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.

New Products: Part Five ~ {Pensacola, FL Pet Photographer Allison Shamrell}

You’ve made it to the last part of the series! Yay! I know, it took me forever to post this… but I’m very excited about it. It’s all about New Product #5, the DVD of all images from a session! Forewarning: this post is full of writing, not pictures. I know that’s not really what I’m supposed to be doing on this photography blog, but there are some very important things which I think need to be explained. Also my husband is probably tired of me venting to him, so if at some point I sound preachy or righteous… deal with it!

You see, there’s a war going on. A war.

Not many people know about it, since it’s really being fought underground. Every professional photographer not only knows all about it, but has taken sides. It doesn’t have an official name, and the only casualties are honor and respect. So although no one’s dying, thank goodness, it’s an important and industry-changing conflict that will decide the fate of every photography business out there. It’s the war of owning the digital image.

A few years ago – less than ten – a great thing happened! Or at least it seemed great. High-end digital cameras (DSLRs) became available and affordable to the general public. Everyone was happy! Yay! More photos for everyone! Hobbyists could have more fun, and more hobbyists became professionals, and everyone was in photography bliss. Until a small number of hobbyists, we’ll call them SILLY-WILLIES, decided they should be making some money with their hobby. You know, just like people make loads of money off their sewing and birdhouse-making and other personal hobbies. Why should photography be any different? So the silly-willies said to their friends’ friends: “Hey! Don’t spend money on that expensive photographer for your wedding! I have the same camera they use, so I’ll do it for 300 bucks and just give you a DVD with all the pictures on it!”

There are several things wrong with this statement.

  1. People tend to assume that a nice camera is to credit for nice pictures. You don’t know how many photographers have been outraged and deeply insulted by this. That beautiful picture of sunrise in the abandoned cornfields? Yes, the camera got up at 4:00 a.m., drove out to the location, set its own controls to get the entire scene in focus and pressed the shutter button during the precise 30 seconds while the sun was barely peeking out through the trees on the horizon. Needless to say, while I’m laying on the ground trying to hold a treat up as high as possible while shrugging my body slightly further away from the two dogs whom it took forever to sit next to each other, I don’t really want to hear you say, “Wow, I wish I had a nice camera so I could take pictures that are exactly like yours!” Similarly, a carpenter isn’t great simply because of the type of wood he uses; it’s all about the craftsmanship.
  2. This silly-willy is probably offering his services illegally. Do you think he’ll include that $300 profit on his taxes next year? Probably not. That’s why he can afford to offer a ridiculously low price. The expenses of operating a photography business (as I have learned) are endless: taxes, equipment, computer software, studio space, studio samples, marketing materials, online hosting fees, gas for traveling to sessions, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention that it’s how we support our families. This is our “day job”. The silly-willies don’t have to deal with all this, so sure, why not charge just $300?
  3. What about everything else photographers do? I’m talking about meeting with the bride and groom to make sure they get what they want? What about putting together an album of the entire day? What about editing and beautifying the images? I normally appreciate a little customer service, and I bet you do too. I’d appreciate a little say in what you do with the images from the happiest day of my life, instead of just being tossed a DVD. Similar aspects like this apply to every genre of photography, not just wedding photography, and the silly-willies have attacked nearly every angle. Weddings are just my example for this post.

I don’t mean to pick on bargain-hunters. I like coupons and discounts as much as the next person, but in the end, you get what you pay for. I’m sure you’ve found this to be true at some point in the past, and wished you’d paid more for something. Skimping on wedding photography – well, I’m not a fan of the idea.

But the advent of the silly-willy has posed a serious problem for professional photographers who use digital cameras. How do we distinguish ourselves from the hobbyist looking to make a few bucks? (Besides the difference there should be in the quality of the images.)

Many photographers have chosen to not sell the DVD of images. Running in the opposite direction of the almost disgustingly-simple strategy of the silly-willy, some photographers will simply not release the rights to any image files. When you think about it, it’s perfectly acceptable: they own the images. The subjects (should have) signed a waiver granting this. And for a one-time fee, the client can run to Walmart with the pictures and get infinite prints (from poor-quality paper & ink). So why provide something which will make money for someone else?

I, along with plenty of other photographers, think differently. Our clients are paying us to perform a service, which is essentially to make them happy. It’s the digital age, and digital images are what people want! So I happily provide the DVD of all the images. I also price it appropriately; I’ve seen DVDs sell for anything from $0 to $2,000. Mine are not quite that expensive. :)

So, anyways, this post is a little long-winded, but DVDs are my fifth featured product in this five-part series. So yes, you have access to everything from our session. I’ve taken sides in the war of owning the digital image, and be it right or wrong, I’m confident that I’ve made the choice that’s right for me. And you!

Thanks for reading! I promise I’ll include more pictures in my next post!




~   Dog Photography in Pensacola, FL by Allison Shamrell   ~



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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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