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Vincent Brillant’s Instagram: Destinations awaiting to be discovered via @Montrealismes

Montreal has no secrets for Vincent Brillant. From the violet tints on Marie-Anne street to the beautiful staircases in Montreal’s museums, Vincent always finds a way to reveal Montreal under its most beautiful angles. His Instagram account is amongst one of the most frequently cited ones in the lists of Montreal’s top instagrammers. Once fallen on his page, you feel a rush to go out and explores the hidden treasures that Montreal has to offer. Vincent Brillant is our content creator of the month of June.

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Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec (MNBAQ)
Montreal in colours - Plateau Mont-Royal

Like multiple instagrammers that we’ve had the chance to be in contact with (@Inayali, @Capslockmanny, @Sarahbabineau), Vincent developed his passion for picture taking a little later than one would expect. In was while in the midst of one of his analog photography classes at Brébeuf, that the art of picture taking started peaking his curiosity in a more serious manner. It all started with a project called ‘‘Montreal after World War 3’’, which pushed him to investigating his own city.

« I discovered that there was a community that did exactly that-visit abandoned buildings- inform themselves on the history of it and take pictures of these places. In fact, what they were doing is called urban exploration.

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Mural Royalmount
Habitat 67

In 2008-2009, he practiced this activity on a regular basis. Which allowed him to better himself in photography, very independently.

Distinction through style

Vincent had his very first contract by the intermediate of Instagram, and he was still in school when this all happened. In the goal to transform their visual identity, ‘‘l’école des sciences de gestions de l’UQAM’’ associated themselves to a small advertising company called ‘‘LA Camaraderie’’ who then fell onto Vincent’s Instagram profile.

Mandat nouvelle identité visuelle de l’école des sciences de gestion de l’Uqam

Mandat nouvelle identité visuelle de l’école des sciences de gestion de l’Uqam

Instagram as a turning point

« They found me on Instagram. They thought that I had captured interesting places that they felt represented the city and its landmarks.

Tradionnal mandate - Structube

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Tradional mandate - Structube
Traditional mandate - Structube

A local signature that inspire

Multiple brands and tourism agencies quickly started to associate themselves to @montrealismes. Vincent is a reference for all the unique places that are Montreal’s ground: His account inspires and pushes us to travel. It comes as no surprise that Air Canada contacted him when they wanted to launch their first direct flight to Mexico City.

« My long-term objective is to be an architecture photographer, but with my presence on IG it’s as if I’ve developed another expertise, one related to the domain of tourism.

Instagram naturally influences the choices of touristic destinations. According to Carrie Miller, writer and globe-trotter: "In between 2009 and 2014, the visitors of the Trolltunga cliff, situated in the South-Ouest of Norway, have passed from 500 to 40 000 (per year), which many consider like a wave of tourism that has been fed by social media platforms. ’’

To follow a series of Instagram pictures often gives a much more authentic experience than to consult images in tourism pamphlets.

« Advertising related to travel works very well on Instagram, just like other specific subjects like food and fashion related blogs », adds Vincent.

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Condesa - Mexico
Corcovado - Train to Cristo Redentor

« I perceive my IG as an additional photography service that I offer. My content created are essentially pictures that I display from an influencer's perspective. What i mean by that is that in the process of creation, I take into consideration the target audience desired by the client.

Taking pictures with an Iphone

A large amount of photographers publish pictures on their Instagram account that were captured with a professional camera. This is not the case for Vincent, he rolls with the ‘‘Iphone Only’’ concept. The reason behind it?

« It facilitates immensely my workflow. Il allows me to take my pictures, review them, select them and edit them, on the same device.

It is also, according to him, a question of the display resolution. Instagram has a visual language that is proper to it. Many pictures work well when they are on large-screen, but once transferred to an phone, they don’t look the same.

« The pictures are often very dense in terms of information or details and don’t work well. A horizontal picture of a landscape, with many details, just won’t have the same effect once it becomes a vertical image, with less details to focus on within the frame.

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Bibliothèque d'archives
Metro - Namur Station

With this being said, when Vincent works with content that is going to be published on IG, he prefers to simplify the composition of his pictures, allowing them to remain graphic and simple.

Normally, when Vincent goes out to take pictures, it’s for the whole afternoon. He visits multiple places in the same sector of the city and it sometimes even happens accompanied by friends. From the pictures taken, only a couple make the cut as ‘‘potential candidates’’ for Instagram. He then passes to modifying the pictures and it’s only after they have all be tweaked to his liking, that he picks which ones are ‘‘Insta worthy’’.
Vincent works with 4 apps to modify his pictures, which completely explains why he would rather work from his Iphone.

Discover which 4 applications he uses in our next article!

A look deeper at the human behind the IG account

Vincent accords a great importance to the text that accompanies his pictures.

«It’s a great opportunity to prove that there is someone behind the account. To reveal a part of your personality through social media and to hint at the thoughts that were coming to mind at the moment that the picture was taken.

Vincent admits to having had difficulty in the past, when coming time to find captions- in order to really put into words what he wanted the picture to express. It was often the reason why his posts had longer intervals before the publication of them.

The importance of community on social media

The collaboration in between instagrammers is definitely not exploited often enough. A lot of influencer campaigns ask the help of content directors, but these collaborators are contacted individually.

« I think that it’s a missed opportunity not to have these instagrammers collaborate amongst themselves.

Instagram contract - Oikos

Instagram mandate - Lincoln

A hobby that generates revenue

Finally, Vincent quickly took conscious of the potential that Instagram could offer him. What was at first a simple hobby could allow him to use one of his passions for his own professional advantage. 40 to 45% of his contracts are now directly related to Instagram.

Vincent is one of Montreal’s figures that highlights the unique traits of the Montreal culture.

If you don’t already, follow him on Instagram or on his website.


Jessika is a content editor at Republik and co-founder of the renown lifestyle & culture blog Querelles.