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  • Jolie, Beau & Bella
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Me with my muse, Bailey!

About Allison Shamrell Photography:

Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Allison, and I know you love your dogs. This blog (and my business) is all about helping you CELEBRATE them! I work in San Diego, CA, on location and in-studio, capturing the personalities of dogs large and small. 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! :)

English Bulldogs Delilah & Bella in the San Diego Studio!

October 23rd, 2014

First of all: these are two adorable English bulldogs, and if you recognize them, don’t tell their father about their photo session! Delilah & Bella’s mom organized this session as a surprise for their dad’s birthday; little does he know, in a few weeks he’s going to go out for a nice night with his wife, but before dinner, they’re stopping by the studio to see all the photos of their dogs! How fun is that?! It’s going to be a huge surprise, so if you know these pups, don’t mention anything to their dad! :)

Delilah & Bella are two sweet English bulldogs with huge, matching underbites that would make a dentist cringe. (Bella’s is so big that her tongue permanently hangs out the side of her mouth!) But don’t worry; they’re perfectly healthy and their underbites only add to their charm. At 8 years old, Delilah is a bit more content to sit (or lay) as close to her people as possible. Bella, who’s 4 years old, has a bit more energy to run around & explore her surroundings – but let’s be honest, their favorite thing to do is always just relax! They are English bulldogs, after all! So for our photo session, we definitely tuckered them out, asking them to pose on the backdrop for us… but I’m loving how their images turned out, so all that exercise was definitely worth it. :)



This is Delilah! Isn’t she just beautiful? I love her smile!

 english bulldog san diego



And this is Bella – such a happy dog!

happy english bulldog



And here they are, posing for the cutest Christmas card I’ve ever seen. I mean… really. Reindeer ears. They’re just too much! :)

 english bulldogs san diego



Jen, it was so much fun meeting you & your girls! I’m so excited to reveal our surprise to your hubby soon! :)


Savannah, the San Diego Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

October 21st, 2014

I am so thrilled to introduce you to Savannah! This San Diego Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an absolutely adorable puppy, and I had the honor of helping her celebrate her very first birthday with a photo session! :)

Savannah lives with her parents in a fabulous townhouse in downtown San Diego, and she showed me all her favorite spots around the house before we broke into the birthday celebration! Her mom found a super-cute birthday hat for her on Etsy, and what doggy birthday is complete without a “pupcake”? We let her enjoy the peanut-butter-flavored treat for a few minutes, and I don’t think I’ve ever taken so many photos of a dog licking its chops! Just too stinkin cute.

We took a few family photos (her mom & dad just celebrated their 1-year anniversary! yay!) before heading out to Balboa Park for the second half of our session. We ran around (this girl is quick!) and chased sticks in the grass before finding a few flowers to pose with. All in all, I was incredibly impressed at Savannah’s obedience abilities & attention span; not every 1-year-old puppy is up for all the attention & activity we gave her all afternoon long! It’s clear that her parents worked hard with her in these first few months teaching her how to be a great dog!


Here she is with her birthday hat & pupcake. I know. 

cavalier king charles spaniel



Savannah is an urban dog! She watches her mom walk to work every day from this perch on their balcony!

san diego cavalier



We took several family photos, but I always wait to hear which are my clients’ favorites before I post them online… just because I know people can be pickier than dogs about these things! :)  So for now, just trust me: this is a beautiful family.

san diego cavalier king charles spaniel



And one more – I can’t resist – that grin just kills me!

san diego cavalier



Ali & Brian, thank you for a wonderful afternoon – outfit changes and all! :)  I simply can’t wait to show you the rest of Savannah’s adorable photos!


Best Friends Photo Session with Bella & Phalen!

October 20th, 2014

There are some photo sessions that go off without a single hitch; we schedule a time to get together, everything goes as planned, no surprises come up, and it’s a wonderfully simple process overall. No one has to reschedule, everyone is on time to the session, and there’s no pressure or time constraints that would limit us from rescheduling even if we had to. In a word, it just goes smoothly. And honestly, this is usually what happens with the vast majority of my clients.

However, this was NOT one of those sessions! :p

For whatever reason, crazy difficulty after crazy difficulty struck when Bella & Phalen’s parents & I were trying to get together. First, just 72 hours before our original session date, my car was broken into and my spare camera bag was stolen, unfortunately. Ugh. So we had to reschedule for a time when I could get new equipment up & running… and then I got the news that Bella had torn her ACL. The poor thing! So the surgery was scheduled for just days after our new session date, which meant there could be no-such-thing as rain that day! We simply didn’t have time to reschedule again. And finally, after a fun morning up at Earthwise Pet Supply‘s Halloween party on the day of our session, twenty miles away from the studio, my car battery decided to die. Gah!!! So after all these difficulties, and against the odds, I can still hardly believe that our actual photo session went off without a hitch, once we finally got it going! So I want to give a ton of recognition (and thanks!) to Bella & Phalen’s parents, for being so incredibly flexible & ready to roll with the punches. They’re champs and I’m lucky to have such incredible people as clients!

