• Bailey
  • Tobey
  • Rio
  • Chewie
  • Mini-Sessions
  • Kin & Star
  • Charlie
  • Zara
  • Zoe
  • Toto
  • Jolie, Beau & Bella
  • Buford
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, 2014-2016, by the San Diego A-List.

Casey & Brittany’s Photo Session at Balboa Park!

September 25th, 2017

I’m not especially proud to admit this… but at the end of my photo session with Casey & Brittany, I threatened to commit a crime. No kidding. I did so loud and clear, and I know their parents heard me, as well as any passers-by that were in the vicinity.

What crime, you ask? Kidnapping. (Although I suppose dog-napping is the correct term.)

Yep. True story. I would like to dog-nap Casey and Brittany because I am completely smitten with these two sweethearts!!!

Haha – I’m so excited to introduce you to these gorgeous girls! Casey and Brittany are two golden retrievers with happy smiles and loving parents; we met at Balboa Park for our photo session and had a lovely afternoon together. I was really impressed at how well they did with all of the distractions/people/dogs that were constantly swirling around us; their parents have done an incredible job at socialization & training to ensure that Casey & Brittany would turn out to be happy, social, confident dogs. And they truly are! The girls also have fabulous obedience skills, which means I was completely spoiled with all the sitting and staying (and generally doing anything I asked). But don’t worry, we let them let loose, too – both of these girls love to play fetch! In fact, they make it a team sport; when we let Casey play with the ball on her own, so I could capture some solo portraits, she kept bringing the ball back to Brittany as if to say “come on, we always play together, let’s go!” It was soooo cute, and made all of us laugh every time she wandered back over to her sister. And that playful attitude was actually the key to ending up with dozens of gorgeous images!

 

This is Brittany, the beautiful younger sister who always keeps her eye on the ball. (Literally.) She’s always ready to play!

balboa park picture

 

And this is Casey, the older sister who became my shadow by the end of our session. I have to admit, I certainly didn’t mind – because how could you resist that face?!

balboa park dog photo

 

In all honesty, this photo (below) was originally a candid test shot. We were getting situated in-between poses, and at the moment I didn’t even realize that I’d captured a sweet moment between Casey and her mom, while Brittany scanned the horizon for her next adventure (or possibly a stray ball). But I love the real-ness of this image when no one knew I was pressing the shutter.

golden retrievers in Balboa Park

 

See what I mean about great obedience?! These girls were happy to pose anywhere I asked, and I simply adore their smiling faces amongst all the vibrant color in Balboa Park.

dogs in balboa park

 

 

Rene & Miles, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet girls! I absolutely loved our session, and I can’t wait to see you again soon! :)

 

Alika the Golden Retriever, Playing Fetch at the Beach!

September 13th, 2017

After about 5 minutes of throwing the tennis ball halfway down the beach for Alika to fetch, during our photo session, I got up and jogged over to his mom, MJ. I wanted to ask her if that was too much enough physical activity for him – after all, I didn’t want to completely tucker him out! I was hoping she’d say no, that he has plenty of energy left, and that we could play fetch for hours if we wanted to, running up & down the Del Mar coastline in the glittering blue water and the bright-shining sun. At least, I could have photographed him for hours! But some dogs get too tired after a few rounds of fetch and I wanted to be sensitive to that and conserve his energy for the rest of the session, just in case.

So I asked her – and she laughed, probably resisting the urge to roll her eyes at my question. “He could do this all day long,” she said.

Perfect.

So I had an action-packed photo session with Alika the golden retriever at the beach in Del Mar, and I’m so excited about the images we created together! We had all of his favorite things on hand – a tennis ball, treats, and bubbles – and I’m pretty sure all 3 of us were soaking wet and covered in sand by the end of the afternoon, haha! (But is there any other way to have a photo session at the beach?!)

