Instagrammers, whether you like it or not, are some of the most influential photographers of our age. We wanted to get to know the personalities behind the cameras, so we reached out to a few phone photographers who have been capturing their own unique beauty. These individuals have been hard at work shooting some of Montreal’s best sights, from dawn until dusk, across our city’s diverse landscapes.
Vincent Brillant, aka @montrealismes, is a young photographer who specializes in Montreal architecture. He is currently finishing his studies in professional photography at Dawson and his hobbies include photography (clearly!), urban exploration, music (death metal/black metal), politics, and many other things!
What are some of your favourite spots in Montreal? (You can include locations, restaurants, coffee shops etc)
I really like the Plateau; I’ve been living there for three years now. I love Parc Lafontaine, Square Saint-Louis and cafes and restaurants like Café “Les Entretiens” on Laurier. I also really like to walk randomly through the streets to discover new places! Drolet is a particularly photogenic street all year long!
When did you first start taking photographs and how has this affected your life?
I started taking photos in 2008. At that time I was doing my first program at CÉGEP in arts and I took an elective in photography. It was a course in film photography and our professor had given us a theme for our final project that we had to reproduce: “Montreal after the Third World War.” I searched google to try and find places that were abandoned or in decay around Montréal to do the project et and I was able to find an abandoned factory in St-Henri. I really loved the experience and, as soon as I developed my photos and saw the result, I knew immediately that I had to return and take some more photos for fun! I returned a second time with a friend and we really had fun! Later, I found out that a whole group of other people take photos in abandoned buildings as a hobby, and that there is a little community of urban explorers in Montreal. Meeting up with other photographers, I began to take photos of abandoned sites more and more often. It quickly changed from a simple hobby into a real passion and that’s how I decided to make it my career. Now it’s 2015, and I work as a professional photographer on this account, specializing in architecture.
What are your favourite things to photograph?
I love to capture moments, details, buildings, and urban environments. I love to walk through Montreal and bring attention to streets, to buildings, and to the details that surround me.
What is your process for taking the perfect photo, and where do you find your inspiration?
Usually my best photos aren’t planned in advance. I like to walk and take photos when I have time, and that’s it. I usually like to think that it’s the light that dictates if I’m going to go out —depending on where it falls I see things in different ways and that brings me to perceive my subjects in a unique way every time. I also find that instameets and instawalks has inspired me to reach a new level of photography. It is really refreshing when someone who comes with us sees details that we may have missed or sees a subject in a totally different way than us. It’s very inspiring!
Where is a dream destination that you would love to visit and photograph?
I would really like to return to the Scandinavian countries. I travelled there in 2011, and it was simply incredible in the cities and countryside. The city of Bruges also had a superb atmosphere. Perhaps a big American city would be cool as well. Chicago? New York?
Your account @montréalismes was chosen as one of the 300 most prestigious accounts to follow on Instagram, has this affected your life or photography in any way?
Like my passion for photography, Instagram has completely changed my life. When my account was chosen by Instagram for the “suggested user list” in 2014, I had no idea the list even existed. I quickly saw the potential that this had and I decided to dedicate myself more seriously to Montrealismes. Instagram is truly a unique platform in a number of ways. The visibility that a user can attain on instagram is like nothing that else that exists. It’s thanks to my work on instagram that I find many of my contracts.
Who are some of your favourite instagrammers?
That’s a tough question! I’m inspired by a lot of people: @nicholasdyee, @nunoassis, @legrandbazar, @fleurde.lys, @hebdomania, and many more!