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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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

the wild bunch ~ {Waterloo pet photographer}

meet the motley crew of Minnie, Baby and Mattie whom i had the pleasure of working with this past fall.

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first there was Shih-tzu Mattie … consummate beggar and face-extraordinaire.

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then came pretty Rottie girl Baby …

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and the third addition to this pack was Fila Mastiff and winker, Minnie …

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we had some wild, good times during their session … ripping up our natural runways …

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… and figuring out just who was the branch-manager of this unlikely pack.

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early fall offered us some gorgeous light …
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… along with a few straggling flowers.

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little Mattie’s face just loved the cameras, of course.
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thank you, Mike and Robyn, for introducing me to you wonderful pack!

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Hudson ~ {Waterloo, Ontario professional pet photographer}

meet Hudson.  he had his Big Picture session last fall, and his guardians were after big variety for this 4-legged love of their life.

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i have a lot of clients with black dogs who ask me what the best season is for their 4-legger.  i always tell them that any season suits, but i have to admit, my favorite is late fall … the tall dried grasses, the residual fall colors, and the dramatic skies, to me, are always a stunning backdrop for any dog, but especially these black dogs.

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i took Hudson to an old barn i found a couple of years ago …

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… and then we headed to one of my favorite spots for some fetching-fun.

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one thing can be said of Hudson, he sports a long tongue … a phenomenally long tongue.

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and there’s no denying he looks like a supermodel in the breeze …

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Hudson also sports an incomparable smile.

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this shot was captured by Laura on her phone … me looking for pockets of lights, and Hudson … well, Hudson just looking to pick my pockets.

we had to hit the river on a separate date for a short add-on session  due to weather and timing … and Hudson was pretty excited about the opportunity.

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thank you Laura and Chris, for two wonderful afternoons and for being such awesome clients.  and thank you, Hudson, for being such a stellar model.  it was truly an honor to work with all of you!

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Henry & Martha ~ {Toronto professional dog stock photographer}

some dogs and some breeds are just made for the camera, and Henry and Martha — two much-loved Bernese Mountain Dogs — are such a breed.  when it comes to photographing dogs, some colors and coat types are just naturally loved by the camera, and Berners are one of those.  add to that a wonderful nature and an equally wonderful guardian to spend my afternoon with, and this Big Picture session turned into one of the most memorable sessions of last year.

i should also note – as there are still a couple of session openings for early November before the 2015 scruffy year is completely filled up — these photos of Henry and Martha were taken November 24th last year.  November is beautiful! …and probably my favorite month to shoot in.

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because Henry enjoys swimming, i started the session down by the river near the studio.

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we then headed up to the tunnel of trees location where i’ve got some great variety to play with, including the beach.

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sadly, a little less than a year after their session, Henry passed due to cancer, leaving a Bernese-sized hole in his family’s heart.  this diagnosis was not on the table when guardian Doug booked his session for his dogs … proving the importance of having photos taken of your 4-leggers while they are vibrant and healthy and feeling good, and not waiting until a horrible diagnosis … whether by a professional or your own camera.

in Doug’s words: “I also wanted to thank you again, Illona, for all of the wonderful shots you took of Henry and Martha. I’ll always remember that as a wonderful day. At the time I just wanted to get some professional pictures taken of them while they were still vibrant. I thought we still had lots of time with them both, just another lesson that you can’t take anything for granted.”

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Doug, it was truly an honor and a pleasure to meet and work with you, to meet your amazing dogs, and to be trusted to capture their spirit.

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