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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.

Sadie the Terrier Mix – Photo Session at UCSD!

May 26th, 2016

I am so excited to introduce you to Sadie the terrier mix! But Sadie, on the other hand, is totally okay with not meeting you in person… she’s just a bit too shy to say hello to most people! Sadie is a rescue pup, a mutt with a curious mixture of terrier, Aussie, and possibly chihuahua in her heritage, and the only person she truly loves to be up-close-and-personal with is her mom Sarah, who adopted her at a horse show in Texas several years ago. Sarah is a student at UCSD – Princeton next year! – and brings Sadie with her to classes and club meetings, so Sadie is pretty used to thinking of the UCSD campus as her own personal backyard, but she’s never been to keen to make friends with strangers (especially if they happen to be on skateboards, yikes!). But she warmed up to me quickly after A) our meet-and-greet in my studio about a week before our session, and B) I gave her a handful of treats as soon as our session began! From then on, Sadie was more than happy to come up to me and even make eye contact, since she knew she’d be rewarded… and she definitely got plenty of rewards, haha! We had a great time running around the grass, exploring the art & architecture on campus (Geisel Library, anyone?) and enjoying a nice little walk at the same time. I had such a great time with Sadie & Sarah! :)


Sadie is FAST! I really saw her terrier & Aussie breeds come out as we played fetch on the quad!

terrier mix running


What a cute little pup… I love her flappy ears! She’s quite expressive and wasn’t shy about telling us how she felt, haha!

terrier mix dog


Small dog, big personality.

terrier mix dog photo



Sarah, I can’t wait to see you again & show you the rest of our photos! I’ll be in touch soon! :)


Grifo & Lady Roxy, Schnauzer Mix Dogs! (San Diego)

May 24th, 2016

You know what I love about schnauzer mix dogs? They’re adorable in different, unique ways, but they somehow have just as much attitude as purebred schnauzers! Haha! Have you ever met a schnauzer who didn’t think he/she was the boss? Of everything and everyone? I didn’t think so… and these schnauzer mix pups that I worked with recently are no exception!  :)

Grifo & Lady Roxy live with their moms – two cousins – in San Diego! Both ladies are originally from New York, and I think their dogs “inherited” a bit of that classic NYC swagger… they’re independent, headstrong, opinionated pups! Grifo is about 6 years old, Lady Roxy is about 2, and they’re both rescue mutts. They absolutely love to run around and explore, never straying too far from their moms… and while they’re not too big on “sit”, “stay” or many other commands, they certainly make up for it with their sweet demeanors! We didn’t have any shortage of affection during our photo session, that’s for sure – these dogs absolutely adore their little family!

This is Grifo! He can RUN! Mostly he just likes to hang out and relax – and bark at things – but I’m glad I got to see his need for speed!

schnauzer mix running


And this is Lady Roxy… doesn’t she look like a proper little lady? She’s a total sweetheart and I think her name fits her beautifully.

schnauzer mix dog


At the end of our session, their moms were enjoying the sunset… but I think the dogs were more interested in my treat bag! Haha!

schnauzer mix dogs


Patricia & Barbara, thank you for a really fun afternoon! I absolutely loved working with you & your dogs! Can’t wait to show you more photos soon! :)


Rylee the Shepherd Mix in Poway, CA (Photos)

May 16th, 2016

I have to admit, Rylee the shepherd mix is one of the sweetest mutts I’ve ever met. She’s absolutely devoted to her parents – in fact, her favorite place in the world is happily snuggled in either of their laps – and her big brown eyes just seem to implore you for love. I had a great time photographing Rylee – and she loved the fact that I was willing to keep my distance, haha! Rylee is a rescue dog with a few leftover psychological issues from her days as a stray, so she was happiest when she could keep her eye on me from a safe distance away. And that’s okay! Over time, she warms up to people and loves getting close with them… but for the meantime, I was especially glad we did a Pre-Session Consultation so I could get to know all of Rylee’s quirks in advance, haha! And I tell you what: in spite of (or perhaps because of?) her shy personality, she turned out to be one of the easiest-to-work-with pets I’ve ever come across! Rylee has an uncanny ability for striking a pose, and my zoom lens replaced the need for close-ups – so all in all, it was a fantastic photo session! (And to be totally honest, my dog is a shepherd mix too, so Rylee already scored a few easy points with me before we even started, haha!)