 

Alika’s favorite game is fetch, and he’s pretty darn good at it, too! Sometimes he takes the “scenic route” back to his mom, haha – but I’m pretty sure chasing a squeaky tennis ball is his idea of heaven.

golden retriever beach photo

 

We gave him a break eventually – although he made it clear that he was ready to get right back out there!

golden retriever at beach

 

It’s a good thing he saved some energy for later – our sunset was drop. dead. gorgeous.

golden retriever dog beach

 

MJ, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet boy! He’s such a special dog! :)  See you again soon!

 

Pepita, Effie & Ralphie at the Park in Coronado

August 18th, 2017

Every dog has their own personality, of course – but I can’t remember the last time I had a session with 3 dogs that had such distinctive personalities as these three awesome pooches! I’m so thrilled to introduce you to Pepita, Ralphie & Effie!

 

This is Pepita, little leader of the pack in every way. Don’t let her size fool you, she’s the boss – and she’ll speak up to make sure you know it! Pepita is crazy about treats, has attitude coming out her ears, and recently developed a little snaggletooth that makes for some really cute expressions. But for now, I’ll share her big, classic smile with you!

coronado dog in a park

 

This sweet guy is Ralphie. He’s the shyest of the bunch, and his personality (plus his big eyes & floppy ears) have earned him the nickname “Mousie”. But luckily, the yummy treats that his mom brought to our session were enough to coax him out of his shell – and once I had a few in my hand, he became very interested in me & my camera!

coronado park dog photo

 

And last but certainly not least, this bundle of happiness is Effie. She’s the biggest of the pack and probably the most food-motivated (which is saying something!). And she was thoroughly confused why the entire photo session wasn’t just a belly-rub marathon. Oh Effie, you made me laugh so hard!

dog in coronado

 

Oh my gosh, I adore this family photo. For all having minds (and personalities) of their own, these pups sure do make a cute pack together.

coronado family photo

 

 

Andrea & Phillip, I had such a great time with all 5 of you all around Coronado! Can’t wait to get together again soon! :)

 

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

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! :)

Rocky the Labrador Retriever Mix from San Diego

August 2nd, 2017

Have you ever met a labrador retriever you didn’t love?! I haven’t! Labs are awesome dogs – although I often hear from my clients how many shoes their labrador has chewed up, all about their through-the-roof nonstop energy levels, and how generally unruly they can be (especially as puppies). So I’ll be totally honest: I’d love to have a labrador retriever of my own, but I’m a little intimidated!!

Rocky, however, is different.

Did you leave dinner on the table? Rocky won’t touch it. He’s running around in the park? Call his name and he comes immediately. Is the front door open? He won’t go outside unless you tell him to. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a big, boisterous, rough-and-tumble dog with that goofy lab smile, and he definitely has his mischievous side. But Rocky is a very special dog, in a hard-to-explain kind of way – so suffice to say he’s one of the smartest and most intuitive dogs I’ve ever met. I felt like I wore out the word “wow” during our session, simply because he was constantly surprising me with how he’d do anything his mom asked. (Especially if his favorite toy was involved – a laser light!)

And trust me, the devotion he has for his mom Sara goes both ways. In our Pre-Session Consultation, Sara & I were talking about how awful it is that so many dogs end up abandoned at shelters because their owner’s new housing didn’t allow pets. Neither of us could imagine sending our dogs to a shelter for such a ridiculous & avoidable reason – and Sara proudly stated that if she was ever in that situation, she’d happily sleep in her car until she could find a home for both of them. At that moment, I knew we’d have a great photo session: Rocky & Sara are family, with an unbreakable bond. I was honored and excited to showcase that bond in their images!

 

But since my human subjects usually like to see photos of themselves before I post them online for the world to see (understandably!), I’ll shine the spotlight on Rocky for this blog post! Here’s the handsome boy, posing like a pro in the studio!

labrador retriever

 

Unsurprisingly, Rocky has great recall! So we spent plenty of time running through the brush at Balboa Park, in the same spot where he & his mom come every single day for walks & playtime.

labrador retriever mix dog

 

He’s such a handsome boy.

labrador retriever dog

 

 

Sara, I’m so glad we finally got together for this unforgettable photo session! I’m so excited to see you & Rocky again soon! :)

 

 

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