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  ~  ~  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.

Archive: February, 2017

Cubbie the Golden Retriever Puppy and His (Human) Sister, Brooke! (Photos)

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Sometimes I think about how different photographers are… there’s a lot of diversity in our industry, and I happen to think it’s all for the better. For example: if you ask me to shoot a wedding, I will probably cringe and have nightmares. Weddings are NOT my thing! So I’m glad there are photographers out there who practically eat weddings for breakfast, no big deal. And likewise, if you ask a typical photographer to work with a golden retriever puppy and a 7-year-old girl, I think most of them would have a pretty similar reaction to my feelings about weddings, haha… but me? I was so excited to hear from Brooke & Cubbie’s mom! :)

Cubbie is a brand-new, 3-month-old golden retriever puppy who lives with his family in Tierrasanta. Brooke is his 7-year-old human sister, and I absolutely loved getting to know both of them during our photo session. Cubbie is still learning how to be a good dog (and that his sister’s headbands are not toys), and you can tell that Brooke is quickly learning how to be an awesome big sister. They already have so much fun together – and it won’t be long until they’re the same size, haha! (I think the breeder might have mistaken a mastiff for a golden retriever at some point in Cubbie’s heritage – he’s already huge for his age! He’s going to be one BIG boy!) We had lots of fun playing in their backyard for their photo session, and I’m already looking forward to the next installment of documenting Cubbie’s life with his sweet new family!


We started indoors, before getting a bit muddy outside. Just look at that handsome smile!

golden retriever puppy on couch


Oh come ON. He’s too cute for words. (Fun fact: he got his name because his dad is a Chicago Cubs fan!)

golden retriever puppy


“Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend never owned a dog.”  – Anonymous

golden retriever puppy and girl


Kristin, thank you so much for introducing me to your family! I’ll talk to you again very soon! :)


Photos of Mister Mister & Cicero, Two Dogs from Encinitas!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Photo sessions with two dogs instead of one are always an adventure, let me tell you. It’s a challenge to balance two different personalities in one window of time, especially if the dogs are different breeds, temperaments or energy levels. And yet sometimes, the dogs I work with are so bonded as siblings – so close and co-dependent on one another – that they practically seem to have blended their personalities into one shared persona. In those cases, photographing them is a breeze, since they love to snuggle up together and do the exact same things. (It’s kinda funny to witness, to be honest with you!) But Mister Mister and Cicero seem to have had a pow-wow before our photo session and decided on a different course of action. I imagine that conversation went something like this: “We’re total opposites. So let’s make sure Treat Lady knows it.” “Yeah! I’ll bark at her the whole time if you just hang out and act really calm.” “Sounds good! Remember to play fetch while I lounge around on the outdoor furniture with mom.” “Okay! And just for fun I’ll refuse to sit next to you until the very end of the session.” “Perfect!” “Ready, break!”

So that was my photo session with Mister Mister and Cicero! :)

Haha – despite their polar-opposite personalities, we really had a phenomenal time together. We relaxed in the living room & backyard of their (gorgeous!) home in Encinitas, and then took a walk around their neighborhood just as the sun was setting. And in my opinion, these pups have won the doggy lottery: plenty of room to play, all the treats and toys they could want, and awesome parents who absolutely adore them. After I die, can I come back as a dog & be adopted by Mister Mister & Cicero’s parents? :)


This is Mister Mister in his happy place – it’s where he gets his Greenies!

happy encinitas mutt


Cicero loves to play fetch – until you throw his ball in the pool. Then he waits for dad to come to the rescue!

cute encinitas mutt


Despite not being blood-related at all (Mr. Mr. is a shepherd mix and Cicero is a spaniel/dachshund/Aussie mix), can you believe how similar they look?! They have the same rich warm tones in their fur… it’s almost like they were meant to be brothers!

encinitas mutts


Misha & Justin, it was so great to see all four of you again! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our images soon! :)


Java the Gorgeous Golden Retriever! (Photos)

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Some dogs are simply blessed with a great personality, a loving family and stunning looks – the trifecta, in my opinion – and Java has truly hit the jackpot.

