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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.

Rancho Bernardo Cat Photography Session with Porkchop & Applesauce!

June 25th, 2015

It’s hard for me to write this blog post. Because as much fun as I had with these two adorably-named cats, I can’t stop thinking about their appointment this afternoon. You see, by the time many of you read this, Applesauce won’t be with us anymore. An in-home caregiver will be coming over to ensure that he passes peacefully, surrounded by his family, so that he won’t be in pain anymore… and as much as I know it’s time (he’s 15 years old and has suffered through 3 separate bouts of pancreatitis in the last 12 months), it doesn’t make the hard truth any easier to swallow. So please forgive me for not having too much to say today… but this Rancho Bernardo cat photography session is a bit more emotional than most.


This is Porkchop, a gorgeous Maine Coon, also 15 years old. One of his favorite spots is right here on the couch cushion, the perfect place to watch birds out the window.

rancho bernardo cat photos


And this sweetheart is Applesauce – a fitting name, since his head is round like an apple!

rancho bernardo cat photography


We visited several different spots in the house and outside…

rancho bernardo cat photography


… and just like most cat photography sessions, these brothers designated very specific moments & areas where they were willing to let me photograph them. They are cats, after all. :)

rancho bernardo cat photos



Greg & Sandy, I’ll be thinking about you tonight – please give Applesauce one more hug from me. Thank you for introducing me to both of your handsome boys.


Photo Session with Sadie the Golden Retriever & her siblings!

June 17th, 2015

Can I be honest? I could work with golden retrievers every single day and never get tired of the breed! Seriously: the golden retriever is, for the most part, an incredible dog that puts a permanent smile on my face every time I get to share a photo session with one. And Sadie, the 1-year-old golden, was no exception! I was so thrilled when her parents contacted me for a photo session after seeing my booth at the Navy Woof Walk… we got together up at the gorgeous San Dieguito County Park in Solana Beach, and had a blast running around together! And of course, Sadie brought her siblings, too – Belle the Australian shepherd and Roscoe the Bichon Frise – in addition to their human siblings as well, haha! And all three dogs did so well! I’m super-excited to show you these photos!


This is Sadie! Isn’t she gorgeous?!

golden retriever


Here’s Roscoe, asking for a treat… how cute are those paws & tongue?

san diego dog


And here’s Miss Belle, the gorgeous Aussie, relaxing in the grass. (She prefers to sit back and let Roscoe & Sadie do most of the running around – unless there’s a tennis ball involved! Then she’s the quickest one of the pack!)

golden retriever sibling


Okay, okay, one more photo of Sadie…

golden retriever dog



Lisa, Dennis, Alex & Stephanie, thank you so much for a great photo session! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our photos soon! :)


The Dogs of San Carlos Animal Hospital

June 16th, 2015

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from the lovely people over at San Carlos Animal Hospital! They had seen my work, through one of the local rescue organizations I work with, The Rescued Dog, and told me their lobby & exam rooms were in need of fresh new decor! Of course, I was happy to help out – especially after realizing that we already happen to have several clients in common! (Aberdeen the service dog and Beatrice the min pin, just to name a couple!)


So both of the veterinarians & their dogs visited the studio recently, for some fun portraits that will really liven up San Carlos Animal Hospital! As it turned out, surprisingly, both of their dogs were pretty nervous about the white backdrop that I use… and while a minority of the dogs I work with have any issues with it at all (I’d say less than 20%), I was pretty surprised to work with 2 dogs in the same day that had the same uncertainties! I have to say, I can’t really blame them – paper isn’t exactly a common surface to walk on – but with plenty of treats and slow, gentle encouragement, both dogs ended up posing like total pros on the backdrop! Getting used to the new surface took a few minutes, but we ended up having a great time & creating some gorgeous images. It just goes to show what a bit of positive reinforcement can do! :)


This dog’s name is James Woods – but don’t be fooled, she’s a girl! (Her name is a TV show reference.) James is a total sweetie – and if you’re looking at her eyes & wondering, the answer is yes, she’s cross-eyed! I’m sorry, but have you ever seen something as cute as a cross-eyed pittie?! Gah! I pretty much fell in love with this gorgeous girl as soon as I saw her. What a sweetheart.

