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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.

Lira the Lagotto Romagnolo Puppy in San Diego, CA!

September 16th, 2016

My favorite kind of dog is… drumroll please… quite simply, a happy one. I love working with cheerful pups who don’t mind smiling for the camera – and while I’ve worked with dozens of labradors, retrievers, pit bulls & mutts over the years, I recently had the chance to photograph a very unique type of happy dog! Lira is a Lagotto Romagnolo, a breed recognized just last year by the AKC! I was so excited to meet a breed that I’ve never photographed before – because after being in business for almost 6 years, that doesn’t happen every day! But if every lagotto romagnolo is like Lira, then sign me up to work with all of them, haha!

Lira & her mom met me at Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diego for their photo session, and in fact, they agreed to help me out with a very special new project that I’m undertaking – more on that coming soon! But we had a (mostly) normal photo session, full of smiles & wags from miss Lira, and a ton of fun. And Lira’s mom Debbie is a talented photographer too – so I was even more honored to work with her sweet girl!

This is Lira – a fluffy, curly-haired, well-behaved, impeccably-trained, happy Lagotto Romagnolo!

lagotto romagnolo photo


Lira can really RUN! She’s so fast, and it was hilarious to see those fluffy ears bounce as she bounded toward us!

lagotto romagnolo running


We ended our photo session with Lira in her rightful place as Queen of the Mountain. Clearly.

lagotto romagnolo dog



Debbie, thank you so much for introducing me to your darling girl! (And for being such a willing participant in our project!) I can’t wait to share the rest of our photos with you soon!


Maverick the Black Lab at the Del Mar Dog Beach

September 13th, 2016

Some dogs seem to be born graceful. They walk gently and run swiftly; every movement seems carefully & delicately measured, with a deer-like grace and softness.

Maverick is NOT one of those dogs!

I visited the Del Mar dog beach with Maverick the black lab for our photo session, and he ran like a crashing cannonball through the water! His paws pounded the sand as he powered through any oncoming wave (or person, or dog!) and there was simply no stopping his momentum… it was amazing (and hilarious) to see! Maverick has a passion for playing fetch, and it’s all he wanted to do that day. In fact, I was a bit nervous about visiting the Del Mar dog beach, such a popular & busy spot, for our session, since other dogs & people are usually a huge distraction for most pups… but Maverick’s mom assured me that he wouldn’t be interested in anything besides his ball. And she was right! Maverick has a one-track mind when he’s at the beach; it’s all about fetch, and he’s not afraid to go swimming in deep water to get that ball back. In fact, after a few times of dropping the ball for his dad when he was only halfway back to the shore, I asked if he was getting too tired to bring it all the way back – and his dad said nope, he just likes to stay in the water! So he stays out there and waits for his dad to come out to him & throw the ball again! Ha! I had a great time playing at the Del Mar dog beach with Maverick, and I’m so excited to introduce you to him!


That big, happy smile is permanently on Maverick’s face when he’s at the beach. And I don’t blame him.

black lab


He can move through the waves! Fetch is serious business, he doesn’t waste a second.

black lab san diego


That pre-throw look of anticipation…

black lab photo


Siobhan & Bob, thanks for a fun morning at the beach! I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of our images with you soon! :)


Poppy the Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix in San Diego, CA

September 11th, 2016

When I first spoke with Poppy’s mom, she described Poppy as “a Rhodesian ridgeback that someone put in the dryer!” And I think it’s a pretty accurate description; Poppy looks so much like a purebred Rhodesian, only about 40 lbs smaller! (and without the ridge, but hey, not even all purebred Rhodesians have the ridge either!)

Poppy is a cautious, somewhat timid dog. She isn’t too sure of new places or new people – and during our Pre-Session Consultation, it took a while for her to get comfortable. But she did, and I’m so glad she & her mom came over for a “meet and greet” appointment before our photo session ever took place. I think it did wonder’s for Poppy’s confidence when she came back to the studio for the second time! So our session went smoothly, if a bit slowly… but Poppy is like the tortoise, not the hare. She ended up absolutely rocking our photo session, and I’m thrilled with the results! And I think you can see her sweet personality in these photos… Poppy is a wonderful, happy dog and I pretty much fell in love with her shy little self during our session. (Can you blame me? Plus, she looks so much like my Bailey!)


