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.