• ... 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 scruffy 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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 scruffy a beef tendon to gnaw on, and enjoy the photos and ramblin's.

young penny

meet penny …

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sweet, crazy, wild, energetic penny with the whole world at her young feet … ready for adventure at every turn, and certainly with every new ball … i’m definitely glad i was able to supply her with a new Cuz.

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however, being young, penny’s attention span doesn’t stay on any one thing for very long …

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but always, my favorite part of the shoot is when we get out into the elements … and i think penny agreed …

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since i’m a big believer in answering dogs’ nature, i love shooting dogs when they’re doing what they were born to do and golden retrievers were born to hunt …

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and then back home to the deck again …

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… where even relaxing on … er … penny’s bed she was still on the lookout for more adventure …

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thanks, penny, for a fun shoot.  i hope you enjoy your gallery, Marlene and Bill.

  

Laura - What great photos – those are certainly nice as a keepsake.

nick - Haha a very crazy shoot indeed. Love that one fo ehr diving into the bushes!

nicole - Penny is awesome, well you make her look even more fabulous. Wonderful work as usual.

urban Uno

meet one fantastic little white froo …

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it’s Uno!! man, i love this mighty schnoodle. definitely worth the snarl of long-weekend traffic through Toronto to get to.

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and you’ll have to forgive me for not managing to keep my selection of blog-photos a little more limited when it comes to this clownish boy …

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… but i just can’t help myself.  i had so much fun with the little guy and owners Senya and Ian.

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i also loved that Senya and Ian grooved on my ideas for “urban Uno”.   as i was driving to Uno’s house i happened to glance down a street and spotted this deserted school a block down.  we just had to check it out.

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… because i have to admit, by around september, i get a little tired of green grass as a backdrop.

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and is it just me or do you think Uno seemed a little intimidated by the “no Manchester terriers allowed” sign posted?  no worries, Uno, i didn’t see any “no schnoodles” signs.  we’re good.

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and on the walk home, we found this funky wall … which of course required me to cozy into the gutter along with the cigarette butts, but at that point i would’ve done anything for Uno …

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then home for a wee bit of chillin’ …

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although Uno didn’t seem impressed with the concept of having to lie in his own bed.  come on, guys, seriously?!

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much better …

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and even better yet …

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and of course, every good dog is willing to share his bed with his peeps …

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thanks Senya and Ian for a special afternoon.  you have a truly fantastic little boy … wonderfully trained, calm and stable, and beautifully socialized.  if he ever goes missing, you might want to call me first.  🙂

and thank YOU, Uno.

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JD - Great, great, great captures of this adorable guy! Fantastic work!

Jean - What a delightful character. You did a great job of capturing the many sides of Uno.

Linda B. - You have captured the essential Uno-meister! The commentary only adds to the fun.
Love, from Senya’s mom

Pammy - Fantastic series of images! Love them all.

Frank - That’s one adorable schnoodle, and all the captures are super!! You are the best when it comes to seeing the possibilities of a particular canine!!

karen - Those were fab! I love the leather chair one, snuggled up to the arm. Great job!

Idil - You did a wonderful job with this cutie pie, Illona! I love every single shot!

Liz - Simply beautiful – and cramming yourself into the gutter was a great idea, the graffiti shot is my fave!

Jennifer - These are so great, I wish you could come photograph Blue! I love the first one and the shot on the bed with his people in the background. What a happy guy.

Deanne - I fall in love with every dog you shoot.

tee4tia - I would want posters of all these shots. what an adorable snoo, it looks like you captured the essence of Uno.

goldens on pond

take the Grand River in the late afternoon, add one golden retriever and — besides the aroma of wet dog — you get one might happy dog and a pretty decent opportunity for some fabulous shots.  take the Grand River in the late afternoon, add TWO golden retrievers and, well, that’s like leaving an unsupervised five-year-old with a sweet tooth in a candy store overnight.  but give that late afternoon Grand River to THREE golden retrievers and we’re talking sheer mayhem.

meet the Thompson goldens …

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Tyson, front and centre, Muskoka to the left, and Marley back right. oh yeah, the look calm enough, don’t they?  😉

in fact, Marley was unbearably shy with the camera, desperately trying to scrabble out of  the room as soon as i started clicking.  this is why i always prefer to start shoots outdoors, where the sound of the shutter is diffused and the great outdoors serves to distract dogs enough to warm them to the camera gradually, so that by the time we return from our walk or hike or even from the back yard, they are more relaxed with the concept of the big cameras.

so, we went to the backyard …

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… where Marley warmed up to the camera quickly.  in fact, he warmed up almost too quickly!

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most of the time it was only Marley i was seeing through the viewer!

but older brother Tyson waited patiently for his turn …

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and Muskoka was always such a doll … even though she wasn’t supposed to go into the pool.

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unfortunately i didn’t manage to catch her in the pool since shooting three dogs doesn’t make it possible to catch every moment of the action.  did i already use the word mayhem?

but they were all great foodhounds … er … subjects, especially in the back yard where i was able to maintain their attention …

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even Marley’s closest, rapt attention …

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and then it was down to the river.

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and there’s no keeping a retriever out of water.

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Muskoka wasn’t as crazy as the boys … rather enjoying just standing in the cool water.

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and later taking a short wander into the higher grasses for some variety …

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but you can never keep a retriever out of water long …

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and you certainly can’t keep yourself dry for very long either …

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thank you, Thompsons, for a lovely afternoon and for introducing me to your wonderful pack.  i hope you love your triple-wide gallery.  i know i haven’t made your job easy … it’s a huge gallery and my own job of narrowing down the selection certainly wasn’t an easy one.  you have some fine-looking goldens.

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Jay Herman - Hi Illona, I’m a new pet photographer based in Austin, TX and have been searching the web for fine pet photography of my peers work. I love your work! I instantly connected on multiple levels. Luv the reflections you get in their eyes and l look forward to all of your updates!!

Teresa - I truly enjoy how you capture each animal. You have a wonderful eye. I find that any subject in their environment with natural lighting is so much more interesting to view. Thank you for a “day in the life”!

andrea - a fantastic series!! i loved each and every one…your gift with a lens never ceases to amaze me!!! 🙂

karen - Well done. Well done. Well done. The 4th last is great and the head shot of marley cooling it in the water. I’m sure they will be very happy with these photos.

Marci - WOW – I haven’t been to your website in awhile! These photos of the Golden’s are fantastic (although “fantastic” isn’t quite a good enough word)! I feel like I was there with you guys on this shoot. So wonderful!

nick - Love this retreiver series! Lovely mix of action and portraits.

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