Welcoming this little handsome dude // Newborn photography

We’ve been go go go busy for the last little while having tons of fun with the early start of our wedding season and being honoured with all the beautiful newborn and family lifestyle sessions we’ve been doing.  We just got back from an early morning wedding client meet and going to head out  to totally enjoy this awesome weather today with an engagement session downtown.  But before my day begins, I wanted to share this super cute newborn session of baby C.

I’ve been pretty excited to meet this little guy… as the daddy has been keeping me in the loop on his arrival.   So when I heard the great news.. we booked the date for this cute session.  When I walked into their home…it was great seeing E and D and meeting their little prince.   Like most newborns, E was telling me Baby C has been having the good life… spending most of his time sleeping.  But for the shoots… Baby C was wide awake for the most part.. almost  like he knew he was in a photoshoot..   Either or, the shoot went smoothly, as this little dude is great in front of the camera.

To my friends E&D, thank you both so much for letting me capture this precious life stage of your son.  Here a few pics from our session – enjoy!

Have an awesome weekend!

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/15
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Beyblades, Beach and a Wonderful Family

When I do a wedding and commercial shoot... I always plan things out just to make sure that the job is efficient and things run seamlessly.  I always do a site check and walk through locations to prepare ourselves.  On the flip side, when I do these family lifestyle session... one of the things I love is going in completely blind.  About 90% of our clients... I’ve only communicated through email and when we book the date and I get to their home, it's my first time meeting the family and at the same time,  I get this thrill on quickly figuring out what area / spot to use for the shoot…as I believe you can use any spot for a creative shoot.

So when N contacted me for a family lifestyle shoot with her son... we couldn't have booked a better day in terms of weather. When I got to their home... I was greeted by N and being 100% honest, I totally thought that N was an older daughter or someone along that lines and totally didn't expect her to be the mom (pls share your youth formula I say...hehe).  When I went in… I met her awesome son E!  While N was getting ready... her son and I battled through his Beyblades - looking back now, I think we spent a good amount of time playing Beyblades =)

Onto the shoot where we headed over to the beaches to enjoy the great weather. It was great capturing N and her son interact, as they are such a great family.  We headed back after and wrapped up the lifestyle shoot at their home and I went for winner takes all in the Beyblade battle with E... and I lost =(

To my new friends, N&E.. thanks so much for this great day capturing you both.. you guys are such a beautiful family.  Here are just a few pics from our day.

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/20
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Smash the cake… smash the cake!

Happy Friday everyone!  We’ve been pretty busy these last few weeks with shoots, meetings and the never ever ever ending of editing… =)  So as I’m charging up 100+ batteries right now for this weekend shoots, I thought I would share this awesome first birthday event!

When M first contacted me, there was tons of buzz words that caught my eye in her email... “first birthday”, “we have a puppy”, “smash cake”… all fun stuff.   So when we finalized the date, I was so glad we weren’t booked as this was such a cute family event.  On the day of Baby N’s party, I got there earlier and did family lifestyle shoot first before the guests arrived for N’s B-day party.  I couldn’t tell by looking but M&N told me that Baby N had a rough night sleeping (he probably was too excited for his par tee… ) but all of them had great spirits and were fun in front of the camera.   Here’s a random thought that relates to the smash the cake pics you’ll see below.  It was pretty cool seeing the older generation being so fascinated and excited to see the concept of Baby N.. smashing the cake.. but when I look back at my childhood, I think we all at one point dove into the cake unintentionally – or was it just only me? Haha..

To my new friends.. M&N+C+ Baby N… Thank you all so much for having me capture your family and this special milestone of for your son.  Here are just a handful of pics from that day, enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon
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1/29
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Surprise!!! Happy Birthday Rachel =)

I can't tell you how much I suck with any surprise for Gi, less alone planning a surprise event like Al did for Rachel.  I’m that dude... the moment i’m about to buy something for Gi as a surprise gift for example... I end up calling her doing one of those “hypothetically speaking hun… would you wear a beige Mackage jacket and what size?”… totally messing up my surprise.  My point? Al’s the man as he seriously planned out this perfect surprise party for his wife a few weeks back  - coordinating all their close friends, caterer (the food looked amazing ), bartender, dj and contacting a photographer to capture this event =)

I actually always wanted to capture a surprise event like this… just like everyone else , I love to see that first reaction and its even more fun on my end as I get to capture it.  So before I let the pics showcase this special surprise, I just want to sincerely thank my friend Al for keeping me in mind for his wife’s party (and for all the other special b-day parties I have gotten the opportunity to capture throughout the years) and a happy belated to my friend Rachel!  Great party and here are some of the pics!  Enjoy =)

Your Friend, Leon
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Maritess & Ruzen, One week to go!

