Tina + Reggie // The Countdown Begins

My first entry for 2014 and if I do the finger counting thing, it has been 8 years now that I don’t take for granted everyday how blessed I am for the support from everyone around me that got me to where am I - in being able to do what I love for a living. I am humbly thankful.

 

You know the saying the calm before the storm, for Tina and Reggie’s lifestyle engagement shoot, we shot this a day before the ice storm in Toronto.  Looking back now, it would have been pretty pimp if we got some pics with the all the ice.. or it would have been some dangerous times. Either or, it didn’t really matter, Tina and Reggie are a really a beautiful couple that can make any surrounding work as you’ll see in the pics.   So on the day of the shoot, we met downtown and I planned to use a mix of indoor and outdoor since it was winter and that day...it was mostly raining all day. What I really loved about the both of them was for the outdoor pics was that the rain didn’t bug them one bit.  From a photography perspective, I looooove wet surroundings.. it makes a pic that much more sexy… (random Leon Chai fact.. I once spent 5 hours splashing water on a streets (one small bucket at a time) for a film set to create that wet look)

 

Tina and Reggie are really perfect in front of the camera and it’s one of those, when they are together it seems so natural.  We are excited to kick off our first wedding this month with this awesome couple.  Thank you both and here are some pics from our shoot.

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/29
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Maria & Matthew… A Beautiful Fall Afternoon

The three of us have some common ground.  I love weddings and Maria is a wedding planner (envisionelegance) .  I absolutely love photography and so does Matthew.  I even think in some ways he is even more hardcore then me .. since he told me he carries his 70-200 zoom lens on trips.. and forgive me for the camera jargon… it’s basically that big honking white lens that you see sports photographers use.. along with my wife.. as it is her favorite lens (I refuse to carry that lens.. too heavy.. hurts my back =))

 

I got reacquainted with Maria a month ago when I was shooting an event for the Wedding Planner Institute of Canada (WPIC) and got a chance to see Maria.   She quickly mentioned to me that she’s engaged and was toying with the idea of having a Fall engagement shoot as they are having a destination wedding next year.  So it was pretty awesome when she messaged me a few weeks later just in time for the perfect fall weather + loving couple.  So we met up at the Brickworks and where I got a chance to get to know this couple in person and in front of the camera.  These guys are totally cute together as you’ll see in the pics.  We worked our way around the grounds and had some fun while doing it.

Now to the main attraction.. the pics.. but before that, I wanted to thank my new friends  Maria and Matthew for booking this session with me.  Your wedding in Hawaii is going to be amazing and I’m sure you guys are on top of all the planning =)  Here are a few pics from our session.

 

Your Friend, Leon

 
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1/21
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Lourina and Magid’s Lifestyle Engagement Session // Toronto

I’m a guy that is all about the story. A lot of things, events and places I’ve been through are really sentimental to me.  From the watch I wear daily which I love as it belongs to my dad to the city of Chicago and all the memories that comes along with Gi and my “courting” Phase.   I have a story for everything and everything has a story in my life.

What was awesome about this lifestyle session was incorporating Lourina and Magid’s story on how they met and those of you that were lucky enough to be at their wedding a few weeks back they got to hear about how they met too.   So we started off at a Tim Horton’s and re-enacted the scene that started off that spark of love… when Magid once worked at the Tim Horton’s and a hot girl named Lourina stepped up to the counter to order a coffee and Timbits.

After this we headed off to the beach and to Dundas Square to wrap up our shoot. So I figure we start off showing these pics of this gorgeous couple before getting into their wedding pics as they got married a few days after this shoot.

To my new friends Lourina and Magid, thanks for sharing your story and giving me the opportunity to capture it.   Before I get into your wedding pics, here are a few pics from the lifestyle session.

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/23
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Let the countdown begin! // Melissa & Pietro’s Lifestyle Engagement

Hope everyone has been enjoying this crazy hot weather and at the same time staying cool.  We’ve been in our serious editing mode these past few weeks and not for nothing, its nice to have warm sunlight in the studio during the day.  While we’re on the topic of hotness… lets get into Melissa & Pietro’s pics (a perfect segue in my opinion =))

There is one quote that I can’t agree more with and oddly enough, this quote comes from Slash (yes… Slash from G n R’s) He said, “half the battle is finding something that you love to do and the other half is enjoying it.”  So for me, the first part is easy and with the second half is even easier because of people like Melissa and Pietro.  From the my initial meeting with this awesome couple, they were so easy going and relaxed and this was definitely the same when it came down to our lifestyle engagement shoot.   So on the day of the shoot, we met up at Brickworks in the evening and worked our way through the beautiful surroundings.  On that note too, I give kudos to Pietro for being gung ho and ok to go anywhere as he was  recuperating from a recent leg surgery  (if I was in your shoes, I would be totally complaining=)).   Aside from the fact that both Melissa and Pietro are both incredibility photogenic, they were perfect in front of the camera as a couple.

To my new friends, Gi and I are totally excited for your big day. Here are a few pics from our session. Thanks!

Your Friend, Leon
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1/26
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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
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1/27
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