And as it turns out, Bella & Phalen aren’t technically brother & sister – they’re neighbors! That’s why I call this a “doggy best friends” photo session; these two don’t live together but they’re practically inseparable anyway! They go to the same doggy daycare and play together all day, and once they come home they’re still anxious to see each other & romp around! Honestly, these two have a connection that’s rare, in my opinion… their relationship is amazing. And I don’t usually accept sessions with dogs from different families, but these two are so much like brother & sister, I just couldn’t resist capturing them together. So enough talk – let me introduce you!


Bella the golden retriever is a decorated Canine Good Citizen with a huge assortment of obedience ribbons, medals & certificates; she’s an incredibly smart & happy dog that simply lives to please her mother!

best friends photos



Phalen the Keeshond hasn’t been through the same training regimen, but he has an unflaggingly cheerful personality and dashing good looks to make up for it! And he’s only the second Keeshond I’ve ever worked with; this is a rare breed, and his dad did lots of research before deciding that it would be right for him. And of course, they’re perfect together! :)

best friends photo session



As much as I love the studio, and how it really lets a dog’s beauty take center stage without any visual distractions, there’s nothing like the natural light of the outdoors. We headed to the park for a few environmental photos, and I love the results!

best friends dogs



Don’t you love the halo of light around each dog’s head? I love working with long-haired dogs in the sun!

doggy best friends photo session



Doggy best friends.

doggy best friends



Everyone, Bella could use your prayers and happy thoughts as she heads into surgery this Thursday. I know I’ll be thinking about her! Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery so she can run around with Phalen again as soon as possible.


April & Arron, thank you again for your patience & flexibility! I can’t wait to see you both again soon!


Wilson the San Diego Corgi, in Presidio Park!

October 19th, 2014

Wilson is a happy San Diego corgi that I met at a recent Yappy Hour for Camp Bow Wow! He was enjoying a puptini (!) and wearing a classic corgi smile all night, so I knew photographing him would be a relatively easy job – since that handsome smile is practically always on his face! Corgis are some of the happiest dogs I know, and Wilson is a cheerful, handsome tricolor who lives with his parents in Alpine. He’s just a puppy, so his obedience isn’t 100% all there yet – his mom told me stories of chasing Wilson all over their neighborhood! – but I think as time goes on he’ll be relatively easy to train, since he absolutely loves to eat treats & please his parents. So of course, we had a great photo session – because I’m always pretty liberal with the treats, haha! :)


Look at that smile! And those posing skills! Wilson was simply fantastic to work with.

san diego corgi



Wilson even showed me the spot in the park where his parents got married! How fun is that?!

san diego corgi



And then we found some tall grasses, where Wilson pretended he was hiding… but really he just kept on smiling at me.

cute corgi photo in san diego



Thanks again for a wonderful afternoon, Debbie & Bob! I can’t wait to see you both again soon! :)


Turbo, the San Diego Pomeranian Mix, in the Studio

October 17th, 2014

I can’t wait to introduce you to this pup – she is just the cutest!! Turbo is a San Diego pomeranian & lhasa apso mix, and she recently visited the studio for a custom photo session. This girl has tons of personality – she loves to play & jump around with her mom! (Or in other words, live up to her name! haha!)  I just love her cute little pomeranian face; plus, her coloring is so interesting! Black & tan is a rare combination for pomeranians, and even more so for lhasa apsos, which means Turbo is definitely one of a kind. Her parents rescued her earlier this year, and they told me about an incredible coincidence: on the very same day that their previous dog (a cocker spaniel) passed away, leaving them heartbroken, the rescue organization found Turbo. Can you believe it? The very same day! Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence; maybe it was more of a sign that Turbo was meant to fill the gap left by her predecessor. Who knows. For me, it calls to mind this quote from Erica Jong: “Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love… they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big.” So, so true.


This is Turbo! See what I mean? She’s adorable!

san diego pomeranian mix



Oh, that face… so much attitude. :)

san diego pomeranian



And I have to tell you about her tail! It’s an explosion of fur! It looks like a firework, or a just-popped-open champagne bottle, or a pom-pom… it’s unlike any tail I’ve ever seen on another dog!

cute pom tail



Marjorie, thank you for introducing me to your beautiful little girl! I’m excited to show you the rest of our photos very soon!



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