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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! :)

Scooby the Chocolate Labrador

December 11th, 2014

Imagine my surprise when my phone rang the other day with a call from central Florida – and it’s a fellow pet photographer on the line! This photo session certainly came about in a unique way, since it happened to be my client’s father arranging it all… but soon enough, I met the star of our session, Scooby. He’s the definition of a chocolate labrador: he has a happy-go-lucky attitude, huge smile, and an insatiable zest for life! He just wants everyone to be his friend and the beach is his favorite place on earth. But I was sad to hear the recent news that a cancerous tumor had developed on his shoulder, and it was growing fast… so although Scooby’s grandpa (the fellow pet photographer I mentioned) would be in California for Christmas in a couple of weeks, they simply weren’t sure that Scooby would be here to see him by then. So that’s where I came in, and honestly, I couldn’t have been more honored to photograph Scooby & his mom.


We visited one of Scooby’s favorite beaches, Fiesta Island, and had a wonderful time playing in the sand & surf together. Scooby’s mom hadn’t taken him to the beach in a while, so he was definitely saving up his energy for our photo session – and I have a feeling he was pretty sore the next day, haha! He romped around like a puppy… and it was a beautiful thing to see.


He’s a lab – so of course he loves being in the water!

chocolate lab san diego



We let Scooby run around off-leash for the entire session, since he always came back to his mom’s side, time after time.

chocolate labrador beach



I know Scooby’s mom is excited to see this image… what a beautiful relationship they have.

chocolate labrador photo



Jenn, thank you for an absolutely wonderful photo session to finish my 2014 calendar! I’ve been thinking about you & Scooby recently… I hope he’s still feeling good, and I’m excited to see you again soon!


Military Family Pet Photography with Trevor & Tori

December 10th, 2014

The more I think about it, the more I’m pretty sure it was a miracle that I actually got to meet Trevor & Tori’s family! You see, these pups are part of a beautiful military family that’s leaving San Diego very soon – and I mean, in-less-than-two-weeks soon! So between a tight timeline and weather delays messing with their dad’s flight schedule, these pups almost left San Diego without the chance to pose for a few family photos… and while the dogs probably wouldn’t have been too concerned, I know their mom had been looking forward to their photo session for several months, so I wanted to do everything I could to make sure we saved an afternoon for us to spend together! Not to mention, I have some idea of the general chaos & stress they’re going through, since Mr. Shamrell was also in active duty and the military moved us to San Diego last year. So I definitely wanted to treat them to a fun afternoon while I could! (Oh, and speaking of which: we figured out that they were living in Pensacola when we lived there, too! Their dad was even stationed at the same bases at the same time as my hubby! Crazy!!)


Trevor & Tori’s mom, Liz, worked at Bodhi Animal Hospital in North Park, which is where she first saw my work, and I should have guessed that she’d have an incredible connection with her dogs from all her experience working with pets every day. She & Tori (the boxer) have the same fun-loving spirit, and I absolutely loved watching them interact; they seem to simply “get” each other! Trevor (the little mixed-breed dog), on the other hand, is a bit older than Tori and has slowed down a bit this year… Liz said she first noticed that Trevor was losing his hearing when he didn’t respond to her calls on a recent hiking trip. But they’ve been working on a sign language system for commands & praise, and it’s absolutely adorable to watch them silently communicate with each other! So really, while photographing these dogs’ personalities was incredibly fun, it was even more enjoyable to capture a piece of their close relationship with their mom & dad.



This is Tori! She has the most unique facial coloring – isn’t she beautiful?

military family pet photography



Tori knows how to pose, too… I just love the way she’s looking up at her parents in this image.

military family pet photography



And here’s Trevor! He may be older now, but he can still zoom across the park like a puppy!

military family pet photo



Turns out, Trevor is quite the posing pro as well… don’t you love those ears??

military family dog photo



Liz & Justin, I’m so glad we finally had the chance to get together, even amidst all the chaos of moving! I can’t wait to see you both again very soon! :)


Terri the Yorkie’s Christmas Card Photos!