Rylee is from the other side of the tracks – literally – so we simply had to set up a few portraits on the train tracks at Old Poway Park! Such a perfect spot… and see what I mean about her natural posing ability? ha!

cute shepherd mix dog


We also found some pretty flowers to show off Rylee’s softer side…

shepherd mix photo


… but honestly, the whole time we were at the park, Rylee was just hoping to spot another dog! She’s super-social with other pups and can’t resist making friends with any that pass by.

shepherd mix dog cute


Doree & Daniel, thank you for such a fun afternoon (amidst all those prom-goers and wedding guests)! I’m excited to show you the rest of our photos soon! :)


Lola the Gorgeous Standard Poodle! (Rancho Santa Fe Pet Photography Session)

May 11th, 2016

I think rescue dogs know when they’ve been rescued. They know when their life changes; when they have a loving, happy home and they’re a treasured member of the family, when beforehand there was more pain & suffering than love & stability. I think they know. And Lola the standard poodle definitely knows just how lucky she is.

This Rancho Santa Fe pet photography session features the gorgeous Lola, an all-black standard poodle, who was rescued from a very poor beginning in life. She’s still less than a year old, but for her first 4 months or so, she was brought up in absolutely deplorable conditions. She didn’t even know how to drink water out of a bowl, because she wasn’t given bowls of water as a puppy, much less toys or treats, or any basic facets of a puppy’s life. Can you imagine?! Who could do that to such a sweet creature – any animal, really – I have no idea, but thankfully Lola’s mom Debra came along, and she rescued her to live a fabulous life! Lola & Debra live in a beautiful, safe neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe, and they simply couldn’t be happier together. They’re best friends! And Lola absolutely adores her mom: she follows her around as close as a shadow, always ready to jump up to face-height to say hello up close, haha! In fact, Lola’s life is so filled with love these days, that as our photo session wrapped up and I was giving Debra a hug goodbye, Lola jumped up to join the hug too!! It was absolutely hysterical – she just doesn’t want to be excluded from any bit of love & affection she sees around her (especially a hug with her mom)! Haha! What an adorable, goofy pup. :)


This is Lola. Such a sweetheart.

rancho santa fe pet photography


She absolutely loves running around her backyard! Action photos turned out to be a significant part of our session, thanks to her boundless energy!

rancho santa fe dog photo


Sigh. This dog is gorgeous.

rancho santa fe photography


Debra, I had a great time with you & Lola during our photo session! I’m excited to show you the rest of our photos very soon!


Kaina’s Mission Hills Pet Photography Session

May 4th, 2016

Kaina the dog is a happy guy – easygoing, relaxed, and always content to be with his parents. You get the feeling he really knows how to enjoy the simple things in life, like a comfortable spot in the shade on a sunny day. And so we had a great time relaxing around his neighborhood during our Mission Hills pet photography session!

The name “Kaina” means “younger brother” in Hawaiian, but Kaina the dog actually shares his backyard with a few younger sisters – who happen to be chickens! That’s right, I got to spend time with two different species during our photo session, and I absolutely loved meeting Kaina’s feathered siblings, who live in a coop out in their family’s backyard area in Mission Hills. But it wasn’t long before Kaina stole the show; he completely won me over with his sweet smile and happy willingness to sit by my side and offer me a paw. I mean, this dog could not be any more adorable. He’s slowing down these days, since he’s not as young as he used to be, so he takes life one day at a time… and to be honest with you, he almost reminds me of an old man who contentedly sits on the porch all day, happy to be comfortable and near the people he loves. (An old man with the cutest little floppy ears, haha!)


Here’s Kaina in his backyard, with the chicken coop and his mom’s favorite kangaroo-paw flowers too!

mission hills pet photography session


We also visited Presidio Park, the honorary “backyard” of Mission Hills residents, and had a fun time exploring the scenery there too! We finished up our session at Coronado Beach, but I love how at-home Kaina looks amongst the lush greenery of the park.

missions hills pet photo session


Have I mentioned that Kaina loves spending time with his parents? I don’t think anything makes him happier.

mission hill pet photography


Mary & Rob, thank you for such a fun afternoon! I’m so glad we were able to get together on a tight schedule! I’m excited to show you the rest of our photos soon. :)



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