• ... 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 ... now THREE trusty sidekicks. For more details on illona and the mcscruffies and the newest mcruffles cat, 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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.

Maya & Blitz ~ {Toronto premium pet photographer}

ah, these two … Maya and Blitz. what a team. i met them first when they came from Toronto to Waterloo for the winter segment of their Seasons Session for some photos in the snow.

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and then we had their summer session …

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but before their fall session date arrived, guardians Corinne and Phil, were dealt a blow in regards to Maya’s health.  one weekend evening she very quickly became weak and lethargic, and was rushed to the ER vet’s, where it was discovered that she had a large amount of blood pooled around her heart.  having this accumulated blood removed did wonders, but getting any kind of a certain diagnosis wasn’t going to be as easy.  diagnosing her condition would require extremely invasive procedures, and at almost 10 years of age, that obviously wasn’t the right decision.

Corinne contacted me almost immediately, concerned that Maya would not make it to our fall session where we had the tunnel-of-trees location on the books.  and i agreed that waiting was not an option.  so that week, i fit this fantastic pack into my schedule for an Honor Session™.

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if you want to see many more images from that session you can check out Maya’s tribute blog entry here.

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it is always such a deep honor to be asked and trusted to capture images of a client’s dog, but especially so when it is their last opportunity.  it is never an easy task emotionally, but it is one that i welcome again and again, as this is the foundation of scruffy dog photography and at the very root of its creation so many years ago.

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i have to believe Maya’s spirit is still with her pack, as the spirits of my scruffies past are still with me and showing themselves within my current pack.

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stay tuned for my next blog entry where i introduce you to Zelda, Corinne and Phil’s newest addition to the pack.

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Jacqui Jensen-Roy - Tears. Miss my GSD, Raven. Thanks, these are absolutely wonderful.

Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) - These pictures are so wonderful. I am so sorry for the family’s loss. :(

Mika & Bobby ~ {Ontario premium pet photographer}

Mika and Bobby made the trek from Ajax, Ontario to Waterloo for their first scruffy photo session in April of 2013 for what was supposed to be an Honor SessionTM. Mika was battling cancer, and going through chemo, and Debbie and Marcus weren’t sure they’d have him much longer than the week … so fitting in their session — rain or shine — was imperative.

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and rain it did.  but that didn’t stop us.

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Mika shook off those raindrops even as we took cover under a covered bridge.

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and he and Bobby took the drizzle like a trooper down at the train station.

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the train tunnel offered us some good cover, and a chance to warm up.

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now, i’m not going to take any credit for Mika’s remarkable turnaround in health after his scruffy Honor SessionTM , but he’s only one of many 4-leggers who take an amazing turn after their session, exceeding their guardian and their vets’ expectations.   some call it a little scruffy dog magic, but i like to think it’s just good doses of love from their guardians … and Mika certainly had no shortage of that.

… and six months later, we were having another session with these two boys.  i still chuckle when i recall Marcus’ response to the booking-form question: What are your 4-legger’s favorite features?  Marcus’ response: “the fact that he’s still here.”

for this second session, i traveled to Mika and Bobby’s home … this time for more of a Dogumentary type session where i spend a full afternoon documenting a day-in-the-life of your 4-legger.  we started at Mika and Bobby’s house.

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Bobby — a rescue aged somewhere between 15 and 18 — wasn’t feeling in top form during their second session, but he was  more than happy to show off his signature mohawk.
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…while Mika was looking for buried toys while photos from his previous scruffy session played on his digital frame.

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knowing that we were headed out for a good walk and an outing to the stables, Marcus wanted to be sure the boys were powered up with some prime rib.

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i followed the boys around on their regular walk through the neighborhood.

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… capturing photos of the boys rolling on the neighbors’ lawns, amongst many other memories of their day-to-day routine.

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we then headed to the stables where Debbie keeps her horse Indy.

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of course, setting up shots isn’t without its moments of comedy … this outtake still makes me smile.  thanks, Marcus.

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and finally i was able to meet Indy.  this girl’s energy reminded me so much of my very last horse Sergio, and it was such a pleasure to spend some time with her in the woods.

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back in the paddock, Indy let loose …

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sadly, i received word this past February that Mika the Miracle Moo had lost his battle with cancer.  i know his loss has left a permanent hole in the hearts of both Debbie and Marcus.

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i am deeply honored to have been chosen to capture images of Debbie and Marcus’ beloved Mika and Bobby.  spending time with this family and getting to know them and witness the depth of their love has been so meaningful and truly memorable.  thank you, Debbie and Marcus … truly and deeply.

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Bobby Clark - Beautiful Images for a beautiful pair of dogs. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie W. - Thank you Illona :)
What a lovely and befitting tribute to the Boys.
As I read this, I’m sitting on the upper deck of the dive centre in Utila, Honduras … looking at the vast expanse of the Caribbean and weeping a little. We still miss him dreadfully but I’m consoled a little knowing he’s travelling with us.
You captured the Boy’s and Indy’s individual personalities in pictures that I treasure and look at often.
I’m so glad I found you <3

the magnificent Murphy ~ {Waterloo, Ontario pet photographer}

meet the amazing Murphy … a.k.a. Murph, Murphin, the Smurf, the Puff, Murph-a-derf … goldendoodle extraordinaire.   his Big Picture custom photography session last autumn was a wild time …

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this bearded scruffmonster had a ball — literally — at his scruffy dog session.

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he had very little time for posing …

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most of Murphy’s session entailed running.

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… and more running.

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Murphy’s mom, Lori, was after an album and a good variety of fine-art prints, so i was after a good variety for her.

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but i think Murphy had his most fun down by the river, where he could go wild with the sticks he found …

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… and where he could truly show off his flying skills.

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thanks, Lori, for introducing me to your gorgeous boy.

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and thank you, Murphy, for being so much fun!

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Kelley Norcia - what a gorgeous goof ball! Beautiful work!

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