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.

Heading to a Photography Conference! (WPPI 2013)

Hey everyone! I thought I’d let you in on what I’ve been up to this week, besides photographing my monthly quota of dachshunds: on Saturday I’m headed to a photography conference! In fact, it’s the biggest international photo conference on the planet! It’s called WPPI, which stands for Wedding & Portrait Photographers International. It’s held around this time every year in Las Vegas (oh yeah!) and this will be my first-ever time going. I’m SO excited! I’ve been to smaller photography conferences before – there’s one called Imaging USA that I’ve attended a couple of times, and WPPI-U which is a much smaller version of WPPI – but this will be my first time at the real thing!


There are two facets (a.k.a. two big reasons) why I’m going. #1 are the classes, in which photographers (who have been around a lot longer than me!) instruct on various topics. Take a look at a tiny picture I found via Google:


Classes are typically several hundred people packed into a ballroom-sized room, so thank goodness for that massive projector. People bring stuff to take notes (I’ll have my iPad in a handy new keyboard case!), and the instructors always include time to answer questions.

Some of the classes I’m attending:

– “Home Base: Running a Successful Home-Based Studio”, because once we move (to who-knows-where) I might be incorporating a meeting area & studio space into our home… eeeee! :)

– “Shoot, Stylize and Social Network with Photoshop CS6”, because even though sometimes I spend all day in Photoshop, I’m sure I haven’t explored half of its capabilities – it’s SO powerful. I’d love to see what other people are doing with the same program. And social networking is definitely not the first thing that comes to my mind with Photoshop… so I figure it’s bound to be an interesting class!

– “Dear Me, Stop Making the Same Mistakes, Love, Future Me”, because how adorable is the name of this class? And everyone’s guilty of repeating their mistakes, so the less I can do that, the better.

– “Wireless Flash & Strobes Tips & Tricks – Both Manual & TTL”, because I have a firm grasp of my speedlights but this seems like a slightly advanced class. The description also said they cover techniques for “fast-paced” situations, and what’s more fast-paced than a dog?

– “Content Marketing & Social Media”, because I’m always looking to improve my marketing. After all, you can’t hire me if you don’t know about me!



Reason #2: the expo! This is the industry’s biggest trade show – actually, “big” doesn’t do it justice. Here are a few photos so you get an idea, again courtesy of Google:

WPPI 2011 | Las Vegas MGM Grand Convention Center






As you can see… it’s kind of a madhouse the size of five football fields! The above photos show just one of the TWO massive ballrooms it takes up! There are hundreds of companies with booths ranging from 10’x10′ to 50’x50′, all trying to get the attention of the thousands of photographers that will be there. Companies include:

– professional labs, so I can make sure I’m using the best-quality printers in the industry

– album printers & binders, which is exactly how I found all the makers of my premium albums

– software makers, that make all types of programs that help all my behind-the-scenes processes operate more smoothly

– equipment suppliers, so I could buy new cameras/lenses/filters if I wanted (like Adorama and B&H)

– financial services, so I can make sure I’m accepting credit cards in the safest & easiest ways

and WAY more! For example, there’s a company I’m looking forward to seeing that exclusively prints photos onto wood. I’ve never seen that before, and it sounds pretty cool! All in all, the expo is a sensory overload of touching & feeling new products, and it lets me make sure that I’m offering and using the BEST of what’s out there. I’ll pretty much be a kid in a candy store! :)  Plus, as you can see in the second-to-last photo above, little mini-classes are given at the bigger booths. So the learning literally never stops. Hey, if I’m flying across the country to attend something like this, I want to make sure that it’s time & money well spent, because it’s a lot of each. I think WPPI will be GREAT!


Oh yeah… and… it’s in Vegas! I don’t know how much time/energy I’ll have for gambling, but you’ll hear if my winnings A) exist, and B) cover a nice dinner out once I’m back in Pensacola! Unfortunately, Ken isn’t coming with me (he said something about applying for jobs being kind of important right now…) so I’ll have to digest all the information I’m about to get on my own. Gah – hopefully it all fits in my head, or at least on my iPad!


Above all, I know this conference will help propel my business forward. The smaller conferences I’ve attended in the past have inspired:

– in-person ordering sessions, instead of online posted galleries, which took my clients’ ordering process from overwhelming & tedious to fun, relaxed & quick

premium albums, which have been one of my most popular products by FAR over the past year

– my mutually beneficial relationships with businesses like 3 Dogs & A Chick, The Spotted Dog, Davis Animal Hospital, Northside Vet Clinic, Parkway Animal Hospital, and more

– and last but not least, the improved quality of my photos and clearer definition of my style, thanks to classes with pet and non-pet photographers.


Literally every part of my business improves when I attend a conference, and I know next week will be the best one yet! I’ll be gone from Saturday – Friday, so you’ll see a bit of “radio silence” in the meantime here on the blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to update the Facebook page with what I’m learning and seeing… leave a note here in the comments if you have suggestions on what to see/do in Vegas, products you’d like me to check out/consider offering, or anything else! Wish me luck – I’ll see ya on the other side! :)


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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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One Response to “Heading to a Photography Conference! (WPPI 2013)”

  1. […] whirlwind of a photography conference, and I definitely expected it to be crazy – did you see the blog post I wrote before I left? The conference exceeded my expectations, that’s for sure! I had lots of fun, met some […]

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