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Me with my muse, Bailey!

About Allison Shamrell Photography:

Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Allison, and I work in San Diego, CA, capturing the personalities of dogs and cats of all sizes & temperaments. I do photo sessions on location and in-studio, wherever my clients prefer! My photography style is natural, playful & soulful.

Here on my blog, I tell the stories of recent sessions and events. You might even find an insight or two into the behind-the-scenes side of my business! I hope you have fun looking around!

If you would like to receive a quick little email to let you know when I publish a new post, see the button at the bottom left of this page! Thanks! :)

619-357-6624  ~  Allison@AllisonShamrell.com  ~  3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116

Officially Voted the Best Pet Photographer in San Diego, by the 2014 San Diego A-List.

Encinitas Westies Tuppence & McTavish! (Photos)

July 25th, 2016

“Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”

Can you recognize that quote? I hope so! I wanted to start my blog post about Tuppence & McTavish, two Encinitas Westies with thoroughly Scottish names, with a quote from one of the most famously Scottish movies of all time, Braveheart! And these dogs have just as much passion as William Wallace! … although, I should probably mention that it’s not so much passion for freedom and for Scotland… but for treats, fetch & butterflies! Haha! These dogs live with their mom & their grandma, and they’re definitely enjoying the good life in Encinitas. Tuppence can play fetch all day the in backyard, while McTavish prefers to keep a lookout for butterflies and chase them anytime he sees one. And they both go crazy over Dentastix (especially Tuppence)! I just loved working with them & learning to navigate their independent personalities… we had such a fun afternoon together!


This is McTavish, on butterfly patrol. Don’t they have a gorgeous backyard to watch over?

encinitas westie



And this is Tuppence, the snuggly little girl, enjoying a belly rub! Yep, it’s a hard life for these pups. :)

Encinitas Westies picture



Encinitas Westies


And I just have to include one photo from Tuppence’s hose frenzy at the end of our session… this girl LOVES the hose, haha!

encinitas westies photo


Jeanette, thank you for a lovely afternoon, two adorable dogs, and a gorgeous backyard to work in! :)  I’m excited to show you the rest of our images soon!


Portraits for Pooches: Let’s Fly in July! ~ (Pet Photography Mini-Sessions)

July 12th, 2016

Hello everyone! A big event is coming up, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

Many of you participated in the last round of Portraits for Pooches, a series of pet photography mini-sessions that I’m hosting on behalf of the San Diego Humane Society. Now it’s time for the next installment – and I’ve put together a fun aviation theme to go with it! So whether you’d like to pretend that your pooch is a pilot, or keep things simple and get a head-start on your Christmas cards this year (eeek!), there’s an option for everyone. Here are all the details!

portraits for pooches


You can enjoy a professional photo session with your pets, and half of the proceeds go straight to the Humane Society!


As the graphics above describe, here are all the details about this Portraits for Pooches event:

~  $99 for a 15-minute photo session! It’ll be un-rushed and stress-free, not to mention lots of fun! 

~  July 30 & 31, 2016 – perfect for celebrating National Mutt Day on July 31st!

~  Everything is happening in the studio, at 3251 Adams Avenue, in Normal Heights, San Diego.

~  You get to pick out your favorite portrait and keep it as a high-resolution digital image, with a full print release for sharing, downloading, and printing copies.

~  You’ll have at least 10 images to choose from; it’s a taste of the custom photography experience!

~  The whole family is welcome to come! (please note: up to 2 pets are allowed per time slot)

~  Booking is open NOW!


So here’s how to book your mini-session:

:  :  :  :    Email me at allison@allisonshamrell.com, or call me at 619.357.6624 to pick your time slot!    :  :  :  :

That’s it! Pretty easy.  :)

Of course, during each of the pet photography mini-sessions, I’ll create more than just one photo. Participants will actually have over ten finalized images to browse! So for anyone that would like to sample a few products from my archival-quality product line, I’ve put together a few product collections & options:

pet photo mini sessions

… and if you bring a bag of dog or cat food to donate to SDHS, you’ll receive a complimentary 8×10″ fine art print, too!


Here’s how to reserve your mini-session:

:  :  :  :    Email me at allison@allisonshamrell.com, or call me at 619.357.6624 to pick your time slot!    :  :  :  :

We won’t be able to accommodate walk-ups, so please make sure you call ahead of time!


Yahoo, I can’t wait! This is going to be an amazing event and I’m hoping to raise LOTS of money for the San Diego Humane Society! Thanks for supporting such a great cause with me!


