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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, 2014-2016, by the San Diego A-List.

Merlin and Gwen, Mixed Breed Dogs with Engaged Parents!

April 11th, 2017

Step 1: Adopt two adorable dogs.

Step 2: Schedule a photo session for aforementioned dogs.

Step 3: Get engaged!

Step 4: Turn your photo session into a pet/engagement photo session!


Don’t worry, these aren’t required instructions for anyone – except Merlin & Gwen’s parents, haha! I’m so excited for this new family of four! :)


As you can probably imagine, this photo session was slightly different than one of my usual, all-about-the-pets sessions. We included mom & dad in many of the photos, which was a lot of fun! And Merlin & Gwen loved sharing the spotlight – they absolutely adore their parents. These mixed breed dogs have such fun personalities; Merlin is the older brother who will do anything for a treat, and Gwen is the younger (yet bigger) sister whose favorite activity is annoying her brother! Haha! (Isn’t that what younger siblings are for?) They were a lot of fun to work with, and I think they had a great time in front of the camera.


We started at their home in Rancho Bernardo, snuggling on the couch and relaxing.

mixed breed dogs at home


Merlin is a terrier/border collie mix, and I think there might be some spaniel in his heritage too!

mixed breed terrier dog


Gwen is a mini-husky! (Okay, I just made that up, that’s not a real breed. She’s a husky mix, but her parents don’t know what the other breed(s) might be, and she just looks like a slightly-smaller-than-normal husky!)

mixed breed husky dog


We ended up with so many adorable family photos… I really agonized over which one to post here! But this image immediately jumped out at me as an early favorite, since it’s a candid, natural moment. And I personally love the calm tone of this photo – especially with how crazy this little family’s life is going to get, as they’re about to plan a wedding! Eeek!

mixed breed dogs with parents



Angela & Ricky, I’m so happy for you two!! Can’t wait to get together again soon! :)


San Diego Boxers, Gunther & Sandy! (Photos)

April 6th, 2017

Some dogs that I work with are timid, fearful pups that need extra time & attention to feel truly comfortable… new situations make them nervous, and therefore it takes a few minutes to “warm up” to the camera. And that’s okay, since I’m pretty darn patient and I don’t mind coaxing a dog out of his or her shell.

But Gunther and Sandy are NOT that kind of dog!

These fearless San Diego boxers are confident, happy dogs with plenty of energy to spare! If they have a “shell” to break out of, they did it years ago and smashed the pieces everywhere! Haha! I met them at Mission Bay Park and they bounded out of their parents’ truck, ready to run around the grass and chase down the nearby football that a few people were playing with across the field… is it possible to be a little too outgoing? Haha! I should have known that these dogs would have no fear; they’ve been around construction sites their whole lives, surrounded by loud noises and changing environments. So we enjoyed a photo session in which I knew the dogs would be up for anything I suggested! (Anything except containing their excitement, that is!)

This is Gunther, a handsome gentleman with a penchant for purple frisbees.

boxer dog photo


And this is Sandy, a fun-loving girl with a sweet spirit. (Except when that frisbee is involved – then she’ll do her best to steal it from her brother!)

san diego boxer photo


See what I mean?

san diego boxers playing


I loved working with these pups… I know I’ll have fun with any session that includes a pair of San Diego boxers, but these two have such unique personalities and quirks that they kept me laughing (and on my toes!) all afternoon. They’re such great – and yet different – siblings.

san diego boxers in flowers


Adrienne & Clay, I’m so glad I met your awesome dogs! Can’t wait to see you both again soon! :)


Sundance the 7-Month-Old Shepherd Mix Puppy (Photos)

April 1st, 2017

First of all: you should all be very proud of me for not stealing this dog.

I’m joking, of course – but I just love some of my clients’ dogs so much that I want to bring them home with me! And who wouldn’t want to bring home Sundance? This gorgeous German shepherd mix is an amazing dog. His parents rescued him from Helen Woodward Animal Center just a few months ago. Our photo session was actually the day before his seven-month birthday! (Fun fact: his (assumed) birthday is the day before my birthday!)  So although he’s young and hasn’t learned every trick in the book yet, his parents have done an amazing job with obedience training so far, and as a result Sundance was an absolute dream to work with. This well-behaved pup knows several commands, and in general is a happy, eager-to-please dog.  He was ready to sit (and begrudgingly stay) when we wanted him to stay, and excited to run around the park when it was time for some action photos! And when he laid down, let his head rest on his paws, and looked up at me with his big soulful eyes… I just about melted.  I’m so glad his parents came to me so early in Sundance’s life – he’ll never be this small again, and we had a great time capturing his puppyhood spirit!


