Jamie and Jeremy Manstrom (pictured below in the winter appropriate hats) once led a soon-to-be married couple on a three-mile hike across a cold, vast Iceland landscape to capture an image of the couple standing in full wedding attire at the site of an abandoned plane crash. That unique photoshoot is one of many the husband and wife team, based in Grand Forks, have been a part of during their venture as destination wedding photographers. The Manstrom’s have traveled the globe seeking to capture authentic moments of friends, celebrities and clients they never knew before shooting. We asked Jamie and Jeremy to share their stories and insights from their most memorable photos. Enjoy.
How did you each get into photography as a profession?
Jamie - When I was in high school I was in a band and attended many local shows and thought it would be really fun to take photos of all the other musicians. I then worked at a camera shop developing film and really fell in love with photography. So I decided to get a degree in photography and haven’t put my camera down ever since.
Jeremy - When we got married I was in the process of applying to med schools and I wasn’t super excited about it. I connected with our wedding photographer almost immediately and thought “Wow, his job looks awesome!” So we packed up and moved to Missoula for photography school.
How has the region helped shape your approach to photography?
Jamie - I’ve always been in love with our wide-open skies and we take advantage of that a lot in our work. It made me realize early on that you don’t need a big fancy city to get interesting images, there’s something beautiful about the simplicity of our landscape.
How would you describe the Manstrom photography experience?
Jeremy - We want to capture the most natural and authentic reactions and the only way to do that is to help people feel comfortable. We’re easy going, relaxed and fun. Having your picture taken can make people anxious and anxiety is the enemy of great pictures! When you’re comfortable you let your guard down and then we get to photograph authentic moments and real feelings.
Travel has become a big-part of your careers. Why do you maintain your home base in the region?
Jeremy - Family is the most important thing to us. Traveling to new places and seeing amazing new things is wonderful but if you don’t have family to come back to share everyday life with, those new places start to lose their charm.
What have you learned about yourselves and your clients?
Jamie - I would say just genuine moments! I love when we catch those moments on wedding days where you can totally see how much the groom adores his bride or her dad crying as he watches this new part of his little girl’s life begin. Those are the moments you want your grandkids to look back on and see.
Consider this situation: You have enough memory on your SD card for one photo. You have enough gas in the car to get you 10 miles (from a starting point in Grand Forks) in any direction. Where do you go and what do you shoot?
Jamie - We live just a bit out of town and about a mile down the road from our house out in our family’s fields we always find the greatest Northern lights.
Jeremy – Easy. I would head to McDonalds. Grab a large Coke Zero and then make my way to our secret location!! I stumbled across it whilst out for a run, it’s in town and we never tell people where it is because we don’t want the secret to get out. I absolutely adore the symmetry of the evergreen tree rows and they’re so tall that there’s always great shade. G
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