December 9th, 2014

Oh my goodness – I got to meet the cutest dog the other day! Terri the Yorkie is an absolutely adorable 7-year-old pup with the happy spirit of a puppy, and I couldn’t stop “awwww”-ing at his cute little face from the moment he walked into the studio! His parents said they wanted a few Christmas card photos, but I have a feeling that their gallery is going to contain a few dozen card-worthy images… that’s what happens when I get to spend a full hour with a happy, confident dog like Terri! He was simply a pro at posing for the camera. We had a great photo session, and I’m simply thrilled to share his photos with you!


Terri was pretty thrilled to have a brand-new toy to play with at his photo session! His parents brought this reindeer and his favorite flamingo toy (yes, a flamingo, how fabulous is that) to our session, and he was basically in heaven.

christmas card pet photo



That bow tie… stop it right now. Ridiculously cute.

christmas card photos san diego



And I even got his parents’ permission to post a photo of everyone here on the blog! What a beautiful family, don’t you think?

christmas card photos



John & Katrina, thanks for such a fun photo session! I can’t wait to show you more of Terri’s photos! :)

Scooby the Yorkie (an emergency pet photography session)

December 8th, 2014

I received her call just after 10 am on Friday morning. When I picked up the phone, I had no idea I’d be meeting her & her dog less than 24 hours later… but then again, that’s how quickly things can change. She was crying on the phone – so I started crying too, as I listened to her story about Scooby, her 14-year-old Yorkie. They’d been through everything together, hard times & fun times (she told me some incredible stories), and it was clear that she’d do anything for her little man. But she was on her way home from the vet when she called, and had received the worst possible news. They had only a few days left together. Days.


So we met the very next morning in beautiful San Dieguito County Park, for a few photos & a bit of family time. The day was to be all about Scooby, filled with fun activities & being in his favorite places. I heard that filet mignon was even on the menu that night. And of course, he wouldn’t spend a second without his mom by his side… all his favorite things, rolled up into one blissful day. What more could a dog ask for, as a way to spend his last day on earth?


Look at that face – Scooby is such a cutie! He definitely looks younger than 14, in my opinion!

emergency pet photo session



That tongue!

emergency photo session



Oh, Scooby. You are so, so loved.

emergency dog photography session


I can’t believe this photo session happened only two days ago, and already, Scooby isn’t with us anymore. Deriane, I hope you find strength & comfort in your memories of your handsome boy… I was truly honored to meet him & get to know you both. Thank you for the opportunity to photograph your little angel.


Photo Session with Roxy & Ruthie in Fairbanks Ranch!

December 6th, 2014

I shared a fun photo session with two adorable dogs recently! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Ruthie & Roxy, two dogs (with totally opposite personalities) who live in the Fairbanks Ranch area of San Diego! Ruthie is a 12-year-old greyhound, rescued from the racing track in Tucson, AZ. She loves to relax, of course, and is definitely the calm dog of the family. In fact, this used to be a greyhounds-only family, but then Roxy wriggled her way into their hearts! Roxy is a 4-year-old pug-dachshund mix with a surprising amount of energy… she wanted to play fetch for our entire photo session! She’s a total goofball and always ready for her next walk. As you can probably tell, I had a blast photographing both dogs & their distinctive personalities. After rescheduling their session due to rain (in San Diego, it feels so silly to say!) we were able to get together at their house for an early-morning sunrise session recently. And what made this session even more fun: it’s a surprise for their mom! Ruth & Roxy’s dad contacted me weeks ago about giving the photos to her as a Christmas gift, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to help make their holidays even more special! :)  So without further ado… here are just a few photos to give their parents a “sneak peek” at the results from our session!


This is Roxy! Can you handle that face, and those eyes? She is too cute!

fairbanks ranch pug mix



And here’s Ruthie! Doesn’t she have a beautiful smile?

fairbanks ranch greyhound



Together, they make an adorable pair.

fairbanks ranch photo session



Kelly, I can’t wait to meet you & show you the rest of our photos! (Thanks for organizing such a fun surprise, G.A.!)



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