pit bull san carlos vet


Turns out, James Woods has an adorable head tilt, too!

san carlos vet pit bull


And this is Lucas! He’s an Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, a rare sub-type of Australian cattle dog, which I’d actually never worked with before. So of course I was thrilled to meet an entirely new breed – and if all Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are just like Lucas, then I can’t wait to meet more of them! He’s a young boy, and a rescue, and I could tell at first glance how much he really loves his parents… so he trusted them about the “backdrop situation”, and eventually flashed some incredibly handsome smiles my way!

cattle dog san carlos vet


Yeah, I’d say he got pretty comfortable by the end of our time together. ;)

san carlos vet dog



Drs. Acosta & Altman, Robin & Lisa, thank you so much for a fun-filled afternoon! I absolutely adored working with all of you & your dogs, and I’m so excited to show you all our photos soon! :)


Cherry the San Diego German Shepherd, in Presidio Park

June 14th, 2015

Can I just start by saying that I love German shepherds? I simply adore them. I think they’re gorgeous dogs, and the way they can be tough & intimidating one second and goofy & happy the next second is just so amazing! So I was thrilled when Cherry, a stunning San Diego German shepherd, and her parents won a recent giveaway for a gift certificate toward a photo session!

I met Cherry at Presidio Park, where we braved a few June Gloom clouds for what turned out to be great photography conditions! And I started the photo session the way I always do, by slowly & gently acclimating the dog to my camera. I really take my time when I do this, because I don’t want the dog to feel unsure or scared about the camera or the lens – since that’s where I want them looking most of the time, after all! Cherry didn’t seem to be scared, even when I clicked the shutter for the first time – and then her dad explained why: Cherry had been active in Shutzhund training, which is intense obedience & skills training for German shepherds… and they regularly fire guns off around the dogs, to desensitize them to the noise! So, yeah, my camera shutter? Didn’t even matter! :)

And for the rest of our photo session, Cherry was a simply perfect model – she was willing to sit or lay down (“platz”!) anywhere we asked, and I was so impressed at how well she listened to the commands her dad gave. Of course, she’s still a happy-go-lucky dog, so there were times she showed us what she wanted to do, instead of the other way around, haha… but overall she was a dream come true to work with! :)


Oh, Cherry – you are gorgeous. I can’t even handle it.

german shepherd san diego


Look at this girl move! She’s an athlete!

san diego german shepherd


See what I mean? Cherry was willing to pose wherever we asked – even this unique spot!

san diego german shepherd dog



Thank you, Beth & Ron, for such a fun afternoon! (And thanks again for the cupcake – it was delicious!) I’m excited to see you both again soon!


A Second Sneak Peek for Roo! Carlsbad Pet Photography

June 12th, 2015

Do you remember Roo, the happy dog from her blog post a few weeks ago? I released that “sneak peek” post shortly after her photo session, but since then, her mom & I have been waiting through a bunch of unfortunate scheduling conflicts to get together… gah, I just can’t stand it when calendars don’t line up and my clients have to wait longer than necessary to see their photos. It’s one of my pet peeves for sure… but we don’t have to wait much longer, thankfully! Roo’s mom is finally coming in tomorrow to see all the photos! Ah, I’m so excited! (Ordering Sessions are always such a fun time to relive the photo session! My clients actually describe them as a little party… they’re an amazing way to experience your photos for the first time!)


So because we’ve been waiting sooooo long for tomorrow to finally happen, I wanted to surprise Roo’s mom – with a second sneak peek from our Carlsbad pet photography session! And without further ado, here we go!


I just love the deep rich green tones of the grass with Roo’s brown coloring… she’s such a photogenic dog!

carlsbad pet photography



Gah – she looks amazing in black & white, too!

black and white carlsbad pet photography



I must have told a (rare) funny joke right before taking this photo…

Carlsbad pet photography



See you tomorrow, Megan! :)



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