Talk about a serious go go busy work weekend for us… TGIM… ok fine… that sound weird… but you guys all get where I’m coming from =)

So it’s T-minus 5 days till Maritess and Ruzen’s big day and we’re totally stoked on our end to capture the celebration.   But before that, I wanted to showcase their lifestyle engagement session where they totally lucked out with the weather that day as it snowed the next day.   We met downtown in the heart of Liberty Village and used the buildings and surrounding areas for our photo canvas.   It didn’t take long for them to warm up to the camera… and it was pretty cute stuff that Maritess shook out whatever nervousness Ruzen had (literally shooked em out..hehe).  It also helped that these guys were pretty gung ho for anything… (stand here guys…and let the train come at you… OK..next shot scale the wall.. =)) … much appreciated guys.

Before I get into their lifestyle session, I want to thank my friend Amanda for introducing us to Maritess – Many Thanks!  And of course I want to thank our new friends Maritess and Ruzen for giving us this amazing opportunity and for letting us do what we love this up coming weekend.   Enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/22
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Sharan and Alex Married! // Ontario Science Centre

A day to remember.

What a way to start off the wedding season!  We definitely started 2013 with a bang as the first wedding was at a neat location!  The Science Centre!   Before I get to that, let’s walk you through the day.   Since it was the blending of two cultures this day was full of cultural ceremonies.

The morning started with Alex getting ready in the traditional Sikh attire, which started of course in the morning with the wonderful red turban.   It definitely gives me an appreciation for the work that goes into getting a turban on.   I mean it took Alex just as long to get ready as the girls.   Now that is definitely not always the case, so it is nice to see the groom having to go through some of the prep as the ladies.

It was definitely cool to see all the traditional Sikh traditions at the ceremony and don’t forget about the food.   I think for me the most touching part of all the different Sikh traditions was when the family was sending Sharan off to her new life by pushing the car while the couple leaves.

Now on to the super cool venue!  Really what person doesn’t love the science centre and living in the days when we were kids running around.   I loved the fact that the exhibits were open for the guests during the cocktail hour.   Often times with our busy days with work, family, and friend we don’t get to take a minute and enjoy those moments where we are just learning and exploring the wonders of science.

Edit... forgot to mention, one of the coolest parts of this cultural mix was that Sharan wore Alex's mother's wedding dress from forty years ago.

Gi

I’ll echo the same thing Gi said in her first sentence – What a way to start off the wedding season! I could go on for days to describe Sharan and Alex’s amazing wedding… but instead I’m going just going to mention the a few things that stuck out to me in no particular order.

OK… where to I begin with this awesome 17 hour capture..

-detailed, detailed.. detailed… there was so much detailed planning on making this wedding perfect… kudos to the bride (and of course the groom =))

-Sharan and Alex looked insanely good

- Watching the different cultural dances – I must say the South Asian and East Asians have got the moves! Not only are they quick but they get some serious air time.  And I think I just realized one  of the key common factors, we our a colourful bunch =)

-Speaking of dance… Alex’s entrance… amazing!  And the romantic rose, nice touch!

-It was wicked seeing everyone truly partying up on the dance floor, young and old

-And of course,  the food…Chinese + Indian = win win

I got to say this again…It was not until the wedding day that I realized how on the ball, extremely detailed, and well planned this couple was.  To me … my relationship with them up to the wedding date was seeing how chill and easy going they were… they hide their perfectionist personality well I say =)  Not for nothing too, they had the right people running the show… from Poonam Gajjar coordinating the evening and on the all important Banquet services from  ROVEY (Harvey & Roger Tam) team who always on the ball.   Speaking of help, on my end I personally wanted to thank Gursham from Encore Films as it was awesome working with him throughout the day as he looked out for both Gi and I to make sure we got the shot.

To Sharan and Alex… we are thankful, honoured and extremely happy for this opportunity in allowing us to do what we love and for capturing your story. Here are just a few handful of pics we choose to visually story tell your day as we process the rest. Enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon Chai

Venue – Ontario Science Centre

Gurdwara - Gursikh Sabha Canada, Scarborough Gurdwara

Banquet Service – Rovey Service Group Inc. (www.rovey.ca) Harvey & Roger Tam

Make Up & Hair – Beauty Concept by Shirley Wu (www.shirleybeautyconcept.com)

Wedding Coordinator – Modern Vintage (www.modernVevents.com) Poonam Gajjar

Video – Encore Films - http://www.encorefilms.ca/blog/
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