Manual NYC – The Photo Company That’s More Than Just 35M
Whether you love it or hate it, film photography has always been and will be there for us when we need. The older generations scoffing at the youngins about using clunky disposables or Olympic film cameras when they can use their iPhones. Hearing people say “Wait, you get these developed?” and “I didn’t know you can still go to 1-hour processing stores” as one shoots their last exposure and the camera motor whirs to collect all of the negatives.
For Manual NYC, they’re embracing the analog. Founded by Malcolm Dia in 2017, Manual started as a processing lab and distributor selling their branded disposables. They’re a one-stop-shop to get the perfectly grained photos while shooting festivals, art shows, and house parties. When Dia moved out to New York 3 years ago, he caught eye on all of the young photographers that were lurking the streets and taking photos of anything and everything that carried beauty. As it’s safe to say there’s been a renaissance in shooting on film, Dia caught on quickly to find a way to connect the younger communities through photography. Started as just a photo company, Manual slowly adapted into a photo and lifestyle brand, as they’ve made custom disposables for Dior for Art Basel, Tierra Whack, The North Face, and even the Whitney Museum. Through this, not only are they capturing some of the hottest people and events worldwide, but they’re the gatekeepers in processing these behind-the-scenes shots that take place.
Since last Summer, the brand opened doors to an extended pop-up shop where folks were able to browse through their photo books, purchase and develop film, and enjoy complimentary libations. As their brand was expanding, they hosted their first photo show in collaboration with Carhartt and photographer Aijan Payne, where special event tees were produced and sold out nearly immediately. With a packed venue and words spilling into the street about the company, Manual made their way to LA to host their second exhibition this last Friday with Micaiah Carter. We got to drop in and enjoy the evening hosted at Brother Brother in Culver City with beverages courtesy of Madre Mezcal and Boomtown Brewery.