• ... home of Ontario's premier pet photographer. This is where the photos of scruffy dog photography meet the heart and soul behind all of those fun and wacky photo shoots and the long hours in the digital darkroom ... a behind-the scenes peek into the zany life of a pet-exclusive photographer and her two trusty sidekicks. For more details on illona and the mcscruffies, check out the "about" section.

    What you will find here is the past several years of blog entries -- selected client shoots, sneak peeks, facebook recaps, news and announcements, promos and specials, as well as info on canine health and general dog chat. (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)

    So, grab a cup of jo, give your scruffnut a beef tendon to gnaw on, and enjoy the photos and ramblin's.

those red dogs again

you met them here first, now see them again! those crazy red dogs Jake and Diesel …




these crazy dogs belong to trainer Diane Holmes of Holmes on Hounds in Toronto.


with a full shoot in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, you’re probably wondering why you’re seeing them again.  well, this was a first for me … the first time that i wasn’t completely satisfied with the images shot during a session.  mind you, the finished images from that first shoot turned out better than i’d initially anticipated they would when i first previewed the images after the shoot, and Diane was thrilled with the results from that first shoot … but i knew the true potential of these wild and gorgeous dogs.




when shooting in Toronto, the park was crowded because of the last warm weather of the season … kids, dogs, walkers, and gawkers … sometimes the dogs were distracted, other times bystanders were getting into the frame. the light was also extremely harsh, with long sharp shadows cast everywhere by the leafless trees.  so … i invited Diane to my neck of the woods for a second session because i happen to think ‘my turf’ is pretty fantastic.


… especially for red dogs.



of course, the downfall of doing this second shoot is that now Diane has a HUGE number of images she has to sort through and choose from!  i know i didn’t make it easy for her.


the red dogs thoroughly enjoyed their outing in spite of a long hike in the morning before the shoot!  lots of rough-housing …


and rolling …


and team-sniffing.


and when that Diesel girl gets her crazy on, she sure can rip!


thanks, Diane, and thanks Jake and Diesel for an absolutely fabulous second shoot!



moonflower - the butt bite is awesome!!! :O)

Liz - Beautiful work once again – I know she’ll love them!

Frank - Leave it to you to reach “full potential”. Amazing as always!!

Marci - Yep, definitely RR mixes. They even “play” the same way. ROUGH!
Gorgeous photos. First shoot was great but this one is really special!

get your christmas on!

okay, everyone … i know this is a photography blog … so what’s a video doing here?  well, i simply can’t resist.

like me, you’ve probably seen this one before — with over four million hits on youtube, who hasn’t?  — but i swear, even if you have seen it, it’ll still put a huge smile on your face.  and if you haven’t, well, enjoy!!

i LOVE this dog’s spirit!  (and do watch the whole thing … the best segments are around 1:20)

now, are we all ready for snow?  cheers!


Tails - Hahahaha love it!! We dont get snow here :( but I always wondered what my dogs would do if they saw snow :)

There’s another video of a cat’s first encounter with snow, the talking is a bit annoying (“KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY”!), and its not as funny as your vid, but the ginger cat is cute :P


Denis - I hadn’t seen that one yet. Hilarious! That is definitely a lot of snow. I was loose my basset hound in there for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Margaret - Plowing and jumping through the snow like that is a TON of work! Yet Bailey is still happy and doesn’t look a bit winded. I wonder if he slept well after that workout? (I’d be exhausted!!!) I went snowshoeing a couple years ago in snow a bit deeper than that, and wow! that’s a lot of work! It was fun, but both my brothers and I, and the dog, all took a nap afterwards. :)

the burgess dogs

this entry is a little late … it’s hard to keep up and unfortunately not every shoot ends up on the blog … but i’ve been meaning to share these two for a while.

meet Laser …


… and Crystal.


and don’t let those white hairs fool you … she can keep up with wild brother Laser just fine.



these two crazy dogs belong to vet Lisa Burgess, who takes care of my girl matea and her acupuncture needs.  you can find Dr. Burgess’s link at the bottom of the blog.  during our lovely fall outing with dogs and kids, i had a blast with the entire pack, even though at times i didn’t know which way to point my lens, there was so much going on.  because of privacy issues, i’m sharing with you here only the dog segment of the shoot … and Laser had antics enough to keep us all entertained.  from fetching potatoes in the recently plowed field …


… to soaring over the yet-to-be-harvested soy bean fields.



Crystal was a doll … keeping me company on the deck afterwards …


… and even getting a little playful.



even wild-man Laser enjoyed some quiet time …


but mostly, Laser was all about his boy …


i loved watching these two interact …


thanks, Lisa, and thanks kids … and Laser and Crystal … for a very memorable afternoon.  see you soon!


nick - I love all those big open fields as the backdrop.. That playbow shot is too cute!!

illona - thanks, meredith. but actually, that’s a potato not a ball! he found it in the field and decided to take it with him. apparently Laser likes potatoes. :)

Meredith Ramsay - These are soooo amazing! The one with the ball is great!

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