• ... 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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.

special zoey

as usual, i’m hopelessly behind with my blog entries.  this girl is from a shoot i did in late february and meant to post to the blog weeks ago.  in the throes of house-hunting, some days it feels like i’m barely keeping my head above water … while the poor scruffies only dream of being out on the trails chasing bunnies.

but without further ado (and excuse-making), here is another lovely i wanted to share with you from the client-pool … darling Zoey.

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how sweet is this old girl?!

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we had a great hike along the balmy trails with fresh snow underfoot and even ran across a pack of coyotes.  unfortunately, i had the absolutely wrong lens on the camera for the encounter … i was capturing this shot of Zoey’s eye at the time …

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… so I was using my macro lens … the completely wrong lens to be entertaining when confronting a startled pack of coyotes even at close range. so this was as good as i managed to capture.

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… and then back to Zoey.  of course, she had to get over her own uneasiness over the close-encounter.  these guys were much bigger than her.

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and sometimes i couldn’t help thinking Zoey looked a bit like a coyote herself in the landscape we walked through.

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but back home, it was clear who owned the front porch of the wonderful home she shared with mom Deb.

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… and of course, that gorgeous red door.

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thank you for an awesome shoot, Zoey and Deb … for a wonderful and most-eventful afternoon.

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adelene - Can’t wait to see new pics! Been checkin every other day for new posts. Pls pls post more of of the cuties.

Emilee - Oh, wow, these are great! I can’t pick a favorite! 🙂 Zoey is so pretty. Beautiful shots!

Tammy Muecke - I love the last photo the most but I love all of them. I have a Weim and you know to love a dog, you have to love them unconditionally….Weims are one to prove that theory. =)

nick - a wonderful snow covered session 😀

Andrea - Simply wonderful shots…always look forward to your new blog entries. Your photos are so captivating. 🙂

andrea - really super love the closeup of zoeys face/eye. beautiful session!

wendy - I LOVE the headshot with the evergreens in the background. There is just something about it!

sweet little jada

after another major overhaul on computer equipment and now in the throes of  house-hunting,  i’m hopelessly behind on blog posts, and no longer deluding myself into believing that i’ll manage to get every client sneak peek up on the blog these days.  still, i’m going to try to get at least a few of my clients’ shoots up on the blog to share.

one little girl in particular left a lasting impression … meet sweet Jada …

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i swear i wanted to snatch up this 11-year-old dollface and take her home for morley.

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and for 11, she sure is a firecracker …

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in fact, Jada’s owners were aiming for a strictly indoor shoot because it was that sloppy time of the spring where everything was melting, but i persisted.  and when i showed Jada’s mom this money-shot in the LCD i think she finally agreed that heading outdoors had probably been a pretty good idea after all.  🙂

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… along with a few classic poses, of course.

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and indoors, Jada was a consumate poser … putting even my two models at home to shame.

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.. and with mom and dad …

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but when this girl goes down for the count, she goes down.

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thank you for an awesome shoot, Jada.  and Jenny and Blair, hugs to your fantastic little girl.

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andy - Beautiful shots. You really brought this dogs portraits to life. I really like the color.

illona - thanks, adelene. yes, a cocker, although i’m not sure which kind. probably American.

adelene - Love all the pictures. They are so beautiful. Wish I have your job LOL. Anyway what breed is this? Is it an American Cocker Spaniel?

nick - I love the second shot 🙂 Good thing you convinced them about the outdoor one too 😀

Andrea - Simply excellent shots!!! Love the outdoors ones…so glad you convinced them! 🙂

Lynda - These are spectacular shots, illona! Jada is a gorgeous, wonderful girl, and her parents aren’t bad-looking, either. 😉

That group shot is a treasure – really needs to be framed and displayed on their wall.

Allison F. - OH, and the nose licking, side-profile. Freaking awesome.

Allison F. - Oh these are SO good. The one of Jada on the lap of the couple is FANTASTIC. I love that one. She’s a lovely looking dog too. Hard to believe she’s 11!

i shoot people too

i’m often asked by potential clients if i’ll include them in their photos of their dogs, and my answer is: “of course!” the only reason you don’t see more photos of people included in the scruffy dog galleries is because of privacy issues and out of courtesy to clients.

however, a few weeks ago, when i was approached to do an “engagement shoot”, i honestly came close to saying ‘no’.  afterall, although i believe in pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone to learn new things, i firmly adhere to the notion of leaving some types of shooting to those who are more experienced in that area.  namely, you’ll never see me shooting a wedding, thank you very much.  and likewise, there are those photographers who seriously should never even point their cameras at a dog.

but Steph and Drew were adamant, especially since they wanted to include their two ‘ladies’ in on the shoot.  of course, their flattery went a long way to bribe me, and so it was …

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and although it’s been a rough winter as far as the weather cooperating with scheduled shoots, the day could not have been more perfect for a completely outdoor session.

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the ladies had a blast running around the farm/location and exploring … sometimes they forgot they were supposed to be part of the session!

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in fact, trying to get their attention when there were such wonderful distractions of horses and freedom required a lot more effort on my part, but i always have my arsenal of secret weapons … like really good smelling treats sure to entice any beagle-nose.

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these rescue beagles were sweethearts and i truly hope we have the opportunity to meet again for some non-winter and indoor shooting.

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it was a great shoot … loads of fun in the snow, and a wonderful, windswept location …

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and of course, Steph and Drew were all about having fun too.

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thanks for a very memorable afternoon Steph and Drew, and thanks for letting me share a few of your photos and sugary smooches on the blog.  i’m sure others will agree that you two are a wonderful couple.

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and, as always, thanks to the ladies …

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jeff - your stuff is just too good for words – composition, exposure, processing… and that touch of “feeling” you add to every image. Superb!

sue bird - LOVE the fifth one in, great work…coffee soon….halfway maybe in Toronto! CHeers
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Bev - Oh my. These are great. Love the running closed eye shots. Especially love the couple. They look like they made it great fun!

Rachel - That’s so great that you tried something new! I think you did a lovely job. Very cool setting and such a cute family!

Jill Beninato - Wonderful shots…I bet they loved them!

leesia - gorgeous session, illona!

illona - thanks, guys. not sure about that, Jamie. Steph and Drew made this shoot. they were just a lot of fun. and the stars were aligned as far as the conditions, even though the light was harsh.

Jamie - these are awesome Illona! maybe you have a new calling: engagement pet photographer. hee hee

Sarah - awesome series! they all (dogs and people) all seem to have enjoyed themselves – cute couple, cute dogs!

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