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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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

winter is a wonderland for photography ~ {Waterloo, Ontario winter pet photography}

well, it would appear that winter is definitely now in full swing.  i had a few booked clients inquire recently whether we’d have enough snow for their upcoming winter sessions, and yup, i’d say we’ve got it.  no worries.

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and for my Toronto and GTA clients, this is why it’s beneficial to come to Waterloo region for your session, especially in the winter … countless times over the years i’ve had my GTA (and beoyond) clients stunned at how much more snow we have here than at their home.  yes, here at scruffy dog, we aim to please, even if that means ordering up much more snow than other regions!

Lucas came from Toronto last winter and had a blast during his scruffy dog session.  the forest near the studio offers a great backdrop of trees and beech leaves for added colour … and always ample room to run.

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whether we have blue skies or not, the winter is always a wonderful time to shoot … beautiful light, clean whites, and unless you have a Mexican Hairless, well, most dogs have a blast in the snow.

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… just ask Rusty ….

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… or Penny and Hayley …

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… or puppy Amadeus who also has no complaints about the snow.

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Wally also showed us a good time last winter during his scruffy session … posing …

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… showing off …

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… and just being an all-round goofball.

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even in places where a lot of snow hasn’t gathered yet, the tall dried grasses of early winter off a stunning backdrop.

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so if you’re considering a winter session with your 4-legger, drop me a line as soon as possible before the winter spots fill up … and let’s capture some fabulous and fun, snowy images of your scruffy!  i look forward to hearing from you and meeting your 4-legger!

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Chile Jones Photography - Stunning photos! I would love to have our photos done with you.

Dave Perkins - Absolutley stunning photos! I’m looking forward to a little snow over in the UK so I can get out with the camera and Kodi, my Siberian Husky!

Sue Bouchard - Love these photos!

Lisa Estabrooks-Cave - These are amazing! I would love to have my dog’s photos taken; however, I don’t know if I could trust my little weiner to run free like that.

Lenny Waas - stunning !!!

Melanie Holmes - awesome!

when a pet photographer takes her own pack out… ~ {Ontario pet exclusive photographer}

much like when a family photographer takes their own kids out for a photoshoot, when a pet photographer takes her own animals out for a session, things don’t always go as planned.  sometimes it can be a bit of a sh*t-show … or, as the case was last week for me and my scruffy pack, a pee-show.  allow me to explain…

if you follow scruffy dog over on Facebook you might have already seen the image i’m going to show as part of this blog entry, and you will have read the story behind it … but since the message (and the hilarity) behind it probably bears repeating, i figured i’d share it here on the blog.

for several months now i’ve wanted to get my little pack of three out on their own photo session.  running a busy pet-exclusive photography business now for almost a decade, i find that as each year goes by, i take fewer and fewer images of my own animals … and as my main girl Matea is now 14 years old, struggles with arthritis, withering muscles, and incontinence, i knew i really needed to get my incredible pack out for a session before it was too late.

the bond and relationships between these three is phenomenal, and i wanted an image that was more than just the three of them being lazy sacks on the couch … i wanted something i could one day print as one of my standard couch-sized framed canvases so that i could remember this phenomenal trio and their bond for decades to come.  i debated for months on the location, but given that the tunnel of trees is my most requested location (and i don’t have a large canvas of my own of this location) it made sentimental sense to go here … not to mention that i knew it would offer some shelter from the cold.  with a busy fall season, and always working to meet my clients’ demands for holiday orders, last week was the first time i could actually get out with my little pack.

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for those new to everything scruffy dog, allow me a quick introduction of this motley crew.  Matea is a now 14-yr-old wirehaired pointer, adopted at 7 mos of age after several failed adoptions with other people.  she has been my steadfast companion, best friend and partner for 13 1/2 years, and a supreme model.  you can read more about her on her bio page.

Merrick Goobernuts McScruffy – best guess a Petite Basset Griffon Vandeen mix – joined the pack 5 1/2 years ago after being rescued from a life as a breeding dog for a puppymill-type set up.  he was six years old when i was able to take him from that farm of misery, and he is my heartbeat, my angel, and my soulmate … and – except for last week when he somehow forgot what the word ‘wait’ meant – he has proven to be a consummate model, working for over five dozen professional photographers from around the world as i mentor other photographers.  you can read more about Merrick’s story on his bio page.

and then there is Mirabelle Rufflebottoms McWhineypants.  oh my, what can i say about this most recent addition to the pack that makes my heart soar?  she is a little 6 lb Cornish Rex, adopted through Chatopia in Montreal.  Mirabelle was 5 yrs old upon adoption this past May; rescued from a hoarding/puppymill/mass-breeding situation along with 40 cats and 60 small-breed dogs.  i drove to Montreal and back on the same day just so i could bring this amazing creature home.  for 30 yrs i have longed for a Rex and, since i have always had adopted and rescued pets, i never believed i would ever have one.  i can’t even begin to tell you how deeply in love i am with this cat  to see more photos of Mirabelle and read her story, you can find it here.

so, with introductions out of the way, let me lay out for you the madness that was our little family photo session …

of course, with her very short Rex coat, i knew Mirabelle would be cold.  she traveled in a covered carrier, complete with a heated ‘disc’ to keep her warm.  and i knew i had only a couple of minutes in which to capture my ‘family photo’ because i didn’t want her to get too cold.  what i didn’t anticipate was Mirabelle’s reaction to the snow on her wee paws!