This handsome golden retriever is a people-loving, easygoing boy that always seems to have a smile on his face. His four favorite things in the world are his parents, his ball and the water – closely followed by every other person he’s ever met! This social boy is so much fun to be around; he had all of laughing throughout his entire session. But as much as he loves to goof around and be the silly center of attention, there’s one thing in life he takes very seriously: his ball. With laser-sharp focus and every sense on alert with each movement of his dad’s throwing arm, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more fetch-obsessed dog! And he bounds after that ball like a kamikaze, totally disregarding any thing (or person) in his path! Haha! It’s amazing to watch, and I think it really reveals Java’s fun-loving spirit & zest for life. Which is actually pretty admirable, in my opinion: why shouldn’t we take playtime a little more seriously? :)


This is the handsome Java, waiting (not so) patiently for another throw of the ball.

golden retriever dog


Java also has a very important job: his father is a pastor, so Java hangs out in his office to meet the people that his dad comes into contact with! What a wonderful, comforting addition he must make to his church community.

golden retriever dog


See what I mean?! He LOVES that ball!

golden retriever


Chris & Pam, thank you for introducing me to your incredible dog! I’m looking forward to seeing you both again soon! (and Go Irish!)


Rhiannon the Yellow Lab (San Diego Terminal Pet Photography Session)

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Three days ago, I had no idea that Rhiannon existed.

But that’s how it works when a family receives awful news. News that they were never expecting, and never, ever wanted to hear. Rhiannon’s mom called me right after speaking with her veterinarian, and it breaks my heart that she was told they’d mostly likely have the weekend together. But the following weekend wasn’t guaranteed… or even likely.

So we hustled to get together the very next morning, and I met Rhiannon in the cool, crisp air at Trolley Barn Park in University Heights. She’s a total sweetheart, and very interested in the treats we brought with us… unless another dog walked by, haha! Her favorite treat is pizza crust – how adorable is that?! So we enjoyed the early morning sunlight together as we attempted to keep walking to a minimum. She’s not as mobile as she used to be, and awfully particular about sitting in the dewy grass, so it’s fair to say that Rhiannon was the boss of our photo session! But that’s okay, that’s exactly how it should be. So we were together until she started to get tired, and at that point her dad loaded her up into the Jeep, and they went home as a family. It was probably the last time I’ll see her sweet, furry face. So all in all, it was a remarkably calm, peaceful photo session… and we only shed a couple of tears.


This is Rhiannon’s “are you gonna give me that treat??” face!

terminal pet photography


Look at that NOSE! Have you ever seen a more unique & adorably-spotted snout?!

terminal pet photography


You’re a good girl, Rhiannon.

terminal pet photography image



Lori, thank you so much for the privilege of meeting Rhiannon. I’m absolutely honored that you called me… and I’m so glad I had the chance to get to know your sweet girl.


“She rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn’t you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover?
All your life you’ve never seen a woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised to you heaven?”

– Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac


Elsa & Clio, Pomeranians from Solana Beach!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Tap tap… is this thing on?

Welcome to my first photo session of 2017! Gah, I can’t believe it! I took most of January (and part of December) off from shooting to do some business planning and organizational work… and now I’m back behind the camera! And there was simply no one better to help me ring in 2017 than these two sweet faces! Elsa & Clio are two Pomeranians from Solana Beach, California. And while they aren’t exactly puppies, I don’t feel like I can legitimately call them “senior” dogs because they have sooooo much personality! Elsa is the boss, plain and simple; she always gets her way and won’t hesitate to make her voice heard, haha! Clio, on the other hand, is a sweet, sensitive girl who’s happy to let her sister have the run of the house. (Well, maybe “happy” is a strong word, but she tolerates is quite well.) Her only fear is slippery surfaces, like hardwood floors. But what both dogs have in common is a total devotion to their mom, Sara. It’s so sweet to see the 3 of them interact – they’re a tight-knit family and I absolutely loved spending the afternoon with them all!


This is Clio. If she wasn’t already adorable, her favorite treats are blueberries!

Pomeranian photo


And this opinionated pup is Elsa. (No, she wasn’t named after the Frozen character!)

happy Pomeranians


These two fluffers are the cutest pair!

Pomeranians in studio



Sara, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet Pomeranians! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our images soon! :)



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