Bono, Patriot & Archie in Del Mar! (Emergency Pet Photo Session)

June 10th, 2016

Bono the dog is a total sweetheart, a put bull with a huge smile and gorgeous brindle fur. I absolutely loved meeting him and working with him. So although it’s not too often that I schedule an emergency pet photo session, it breaks my heart that I had to do it for sweet, happy Bono.

I use the term “emergency” because my calendar typically books up about 1-2 months in advance with photo sessions. Which is great, from a business perspective – I love keeping busy! – but it’s not so great when someone has just received a terminal diagnosis from their vet clinic. Bono may not have that much longer with his family, and I hope that the vet’s predictions are entirely wrong and he still has many happy years left! But just in case his doctor isn’t wrong, his mom wanted to safe rather than sorry, and filled me in on Bono’s situation. So we were able to schedule our photo session just a week after chatting for the first time, and I got to meet Bono – and his canine brothers too! We had a fun, relaxed photo session and didn’t push any of the dogs too hard (Patriot the pittie is on the older side, and Archie the pit/Basenji mix prefers to relax, not run around). So it was a fun, leisurely time and I’m just so thankful that we were able to get together so quickly. Because I wouldn’t want to miss out on any time with Bono and his brothers.


This is Bono! Despite his medical issues, he’s feeling good and keeps a smile on his face! Isn’t the canine spirit amazing?

emergency pet photo


This is Archie, the dog who goes down playground slides! He’s also close with his human sister, and it was so much fun to see them interact & play with each other.

dog in emergency photo session


Last but certainly not least, this is Patriot. He’s a soulful old pup, and more than happy to just sit back and watch the action unfold around him. Unless he sees another dog, of course – then he’s off to go say hello!

emergency pet photo session



Hanna & Kurt, thank you for introducing me to your wonderful dogs… I’m looking forward to seeing you both again soon!


Maddie the Coton de Tulear Puppy!

June 6th, 2016

From the moment I started talking to Maddie’s mom, I knew I was in for a treat! Not only is Maddie a Coton de Tulear – a super-rare dog breed that I almost never get the chance to work with – but she’s a puppy! Maddie is only 6 months old! Eeeeeek! I just knew she’d be a little star for her photo session… and I was right!

Coton de Tulear dogs are small, white, fluffy pups that often get mistaken for the maltese & Havanese breeds. They were only recognized by the AKC as their own breed a couple of years ago,  but they’re characteristically known as cheerful, charming dogs! (They’re famous for “dancing”, getting up on their back paws and standing/walking around!) Maddie was all of these things & more; she was a total sweetheart to work with! Her parents already take plenty of photos of her around the house, but they found themselves lacking in family portraits, so I was more than happy to meet them at Balboa Park in San Diego and help them with that problem! We had a great time enjoying the grass, flowers, and architecture of Balboa Park – and Maddie couldn’t resist making a few doggy friends while she was there, too! She’s a social pup and she has some strong opinions too, that’s for sure, haha!


For a puppy, Maddie can be quite thoughtful: “Hmmm, how can I go meet that dog over there? I just know we’ll be friends…”

coton de tulear photo


I just love her happy little smile!

coton de tulear


Maddie adores her parents. It was great to photograph the 3 of them together!

coton de tulear san diego


Marsue & Greg, I had a great time with you & your sweet girl! I’m looking forward to getting together again soon!


Cooper the San Diego Goldendoodle! (Photos)

June 3rd, 2016

When Cooper appeared in his parents’ life, they weren’t looking for a dog…

Cooper was a gift from his parents’ son (so I guess that makes Cooper his “brother”?), and although he was a surprise addition to their family, it only took a few days before Cooper had completely stolen their hearts! This puppy is now several years old, and has always loved playing fetch and running around in the park – so that’s exactly how we began our photo session! Cooper could probably chase his ball for hours, and I couldn’t help but laugh as he sprinted joyfully across the grass. He has such a sweet personality & goofy smile!

Cooper is not just an adorable San Diego goldendoodle – he’s also a therapy dog! He visits schools and hospitals several times a week! What a perfect job for this happy boy; I know he’d bring a HUGE smile to my face. I’m so glad he’s out there brightening people’s lives…  he has certainly brought a light to his family, and I absolutely loved working with this handsome pup.


Cooper runs FAST! I love the way his soft, fluffy fur whooshes in the wind!

goldendoodle san diego


He’s such a sweet boy.

san diego goldendoodle photo


And then we headed back to Cooper’s house to take a few photos in his favorite spots… he waits at the top of the stairs for Dad to come home every day! Who wouldn’t love coming home to this face?!

san diego goldendoodle


Joe & Carol, thank you for introducing me to your happy boy! I’m looking forward to showing you the rest of our images soon!



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