So much love for this little man… Happy First Birthday S!

You know what’s awesome about this first b-day party.. it is the fact that if this was his 25th b-day this party it still would have been just as pimp.  So let’s see… S’s party was in a fancy hotel, there was a race car, race track, amazing food,  tons of friends and family …Mercedes coupe as a gift. I would love a party like this… haha.

All fun and games aside, I was super impressed with this car themed party and most importantly, it was amazing  seeing baby S hit this milestone year.  I mean the last time I saw him was at his super cute newborn shoot (see here).   To my friends H&R, you guys are the best for always keeping me in mind for these special occasions – thank you.  Happy belated b-day to your little man and here are some pics from his awesome party.

Your Friend, Leon
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/39
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image

Vanessa & Dan’s Lifestyle Engagement Session // Toronto

With these lifestyle sessions, I always ask our couples for any particular spots that are meaningful to them.   I love to incorporate sentimental places for these shoots.   For Vanessa and Dan, the awesome part is, they totally had a few spots and ideas in mind, which I found out on the day of the shoot.

We started off at the playground where Vanessa and Dan had some fun on the swings.  If this shoot was after my Spartan Race experience this past weekend, I would have totally climbed on top of the bars to do a top down shot =) Right from the get go, Vanessa and Dan were super easy going and acted no different in front of the camera.   They showed me a cool bridge which we totally used and then headed over to the water for some pics. On our way back,  Dan pulled out his bike and we had some fun with that too=)  Anyways… Gi and I can’t wait to the big day and we’re totally honoured to do what we love on your day. Here are just a few pics from our session =) Happy hump day!

Your Friend, Leon
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/27
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image

Happy First Birthday J!

We had a pretty fun and intense past weekend starting off with an awesome, awesome  wedding shoot on Saturday and with less then 5 hours of sleep afterwards,  Gi and I did the Spartan Race up in Barrie the next morning.  The race was fun but personally we were more beat up, body wise, from carrying 30lbs+ of camera equipment in the heat while crafting pics in dress clothes for 13 hours =). We call this the ChaiChang Race =)

I was so excited when K emailed me about capturing J’s first birthday party.  The last time I saw them both was when baby J was a few weeks old and we had our photo session (see posting here).  It’s kind of hard to explain but to have the opportunity to capture a milestone year for someone I took newborn pics of is a super rewarding feeling.  So when I showed up it was craaaaazy how much baby J had grown (like a little walking doll she was) and how even more adorable she is.  As I started capturing her party, it was awesome to see all the cute details…especially the monkey theme with all the talent and skill that went into making / decorating the desserts   =)   There was tons of family and friends there that day celebrating J’s first birthday and the weather held off just long enough for people to enjoy the patio and BBQ food.

Thank so much K for keeping me in mind for your daughter’s first birthday celebration… you both look amazing and so great seeing you guys + the familiar faces =)  Here are just a few pics from the day.

Your Friend, Leon
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/32
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image

Chrystille & Ed’s Lifestyle Session

14 years.  Chrystille & Ed have been dating for 14 years.  That’s insanity (and I mean this with all goodness of course). In perspective, when they started dating... google wasn’t even launched yet. This was the time that song, “hit me baby one more time”… came out…  they had to use smoke signals to communicate… OK fine.. that’s not true but you get the idea.  Bottom line is, it’s pretty awesome they have such a history and are about to start their next chapter together in a few months.

On the day of their shoot… we started off their session in the most perfect way imaginable… as they suggested we meet at a greasy spoon brunch joint to grab a bite to eat first. Perfect. I love grease and brunch..haha.   We started off our shoot waiting for some planes to fly over and worked our way east towards the park and the water… literally as you will see in the pics… That being said, I have to say, you both rock for your willingness (being soaked in water..hehe)  to do anything I suggested =)   Before I get into the pics, I just wanted to thank Kathleen for introducing us to this awesome couple (Gi and I are excited to see you / work with you at their wedding) and of course… many thanks to Chrystille and Ed for having Gi and I capture your upcoming big day. Here are some pics.

