When Ilya was looking for branding his life as the founder of Encounter, we were stumped at first.
When we stopped talking about the Brand, and switched the conversation to life, culture and living in Toronto - the story unravelled.
Ilya hails from Russia and has travelled ALL AROUND THE WORLD. I swear his passport is wilted. When you have experienced a lot of the world, your preferences, style, tastes tend to be much larger than the one place you live. Toronto is cool, Toronto only gets cooler and more vibrant as trends come and go. The growth I see for Toronto, is one where we become a city with sub-cultured hoods outside of Little India and China Town.
Ilya's passion for travel, fashion, food and Design sparked all the images for this shoot. Even so, we did not plan much of it. I usually shoot my clients on a schedule with precisely designed shots intended for future use in their Advertising and Marketing.
Ilya created a mobile app called ENCOUNTER, which allows you to "Shop the World around you". Ever walk into a restaurant or establishment and wish you could buy the chandelier in the lobby or the chairs at the cool cafe downtown Toronto? Yeah, there is an app for that! Right now there are over 100 Toronto spots on the app and I personally hope to see this app reach over 5000 Toronto Spots. If you don't particularly find the furnishings interesting, this app is a great way to check out the ambience of place from the perspective of design - One that I am always looking for. I often want to know the aesthetic of an environment before I even check the menu.
We planned nothing. We started at 10 am and by 1 am Ilya sent me home in an Uber with a mirror from his home. I do wish all shoots could by full days from morning to night. I am giving it considerable thought. In a world where some of us wanted things yesterday, some of us can provide as much time it takes to run around the city - this might work.
I mean really, we encountered the day. We met the day with the intention to take images, but we discovered the images on the way. We created in the moment, switching things up at the last second. It was the best way to shoot this Brand. Off the cuff, in the moment - much like his Mobile App.
Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make its tail wag
When I think of Branding, I think of messages. Messages are only as good as the person sending them. Messages are also best received when they are authentic.
I create images that convey what is usually not seen in your usual day to day Business portraits. Why does it matter that Joseph loves spending time with his Family? Or that Cycling is one of his BIGGEST passions? Because we all matter. Each and every one of us. When we are purchasing a service or a product, we make these choices based on a connection, on trust, on the provider being open and honest with us.
Think about what matters to your clients? Their families, their passions, their life matters to them. When we express our lives in our business, we invite the best connections to come in. Your clients are lifelong relationships that take time, care and effort - the sort of effort that goes beyond the sale.
I met Abdullah from Pain Ease about a year ago. I took images for his first location. It was a tiny room in a larger Clinic. Today, almost a year later. Abdullah has a an entire clinic, with 3 treatment rooms.
Our health is in question everyday. With diseases like Cancer looming heavier and heavier by the year, one must question the options. The medical team at Pain Ease focuses on being a safe space for all types of patients. They do not judge or manipulate you into anything, they guide you and give you options, ones that have very high statistics of working.
Your choices are important to everyone. There is an awakening on the rise. I know too many people who have kicked Cancer to ignore Natural Medicine as a viable option.
Pain Ease is now a full clinic with Doctors who work on all ailments or issues you may be having, such as dealing with infertility, Migraines, Menopause, and all things Pain related.
Have look for yourself, with all the time we waste on the internet, this click may change your life.
This is Happie Micha Edwards. Please find him on Facebook and friend him IMMEDIATELY.
Happie is one of those humans that walks with intention. He talks to everybody he walks by - Whether it is with his eyes, his smile, his words or his body language. Happie is also really fucking good at talking real life. Vulnerability is on the rise and we are all learning to navigate this space. We make being sad wrong, yucky and something we must remove it in an instant. What does life look like when you can be both? This duality is a talent. I search for those that possess this, they are my mirrors.
They say if you want to know a photographer, just look at their images. I could not agree more. I think in Images, as an expression of myself. I am often asked what I shoot. I gotta start saying - LIFE.
One of my favourite things to do, is to catch people in a moment and go deep. She was waiting for me to come over. Our coven of women were gathered in her home and I was unexpected, and welcomed. She met me underneath a street lamp, and as I saw the twinkles of light in her eyes, I thought to myself, "Cynthia, just go for it, sit her down, take her in and just don't give a fuck about the light".
These took us about 15 Minutes to get right. We talked about our women crushes on each other. As the awkwardness subsided, I said, "BB, close your eyes and think of me, what do you love about me, and I want you to show me what that looks like."
BB went for it. Thank goodness she did. Imagine life without these images? I certainly can not.