman who was already making a living with Manifesto. Naturally, I married that girl, and jumped on board with Manifesto.”
It has now been eight years since Manifesto Photography began. The first three of those years with Arica leading, and the last five as a husband and wife team.
What is your advice for newlyweds looking into hiring a wedding photographer: A couple main points on this:
- If you’ve found a photographer, and you love their style – meet with them! It will be so worth your time to see if you have chemistry with that person/those people. Your photographer will be with you more than your future spouse that day. Make sure you enjoy their company. This could actually really effect your day!
- It’s worth it to get two professional, full-time photographers. It’s safer, you’ll get more variety, more photos, and you’ll have more flexibility for your day.
- Make sure that “second photographer” actually is a professional, and not some random person looking to build their portfolio on your wedding. They should not just be there as a back up in case something happens to the other photographer, or their gear.
These are your memories, splurge a little! Make sure the photos are great, and that you will treasure them for years to come. This is not only a gift to yourself, but an heirloom for your family. “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten” – Aldo Gucci
Where are your go to spots to shoot in Windsor Essex? This is a tough one! We shoot all over the place, and try not to use the same location (at least not in the same way) more than once. Windsor Essex is so diverse! We love using it all. 🙂 That includes the many orchards, lakes, beaches, walking trails, fields, and parks in the area! Just to name a few.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out? I don’t think creativity is something you can force, or even really take credit for. A lot of what we do just comes to us in the right moments. It comes from the colour of our client’s eyes, the story of how they met, the landscapes we’re surrounded by. In a moment on a session, we’ll see how a groom sweeps hair off his bride’s face and it all just comes together *snap.*
I love this quote by Ansel Adams: “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”
When did you finally feel like you have “made it” and that your business was a success? I don’t think we’ll ever feel like we’ve “made it.” Doing what we do, seems like it’s more about the chase than about the destination. We’re always setting goals to obtain. However, the moments we get a card or email from a client who loves their images, we feel our business is a success! Those are the things we live for – capturing memories for people in a way they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Describe a typical day/week: This is ever changing throughout the year. However, almost every day starts with beagle snuggles, coffee, and breakfast together! After that we’re either shooting, editing, doing office ‘stuff’ *yay taxes*, or meeting with clients.
Who would play you two in a movie: That’s tough. I have no idea, lol!
Your favourite Saturday afternoon activity in Windsor-Essex: 9 months of the year that would be shooting a wedding at one of the many gorgeous venues around town! When we have a free Saturday we like to cruise downtown to the Farmer’s Market in our old Ford 1966 pick-up.
All Photos By Manifesto Photography