• ... 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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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 Minnie’s winter session ~ Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario pet photographer

Meet Minnie.  She had the winter segment of her scruffy Seasons session last weekend, and it was only by the skin of our teeth!  This winter has been the absolute worst in my 9 years of being a pet-exclusive photographer … no snow, then snow but temperatures too frigid for dogs, then rain … in fact, the snow we did manage to finally get for Minnie’s session came only a couple of days prior and was almost gone by the next day.  And now, less than a week later, I would wager to call it spring in these parts, with not even a small, nasty dirty pocket of snow left anywhere as a reminder of the winter that wasn’t.

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Normally, I am a good year or more behind in blogging but decided to share a few images from Minnie’s winter session just to show the kind of variety we can achieve in a short scruffy session.  In fact, the actual shooting time of Minnie’s session was under 40 minutes.  Sure, we spent more time in the woods … standing around talking, waiting for the sun to get a little softer, moving from one spot to the next, wading through the swamp to find this patch of dogwood…

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… but the actual time shooting — according to the metadata on the images from both cameras — was just under 40 minutes.  I love showing clients the kind of variety that can be achieved with the right location and some creative approaches … and of course, a stellar model!

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…and a little fun with dad David, of course,

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In this case I haven’t photoshopped out the long-line that I used for safety’s sake for Minnie’s running shots.  I have a lot of clients worry about their dogs’ safety when it comes to sessions, believing that their 4-legger isn’t a candidate for a scruffy session due to the fact that they can’t be allowed off leash, but in all cases in Minnie’s session (except one) she was on leash or on the long-line.

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In fact, in this image you can see the slight pull on the collar from the line which I have already removed…

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…and here is the image with the collar fixed.

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Thank you, Stacey and David, for introducing me to your gorgeous girl, and for being so incredibly patient with this season’s weather.  I can only hope that this spring and fall treat us better for Minnie’s next two sessions!  I can’t wait to see you three again.

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Chinook & George ~ {Kitchener-Waterloo pet photographer}

i had fun with these two scruffies during their fall photo session here in Scruffyville.  this is Chinook, a 10-year-old collie cross adopted as a puppy from the KW Humane Society …

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and this is little, 6-year-old George, also a KWHS alum.

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Chinook seemed to feel right at home on the scruffy dog settee.  in fact, i think she would have been quite happy to just lounge there while we continued the session without her.
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one of Jennifer’s goals for this session — besides a canvas, prints, and an album for each George and Chinook — was that i capture images of Chinook with her ears up.  In Jennifer’s words: “the one must have shot is a picture of Chinook with her ears up (as in not flattened/back). I have been trying to get a good picture of this for almost 9 years.”  perhaps it was the magic of the forest, but fortunately we had no problem perking Chinook’s ears up.

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with Chinook and George’s Big Picture session, we had lots of time for the settee, the forest, romping in the field, the meadow, and even down on the beach, giving us great variety for their individual albums!

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just how pretty is this sweet girl?

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thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your two beautiful scruffs with me, and allowing me to capture their spirits.

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Gulliver ~ {Waterloo professional dog photographer}

meet young Gulliver … a mini-doodle whom i had the pleasure of shooting a fall Big Picture session in 2014 (yeah, yeah, yeah, i’m that behind with blogging!).  on Gulliver’s session application, when asked what feature of his was their favorite, his mom replied: “his expressive eyes” and it wasn’t long into the session before Gully showed me just how much he could work those peepers!

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as i do with a lot of sessions that involve the home, we start indoors … while scruffy is still clean … because who knows what kinds of wild, crazy, messy stuff we can get into during a session!  and while at home, Gully was happy to show me his favorite pastimes …

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… chillaxin’ with his family …

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… and stealing his baby sister’s bassinet, of course.

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speaking of baby sister …

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oh, she just can’t get enough of her big brother Gully …

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but he manages to keep her at bay with a rather skilled tongue.

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soon, however, it was clear that Gully was ready for the outdoor segment of his scruffy session.

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into the woods we headed …

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and the fields …

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and always with that crazy little sister in tow …

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Gully demonstrated his skills as a landshark ….

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bringing me not just the ball, but also leaves …

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and this is why we do home shots at the beginning of a session … down and dirty and wet Gully!

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thanks, Melissa and Bob for sharing your fabulous boy with me … and your amazing delightful daughter!  it was truly a pleasure!

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Ruth O'Leary - Great session Illona!

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