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: ‘new products’

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!  :)


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.



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


Premium Albums for Pet Photography

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Today’s blog post is a bit different – I’d like to show you one of my favorite products! It’s my premium album!

Listen, I don’t kid myself: I know that my clients can make their own photo books and get them printed at a bunch of online labs. And really, that’s fine with me, if they enjoy the process of making it themselves and they expect & acknowledge that a book of that caliber (anything you pay $20-40 for) isn’t going to last terribly long. I know that option exists – heck, in college, I made those kinds of books myself! – and so that’s why I set out to provide my clients with something so entirely different, there couldn’t possibly be any way to describe it in the same category. And thus, my premium albums were born! You’ve never seen books like these – let alone such high-quality albums for pet photography!


Here are a few qualities my clients have come to expect in their premium album:

~ 100% custom design. I create the entire photographic story & handle all the design work, from start to finish. I welcome my clients’ input & preferences, of course, but don’t worry: I do all the work.

~ Heirloom-quality construction. An amazing company called Madera creates my albums entirely by hand – you can see their process here in this awesome one-minute video if you’re curious.

~ Gorgeous leather finish with custom embossing. The kind that makes you say “wow” when you runs your hands over it.

~ Pages so thick, you’d never accidentally tear them. Reinforced backing gives the pages (which are real photographic prints!) substantial weight.


So take a look at the most recent premium album to arrive at my studio – Yuma‘s!

san diego pet photo album




San Diego pet photo albums



Yuma’s name is embossed on the front cover, a subtle yet unmistakable custom touch.

dog photo album



My logo is foil-printed on the inside front cover! Yay!

pet photography albums



Lay-flat binding & page construction. You don’t see this every day.

dog photography albums



Here are close-up images of a few pages in Yuma’s book…

pet photo album




premium albums for pet photography




dog photo album



I adore quotes alongside images. I have my favorites, and I include my clients’ faves too… they help tell the story even more beautifully.

dog photography album




And just for fun, here’s a screenshot of my album design software! I love it because it gives me total freedom to arrange images & quotes however I want… and I’ll be honest, designing a whole album is an intensive process, but I find it quite fun!

san diego pet photo album


Of course, if you’re interested in a custom premium album with your pets, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes blog post! :)


New Photo Product: Metal Prints!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

I am so thrilled to introduce this gorgeous new product for my photography clients: framed prints on METAL! They’re stunningly gorgeous and I was ridiculously excited after I took my sample out of the massive shipping box… I even did a little happy dance around my office! :)

Wait until you hear about these prints: in them, specialty dyes are infused directly into coated & smoothed sheets of metal. The resulting effect is a super-smooth surface that seems to SHINE from the inside! You can’t see the industrial metal texture underneath; the coating & dyes transform it into a thicker, smoother & stronger version of a regular print. But you can definitely tell it’s not a normal print! I’m telling you… this is jaw-dropping quality.

And the print just wouldn’t look complete without a frame! Since I figured it might be hard for my clients to find a local framer for metal prints (that’s not your average framing job!), each one of these babies already comes with its own frame. The hooks & hanging wire are included too, of course, so it’ll arrive ready-to-hang. That is, after you pick your jaw up off the floor.


Take a look!! And thanks for making this print look extra fabulous, Molly!


Ignore the thermostat… I hung the print up in my house in a place where one of our canvases usually covers that sucker up! :)




Super-smooth texture, and a thick beveled frame.

You can just barely see the thin edge of the metal print here:


These’s just a small space in between the print and the frame; if you get up close, it almost appears to float inside the frame!

(Gah. Thermostat. Next time you’re getting Photoshopped out.)




You’re just going to have to see it in person to take in the glossy, reflective sheen of the print… that’s probably the biggest thing for which pictures just don’t do it justice. And you can see it – in just three days! This baby will be making its debut at Gallery Night this week! Come say hello inside The Spotted Dog anytime after 5 pm on Friday, April 5th. (if you tell me you saw this blog post I’ll be so happy! haha)


Oh, and just so you know: WPPI introduced me to a lot of new things, and this is just one of TWO completely new products to the Allison Shamrell Photography line! So if you want, you can subscribe to the blog to hear about the next new addition as soon as possible. (The subscribe button is in the gray bar at the bottom of this page, on the far left). Yay! It’s a big week! :)


Thanks for reading!


Changing With the Times: DVDs vs. USBs

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hey everyone!


October has been a whirlwind month for me – not with sessions, but with trips out of town. Today is my first day back to work, and I’m proud and thrilled to announce that I’m fully booked through Christmas! Woohoo! :)


But amidst playing catch-up, and looking at devastating coverage of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, one more big thing has been on my mind today: making adjustments in my business to be ready for the future. Yes, the future! This is what I’m talking about:



That’s a screen shot from’s online store. It’s Apple’s second computer for which there’s no CD/DVD drive. The MacBook Air has USB ports, and so does this new beast, but no CDs or DVDs will work on them without an external device just for reading the discs. This is no longer a fluke; it’s a trend. And before someone yells at me, I know that Apple isn’t the end-all-be-all of technology! Haha! But let’s face it: who pioneered the touchscreen phone? They did. And now everything is touchscreen. That’s just one example; Apple is at the forefront of technology and design. You just can’t deny it. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re ridiculously influential. And I can’t help but think other companies will follow their example and omit CD/DVD drives on their new computers as well.


The fact is, the DVDs I sell are probably my most popular product, but if they’re even just beginning the trip downhill and following the way of the floppy disk, that means I’m providing obsolete technology to my clients. Guess what? I’m not okay with that.


But before I make any big decisions, I want to get YOUR opinion. As a solution for delivering digital files, what would you think if I offered custom USB flash drives instead of DVDs? Do you consider them more or less useful? Convenient? Breakable? Misplace-able?


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment below, or sending me a message – I’m excited to hear what you all have to say! :)





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