Cesar Rules!

earlier this year i started a list of goals that i want to accomplish at some point during my career. one of those wishes was to one day meet and photograph Cesar Millan, ‘The Dog Whisperer’. i had no idea that my wish would come true so soon!

Cesar has been on tour in Canada with his live show. along with his tour, he is also promoting his new book ‘Cesar’s Rules’. on Sunday October 31, 2010 he appeared at the Pet Valu in Cabbagetown, Toronto for a book signing. i jumped when i got the call from Dogs In Canada to cover the event with the lovely and talented writer Alison Preiss.

photo © www.idenfordphotography.com

to read Alison’s amazing interview with Cesar (and to see more of my photos), please click here.

(SIDE NOTE: i was devastated and embarrassed that Cesar was unable to bring his dog Junior on tour with him to Ontario, because of our pit bull ban. just last week, i attended a protest in support of this issue).

it was a chilly fall day…and Cesar fans (human and furry, appropriately costumed) were brave enough to line up for hours around the block to get the chance to meet him.

when he arrived the crowd was cheering as he recorded his welcome with his video camera. inside the store it was warm and toasty. after the media held their press conference with Cesar, it was time for the fans to have their book signed and have their photo taken with their dog.

during our time inside the store, it began to snow outside. when i brought it to the attention of everyone in a very loud, “hey everyone, it’s snowing!”, Cesar looked at me with wide eyes and said, “i’ve never seen snow before!”. being from Mexico and living in California, i can see how that is possible. welcome to Canada! (FYI: it was the first and only snowfall so far this season in Toronto).

i’m pretty sure it was kismet that there was a Mexican restaurant directly across the street. i told him that i want a photo of him in front of it in the snow. he seemed amused by my idea.

it was absolutely amazing to see how calm and well-behaved all the dogs were in his presence. he was like a kid, allowing himself to be pawed, sniffed and slobbered on by his furry fans (and a few human ones too…kidding!). Cesar was so gracious and charming and took time for everyone…bonding in spanish with a young fan, signing t-shirts, a cast, holding a dog purse, even talking on the phone to a friend of a present fan. he also signed a book with a special message for my mom “to Cathy, The Leeder of the Pack.” (yes, my idea, totally cheesy, but i knew my mom would go nuts over it).

at the end of the signing, as his people were whisking him away, he thanked everyone and asked if there was anything else. so, i jumped in and told him that i still wanted that photo in front of the restaurant. he said, “you got it!” and quickly ripped off his winter vest and cosy sweater. stripped down to only his Lulu Lemon tighty-whitey t-shirt, we ran across Carlton Street. i had the pay duty cops stop traffic so i could get the shot. as soon as i got it, he thanked me and ran back across the street and into his car of people and they drove of. this all happened within 60 seconds and i was super impressed of how good of a sport he was. thanks Cesar!

(FUN SIDE NOTE: i recognized one of the pay duty officers, who ticketed me for my one and only traffic violation. i misread a sign that was a no left turn before 6:30pm. the font was small and i just saw the 6pm. it was 6:05pm. boy, was i mad that day. we have since made peace.)

i will be having a giveaway on the Marcia Leeder Photography Facebook Group for a copy of ‘Cesar’s Rules’ when we reach 800 fans, so join the group and tell all of your dog-loving friends. anyone who comments on the blog below will receive an extra vote!

Cesar, next time you come to Toronto, my wish is for you to be able to bring Junior and his beautiful blue eyes with you. i would love to photograph you with your pack!

fans (both human and furry) lined-up for hours in the cold to have the chance to meet Cesar.

Cesar recorded the cheering crowd as he arrived.

check out his new book: ‘Cesar’s Rules’. Join the Marcia Leeder Photography Facebook Group to enter to win your own copy. commenting on the blog below gets you another vote!

many fans patiently waited outside for hours before it was their turn to come inside to meet Cesar.

everyone was full of smiles as Cesar was gracious to give everyone his time.

and the fans were happy to give him some love in return!

the NO BSL members represented.

all the dogs were so well-behaved at his feet.

Cesar even signed a book for my mom! (thank you Alison Preiss for the photo)

when he took me up on my offer to photograph him in front of the Mexican restaurant across the street in the freezing cold (wearing only a t-shirt) he made my day! Cesar you are such a great sport! Gracious! Por favor, visite de nuevo pronto!

FOR MORE PHOTOS from the event check out the slideshow below. make sure to comment below (especially if you see your dog) to be entered to win Cesar’s new book!

13 comments on “Cesar Rules!”

  1. Lin Hawkyard says:

    Great images Marcia – you have captured the very human side of a very special man. Thank you.

    We need to get you out to a coursing meet next spring – you’ll get some awesome images from there!

    See ya

  2. Aron Goss says:

    Awesome! Congrats and well done Marce.

  3. Once again, you’ve captured the moments with your shots! Well done. And Cesar looks like a movie star, the camera, whether moving or stills, just seems to love him.
    And love the shot of him outside the Mexican restaurant, that’s great.

  4. Charlie says:

    These are fantastic Marcia! Your dreams will all come true, I just know it!

  5. melanie says:

    Looked like a fun day!!! Fantastic photos!!

  6. Don says:

    Images look great!

  7. Vickie Sparks says:

    What a great pleasure to photograph the day! Looks like the four legged fans enjoyed meeting Caesar.
    p.s. that St. Bernard is goregeous!

  8. Jeanne C says:

    The pictures you took are beautiful, it looks like everyone enjoyed the day. Congratulations on checking something off your list 😉

  9. Diana Cotaras says:

    that is so awesome! you are an amazing photographer! What an great experience!

  10. Loretta Brewer says:

    What an amazing tribute to this day, thank you.

  11. Sarah says:

    Fantastic pictures Marcia, I’m so sorry I missed this chance to meet Cesar.

    What a shame that he could not bring Junior with him – that’s just wrong.

  12. Very good job with all the pictures,i’m happy to know that Canada got to see Cesar.I hope some day i can have the chance to see him in person too!
    And your blog feels like with positive energy like Cesar may say!

  13. sophie says:

    fab pictures as usual. no surprise cesar was willing to go bare armed to pose for a very pretty girl! that man is no fool.
    those dogs looked so cute…nah.

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