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, 2014-2017, by the San Diego A-List.

Archive: ‘housekeeping/fyi’



Introducing Murphy & Porkchop, the newest “Spokespets” for Tender & True Pet Food!

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Are you ready? Are you sitting down?! This announcement is a big one…

I’m incredibly thrilled to share with you that I’ve accomplished one of my biggest goals for my business – and simultaneously, two of my clients’ pets are FAMOUS!

Several months ago, I was contacted by the marketing team at Tender & True Pet Nutrition. They were looking for fresh, new imagery for their new flavor of dog & cat food, and asked if I had any photos that might fit their specifications. (I practically had to stop myself from laughing – with over 7 years of photography sessions under my belt, there are very few image specifications that I can’t meet!) So after sending them a gallery with dozens of photos to pick from, the people at Tender & True made their selections – and I’m incredibly proud to present you with the newest packaging that will be gracing the shelves of pet food stores in just a few months!

 

pet food picture

pet food photo

 

These pet food photos came from real, unscripted photo sessions here in San Diego. Murphy is the gorgeous golden retriever, whose photo I captured during a mini-session (!!) in Balboa Park. (Yes, the ocean was digitally superimposed into the background. It is a salmon-based food after all, haha!) And Porkchop is the Maine coon, whose photo session took place at his house (alongside his feline brother, Applesauce) in northern San Diego. Unfortunately Porkchop isn’t with us anymore, sadly… but regardless, both of their families are thrilled to see their pets immortalized in print!

You can buy Tender & True at Whole Foods Markets, various local pet boutiques (like Howlistic and Buddies & Babes here in San Diego!) and online at chewy.com. And if you’ve never heard of Tender & True before now, check out their gorgeous new website and get a feel for the care & attention to detail that goes into their products. I’m truly proud that my work is helping advertise their food!

And – if I may – I’d like to point out that this proves what I always say: I don’t work with professional models! I bring out the beauty and “inner model” in regular pets that have zero prior training. Neither Murphy nor Applesauce had any previous experience being in front of a camera, besides their parents’ cell phones. And yet look what we created!! We turned newbies into pro models. And that’s why I believe it’s worth hiring a professional – whether you want photos to hang on your walls or to feature on your company’s dog food – because a professional will be able to bring the best out of any pet.

Anyways… back to popping the champagne! :)

 

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! :)

 

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! :)

The Best Pet Photography Products

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

how much should a pet photo session cost

I absolutely love creating gorgeous images of pets & families around San Diego… but you know what’s just as much fun? Doing something with those photos! It’s a tragedy, in my opinion, to let high-quality imagery languish on a forgotten hard drive… and products are often an afterthought of people seeking photography. Which is totally understandable, to be honest with you; it’s hard to envision what you’ll do with photos that haven’t even been taken yet. But I’d love to provide you with some inspiration today! I’ve been photographing 4-leggers and their families for over 6 years, and over that time I’ve seen firsthand which types of products have a lasting impact & can truly stand the test of time. I’ve also curated my product line throughout those years to include the best & most popular products that my clients & I have consistently loved. These are some of the best pet photography products that I’ve ever seen – so I’m excited to share them with you!

 

1. Wall Art

best products and prints

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best canvas products

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best product collage

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pet photography canvases

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pet photography canvas

 

Wall art is a classic way to enjoy your portraits every day. This is hands-down my favorite type of product; decorating the space you spend your life in with images you truly love.

I offer fine art prints, canvas gallery wraps, and metal prints – and as you can see, they all have a very different look! I typically recommend choosing the medium that best suits your design style; if modern & contemporary is your thing, go with metal! It’s stunningly gorgeous and makes an impact wherever you display it. But if rustic & organic is your look, then canvas gallery wraps are a perfect fit – they have subtle texture and a vibe that evokes the natural side of life. On the other hand, traditional and classic style lends itself well to fine art prints. Whichever medium you choose, you want it to fit in with the rest of your home’s decor, and a variety of wall art products allows me to work with any client’s design style.

 

2. Albums

best products for pet photography

 

Okay, I know I said that I love wall art the most – but my albums take a very close second place! Books & albums are the best way to display ALL the photos from your pet photography session. You probably won’t choose to hang up 40 photos on your walls (do you have that many walls?), but you can enjoy them all in the pages of a premium album! Plus, albums are a great place for the detail images, the silly moments, and the funny outtakes that simply aren’t suited to be hung on the wall.

I also like to include quotes from various authors & historical figures in my albums; there are SO many great sayings out there about pets, love and family, and they help tell the story of your session and what your pets mean to you as you’re flipping through the pages.

 

 

3.Digital Images

best pet photography products

 

It’s 2017, so this post simply wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my digital products. But can I share something with you that not many people know about digital photos? The resolution is key. Purchasing a photo with high-resolution is like pulling out all the stops; you can print it at many sizes and it won’t look grainy or pixellated. It can, however, be overkill for digital use; super-high resolution is why photos on websites take a long time to load. Whereas photos with low-resolution are the perfect quick digital option! They load quickly, take up less hard drive space, and are generally more nimble & versatile online. But their weakness is printing; a physical copy of a low-resolution photo will often appear pixellated. (It’s not the printer’s fault – it’s the photo!) So make your choice carefully, based on what you want to do with the images from your photo session! My clients often choose the high-resolution option, so they can make Christmas cards and fun stuff in the future (like mugs & mouse pads!) and in that case I give them a complimentary low-resolution version of each image too, just in case they want to share them online without a headache. But many of my clients also choose to have a custom mobile app with their images, which is a great low-resolution option! It’s so much fun to have a quick-access app on your phone, so you can always bring up the photos from your session!

 

4. Desktop Prints

pet photo desktop print

Okay, I admit, this is not a high-quality photo – it’s an iPhone snapshot of my desk! But what better example can I give you of why I love desktop prints? This is a photo of my girl Bailey, and I absolutely love keeping it so close by. Because as much as I love to pull out all the stops with archival wall art & custom-designed albums, I also know that there’s a beautiful simplicity to an old-fashioned framed print on your desktop. (Or your shelf, or entry table, or dresser…) So why argue with tradition? My fine art prints are UV-coated, too, so even if your desk sits in the sunlight, your prints will never fade. That happy face will always be as vibrant as the day of our photo session.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it! These are some of my favorite options, and I think they’re the best pet photography products on the market today. If you’re working with a photographer, keep this in mind: I hope you’ll choose products that fit your lifestyle & how you prefer to experience photography. There are tons of options out there (I offer a few more products, too!) and I think you’ll love picking out your favorites!

In the meantime, let me leave you with a couple of my creative wall art collages (in metal and canvas) for inspiration…

 

metal collage pet photography  canvas collage pet photo

 

 

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