{Photographers Giving Back} Scruffy Dog Photography

December 10, 2012

in Photographers Giving Back, Photography Inspiration, Photography Tutorials

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity | Photographers Giving Back Series via iHeartFaces.com


Today we are continuing our series of posts about photographers who have chosen to use their talents to give back to those in need. We hope you will join us each Monday throughout December and be inspired by their stories and their charities. Our featured photography charity this week is Scruffy Dog Photography which is owned by Illona Haus.

Scruffy Dog Photography was created five years ago when I chose to take a break from a fifteen-year career of writing novels, but the shooting started many years earlier. The inspiration for the business was two-fold: after losing my first rescue scruffy at only four years of age and having barely four rolls of film of the dog who had affected my life so deeply, I wanted to ensure that others were not left in a similar position. With this in mind, I then realized that there were no photographers in the area who specialized in shooting companion animals.

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity via iHeartFaces.com

With a lifetime of shelter and rescue animals myself, it was a no-brainer to use my photography business to offer whatever I could to help raise funds and awareness in the world of companion-animal rescue through a variety of avenues.

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity via iHeartFaces.com

Most pet photographers globally – pros and non-pros – give back to rescue by photographing pets in shelters and for rescue organizations.  This is a time-consuming, heartfelt and admirable endeavor.  I applaud all of those who selflessly help these pets’ chances for adoption with wonderful photos.  And although I continue to do some of this shooting myself, I wanted to find an outlet for scruffy dog where I could raise necessary funds, as well as awareness, to change people’s minds about shelter pets and erase the stereotypes of these pets being somehow damaged.

Finding these outlets is an ongoing pursuit, balancing the full schedule of a very busy studio with projects that can make the most impact. The biggest of these outlets is the Kitchener-Waterloo and Perth County Humane Society calendars. Every year, two to three weeks of the Scruffy Dog Photography schedule is devoted to shooting and designing the calendar which raises thousands of dollars for the orphaned animals at the centers.

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity via iHeartFaces.com

Scruffy Dog Photography also offers its services to local rescues, taking captivating photos of dogs in foster homes, since a good photo can make all the difference for a dog’s chances of finding a permanent home. Like One-Eyed Jack from Tennessee who is currently awaiting the funds required for his surgeries before being available for adoption…

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity via iHeartFaces.com

Scruffy Dog Photography holds regular contests for session giveaways, focusing on rescued and adopted pets. And of course, there are always a number of silent-auction giveaways and pro-bonos given to charities throughout the year.

The most recent and exciting endeavor I’ve undertaken, going on right now, is the Scruffy Dog Photography Holiday Tribute Gift. This session-giveaway targets deserving individuals in the world of companion animals, whether that’s someone who works tirelessly for the welfare of 4-leggers, individuals working in rescue, or someone who is going through a tough time and continues to give everything to their beloved 4-legger. The nominations have flooded in, and I already know I have a very difficult decision ahead in choosing just one. (And I’ll let the cat of the bag here: there will simply have to be more than one recipient of this year’s Holiday Tribute Gift. There are just too many amazing stories coming in!) I definitely look forward to making this an annual tradition for Scruffy Dog and its followers and supporters.

Scruffy Dog Photography Charity via iHeartFaces.com

For me, if I could do anything besides pet photography, it would be running my own rescue and training facility … but in the meantime, I do what I can, supporting and assisting rescue organizations in both raising the funds to help homeless companion animals, but to also raise awareness. I remain open to all suggestions, put the word out as much as possible , and every day I search for new ideas and new ways of raising awareness on an even greater, more global scale.

Illona Haus for I Heart Faces, LLC
Illona Haus is the head scruffy at Scruffy Dog Photography, based in Waterloo, Ontario, sharing the studio with her own two rescue dogs. SDP’s clientele spans the province and beyond, with clients travelling from as far away as Chicago, NYC and California, as well as an international client base for commercial and stock photography. For a fun and furry time, “like” the Scruffy Dog Photography Facebook page and follow the Scruffy Dog blog.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

illona ~ head scruffy December 11, 2012

thank you SO much, everyone, for your kind words and support … and thank you I Heart Faces team for the opportunity to share a little of what scruffy dog stands for and works so hard at.

there are SO many amazingly, generous pet photographers, selflessly giving their time and hearts to the cause of rescue … many of them affiliated (like me) with HeArts Speak — http://www.heartsspeak.org/ — a global organization dedicated to the welfare of animals through art … and many others, working on their own to help the animals … individual or as a group.

i am but one.

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Adrienne December 11, 2012

Your photos are stunning, and as a former humane society employee, this effort really touched my heart! There are so many beautiful animals waiting at shelters for a family. And raising awareness and funds is such a huge help in placing more animals in homes. I look forward to following your efforts!

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Life with Kaishon December 11, 2012

I loved this post so much. Her images are beautiful. What a great way to give back. Thank you for sharing this charity with all of us! Lovely!

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Amy Locurto December 10, 2012

Love this article today on I Heart Faces! For anyone who loves dogs, you'll love these photos and calendar. http://t.co/NeR10RKJ

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Declan Mc Glone December 10, 2012

{Photographers Giving Back} Scruffy Dog Photography #photography http://t.co/36mnneYs

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Hil C December 10, 2012

Fantastic write up!! Illona is an incredibly gifted pet photographer and a wonderful person. She gives so much of her time and spirit to these projects.

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Amy Locurto December 10, 2012

Your photos are fabulous! Love what you are doing for animals. Thank you!

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Angie Arthur December 10, 2012

Amazing pet photographer on @iheartfaces using her skills to raise thousands of dollars for orphaned animals. ♥ http://t.co/KQGaUdEn

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Monica Justesen Photography December 10, 2012

What amazing photos and an even better cause. Thanks for posting this!

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angie {the arthur clan} December 10, 2012

You are doing such an amazing thing for these sweet animals. So glad we could feature you here on I Heart Faces!

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Holly Garner-Jackson December 10, 2012

I have known Illona and her amazing photographic talent before “Scruffy Dog” existed. She has always been a champion of rescues and giving back to those shelters who have so many “good used dogs”! She has raised so much awareness through her work and has given back so much. She is a true believer in the cause and her photos bring out the best in every dog, or cat, or rabbit, or even guinea pigs! 😉
It’s so nice to see her featured here! Go, Illona , and go “Scruffy Dog”!!!

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