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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, 2014-2017, by the San Diego A-List.

Rocky the Labrador Mix at Balboa Park (Photos)

December 11th, 2017

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to get together with Rocky the labrador mix at Balboa Park the other day! Repeat clients are SO much fun to work with, and since I already know Rocky’s likes/dislikes/personality we were able to jump right into the session without wasting any time. So it was no surprise when, just like in his last session, Rocky posed like a total pro. He’d do anything for his mom – and the laser light she carries around for him! (Yes, I said laser light – maybe Rocky is part labrador, part cat?!)

So we visited all the most scenic parts of Balboa Park for our session – the gardens, the lily pond, the theater, and even the Spanish Village. And we have some gorgeous images as a result!! I’m excited to share these with you, and even more excited to share the rest of the photos with Rocky’s mom!


In-between greeting his many admirers, Rocky posed for a few photos near the lily pond… Balboa Park was surprisingly crowded during our session, but he didn’t let the crowds distract him. (Even when a few dozen teenagers came over to “awwwww” at how handsome he is! And I mean, who can blame them, right?!)

labrador mix in balboa park


Rocky had a scary visit to the vet recently – I got chills when his mom told me about it. Thankfully, he’s fine now, but for a generally-healthy dog it was a big surprise… because no one likes to be told that their dog needs to spend the night at the vet’s office. But he’s back to his healthy, cheerful self now – thank goodness!!

labrador mix in park


Oh Rocky. You’re adorable.

balboa park picture


Sara – I still can’t believe December snuck up on us so fast! It was so great to spend time with you & Rocky again – I’ll see you soon! :)


Pink, Achilles & Calvin – Pets from La Jolla

November 10th, 2017

Some pets are lucky enough to hit the jackpot in life: they’re adopted by a loving family, have siblings to play with, and have a great place to call home. What more could a dog or cat want, right? I’m happy to report that Pink, Achilles & Calvin have all “won the lottery”, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to them!

These pets all live in beautiful La Jolla with their parents – who are expecting a 2-legged child early next year! So we spent a nice afternoon together in their backyard, and I had a great time getting to know each of the pets’ distinctive personalities.


Calvin is thoroughly his dad’s cat. He’s about 7 years old and yes, his green eyes are that stunning in real life, too.

la jolla cat


This is Pink! This sweet girl has spent her whole life with her mom, and they’re incredibly closely-bonded. She loves to relax in the grass and sniff around – and she goes absolutely bonkers when you bring out the treats! Her favorite snack is apples… because she’s healthy like that.

dog in la jolla


And this gorgeous hunk is Achilles, the goofball of the family. Even after 2 long walks earlier that day, he still had plenty of energy for our session – and we put it all to good use! He’s a sweet boy who came from a not-so-sweet background, so I was especially glad to see that he lucked out and found such a loving family. (Plus, he fits so well into the grey theme that Calvin & Pink started, haha!!)

great dane from la jolla


Ashley & Max, thank you so much for introducing me to your family! I’m looking forward to seeing you both again soon! :)


Jackie the Poodle Mix – Photos in Old Poway Park

November 3rd, 2017

I’m excited to introduce you to Jackie the poodle mix today – because I think her alter ego is Kelly Clarkson!

That’s right, you heard me. I think the American Idol star is actually Jackie’s idol, because she sings Jackie’s theme song: Miss Independent! If you’re unfamiliar, here are some of the lyrics:

“Miss independent
Miss self-sufficient
Miss unafraid
Miss out of my way

I simply can’t think of a better way to describe Jackie. She spent our session doing exactly what she wanted to do, regardless of what we wanted her to do, haha! It’s not every day that I work with a dog that isn’t motivated by treats or toys, after all. She was perfectly content to wander around Old Poway Park making friends (2-legged and 4-legged) and occasionally chasing the ball or paying attention to a treat, but only when the mood struck her. But we still ended up with plenty of adorable photos – and don’t worry, it’s not like she’s a solitary, antisocial dog: she loves her mom! That much is abundantly clear, to anyone within minutes of meeting them. And it’s no wonder why – turns out, Jackie’s mom was not looking for a dog to adopt the day she found Jackie! But when two paths are meant to cross, they’ll cross, and Jackie changed her mom’s life that day, in a way only a cheeky little poodle mix ever could. (Kelly’s song “You Found Me” comes to mind…) Ever since then, they’ve made each other’s lives immeasurably better, and it was truly an honor to document their beautiful & unique relationship.


