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: September, 2017

Ava & Lacey, Black Dogs from San Diego

Friday, September 29th, 2017

I absolutely loved my photo session with Ava & Lacey – I’m so excited to introduce them to you! :)

Ava & Lacey are black dogs who live in Santee with their mom. Ava is the older sister and Lacey is definitely the puppy of the family; they have very different personalities but I can’t think of them any other way than as the perfect pair. Ava is a sweet, slow-moving girl with fluffy soft fur and the most gorgeous brown eyes. (Her name is pronounced “aw-vuh” like “avocado” – because she was found in a field of avocado trees as a puppy!) And when her mom was ready to bring another dog home, believe it or not, Ava picked out Lacey as a sister! Their mom made sure Ava had just as much voice as she did in picking out a younger sister from the shelter – and Lacey was Ava’s first choice. (I know, it’s the cutest thing you’ve EVER heard. It was for me, at least!) Lacey is a shorthaired labrador mix with matching jet-black fur, several years younger than Ava but just as loving & happy. They’re very different dogs, but they both love the same things: trips to the park, tennis balls, and of course their mom. We had so much fun during their photo session!

One of their mom’s priorities for our session was to capture some “black on black” images. Photographing black dogs on a black studio backdrop can be tricky – but I love how these portraits turned out! This is Ava, posing like a total pro already.

black dogs studio


Lacey has pretty much mastered the head tilt for treats. (And it was so cute – every time I’d take a few photos, she would get up from whatever pose she was in and run around the studio excitedly, as if to say “yay we took more photos!” I called it her victory lap, haha – she did it a dozen times, it was adorable!)

black dogs black background


For the second part of our session – for a bit of COLOR – we headed to Old Poway Park and ran around in the sunlight together!

black dogs san diego


This bright red railway car against the gorgeous fur of these black dogs? Yes please!

black dogs photo


Puja, thank you so much for introducing me to your girls! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our photos soon! :)


Casey & Brittany’s Photo Session at Balboa Park!

Monday, September 25th, 2017

I’m not especially proud to admit this… but at the end of my photo session with Casey & Brittany, I threatened to commit a crime. No kidding. I did so loud and clear, and I know their parents heard me, as well as any passers-by that were in the vicinity.

What crime, you ask? Kidnapping. (Although I suppose dog-napping is the correct term.)

Yep. True story. I would like to dog-nap Casey and Brittany because I am completely smitten with these two sweethearts!!!

Haha – I’m so excited to introduce you to these gorgeous girls! Casey and Brittany are two golden retrievers with happy smiles and loving parents; we met at Balboa Park for our photo session and had a lovely afternoon together. I was really impressed at how well they did with all of the distractions/people/dogs that were constantly swirling around us; their parents have done an incredible job at socialization & training to ensure that Casey & Brittany would turn out to be happy, social, confident dogs. And they truly are! The girls also have fabulous obedience skills, which means I was completely spoiled with all the sitting and staying (and generally doing anything I asked). But don’t worry, we let them let loose, too – both of these girls love to play fetch! In fact, they make it a team sport; when we let Casey play with the ball on her own, so I could capture some solo portraits, she kept bringing the ball back to Brittany as if to say “come on, we always play together, let’s go!” It was soooo cute, and made all of us laugh every time she wandered back over to her sister. And that playful attitude was actually the key to ending up with dozens of gorgeous images!


This is Brittany, the beautiful younger sister who always keeps her eye on the ball. (Literally.) She’s always ready to play!

balboa park picture


And this is Casey, the older sister who became my shadow by the end of our session. I have to admit, I certainly didn’t mind – because how could you resist that face?!

balboa park dog photo


In all honesty, this photo (below) was originally a candid test shot. We were getting situated in-between poses, and at the moment I didn’t even realize that I’d captured a sweet moment between Casey and her mom, while Brittany scanned the horizon for her next adventure (or possibly a stray ball). But I love the real-ness of this image when no one knew I was pressing the shutter.

golden retrievers in Balboa Park


See what I mean about great obedience?! These girls were happy to pose anywhere I asked, and I simply adore their smiling faces amongst all the vibrant color in Balboa Park.

dogs in balboa park



Rene & Miles, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet girls! I absolutely loved our session, and I can’t wait to see you again soon! :)


Alika the Golden Retriever, Playing Fetch at the Beach!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

After about 5 minutes of throwing the tennis ball halfway down the beach for Alika to fetch, during our photo session, I got up and jogged over to his mom, MJ. I wanted to ask her if that was too much enough physical activity for him – after all, I didn’t want to completely tucker him out! I was hoping she’d say no, that he has plenty of energy left, and that we could play fetch for hours if we wanted to, running up & down the Del Mar coastline in the glittering blue water and the bright-shining sun. At least, I could have photographed him for hours! But some dogs get too tired after a few rounds of fetch and I wanted to be sensitive to that and conserve his energy for the rest of the session, just in case.

So I asked her – and she laughed, probably resisting the urge to roll her eyes at my question. “He could do this all day long,” she said.


So I had an action-packed photo session with Alika the golden retriever at the beach in Del Mar, and I’m so excited about the images we created together! We had all of his favorite things on hand – a tennis ball, treats, and bubbles – and I’m pretty sure all 3 of us were soaking wet and covered in sand by the end of the afternoon, haha! (But is there any other way to have a photo session at the beach?!)


Alika’s favorite game is fetch, and he’s pretty darn good at it, too! Sometimes he takes the “scenic route” back to his mom, haha – but I’m pretty sure chasing a squeaky tennis ball is his idea of heaven.

golden retriever beach photo


We gave him a break eventually – although he made it clear that he was ready to get right back out there!

golden retriever at beach


It’s a good thing he saved some energy for later – our sunset was drop. dead. gorgeous.

golden retriever dog beach


MJ, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet boy! He’s such a special dog! :)  See you again soon!



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