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.

Tag: ‘beach’

Free Guide to the Best Dog-Friendly Spots in San Diego!

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

When I first moved here with my husband & our dog, we didn’t know anything about San Diego. I’d never been here before and didn’t know Ocean Beach from Oceanside. I was entirely clueless – so I decided that needed to change! I got outside and started to visit different neighborhoods, find my new favorite restaurants, sample some of the country’s best craft beer, and (of course) find the best places to spoil my Bailey. I found a lot of incredible businesses & places, each of them so uniquely amazing that I found myself wanting to stop by on an embarrassingly-frequent basis.

But what good is that information if I’m hoarding it alllllll to myself?

So I’ve decided to share all my favorite spots with you!


san diego guide


Yahoo!!! Click on the preview above (or click here) to get my exclusive list of favorites! It’s a compendium of San Diego’s best parks, beaches, breweries, restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops to enjoy with your 4-legged friends (in my opinion, at least). I hope you LOVE them as much as I do, and if this guide inspires a fun outing with your dog, I’d be thrilled to hear about it! (Perhaps post a photo on Instagram and tag @sandiegopetphotographer to let me know?!)

Enjoy the guide – and drop me a line if I left out your favorite place(s), since I’d love to keep on exploring America’s Finest (and Dog-Friendliest) City!  :)


Mister Mister, the Shepherd Mix from Encinitas

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Okay, I know I’m not supposed to have “favorites” – but can I be honest? Awesome, wonderful repeat clients with silly, happy dogs are totally my favorites. And that means I simply could not have been more excited for my photo session with Mister Mister and his mom & dad!!

That’s right, his name is Mister Mister. He’s a handsome shepherd mix who lives in Encinitas with his family, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember their previous photo session. This time, we decided to let Mister have the spotlight all for himself! He holds a special place in his parents’ hearts, and they wanted a photo session all about him & his sweet personality. (Doesn’t every dog deserve to be the undisputed center of attention once in a while?) So we met at the beach in Del Mar, with plans to photograph the rest of his family (including his new foster-fail sister!!) at some point in the future. But today, it’s all about Mister! :)


We started our session with goofiness, smiles and wiggles – I think Mister was delightfully surprised at the prospect of having a beach day all to himself! We ran around a bit and let him acclimate to the spotlight. (Never going too close to the water, of course – this boy is a shepherd mix, not a labrador mix. He’s scared of the ocean. We stayed pretty darn dry for the afternoon – in fact, I think I got wetter than Mister ever did!)

funny shepherd mix dog


This photo makes me smile: only Mister would be in such a stately pose in gorgeous, epic surroundings, and yet be making the biggest cheeseball-goofy-smiley face!

shepherd mix at beach


Such a handsome boy. He deserves alllllll the beach days.

shepherd mix dog photo


Misha and Justin – I had a blast with you, as usual! Can’t wait to see you (and your other two troublemakers) in a few weeks!


Olive & Greta, the San Clemente Labradors (Photos)

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

I am so excited to share this photo session with you!! Not only was it a welcome departure from my “usual” locations around San Diego, but it was with a family I simply adore. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to these San Clemente labradors: Greta, and you might remember her older sister, Olive, from her session early last year!

I photographed Olive and her older sister Constance in March of 2016, but unfortunately, Constance is no longer with us today. She’s deeply missed by her parents, and Olive too – she was an incredibly sweet dog and the consummate big sister. So with a house that felt a little bit empty without her presence, their parents made the decision to find a new dog – and they found the most adorable little puppy, Greta! Greta is a black lab, only 5 and a half months old at the time of this photo session. And she has the most interesting personality: she’s a star in obedience class since she’s usually so content to sit around and relax… but when she’s in the right mood, she’ll put on her “little sister” attitude and torment Olive by jumping all over her! Their parents even say Greta is the “dominant” one between them since she’s such a tough cookie and loves to give Olive a hard time! So while Olive may be still getting used to life with Greta (who couldn’t be more different than Constance), something tells me they have a long, happy life of sisterhood ahead of them. Best friends in the making, I’m telling you. :)


Here’s puppy Greta! Flying down the beach, just north of Camp Pendleton!

san clemente labrador puppy


And yet amidst all the wiggly puppy energy, she’s a thoughtful, beautiful girl.

san clemente labrador puppy


Ironically, we kept Olive on the leash during the whole session, and were less concerned about Greta running off by herself – because last week her parents learned that Olive has a penchant for deep-sea swimming!! This girl will go join the surfers if you let her loose! Silly Olive…

san clemente labradors


I simply cannot wait to see these two grow up together.

san clemente labradors


Vince & Jen, thank you so much for introducing me to your darling new girl! I absolutely loved catching up with you & Olive. See you again soon! :)


Alika the Golden Retriever, Playing Fetch at the Beach!

Wednesday, 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.


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!


Vacation Pet Photography Session with Violet! (San Diego)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

I met the most beautiful & happy-go-lucky dog recently! Violet is here in San Diego with her family, on vacation from Tucson, Arizona. They’ve been renting a house on Coronado while they’re here – what a place to relax, right?! So we chronicled a bit of their time here in San Diego – as well as Violet’s mature good looks & laid-back personality – and I’m loving the photos from our session. So while I don’t often get to meet with families for vacation pet photography sessions, it’s definitely a lot of fun!

I don’t have the time to tell you much else about Violet – since her parents are coming over to see her images in only 2 days! (Usually it’s 2 weeks!) Eeeek! Gotta get back to work – but don’t worry, her sweet eyes say it better than I could anyway. :)


This is Violet, amongst the rose garden in Centennial Park in Coronado. Isn’t she gorgeous?!

vacation pet photography


We explored the Coronado neighborhoods a bit…

vacation pet photography


… before heading to Sunset Cliffs to finish our session! (And the colors in the sky came out to play, too!)

pet on vacation


Violet, it was lovely to meet you while you’re here on vacation! I’m excited to see you & your parents again very soon!  :)



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