Love so strong // Enza and Alex’s Lifestyle Session

Here’s a 100% true story that I’ll get to in a second.   Every time I meet with potential clients one of the most asked questions I get about myself is who’s my inspiration?   For me, I don’t necessarily have one person but it is all the people I meet who inspire me.

When I was referred to Enza and Alex earlier this year (many many thanks Vanessa =)) I was invited over to their studio to meet with them to talk about their wedding and the potential to capture their big day. The moment I stepped in, I was so intrigued by their studio / living space and their passion for health and fitness.  After talking to Alex, I realized he was a personal trainer but at the time I didn’t realize how crazy fit they both are…. I just sensed a passion for fitness.  So here’s the true story part …after meeting this couple, I was totally inspired to make a healthy lifestyle change and to date I have been living through that change… as I’m currently 10 pounds less since I first met Enza and Alex in May.  And point to note, I am writing this blog entry after a 25km cycle in this cold weather.    So needless to say… when people ask… who inspires me…. I can lead them to this blog entry and tell the story

For their lifestyle shoot we met at Brickworks after the food market rush.   We got a chance to walk around and of course capture some pics fun pics of both Enza and Alex . We wrapped up the session in their studio … and being captain obvious here… they guys are c-r-a-z-y fit… but more importantly… its was awesome capturing them in their element.

Enza and Alex,  truly cant wait till the wedding next year… (on the best date ever btw...hehe) Here are just a few pics from our session.   Thanks again guys.

Your Friend, Leon Chai
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1/30
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Fall and in love. Tu and Rendell’s Lifestyle Session

So it’s official, we have our weekends back as we celebrated our last wedding for 2012 last weekend.. kind of bitter sweet… going through some serious withdrawal today believe it or not as I look out and the weather is gorgeous.

Fall is the time of year where we get tons of requests for photo sessions and it’s pretty self explanatory why… traveling around the world with countries that don’t have seasons, I can appreciate this season even more now as the colours are beautiful.  So to start off our fall session shoots this year was Tu and Rendell.

When I first met Tu and Rendell, it was one of those instantaneous connections as they are both good peoples and such a cute couple together.  So the day of our shoot, I can definitely attest they were in love, as it was so sweet to see Rendell bring along his guitar to serenade his fiancée.  Really awesome stuff.  We wandered around the conservation area and got to the point where we got lost…hehe… but it was an adventure and good memories.   Tu and Rendell, we’re honoured and excited to be a part of your big day next year.  Here are a few pics from our session a month ago. Also wanted to give a special thank you to Tu My for intro’ing us to your sister… sincere merci and yay! we get another excuse to see you both again next year =)

Your Friend, Leon
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1/23
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Our First and our Last for 2012 // Jo & Rob

Jo and Rob are our very first booking for our 2012 wedding season and ironically enough our last wedding to end off the season.  Being the first… is pretty exciting for us as it starts the ball rolling.  Honestly, we are lucky to have these two end off our year.

So, I mentioned in previous entries, this year for whatever reason, the majority of our clients have been in the health sciences.  Research, nursing and even doctors.  So it’s pretty cool that Jo falls in this category too.  It was great seeing Jo and Rob at our lifestyle shoot as it’s been probably a year and a bit since I’ve seen them last..and they look awesome.

We started off by Humber bridge and worked our way through downtown Toronto, nothing like incorporating a little water and city feel for the shoot.   Funny, we had this session a month ago and man… looking at the weather now, it makes me totally miss summer.

Jo and Rob, I had a blast with you both! I am totally excited for the big day that’s coming up.  Many thanks again and here are just a few pics from our shoot!

Your Friend,

Leon Chai
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1/27
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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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Tanya and Ian Lifestyle Session / Vineyard to Brickworks

We met Tanya and Ian at Starbucks to start off our shoot and headed straight to the tennis courts.  You see the tennis courts are special to these two since this is where they met.   We even got to take some pics with a very important member of their family.  Callie.  Now this princess has a rhinestone necklace that anyone would be jealous of and she definitely loved being the centre of attention.

After making sure we included this key member we went to continue the shoot with our main attraction in some wheat fields and winery’s.   Very cool little venue in stoufville if anyone is looking for the vineyard feel.    It was great for us as we didn’t have to drive out Niagara but still got the same feel in the GTA area =) .

Last but not least we headed to one of our favourite places to shoot.   Evergreen brickworks.  And luckily our family function got delayed as we got to finally try out the brunch place that is there.  Café Belong.   Yums and thanks for letting us crash your date =)

Gi

Man, times flies as it felt like yesterday I met Tanya and Ian at our studio.   These guys are such an easy going couple and the process from our initial meet to our lifestyle session was the same, fun and relaxing.  Tanya and Ian has the same style as Gi and I, in terms of “interior space” which is true loft / high ceiling / wood and concrete styles.  That being said, we were planning to use one of the project spots where Tanya’s been working on but in the end we couldn’t get in.   So we chose to hit a Vineyard and Brickwork’s as the main attractions giving us a good contrast.

To our new friends, Tanya and Ian, we had a blast hanging out and capturing you guys.  Don’t know if you guys saw this, but the camera phone pic I shot of our food got featured in the paper:

http://gastropost.nationalpost.com/leonchai

We should go back again after the wedding.   T-minus a few weeks guys and we can’t wait. Until then, here are just a handful of pics from our session.  Enjoy!

Your Friend, Leon
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1/24
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