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: October, 2017

Encinitas Photo Session with Connor, Milo & Domino

Tuesday, 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!

Monday, 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!)


Photos of Aubrey & Porter, San Diego Dogs in Balboa Park

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

I always love meeting dogs with unique, interesting names. So how cool is it that Aubrey & Porter are named after the cities where their mom found & adopted them?!

Aubrey is a beautiful, silly, always-smiling labrador. Her mom attended a wedding several years ago in Aubrey, Texas, and little puppy Aubrey happened to wander into the reception. So her mom (and a few friends) “smuggled” Aubrey back home! Unfortunately, we scheduled this photo session in a hurry since Aubrey recently got some bad news at the vet… but about a week before our session, that diagnosis got a lot more positive! I’m happy to report that Aubrey is feeling good and doesn’t have to worry about the c-word anytime soon. :)

Her little brother is Porter, a chihuahua mix with adorably floppy ears and plenty of attitude. Although he’s typically a little slower to warm up to new situations & people, the treats we brought to the session helped him quickly overcome his shyness! And yes, he’s from a place named Porter. (Technically Porterville, right Megan?)

We started our photo session in the studio and soon headed over to Balboa Park. Although the forecast said it would be 100 degrees that afternoon (!!!), the weather cooled down surprisingly nicely – thank goodness, I mean it’s October after all, haha! – so I had a great time with these awesome San Diego dogs!


This is Aubrey, in the gorgeous afternoon light! With her trademark flower on her collar, of course.

black dog from san diego


This little nugget is Porter. I KNOW, he’s adorable.

san diego dog in the grass


Aren’t they the cutest pair?!

san diego dogs



Megan & Sebastian, thanks for being willing to brave the heat with me! I’m looking forward to seeing you both again soon! :)


Free Guide to the Best Dog-Friendly Spots in San Diego!

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

When I first moved here with my husband & our dog, we didn’t know anything about San Diego. I’d never been here before and didn’t know Ocean Beach from Oceanside. I was entirely clueless – so I decided that needed to change! I got outside and started to visit different neighborhoods, find my new favorite restaurants, sample some of the country’s best craft beer, and (of course) find the best places to spoil my Bailey. I found a lot of incredible businesses & places, each of them so uniquely amazing that I found myself wanting to stop by on an embarrassingly-frequent basis.

But what good is that information if I’m hoarding it alllllll to myself?

So I’ve decided to share all my favorite spots with you!


san diego guide


Yahoo!!! Click on the preview above (or click here) to get my exclusive list of favorites! It’s a compendium of San Diego’s best parks, beaches, breweries, restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops to enjoy with your 4-legged friends (in my opinion, at least). I hope you LOVE them as much as I do, and if this guide inspires a fun outing with your dog, I’d be thrilled to hear about it! (Perhaps post a photo on Instagram and tag @sandiegopetphotographer to let me know?!)

Enjoy the guide – and drop me a line if I left out your favorite place(s), since I’d love to keep on exploring America’s Finest (and Dog-Friendliest) City!  :)


Important Dates for the 2017 Holiday Season

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

This is a funny time of year, isn’t it? As a professional photographer, it’s the time when my schedule fills up quicker than any other season, and I’m looking at December like it’s practically tomorrow. But as a person, I’m thinking, why are we talking about the holidays? It’s still October!


But a big part of running a business is planning ahead – and although it’s not something I’m naturally wired to do, it’s essential. And my busy season is the time when having a thoroughly set-out plan saves a lot of headaches and heartaches.


So why keep it to myself? I wanted to share a few dates – some are deadlines, eek! – that are coming up in the 2017 holiday season.


First of all: photo sessions! My last full-length session of 2017 will be on December 5th. (Any later and my clients wouldn’t have time to send Christmas cards or arrange gifts for their loved ones with the photos.) And at the time of writing this blog post, I have 2 rare openings for sessions, on November 1st and November 30th. (A couple of clients wanted to reschedule their sessions to 2018, which frees up my calendar on their dates for whoever’s quickest to grab them!) Fill out the contact form on my website and I’ll be in touch to plan your photo session!


san clemente labrador puppy

This is Greta the puppy, during her recent photo session in San Clemente.



Next up: Portraits for Pooches fundraisers are happening on November 4/5 and 18/19. These limited-edition, “mini” photo sessions are perfect for getting a taste of my award-winning custom photography experience – and for getting a brag-worthy photo for your Christmas cards! Plus, the proceeds will go to either the San Diego Humane Society or California Labradors, Retrievers & More depending on which weekend you pick. These fundraisers are by appointment only – no walk-ins, sorry – so give me a call at 619.357.6624 to book your time slot!


dog photo fundraiser flyer


Coming soon: custom holiday cards for my clients will be announced in November, and available until December 10! This is a relatively new concept that I introduced last year, and the response was huge! I was bowled over at how many people wanted me to design & print their Christmas cards in 2016, so I’m happy to provide the same service again this year. If you’re a past client and you don’t want to deal with all the fuss of making your holiday cards from scratch or from a website you don’t know/trust, watch for a forthcoming blog post & email!


pet holiday card design

One of the custom card designs!


Also for my past clients: all photo product orders must be placed by December 10th. Whether you’re gifting a portrait or an album to a family member or friend, or just picking up that last metal print for yourself (I won’t tell Santa!), get in touch with me by December 10 so I can ensure your present will be sitting under the tree where it belongs. That way you can act surprised when you open your gift to yourself.  ;)


pet photography canvases


For thoughtful gift-givers: December 14 is the last day to order gift certificates. It’s a Thursday, so don’t wait until the weekend. And I think it kinda goes without saying that your wife/husband/friend/relative would be over-the-moon thrilled to receive a gift that celebrates their relationship with their pet, right?! Can you get more thoughtful?? Nope, didn’t think so.  ;)


coronado family photo


Lastly: my studio will be closed December 15 and reopen January 15. During that time, I will have limited access to email since I’ll be spending plenty of time with family, so please don’t be surprised if my response is slower than normal. I’ll be recharging after alllllllll the aforementioned fun!


goldendoodle puppy butt



Plus, because I apparently don’t know what it means to “take it easy” or “slow down”, I have a few more surprises cooking up for the rest of the year – so be sure to like the Facebook page and follow me on Instagram for all the fun announcements!

It’s gonna be a great rest of the year! :)



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