Your Friend, Leon
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/21
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image

Tu Ong and Rendell’s Wedding

So the bride’s name may sound familiar to some who have read through the past blogs.  Well it is, Tu Ong is Tu My Ong’s sister (see wedding) whose wedding we shot last year.  It is always great when we get to see the families we have met before as familiar faces are always fun.

We started off the morning at the hotel where both the boys and girls got ready.  It is always nice when this happens because Leon and I can go back and forth with one another between the wedding party.  Now, when you meet Tu you realize that she is not only super nice but she is also a person who is a meticulous planner.  She even got us subs for lunch cuz she was worried we wouldn’t eat with her schedule.  Leon’s tummy says Thank you =)

After the ceremony, we headed over the McMichael’s Art Gallery for pictures of the wedding party.  It is a great place to shoot because of the beautiful architecture and greenery.  You get a little bit of the old buildings mixed in with mother nature.

When we got back to the venue, we set up the photobooth for the cocktail hour.  I must say, I am always surprised at how people of all ages get so into the pictures.  Conservatism is out the window when there are props and funny looking outfits.  Everyone gets right into it!

Once cocktails were done, the reception started and allowed everyone to see how it was totally about the couple and their love for one another.   If you remember from their engagement shoot (Here) Rendell brought out the guitar and posed for some pics.   Well, he didn’t stop there as he surprised Tu with a personalized love song on their wedding night.   So sweet!  Obviously Rendell is not the only singer in the group as it was a full night singing from family and friends.

Gi

I can honestly say, in all our years capturing weddings, Tu and Rendell are one the most organized, on the ball couples I have met to date.  To give you an example, the day we met (just an initial meet and greet) they had 90% completed draft of their wedding itinerary done for the next year.  So, I’ll echo my wife and use the same word to describe them (her…haha) “meticulous”.   The crazy part is that their personalities are so chillaxed.. where you would never know how detailed they are.

On their wedding day, we arrived at the hotel they where both getting ready at in separate rooms. I told Gi .. lets snap the first person of the day of whoever opens the door to greet us on both parties.  As you can see in the pics.. we took Rendall’s brother by surprise (as he was kinda sleeping still..hehe) and Tu was all smiles first thing in  the morning.  The weather was amazing that day.. bright and sunny.. which really complemented the colour yellow that they chose.  When we headed to the reception, I ran the photo booth while Gi was capturing the event and all the many details – from the cute cake toppers to wonderfully designed elements everywhere.  Before we showcase some pictures to visually tell the story… just wanted to give a shout out (as I’m holding my pretend mic…)  to Tu My and Andrew, it’s always great seeing you guys and of course a sincere thank you to our friends, Tu and Rendall for having us capture your special day.

Your Friend, Leon Chai



The first pics of the day =)
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/141
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image

Sally & Dave Married! // Toronto

In the past 6 years in capturing weddings, this one was pretty unique as an experience for a few reasons... I’ll get into that in a bit...Diann contacted me a few weeks before the wedding and asked if I would be free on this date. There were two things I wrote when I responded, congrats and yes,  I am free until the late afternoon as I was booked for a flight to head out to SF.  In my head, I could hear Gi yelling at me… as I’m notorious for taking on things that cut close to time. When Diann responded back, she wrote ... I’m not the one getting married and the timing works.  She told us afterwards this was for her parents and she felt it was important for this to be captured and wanted this to be a gift from her. Right off the bat, I thought this person was pretty awesome.  She forewarned me in advance that her Mom is not into taking pics and this might be a struggle.

So on the day of their wedding, I got to the church a bit earlier just to check things out. As I was sitting down waiting for people to arrive, it dawned on me that I have no clue who was who...since I had never met anyone prior and or seen any pics.  But obviously the moment Sally walked in.. she was all smiles and excited, I figured this had to be the bride =) The ceremony was sweet and was great seeing how happy everyone was.  Before I get into the pics, I want to say thanks to my new friend Diann for having me capture this special day for her parent.  Here are just a few pics =)

Your Friend, Leon



Something old



Something new



Something blue =)
MORE [x] CLOSE
1/35
View Thumbnails Previous Image Next Image