 We started our photo session in the studio – because Sundance doesn’t need anything else in the photo to look this good.

shepherd mix dog


 Then we played fetch at Balboa Park…

shepherd mix dog running


…  and Sundance showed off his stellar sit-stay in front of the gorgeous scenery!

shepherd mix puppy


 You see why I wanted to keep him for myself??

shepherd mix photo


Elaine and Michael, I hope you both had as much fun as I did during our photo session! Can’t wait to see you again soon!


Admiral Barker, the Coronado Dalmatian Puppy

March 31st, 2017

If you like puppies, you’re going to LOVE this sneak peek!

When I first heard Admiral Barker’s name, I had two thoughts: first was “ohmygawd that’s the cutest name ever!!” and the second thought was “I bet there’s a military connection here!” Turns out I was right; Admiral Barker (“Admiral” for short) is the newest addition to an awesome military family in Coronado! (Well, at least he & his mom are awesome – I haven’t actually met Admiral’s dad yet since he’s currently deployed, but I assume he’s pretty awesome too.) So once I recovered from the excitement of meeting a 13-week-old Dalmatian puppy, we scheduled his photo session quickly since this little boy is never going to be this small again! His mom & I were both thrilled to capture Admiral’s puppyhood, and we had a wonderful afternoon together!

So here’s what was surprisingly unique about this session, and Admiral’s personality: most puppies will greet you with a burst of energy, and then calm down over time. “I’m so excited to see you!” turns into “I’m getting tired.” Right? But Admiral behaved in the exact opposite way! We arrived at the marina, and he was happy to see me but promptly flopped down on the dock to take a break before we even made it to their boat! He could not have been more cool, calm & collected. Fast forward to the end of our photo session at Coronado Beach – and he was on fire, running around like a little maniac! It’s definitely not what I (nor his mom) expected, but puppies always seem to keep you on your toes, don’t they? So I was somehow able to keep up with his various & changing energy levels, and something tells me his mom is going to have an extra-large variety of images to choose amongst! :)


Here’s Admiral Barker, overseeing the marina. Obviously he’s in charge of it all.

dalmatian puppy in marina


He even learned how to navigate their new hammock during our photo session!

dalmatian puppy photo


I cannot handle that face. Ugh… he is so ridiculously cute.

cute dalmatian puppy


A rare moment of calm on the beach, near the Hotel Del Coronado!

dalmatian puppy on coronado beach


Jill, it was so much fun to meet you & your adorable little man! Congrats again on the new addition to your family, and I’ll talk to you again soon! :)


Emily, the World’s Tiniest Pomeranian! (Photos)

March 30th, 2017

Okay, Emily might not be the tiniest Pomeranian in the world. I haven’t done all the necessary research, I admit it. (Although I would like to, haha!) But I think it’s a pretty good guess, since she weighs a whopping 2.5 pounds! Holding this little lady in your arms is like holding a feather… but for everything she lacks in size, she more than makes up for in sweetness. Emily is patient, calm, loving, and simply a dream to work with. I love the way she looks up at her mom… you can practically see the devotion in her eyes. And rightfully so: her mom saved her from a puppy mill. Emily had a rough beginning, that’s for sure – no attention and no love for the first couple years of her life. (I cannot imagine… ugh.) So her mom is making up for lost time, and showering Emily with plenty of care these days! Especially since older age (Emily is 9 now) has come with new health challenges, and her mom doesn’t have much longer with her sweet rescued pup. I’m sad for the short amount of time they have left together… thinking about it puts tears in my eyes… but at the same time, I know Emily & her mom have shared so much joy. So they’ll continue to do what they do best (travel the country, go beading, and love each other) and I have no doubt that it’s the life both of them would have chosen a thousand times over!


That’s Emily the Pomeranian – and yes, she’s wearing a dress! It cover up her hair loss from her recent medical issues quite nicely, and Emily loves her (huge!) collection of dresses to choose from!

pomeranian studio photo


Stop it. She’s too cute.

Pomeranian dog


How could you ever say no to those big eyes?!

pomeranian photo


DeeAnn, it was an honor to meet your sweet girl. Thank you so much for introducing me to her – I’ll be in touch with you again very soon!



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