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: ‘events’

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! :)


Yahoo! The votes are in… Allison Shamrell Pet Photography is officially #1!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that my incredible clients & friends have made their voices heard – and as a result, we won!!! (And yes, I say “we” – because even though I’m a solopreneur, this is a team victory that validates all the great experiences my clients have had!)


best pet photographer certificate


That’s right – the official 2017 results are in, and my business ranked #1 for the “best pet photographer” category on the San Diego A-List!

This is such incredible news. Most importantly, it proves that all the hard work I do every day means a lot to the awesome people I get to call clients. And that’s really rewarding for me. However, it also signifies that I have a lot to live up to – because the title of “BEST” certainly doesn’t mean I get to relax! It means I’m obligated to go on being the best – which (to me) means innovation, meticulousness, and constantly hustling.

Plus – if I’m really being honest – it just feels great to win! No one ever said I should stop being competitive just because I’m not playing basketball anymore! :)

So thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It may have felt like a two-second click of the mouse (or tap of the finger) to you, but to me it was a tremendous show of your support.

And since I’ve won this award every year since 2014 (double yay!!) you can bet that I’m thinking about alllllll kinds of ways to outdo myself again! This year, it was adding a “Pack Portraits” event for my past clients & networking colleagues, a free (!) quickie photo session at one of San Diego’s most iconic locations. Next year? I wonder what it’ll be…

Here’s to crushing the rest of 2017 as San Diego’s best pet photographer! :)

Photography Mini-Sessions, benefitting the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego!

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

I have a special fundraising event to announce today! My “Portraits for Pooches” mini-sessions are back, and they’re perfect for a small taste of the custom pet photography experience. And I’m proud to support the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego!


pet photography mini-sessions

$50 from every photo session is going straight to Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego! 

. . .

Please note, this is a one-day event – but if Saturday fills up, Sunday will be our overflow date!

. . .

A few words from past mini-session attendees:

We had the BEST experience working with Allison. We originally signed up for the mini-sessions for a fundraiser, thinking we might get a good family shot out of it. We ended up having the best time and found quite a few photos that we loved! She was so well prepared with toys and treats to keep our puppy happy, and was extremely helpful and innovative when showing us her completed work. I can’t wait to bring my dog in to do another shoot someday, it was the best experience!” – Allie S.

“She gave us more than photos, she gave us an experience that we’ll always cherish. I highly recommend her; don’t use your cell phone for those special shots, use Allison! I have 1,000’s of photos of my dog on my phone, but Allison’s were like none I could capture. She really is talented!” – Thomas N.

“My sweet puppy is also a wiggle worm so I wasn’t sure how many good photographs we would get. The photo shoot went quickly and Allison made helpful recommendations to get good results. It was a great experience. We loved every photograph and were amazed by the quality. Each photograph makes us smile so it was worth the investment. We highly recommend Allison – she is extremely talented and easy to work with. It felt like working with a friend. The whole experience was wonderful.” – Jackie S.

. . .

Included with the session fee is your favorite photo as a high-resolution digital, ready to be printed & shared to your heart’s content. But each session results in at least TEN frame-worthy portraits to choose from- so what if you end up with TWO favorite images? Or three, or four?

Here’s the info for any additional products you might pick out, which are completely optional but happily available:

pet photo mini-sessions


Registration opens on Monday, May 1st!

There are a limited number of time slots available, so call 619.357.6624 now to reserve yours!

. . .

Thanks, and I hope to see you there! Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego relies on volunteer fundraising & support, and mini-sessions like these are a great way to help out the awesome dogs in their care!

2016 Holiday Cards for my Wonderful Clients!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

This blog post is addressed to a slightly different audience than usual: it’s for my lovely, fabulous, amazing past clients! If you’ve had a session with me in the last few years, I think you’ll be excited about today’s announcement!

Here’s the thing: I know it can be hard (and frustrating) to get organized for sending holiday cards. It feels like a chore for so many people. Even if you have the perfect photos for your cards (ahem), it’s still time-consuming to pick a place to print them, choose a design, stick a ton of return-address labels on the envelopes (or – gasp – write your address out each time!) and get all this done during the chaos of the holiday season. Am I right?

So here’s your solution! Gorgeous holiday cards, fully-designed and printed on luxurious linen paper for you, and delivered to your door in plenty of time to send them out to friends & family! This is the first-ever time I’ve offered anything like this, and I’m SO EXCITED about it! Check it out!


holiday cards for pet owners


Take a closer look at your 4 unique options:

holiday card designs

These are beautiful flat cards, printed on gorgeous linen paper from one of the nation’s best professional printing labs, and customized with your family’s names. I’ve included complimentary overnight shipping and pre-printed envelopes – so it truly couldn’t be any easier for you!


So, my lovely clients, all you have to do is pick your favorite design and choose a couple of photos! You can order as few as 20 cards or as many as 2000 – in increments of 10, you have total flexibility. Each set of 10 cards is $25, and you’re welcome to use the photos from our session, of course – but if you have another special photo, I’m happy to include it as well! (As long as you own the copyright, of course!)


Just remember: the deadline to order your cards is Friday, December 16!


Email ( or call me (619.357.6624) to get started! And I hope I can save you some time this holiday season!

Portraits for Pooches: a Mini Photo Session Event for the San Diego Humane Society!

Monday, October 17th, 2016

It’s that time of year again! November means the next Portraits for Pooches event, mini studio pet photography sessions that benefit a local San Diego charity! I can’t wait to meet dozens of local dogs for quick and fun photo sessions – so they can grace their families’ Christmas cards this year!

And better yet: this is a fundraiser for the San Diego Humane Society! $50 from every session will be donated to help homeless animals find their forever families. (Attendees can even bring a bag of dog food to receive a complimentary 8×10″ fine art print from their session, as well!)

These 15-minute photo sessions are long enough to create at least 10 frame-worthy portraits, and yet they’re short enough to keep the attention of any dog! (And you can feel free to jump in for a few family photos, too!)

Here are all the details:

pet photography mini sessions

Everyone is already walking away with their favorite photo as a high-resolution digital image, ready to be printed on Christmas cards & gifts – but what if you end up with TWO favorite photos? Or three, or four?

Here’s the info for any additional products, which are completely optional but entirely available:

mini-session pricing

Remember: registration for Portraits for Pooches opens on Wednesday, October 19, 2016!

There’s a limited number of time slots available, so call 619.257.6624 to reserve your spot!



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