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 (NOTE: previous years of blog entries have been archived.)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

Capone & Echo ~ {Windsor pet photographer}

meet Capone and his sister Echo who traveled from Essex for their scruffy Big Picture session.

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Capone was not only one of the best models i’ve ever had the honour of working with, but he also possessed a pretty amazing head tilt.

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Capone’s younger, wilder sister Echo is definitely a work in progress, but is still such a great model that both of these boxers are at the top of the heap in the scruffy dog model database soon to be formally launched! 

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i loved the variety of expressions i was able to draw out of Capone …

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with the biggest scruffy dog collection in mind — a couch-sized canvas, numerous framed prints, tons of loose prints, and a big, gorgeous album in mind — we aimed for wide variety in Capone and Echo’s session, including the tunnel of trees.

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did i mention Capone’s expressions?

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these two boxers have amazing guardians who do a ton of varied work with them.  Capone does obedience work, man tracking, climbing, personal protection, and has worked around gunfire, smoke and water.  he can climb ladders, stand on branches, and even travel on his mom’s shoulders.  and while his little sister is venturing into the same training, she’s a step behind her super-experienced brother.
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thank you so much, Cindy, for trusting me to capture lasting memories of your two amazing boxers!  i look forward to the possibility of meeting them again in the future for some professional modeling!

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Charlotte Reeves - Nice work Illona! Kristina Kostic you will love these…

Tammy Neuert - Omg I love these! Beautifully done! I still can’t get overt how much Tonka looks like Capone! So hard top pick a favorite.

Krista Sweet - Wow those are AMAZING!!!!!

Cindy Barnett-Schulz - We had fun during the photo session. Thank you so much Illona for capturing such fantastic images of my boxers. I know we will meet again…and Echo will be less wild 😉

Diane Edwards - Beautiful dogs, they are truly amazing , Apollo get his good looks from his dad… I have many of the same poses of Apollo,Its like the pose for us purposely, they have such great features,

Ruth - What a great session. So much variety. The running shots cracked me up!

Kelly Hall - These pics are gorgeous! The photographer (and the “models”) did an amazing job!

baby doodle mayhem ~ {Toronto pet photographer}

for those of you who follow scruffy dog on facebook, you might already be familiar with this razor-toothed little monster…

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this is Amadeus … he’s a 4 1/2 month old goldendoodle …

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… and i think you’ll agree they don’t come much cuter than Amadeus.

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… even with leaves on his chin.

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… even hiding in the grass.
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… and even failing at catching falling leaves.

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photographing such young dogs is always a bit of a crap shoot.  sure, i’ve developed my tricks over the years, but you still have to work with whatever energy they bring to the session, and take whatever they’ll give you.  puppies always require more skill and work than a mature dog with some training and experience.    this little scruffnut was no different, but what a joy to work with such a lovely spirit.

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thanks for sharing your amazing boy with me, Liz.  i’m so looking forward to our next session in August, and can’t wait to see how much Amadeus has grown!

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Sarah McGraw - Simply gorgeous! Wow! I’m always amazed at the detail, sharpness, and color in your images. Love!!!!

Andrew Katina Peduzzi - He is cute

Chewy ~ {Ontario photographer yellow lab beach photos}

after a stint of shoveling snow, i figured we might all benefit from a little flashback to the summer right about now … and what better way to do this than a trip to the beach?  this handsome lug is 12-year-old Chewy and he enjoys his life on the beaches of Long Point.

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although Fine Focus sessions are shot here in Waterloo region so that we are able to shoot two sessions in one afternoon, it was pure coincidence that i had an inquiry from a client from Vancouver who was going to be in Ontario for a few weeks and wanted some beach photos of their two dogs!  so i headed down for a long but fabulous afternoon of beach shooting … and the beach has always been one of my favorite places to shoot!

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Chewy’s session is a testament to “not waiting too long”.  far too often clients don’t book their session until their 4-legger has slowed down enough for them to really see and feel the changes … and in Ruth’s words, she wanted to “capture Chewy at his best.”    when it comes to seniors and photo sessions, sooner is always better than later.  if you are even flirting with the idea of a session for your older dog with a professional photographer, i urge you to do it now, not later.   we all know that dogs age far too quickly, and before you know it, capturing images like the following — of twelve-year-old Chewy diving into the waves for a stick — isn’t possible.
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one of Chewy’s favorite pastimes is rolling.  let’s just say it’s a good thing Ruth admits that Chewy looks endearing when he’s covered in sand.  then again, when Ruth admits that Chewy’s worst habit is “rolling in dead stuff”, i guess sand is a pretty good alternative.

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thanks for being such a gorgeous model, Chewy! i hope next summer is just as fun at the beach!

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Lya Gresavage Ashley - With the cold of winter upon us. These photos warm the heart. Beautiful.

Ruth O'Leary - Those wet sandy dog photos made me smile :)

Holly Garner-Jackson - With the brutally cold days we’ve been having here in Maine, this is a warming respite. Chewy antics in the sand just fill one’s soul with warmth. Thanks, illona!

Karen Black - I”m so inspired by your work! Thank you!

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