Lifelong friends…

I am lucky in life to have a number of lifelong friends.  Friends that you know have your back and you know you will always have theirs.   Helen is one of those people, I have known her since high school and we have grown up together.   We have gone from our insecure teenage years to university to young professionals to marriage and now watching her go through the joys of parenthood.

It is a rare treasure to have her in Tdot nowadays as Helen and her hubby Enoch normally live on the other side of the country.  So since they were here for the big SS wedding, we got a chance to snap some pics.   She was in last days where she could fly but Helen looked great and was just enjoying her pregnancy.   We can’t wait to meet little bean bean :p

Gi
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1/18
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Fast forward 9 months and today’s the day!

Gina and Sam are all about exciting milestones.  Last year Gi and I waited until the end of the year to have the honour to capture their wedding in gorgous Punta Cana, Dominician.  Fast forward 9 months and I get to see our awesome friends again and this time I get to capture the both of them…when they are expecting!  So again… exciting milestone as today’s the day!

Happiness can’t even begin to describe how I feel for them both.  Gina and Sam, I’m forever honoured to continue to capture these beautiful milestones in your life.  Like the rest of your friends and family… Gi and I can’t wait to meet the new addition and capture some newborn pics.

Your Friend,  Leon
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1/14
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CNE & Toronto’s Waterfront // Maria and Marlon

Photography has always been therapeutic for me. No, I am not going into a metaphor and get all artsy fartsy on you guys.  But it comes down to the nitty gritty of conquering fears.   In 2010 I conquered my fears of open water (chai can’t swim) with this awesome shoot with Sandra and Nick at the Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club .  And now with Maria and Marlon,  I conquered the fear of heights… you’ll see below.

I was excited for this shoot since I only got to meet Marie at our initial meeting and at the time I didn’t get a chance to meet Marlon.  So it was great seeing them together.   We met at the Princess Gates and the crowd factor was crazy that day.  We worked our way through the CNE grounds just like a regular visit, except they had a camera dude following them… we ate, played games, ate, hopped on some rides, camera dude crapped his pants because of the heights and headed out.    I think one of the best comments that day was a random couple that came up to me asking… “that family that your taking pics of.. are they famous?  I have seen them before”…

The awesome part of doing a shoot at the CNE is that we’re walking distance from Toronto’s awesome lakeshore.  So we took advantage of that and got some shots in.  To my new friends, T minus 2 weeks and I can’t wait.  I also can’t wait to work together again with the team of L3 events as I’m thankful for the warm intro from them.  Here are some pics from our shoot- enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/22
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Maida & Mike’s Lifestyles Session // Kensington Market, Toronto

I really do love our city of Toronto. I seldom take what our city has to offer for granted as the things I love in life is all within reach – being surrounded by diverse cultures, having the best foods and a city with character.   Toronto characteristics are hard to describe but it always shouts to me visually.  It is what really started my love for street photography and allowed me freedom to express myself.   Kensington Market is one spot I always wanted to use as its character screams to me =) And for this shoot, I was totally excited that Maida and Mike agreed to this spot.

I waited for Maida and Mike in the heart of Kensington.  It’s funny, during that wait… I must have had at least 13 people approach me for whatever reason… mainly to chat up about photography (as I had two cameras around my neck… and a light stick) - I miss the city’s friendly vibe.   When Maida and Mike arrived , they looked awesome.  I was forewarned that they are not camera people.  So, I started them off with the  “cheesiest pics to get them warmed up” but in my opinion, after this session, I think they are pros. We literally all explored various parts of Kensington together that we normally wouldn’t check out… unless back alleys are your thing (it’s cool, since we never judge at Leon Chai Photography).  Afterward, we headed out of Kensington and did a few shots with Mike’s car… I quickly learned he’s also a car guy =) … so for sure we had to incorporate it.   To my new friends Maida and Mike, I had a blast hanging out and can’t wait for the wedding in a few weeks – its going to be awesome.  Before I get to your pics, I sincerely want to thank Emily C for introducing me to your awesome friend – Many Thanks Emily!

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/22
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Congrats to Tu My and Andrew // Photo booth

Gi and I had a blast this weekending capturing Tu My and Andrew’s awesome wedding.  Once again, congrats guys =).  I figure I’d kill two birds with one stone and post up some pics from their photo booth we set up and at the same time showcase this as many prospects have been asking us if we do these things.   Enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon

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1/97
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Tanya and Ian Married // Toronto Wedding

I’m up early today… finally got a chance to get some sleep after an action packed weekend.   We shot a great wedding on Saturday and on Sunday I had a fun session with maternity shoot at our place.  So I’m off today to pull my wisdom teeth… kinda nervous … but before I bolt I wanted to showcase a recent wedding we did a few weeks back.  I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and Happy Monday =)

Tanya and Ian:

We luck out every year and get to work with the kindest and bestest (how is this word not in the dictionary I say..)  peoples out there.    Tanya and Ian, are definitely no exception to this roster.   I’m going to give you two really small examples.

1) I get a call from Ian’s sister (who helped coordinate their wedding) a day before the wedding.  We get off the phone after going through the itinerary and she calls me back right away to address an important matter.  What was that?  Well Tanya and Ian needed to know “what topping Gi and I want on our subs, as they are buying food for everyone during then formal pics” – too kind.

2) During the day of their wedding, I noticed the guys had an extra shirt.   Tanya and Ian figured it would be comfortable for the guys to have a clean shirt to change into because of the hot day – ingenious and thoughtful.

Gi and I started the day together as we drove down to Ian’s parents home where the guys were.  The guys and I hopped into the SUV and hid out around the corner when Tanya and the girls headed over.  Then the awesome door games began – me and Gi love them because they are always so much fun!  We all then headed out for the gorgeous outdoor ceremony at the Le Jardin.

I’ll let the pics do the talking but I want mention some key things that was pretty note worth on the day. Ian’s sister, Jessica… you are an awesome coordinator. If you ever decide that your job is “back breaking”  - consider this as your second calling.  To the wedding party, you guys are all awesome.  Last but not least, Tanya and Ian… You guys looked amazing on your day and being everywhere all the time, we can tell you that everyone had a blast.  Thanks so much for having Gi and I be a part of your big day.  Here are just a few pics to visually story tell your day as we’re processing the rest.

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/98
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