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pet photographers descend on the Poconos ~ {Ontario pet photographer in Pennsylvania}

for those of you who diligently follow scruffy dog on facebook  you will already have read about my trip in June to the Poconos in Pennsylvania to meet up with a half dozen fellow pet photographers whom i’ve known for a number of years now.  after conversing for the past 5+ years with these women on-line, we decided it was high-time to have a little get-together, to finally meet face-to-face, to shoot together, and to, well, shoot-the-sh*t!

i could not imagine a better energy, flow, synergy, and level of sharing that we all had from that very first day …

pictured above (obviously not me, as i was taking the photo) … in the foreground is the amazing Charlotte Reeves, all the way from Australia … behind her is Sara Riddle, based in Northern VA … blondie there is Sarah McGraw from Charlotte, NC … and behind her is fellow Nikon-shooter (and her partner) Sarah Beth of Minneapolis … and then there is Holly Montgomery of Brindleberry Photography in Calgary.  Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography in Boston joined us later on.

to the many photographers who have inquired privately and on facebook about future get-togethers or how they could join, please understand that this was not a sponsored event or an “open” invite.  we’ve known each other for years, and arranged this amongst ourselves, and  i definitely encourage others to do the same!  time shared with fellow pet photographers at your own shooting level is invaluable. the camaraderie is unparalleled, and the connections can be deep.

it took months of planning and months of searching for the right destination and right accommodations.  although i’m not sure we really found the perfect accommodations, we certainly found a most wonderful setting deep in the Poconos for some fabulous photos.  i definitely wanted the chosen destination to be within driving range for me so that i could bring Merrick along for some initial modeling … and model, he did!

in fact, i think he spoiled the girls a little with his abilities and willingness to please.there was certainly a lot of ball work-involved …and posing high up…and even balancing.  of course, it should be known that the goober was mastering the whole “on things” long before that long-legged diva Maddie ever hit the scene, but he loves that old coonhound anyway.of course, no photographers’ get-together would be complete without a few volunteer models!  i had put a call-out for models via the scruffy dog facebook page and then let the others vote on who they would like to work with.  first up, we had the lovely Roxie.and then we had the pleasure of working with the incomparable Finnegan.and here’s a rare shot of Sarah McGraw, showing me how a real Canon shooter does it.  thanks, Sarah!for those of you who follow more closely on the SDP facebook page, you’ll know that during this trip i was shooting solely with Canon gear.  Canon Canada graciously loaned me a bagful of gear to test as i have been flirting with the idea of switching from Nikon.  in spite of many extremely happy years of shooting Nikon, and honestly preferring Nikon’s usability over Canon, in spite of a number of recent issues which i will not get into here, the bottom line comes down to megapixels.  for most shooters — portrait, wedding, babies, etc. — 12 and 16MP is more than enough to answer your needs for print, albums, and so on.  but for scruffy dog clients — private clients wanting those huge canvases and commercial clients needing large-format images — Nikon just isn’t delivering what i need where i need it most and i can no longer wait. (and no, the D800/E is not the answer)

again, to my fellow pet photographers, i hope this blog entry inspires you to do something like this with your own photographer friends — to arrange a little get-together, do some shooting together, share your experience and your stories.  there is nothing more fun than connecting with other photographers, shooting at your level, and having a fun weekend!  enjoy!

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  • Delicate ImpressionsI love your work so much! I can’t wait until our session next week! I love the detail you capture and the love you put into EVERY photograph! Simply amazing! xoReplyCancel

  • Kaylee GreerThese photos are gorgeous, illona! Geez, you’d think you were a regular Canon girl. 😛 The experience of meeting and shooting with you all in the Poconos was absolutely surreal — to be surrounded my so much passion and talent was out of this world. I have a framed photo of all of us ladies on my desk right by my monitor, so when things get tough or I’m having a challenging day – I can glance over and remember the amazing support system that I have in wonderful friends and fellow pet photographers. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jackie Petersenbeautiful images Illona! I’m glad you were able to get away and have a good time! minus the ticket 😛ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte ReevesGreat blog post Illona, thanks for creating it! I had a blast, it was such a great experience and so wonderful to meet you all finally. Hopefully the first of many!ReplyCancel

  • Donna RiggWow beautiful images and beautiful models.ReplyCancel

  • BelindaHi Illona nice post, I would love to have a crew to do this with one day! Just out of interest what lens did you use for the wide angle shots looking down, for example Roxie’s 6th image in this post? So sharp and I love this perspective but have never pulled it off myself. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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