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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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

sweet, blind fox

meet fox …

… a thirteen-year-old jack russell firecracker who divides his time between guelph and georgian bay.  formerly a wild little man, his recent blindness has slowed him down somewhat and perhaps given him a fraction more sense, but certainly not put a damper on this little guy’s spirit.

he negotiates the obstacles of his new loft condo with great skill, moving with much more caution than your typical JRT for sure, but at least not slamming into walls full force.  … and always looking to dad for direction.

it was an honor to spend some time with this brave little guy and experience the deep love and respect his owners have for him.

thanks for everything you do for this super terrier, Denis and Rachel.


Allison F - Oh Illona…. what a sweet little guy! I love the images you’ve captured. Really gorgeous.

Sarah - these are just so beautiful, you captured these perfect, perfect terrier photos. what a brave little 13 year old, heres to many more years!

donna - seriously, these are AMAZING!!! i love them ALL. really some of my fave images ever.

Puck - i especially love the flat butt shots.

when the scruffy dogs take a little time off

with absolutely no summer vacation this year, and not a single trip up north for our traditional forays to my childhood Georgian Bay, it was time to take a few days and let loose with the scruffies.  last week i deliberately booked no sessions (even though i could still be found at my desk tending to plenty of scruffy dog business) and took a few day trips with matea and morley to kick up our heels … hit the old logging trails that i used to ride my horses on years ago, riding for whole days along the escarpment. 

i admit, however, that my plan was a little scruffy dog’ish and built around an ulterior motive.  having added a new action lens AND a new camera body to the SDP arsenal, it was time for some heavy-duty equipment testing.  and there’s no better model on which to test an action lens than my crazy wirehaired, mud-loving matea.

from Georgian Bay, we headed over to Kettle Point, Grand Bend way.  there’s nothing like the sun reflected off the sand to give a photographer some optimal lighting situations.  and as an added bonus, i could have never anticipated morley’s joy on the sand.  i’ve never had this old man — adopted at 9 years of age — on a sand beach.  usually misery-on-four-paws when we’re at the rocky shores of Georgian Bay, on the sand he was pure joy.

we absolutely must go again.  as for matea, she has a blast no matter wherever we go …

… so we stayed as long as we could, catching some of the warm, late afternoon sun that i always encourage clients to book for.

all in all, a good and productive vacation.  the scruffies don’t realize theirs was a working-vacation … as long as they come home with dirt between their toes and dreams of bunnies (or in this case dead, beached fish) in their heads, every day is a vacation to them.


illona - thanks, guys.

barb, it’s a good idea … something i need to look into.

grace, if we lived closer to each other … we’d have to hire each other. 🙂

Grace - Oh I adore your shots. If only you lived closer to me.

Jenn - Great shots! Your two scruffies are the most perfect models! Guess your new action lens is working out pretty well!

Barb L - I keep coming back to look at the photo of Matea running along the wooded trail. It takes my mind back to so many wonderful days in the woods with all the dogs I’ve had the privilege to love. Have you considered offering some of the images of your own dogs for sale on this site? I for one would be very interested in that print. I can understand if you would find it too personal for other people to have some pictures of your dogs, but that image in particular has an “every dog” element of joy I sure a lot of people could relate to from their own dogs. Just a thought.

Mari - I love this blog. Extra views of your photos and ways that you size them. Shouldn’t “Bark and Gardens” be calling? I admire your talent and your dedication to your craft. That is a lot of hard work, no doubt. But you make it all look so effortless. Bravo.

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