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immediately this little fireball had springs for feet and was spastically grappling to reach higher ground …first, Merrick, and then jumping up on Matea’s back.  my assistant Karin worked at keeping her off until I said: “Actually, if she wants up on Matea, let her up … just help her balance.” so we worked with what Mirabelle seemed to want, but THEN, all of a sudden, she changed her mind and wanted down, and poor Karin was like: “What do I DO with this crazy yoyo cat?!”

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and then, in an instant, we realized why Mirabelle had been so intent on seeking ground.  so, while Mirabelle squatted and let loose her bladder, poor old Maeta just stood there, oblivious of the pee rolling down her back … while Merrick simply stared at me, no doubt seeking assurance that he wasn’t in the direct line of fire!

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yes, that’s pee.  unfortunately – or fortunately – i didn’t even see the pee through the viewfinder as i was frantically snapping away.  it was only Karin’s shouting and rushing in to scoop up the spewing Rex that i realized what was going on … and i had no idea i’d captured the ‘accident’ until later that night in the studio.

of course, with bladder empty, Mirabelle was able to get back to the task of modeling …

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… and with the support and encouragement of her new pack, she did a bang-up job.

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and this (below), ultimately, is the shot i was after.  for those with a good eye, you’ll recognize that i used Matea and Merrick from the pee shot (as this is where their stances and expressions were best) and composited Mirabelle from another shot where she was perched on Matea’s back … post-pee, of course.  this is the shot i will likely make into an 30×54″ framed canvas for over my couch one day … even though the pee-shot will always make me laugh.

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these photos of my three from this super short session mean the world to me, even though i wish the cold hadn’t prevented me from spending more time and capturing a greater variety.  so … my message to you with this blog post?  whether you are a photographer or not, whether you need to hire a professional photographer or whether you shoot some images with your cell phone, do whatever you need to do to get those four-legged family photos while you can … and get them in print … they are worth the effort!  … even if it means getting peed on!

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Angie Lambert - I return to these beautiful shots, from time-to-time. Adorbale, in so many ways. Well done, xo.

Beate Konduris - I love your work! You and your crew are amazing and have inspired me for a long time. I never get tired of your photography but I must tell you, the pics with your own Fluffs is absolutley awesome and your pride shows thru and thru for very good reasons. It made me laugh and feel all warm inside. I will look at these images for a long time…..

Yvonne Richard - I think I can hear Matea say: “Who’s incontinent now, hey Mirabelle?”
Wonderful photos, as always!

Ruth O'Leary - You’re a brave woman! But your efforts paid off, well done 🙂
I wanted to do a group shot of my four over Christmas but I think I’ll need to hire a troop of lion tamers to help handle the beasts!

Barbara Lundrigan - Thank you, that was priceless, a thousand photo’s and you’ll never get that shot again.:)

Becky Nott - These photos brought tears to my eyes too! Such love……they are all so adorable! 😀 Your photographs always make my day!

Lenny Waas - every photo divine. every photo a memory. Your chosen photo will look awesome on your wall. Beautiful as always

Tosh Czech-Ritchie - Your pictures and stories are amazing. Well done!!

Charles Dostale - What wonderful phots of your furry, not so furry & scruffy ones !

Carmen Zentena - great photos!!

Sarah Lynne - This brought tears to my eyes. A fur baby’s love is untouchable and something that seeps deep within your soul.

Shana Jo Callaway - These are all so perfect <3

Kirsten Whittey Dvorak - I sooo whish I could come to you to have my huskie photographed.

Judy Babinski - wonderful photos. such a nice furry family!!

Shelley Castle - I love them all!

the three scruffketeers ~ {Brampton dog photographer}

so how about this motley crew of scruffies?  this is Jethro, Joker and Chewy … three rescue dogs who hail from Brampton and sure do love their trips to Waterloo for their photo sessions.  this is just a small sampling of images from their fall 2014 session.

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you might remember Jethro from his first scruffy session a while back.  at that time he was one part of a two-member pack with Chewy … a failed-foster who took an instant shine to the monster-scruff Chewy.

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Chewy was Liz’s first adoption out of this pack of three, and both he and Jethro were adopted through Ugly Mutts.

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but this Fine Focus session centered around the fabulous Joker.

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i first met Joker at Woofstock when Liz came by the scruffy dog booth to visit and show me her latest foster dog.  let’s just say, Liz sucks at fostering.  😉
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…and i’m glad she does, because Liz sure knows how to pick ’em.
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just look at this lovely boy!

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as always, Liz, thanks for sharing your 4-leggers with me.

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and, Joker, welcome to one of the awesomest packs i know!

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