What a gorgeous girl & sweet smile. I’m so glad you “braved” the studio, Poppy! (Can you see how she’s a Rhodesian ridgeback mix?)

rhodesign ridgeback mix


We also visited Mission Trails Regional Park, and did a bit of exploring (which all Rhodesians love to do).

rhodesian ridgeback mix


Seriously, that profile kills me! Poppy is beautiful, don’t you think?!

rhodesian ridgeback mix picture


Stephanie, I had a great time with both of you! And I’m excited to show you the rest of our images very soon! :)


Rancho Penasquitos Pet Photography Session with Ally & Teddy!

September 9th, 2016

Usually, when a client says to me, “we can do the whole session in our backyard!” I hate to say it but I’m a little bit skeptical. In San Diego, most backyards aren’t ideal photo session locations – and while there are always exceptions, I always wonder: is there enough room to run around? Are there any trees or flowers for visual interest? Is there any grass, and if so, is it lush & green, or brown & struggling? Honestly, it’s tricky to check off all those boxes. (My own backyard certainly doesn’t!) So when Ally & Teddy’s mom contacted me about their “backyard”, I had all those questions for her – and I was very pleasantly surprised at the answers! Turns out, Ally & Teddy’s house backs up to a massive “green belt” in their neighborhood! We had more room than we knew what to do with, and it was immaculately landscaped too! Gah – I was so thrilled! Especially since they dogs both knew this spot as their “territory”, too – it wasn’t a new location that had to be explored, or a scary/uncertain place. The dogs bounded out onto the grass and immediately knew it was playtime! What a perfect spot.

Ally & Teddy are brother & sister, a sheltie and a golden retriever who happen to be opposites in many ways. Ally is much smaller than Teddy, so instead of trying to compete with him physically, she does it verbally! She loves to bark when she’s happy, excited, jealous… pretty much the whole range of emotions, Ally has something to say, haha! I love her sweet little face and she has gorgeous coloring, too. Teddy, on the other hand, is a happy-go-lucky fetch machine. His coat is a handsome deep red, and I’m pretty sure he’s constantly wondering when you’re going to throw his ball next! They were absolutely wonderful to work with, and I felt like we shared a classic “day-in-the-life” session of playing fetch & relaxing in the grass!


This is Teddy, on a mission for that rubber ball…

rancho penasquitos pet pic


… he’s got a one-track mind, but he’s also a beautiful dog, don’t you think?

rancho penasquitos pet photography


And this is Miss Ally! This was her face as soon as we brought out the turkey; what the ball is for Teddy, treats are for Ally!

rancho penasquitos pet photography session


Such a pretty girl.

rancho penasquitos pet photo



Bonnie & Justin, thank you so much for introducing me to your awesome dogs! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our images soon! :)


Daisy & Milo, Beagle Mix Dogs from San Diego

September 8th, 2016

One day I was sitting at my computer, scrolling through Facebook, and I saw something that completely caught me off guard: one of my awesome clients had adopted a new puppy!! I was immediately over-the-moon excited for them, and it wasn’t long before we were emailing each other to coordinate a date & time for a photo session to capture their newest family member! And even better: these lovely clients happen to be in my Clients for Life program, meaning they never have to pay session fees! Ever! So it was incredibly quick & easy to set up a photo session with them, and I got to meet MILO!

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you might remember Daisy, the bulldog & beagle mix. Her photo session was about a year ago, and she’s still very much a puppy, but now she has a new little brother named Milo to play with all day! Milo looks strikingly like Daisy – with similar coloring and markings – but they’re not related at all, he’s a rescue from California Labradors, Retrievers & More – and I personally think he hit the puppy jackpot with his new family! He seems to be a pit bull & beagle mix, or something like that, but time will tell as he gets older. He couldn’t be sweeter, and he’s surprisingly calm for a 13-week-old pup… which is a good thing, so he can balance out his older sister’s “wild child” energy, haha! All in all, I can’t remember the last time I was so tempted to steal a client’s puppy! (Just kidding… maybe.)


This sweet face belongs to Milo.  Swoon!

beagle mix puppy


This is his older sister, Daisy! Striking a cute pose in the backyard!

beagle mix


We played in the backyard for a while… these two are seriously adorable together.

beagle mix dogs playing


Here’s Milo with his family in the background… and as a reminder never to take puppies too seriously, he decided to chew on a stick for this photo. Just to mix things up a bit.

beagle mix puppy dog


Kelli & Grayson, if Milo goes missing next week, don’t look for him at my house…



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