This is Jackie! With that sweet face, no wonder her mom wasn’t able to resist when they met each other that day!!

poodle mix close-up


She was occasionally interested in my tennis ball. I’m so glad I was ready for those brief moments, haha!

poodle mix playing


What a cutie pie. Jackie, you make me smile.

poodle mix dog photo


Jessica, thank you for braving the insane crowds at Old Poway Park with me! I’m so excited to share the rest of Jackie’s images with you soon! :)


Encinitas Photo Session with Connor, Milo & Domino

October 31st, 2017

I’m pretty sure that if I were Connor, Milo & Domino’s parent, I would have rock-hard abs and plenty of wrinkles around my eyes. Why? Because if our session was any indication, these dogs would keep me laughing literally all day long!!

These pups live in San Marcos with their parents, and they’re all incredibly unique: Connor is the long-haired terrier mix who doesn’t look like any dog I’ve ever seen before. Perhaps he’s part spaniel? Or chihuahua? Or… who knows?! He’s a sweet, smart boy and always seems to be completely, contentedly happy. Milo is the amber-colored miniature pinscher mix: he looks tough but couldn’t be more of a softie. (Don’t let the studded collar fool you.) And Domino is the high-strung min pin girl, who “protected” us from every dog who walked by during our session! (Whew – we had a few close calls – thanks for the help Domino, you brave little lady!) Together, they form an adorable troupe of tough-but-sweet teddy bears, and I completely fell in love with them.

Our photo session took place in Encinitas, at the new Encinitas Community Park. The dogs did a great job of focusing on the camera, in between scanning the horizon for other dogs (and treats and toys) of course, and I’m loving the photos from our afternoon together!


This is Connor. Clearly, he runs like a total goofball.

encinitas dog running


Domino is always on high alert – honestly, I’m not sure if she ever sleeps! It’d be awfully out-of-character.

encinitas photo session example


This big smile kills me! Milo, you’re so handsome!

encinitas photo session dog


Wright family, thank you for a fun (and hilarious) afternoon at the park! I can’t wait to show you more photos soon!  :)


Happy Howl-o-ween 2017!

October 30th, 2017

This year, Bailey wanted to dress up as one of her heroes: a UPS delivery driver!

That’s right, I said one of her heroes. I know most dogs bark at deliverymen and women, and Bailey is no exception – she’s scared off more than one mailman in her day. (So embarrassing…)

But why do dogs bark at deliverymen? (The perennial question, right?) Many canine specialists say it’s a territorial thing, and that’s probably true – but I think, deep down, Bailey is jealous. I mean, think about it: this is a person who gets to drive all over town, meet a bunch of different people, see lots of different homes & businesses, and handle packages that come from every corner of the world (and you know they have all kinds of interesting smells!).

So this year, she’s ready to get out there – rain or shine, snow sleet or hail – and smell alllllllll the people & packages!


Adan the deliveryman took a minute during his route to show her the ropes!

howl-o-ween dog UPS driver


And then we headed to the Kensington UPS Store, for a bit more hands-on training… (or should I say paws-on?)

howl-o-ween 2017


howl-o-ween 2017 costume


Come on – who wouldn’t want to get a delivery from this face?!

howl-o-ween UPS costume


Bailey might struggle getting used to the uniform, though. The hat in particular.

howl-o-ween 2017 costume


Halloween dog costume


The employees (Fred & Al) got a kick out of her costume!

howl-o-ween dog fun


But they let her behind the counter to “help” mail packages!

howl-o-ween costume



Halloween dog UPS costume


Look at all those boxes – and that huge smile. Bailey can’t WAIT to deliver them all!

howl-o-ween UPS dog


And on a slow delivery day, maybe she’ll just help you make copies and check your mailbox.

cute howl-o-ween costume



So now that she has an appreciation for how hard their jobs are, perhaps Bailey won’t bark at the next UPS deliveryman who stops at our house? Just maybe? We’ll have to wait and see if she acts like a trick or a treat next time… :)


Huge thanks to Bailey’s new friends Adan, Fred & Al! (She loves each of you!)



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