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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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

Kai – super model extraordinaire ~ Ontario commercial dog photographer

Meet Kai …

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This girl has just rocketed to the top ranks of the scruffy dog commercial model database.  This Mallorquin Mastiff girl had a session with me at the beginning of April, and it was a great opportunity to assess her abilities as a commercial model, moving her from the folder of owner-submitted dogs to Endorsed dogs … and in Kai’s case, an “Endorsed +” … a status reserved for dogs who can do just about anything.  And she’s only 2 1/2 years old!

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This girl can not only hold a reliable position and a steady focus in any surrounding and distraction — including the insanity of Kitchener’s very own Comicon weekend and a variety of costumed crazies romping around us, IN the midst of a sudden snow storm — she has a great bond with her guardian Kelly and learns on the spot.

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When you get a dog like this, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel (not that I’d ever shoot fish – in a barrel or otherwise).  Any photographer working with this girl just can’t miss.  The camera absolutely loves her.  Easy peasy.

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Thank you, Kelly, for introducing me to your lovely girl.  I look forward to the possibility of future shoots with you and Kai.  Keep up the great work!

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Shooting alongside me during Kai’s session, for his mentoring session with me, was Adrian Baughan of Oxford Dog Photography in the UK.  You can see his images of Kai on his blog entry here.  Enjoy!

  

Rosey the potbellied pig model ~ Ontario commercial pet photographer

And now for something a little out of the ordinary for scruffy dog photography…  Yes, folks, this is not your average scruffy client.  Meet Rosey, the potbellied pig!

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Rosey wheeled her way to scruffy territory for a photo session this past fall.  Yes, this little, six-month-old niblet arrived in style in her own stroller so she wouldn’t have to hoof it the entire way into our session location.
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She was pretty excited to strut her stuff and show off her modeling skills …

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I have to admit, working with Rosey was a certain kind of special for me.  Having grown up on a hobby farm — milking Lucy the family cow, collecting eggs, helping baby goats being born, training horses, raising orphaned calves and yes, litters or orphaned piglets — spending a little time with Rosey, on a sparkly November afternoon, surrounded by her little snorts and grunts, brought back a flood of those memories.
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Exactly how adorable is this little girl?

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…complete with previously painted hooves to boot!

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Thank you, Frances, for introducing me to your little girl.  It was such a pleasure to meet and work with wee Rosey!

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Michelle Bradshaw - OMP… She is a doll! I love every shot Illona.

two blue dogs in the bad lands ~ Ontario pet photographer

Rogue and Mobi — two gorgeous dogs from Barrie — met me for their custom scruffy dog photo session in Caledon for their session almost three years ago (yes, I’m that far behind in blogging, and certainly not every scruffy client makes it to the blog, but I really wanted to share these two blue beauties with you).

Sadly, this is the last session I shot (and might ever shoot) at the Bad Lands since the area is now closed due to damage and accelerated erosion caused by the lack of respect and adherence to the posted signs detailing proper ‘usage’ of these delicate lands.  Even when we were there, it was frustrating to watch parents planting themselves on lawn chairs with beers at the top of the area (ironically right under the very signs indicating no sliding or scaling down the slopes, no littering, etc.) while their screaming children literally ran amok, sliding relentlessly up and down the delicate clay slopes, leaving a trail of spent candy wrappers and juice boxes.

So while I’m sad that this ecological wonder is now closed to those of us who did follow the rules, who deeply respected the area, and who wanted nothing more than to do its beauty justice in photos, I’m grateful that it is now closed to those who simply viewed it as a playground for their offspring to whom they felt no need to teach respect for the earth, others, or authority in general.

But back to the dogs … these gorgeous blue dogs for whom this landscape was a no-brainer.

Rogue … this girl is a Thai Ridgeback.  How stunning is she?

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… and little Mobi, whose lineage is a mystery, but who hails from the streets of Alabama.

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Before hitting the Bad Lands, I wanted to work with these two in the a park area first … so while the sun was still high, we sought cover under some tall trees.

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…taking time to do tricks on bridges.  Thanks, Mobi!

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And while the Bad Lands might look deserted, let me assure you, they were not.  It takes work, patience, and a lot of angling (as well as some photoshopping) to get these kinds of shots without a number of other photographers in the background, or the aforementioned unruly children running amok.

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I do hope that, one day, the Bad Lands can be reopened, perhaps by permit … something to restrict the usage to those of us who will respect it and allow it remain in the splendor that it is.   Thank you, Rogue and Mobi, for a lovely afternoon and for making the Bad Lands look so good.

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Andrea Jones - What a stunning looking place – love that last shot too!

Margaret Chekouras Duerr - I adore these images (all of your images!!). Thank you for sharing!!! I especially love the last rump roast picture.

Sandra Batley - Gorgeous captures

Sandra Jones - What beautiful and unusual dogs! Thank you for sharing, Illona. I never associated dogs with Asian countries, nor had I ever heard of the Bad Lands around Caledon – your commentary is very insightful.

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