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.

Personal: We Heard the Decision!

This was a big week – a very, very big week! For those of you that read the blog post that I wrote last year called Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched In the Face, it detailed a few events in my personal life… let me summarize & bring you up to speed!


(I think the best way to do this is a list, otherwise I’ll get carried away and write paragraph after paragraph) (if you really don’t have time to read it all, the most important point is #5 on the second numbered list, near the bottom of the post)


  1. First on the timeline: my husband Ken goes through Naval flight school for helicopters and gets winged! Yay! He’s officially a pilot! (September 2011)
  2. Around this time, though, the Navy discovers that he has a genetic eye condition. He’s grounded and told to wait, his career effectively paused, until the doctors can give him a waiver for it.
  3. He is officially denied a waiver. He can no longer fly for the Navy.  … Now what? (April 2012) Blog post about a pet photographer announcing a relocation across the country.
  4. Ken starts Aviation Maintenance training, and goes to work at Eglin AFB as a maintainer. It’s a job that keeps him in the aviation field, which is good, but it’s not as technical as he was hoping, which is not good. He’s an engineer at heart. Oh yeah, I married a nerd!
  5. Around this time, Ken hears of a Naval helicopter drone program. It’s brand spanking new, which means they aren’t assigning any active duty pilots to it, just reservists – but this is something that Ken would actually be able to do. Hmmm…
  6. A board meets (November 2012) to decide whether Ken should permanently work in aviation maintenance. They say no, and they also don’t put him anywhere else, so he’s back at square one with no permanent job. This is another big surprise… but since Ken isn’t in love with maintenance, maybe it means it’s time to go in a new direction?
  7. Around Christmastime, Ken puts together a “package” (it’s like an extended resume) for another board of senior officials, which will decide whether to keep him in the Navy or let him out. The career options for staying in the Navy are a bit bleak; they don’t align with his strengths and none seem like something he’d have a passion for. So Ken’s package asks for the board to release him from active duty, so that he can enter the reserves and get involved with the helicopter drone program.
  8. About three weeks pass by while we can barely breathe with anticipation. This board’s decision will literally determine our future.
  9. Ken gets the call… they let him go reserves!  :) 
  10. Aaaand, here we are today. Ken is busily submitting resumes to aerospace/engineering companies, I’m wondering how I’m actually going to move this business, we’re weighing the options of where to live, and we’re overwhelmingly happy!


Blog post about a great pet photographer moving across the country.


There you go – the briefest possible version of the last year and a half of our lives. It’s been seventeen months of limbo, of waiting for faceless boards of strangers to make decisions that will fundamentally change our lives. And truthfully, it’s a bit odd to hear the news we actually wanted! I planned to be a Navy wife for 10 or 20 years… but it just so happens that my husband’s career won’t be in the military anymore.  This still has yet to sink in, honestly.


I could go into much more detail, but for now, we’re not dwelling on the past – instead we’re excitedly planning the future! But you’re probably reading this blog because you’re a past/potential client of Allison Shamrell Photography, so let me answer a few questions for you:


  1. We will, most likely, move away from the Pensacola area. There just aren’t that many civilian opportunities for his unique skill set here. The majority of aerospace engineering companies are in southern California (especially San Diego), and the reserves helicopter drone program is there too. So that’s the place Ken’s focusing his career search – but we’re open to any city with the right job for him that would also have room for a pet photographer! :)
  2. I will be so, so sad to move. I don’t want to think about it right now… I’ll get emotional.
  3. We’ll probably move in May, or thereabouts; 3-4 months from now.
  4. Yes I’m terrified to move!
  5. I’ll be accepting a very limited number of clients between then and now, because my time will likely be divided between photographing pooches, proofreading resumes and cover letters, house hunting, and all the millions of other things you have to do when you move across the country. So (needless to say) if you’d like a session before I pack up & leave, get in touch!

  6. I will not delete any photos I’ve taken during my time here; past clients can ALWAYS reach out to me for their images, no matter where I live.


I hope Bailey’s ready for this! I think she looks ready. :)

Blog post about a fine art pet photographer moving her business.


It’s far too early to start saying thank-yous and goodbyes, so I’ll just say this: cheers to the future! :)  Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll have more exciting updates soon!


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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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3 Responses to “Personal: We Heard the Decision!”

  1. Marcia Caruso says:

    So happy for you!! So sad for us!! I hope you and Ken enjoy wherever the road takes you, but you will end up back here… This place is like a bad rash…. You can rid yourself of it for a while, sometimes, years, but then hereit comes again!! At least we will stay in touch girl!

  2. jeff abd bb booth says:

    I know I just meet u once but u and your hubby are in our prayers!!U have such an awsome way with your camera and the with animals!!I been an Army wife for 20 years and when we had to leave I,was scarred cause I loved the security of the Military but as long as u have eachother u can move mountains!!You guys going to be just fine!!!!!
    Ps..The puppies sent there love,!!!!!!

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