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.

A Client’s Perspective on her Pet Photography Experience

Today on the blog, it’s my honor & absolute pleasure to introduce you to my friend Lori! She lives where I started my business, Pensacola, FL, and she started out as my client – but several years (and sessions) later, she’s become a true friend. She graciously agreed to write a guest post for me – not as a business owner or pet-industry professional like Norma at Earthwise Pet Supply or Elyse at Awesome Doggies – but as herself, as a pet owner, simply to provide you with an honest client’s perspective. My past clients know exactly what the Allison Shamrell Photography experience entails, and I hoped that if she told her story, prospective future clients would better understand what their experience might be like, and maybe even help them decide whether booking a session with me is the right choice for them. So check out what Lori has to say! 


client's perspective


As the proud owner of 2 great yellow Lab boys, I was on the prowl for a professional photographer who was willing (and able) to take their photos. My 14-year-old Buford would be a snap, he’d posed for my attempts for years and he was comfortable with the routine.  His arthritis and hearing loss would be his only challenges.  The real issue was finding someone who could catch Rio, who was only a little older than 2 at the time, basically a 110lb toddler.   I had tried an indoor only / family photographer and while the photos were fun, I wasn’t really into the dressing up stuff – I could do that at home.  Then I found a natural light photographer but she specialized in infants and children, so the photos were just lacking that special “something”.


client testimonial


In early 2011 I saw a random flyer at my vet’s office advertising a pet photographer.  The photos on the flyer were fun, indoor and outdoor – I jotted down the website and soon after found myself surfing the website of Allison Shamrell Photography.   Honestly, I was hesitant when I saw the prices but I decided I would buy a package, just use the print credit for photos and be done.

Allison met me in downtown Pensacola where we visited parks, fountains, the historic district and her studio.  At first I was kind of uncomfortable, I didn’t know what to expect and how it was going to work out having both dogs there at once.  It took about 2 minutes to see this was going to be a great experience!  “Just let Buford do what he wants to do, I’ll work from there”    “Is Buford ok to walk over to the fountain, or should we let him rest and we can work with Rio?”   Allison was up on brick walls, lying on the pavement, kneeling for sloppy kisses from Rio and loving on my old Buford dog (a sure way to my heart).   The dogs had a great time and so did I!


client perspective


A couple of days after our session, I saw the sneak peek photos and was floored with the way Buford’s sweet smile was captured just right, and how even when he behaved you could see the spark in Rio’s eyes.  When it came time to order, Allison showed me samples of each product she had available and I was fascinated with the quality and variety! Fortunately, her patience extended past dogs on to their people, because I kept her hostage for hours.  I was so indecisive!


client's past experience


My orders came in and each delivery was more exciting than the last!  I had canvas wraps and portrait prints, storyboards…. Some went on the wall and some propped on the dresser in my room.


Fast forward to early morning, May 24, 2011.  I sat on the floor of the vet’s office with Buford who had stopped eating.  He was disoriented and his eyes told me he was done.  A month shy of his 15th birthday, I kissed my best friend’s grey fuzzy face for the last time. 


past client perspective


When I got home, my first response was to go to the computer and watch the video of our session with Allison over and over again.  I posted on Facebook and Allison was one of the first to reply with her condolences.  I wanted just the right photo to post of my old man, something to do justice to his quiet, gentle dignity.  I chose a photo from the park, where Allison had let Buford lay down to rest and she took photos of him while he was there.


I had more photos of Rio done, this time with my parent’s terrier Rags.  When I had 2 new dogs join the family, they had their sessions as well (and that little dachshund – well, he was 100% proof Allison can get a great photo of pretty much any dog!).   After Buford passed away I knew I couldn’t miss another opportunity to have the “just right” photo of my dogs.  I take some pretty decent pictures, but I wanted to “feel” the texture of their coats, see that look in their eyes that was specific to each dog (“smiley Riley” “bad Frank” etc).   Almost 3 years later, all of my photos from all (5?) of my sessions with Allison are on my living room wall or those of my parents.  And Buford still holds front and center. 


The image on Lori’s canvas.
a client's perspective


Now that Allison has moved completely across the country, I find myself in a bind with my newest dog, Lucy. I don’t have “real” photos of her! It’s different this time, because I am not looking for that “something” in a photographer – Allison set my expectations and I know exactly what will meet my needs – I want a photographer who is confident enough in their work to have a pre-session meeting with samples of their galleries and products, but who is humble enough to lay in the grass with an old dog; I am looking for someone with the patience to help me round up a rebel dachshund after he chews through his leash, but with the time management to get my orders to me in a reasonable fashion. After browsing some photographer sites and blogs, I still find myself emailing Allison invitations to come back just for one more session. 


– Lori E.



Lori, thank you for such an eloquent description of your experience with me. (I still can’t believe Frank chewed through his leash during that session!) If I ever get the chance to visit Pensacola, you’ll be one of the first people I call. :)  I hope this story was helpful to you if you’re considering commissioning me or any other pet photographer for a custom session! My session pricing is listed here, and you can contact me here. Thanks for reading Lori’s story. :) 


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Allison Shamrell Pet Photography
Call: 619.357.6624 // Email: // Visit: 3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116
San Diego's Best Pet Photographer, voted by the San Diego A-List 2014-2016
© Allison Shamrell Photography, 2016

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