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: ‘cats’

Introducing Murphy & Porkchop, the newest “Spokespets” for Tender & True Pet Food!

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Are you ready? Are you sitting down?! This announcement is a big one…

I’m incredibly thrilled to share with you that I’ve accomplished one of my biggest goals for my business – and simultaneously, two of my clients’ pets are FAMOUS!

Several months ago, I was contacted by the marketing team at Tender & True Pet Nutrition. They were looking for fresh, new imagery for their new flavor of dog & cat food, and asked if I had any photos that might fit their specifications. (I practically had to stop myself from laughing – with over 7 years of photography sessions under my belt, there are very few image specifications that I can’t meet!) So after sending them a gallery with dozens of photos to pick from, the people at Tender & True made their selections – and I’m incredibly proud to present you with the newest packaging that will be gracing the shelves of pet food stores in just a few months!


pet food picture

pet food photo


These pet food photos came from real, unscripted photo sessions here in San Diego. Murphy is the gorgeous golden retriever, whose photo I captured during a mini-session (!!) in Balboa Park. (Yes, the ocean was digitally superimposed into the background. It is a salmon-based food after all, haha!) And Porkchop is the Maine coon, whose photo session took place at his house (alongside his feline brother, Applesauce) in northern San Diego. Unfortunately Porkchop isn’t with us anymore, sadly… but regardless, both of their families are thrilled to see their pets immortalized in print!

You can buy Tender & True at Whole Foods Markets, various local pet boutiques (like Howlistic and Buddies & Babes here in San Diego!) and online at And if you’ve never heard of Tender & True before now, check out their gorgeous new website and get a feel for the care & attention to detail that goes into their products. I’m truly proud that my work is helping advertise their food!

And – if I may – I’d like to point out that this proves what I always say: I don’t work with professional models! I bring out the beauty and “inner model” in regular pets that have zero prior training. Neither Murphy nor Applesauce had any previous experience being in front of a camera, besides their parents’ cell phones. And yet look what we created!! We turned newbies into pro models. And that’s why I believe it’s worth hiring a professional – whether you want photos to hang on your walls or to feature on your company’s dog food – because a professional will be able to bring the best out of any pet.

Anyways… back to popping the champagne! :)


Pink, Achilles & Calvin – Pets from La Jolla

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Some pets are lucky enough to hit the jackpot in life: they’re adopted by a loving family, have siblings to play with, and have a great place to call home. What more could a dog or cat want, right? I’m happy to report that Pink, Achilles & Calvin have all “won the lottery”, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to them!

These pets all live in beautiful La Jolla with their parents – who are expecting a 2-legged child early next year! So we spent a nice afternoon together in their backyard, and I had a great time getting to know each of the pets’ distinctive personalities.


Calvin is thoroughly his dad’s cat. He’s about 7 years old and yes, his green eyes are that stunning in real life, too.

la jolla cat


This is Pink! This sweet girl has spent her whole life with her mom, and they’re incredibly closely-bonded. She loves to relax in the grass and sniff around – and she goes absolutely bonkers when you bring out the treats! Her favorite snack is apples… because she’s healthy like that.

dog in la jolla


And this gorgeous hunk is Achilles, the goofball of the family. Even after 2 long walks earlier that day, he still had plenty of energy for our session – and we put it all to good use! He’s a sweet boy who came from a not-so-sweet background, so I was especially glad to see that he lucked out and found such a loving family. (Plus, he fits so well into the grey theme that Calvin & Pink started, haha!!)

great dane from la jolla


Ashley & Max, thank you so much for introducing me to your family! I’m looking forward to seeing you both again soon! :)


Gemma the Gorgeous Calico Cat (from Rancho Santa Fe)

Monday, June 19th, 2017

I’m so excited to introduce you to Gemma! She’s a gorgeous 2-year-old calico cat, and ever since her parents adopted her from Rancho Coastal, she’s been showering them with gifts to express her gratitude. You know the type of “gifts” cats give their owners, right? Mice and small lizards are pretty common, but Gemma is no common cat. She’s so athletic that she gets to give her parents exceptionally rare finds, like rats (!) and even a hummingbird (!!!) – not to mention she gets pretty creative with exactly where in the house she delivers those gifts! So although her parents might prefer a different way to show her appreciation, suffice to say that Gemma won the adoption lottery when she found such loving, wonderful parents – and she knows it.

When you arrive at Gemma & her family’s house, it’s hard not to be impressed. Gemma has a stunningly beautiful, custom-built home with plenty of sunny patches of light on the hardwood floors that are simply perfect for sunning oneself. Not to mention a yard with grass & flowers to go hunting in, and even a koi pond full of “roommates”! At the beginning of our session, Gemma shyly gave me a tour of her territory, preferring not to pose for my camera quite yet. So I followed her around the expansive living room, crawling on the hardwood floors and making plenty of silly (and rather embarrassing) sounds to get her fleeting attention… honestly, something tells me Gemma just wanted to see me work for it, haha! So eventually she decided I was worth her consideration, and she opened up and posed for the camera like a total pro. That’s what I’ve learned from photographing cats over the years – you’re on their schedule, not the other way around! But I’m so glad I had the chance to meet Gemma, and that she (slowly) came around to the idea of a photo session… the images we ended up with made crawling around on the ground totally worth it!  :)


This is Gemma – isn’t she gorgeous?!

calico cat


Before modeling, you have to stretch! :)

calico cat photo

We went outside to the garden in the heavenly evening light, and Gemma obligingly looked my way (while simultaneously monitoring the grounds for critters, of course).

calico cat picture


Tanya, thank you so much for introducing me to your beautiful kitty! I’m so excited to share the rest of our images with you soon! :)


Tierrasanta Pets – Obi, Bender & Fry! (Photo Session)

Friday, October 7th, 2016

I was so thrilled to meet this sweet family and ALL of their pets recently! 2 people, 2 cats, and 1 dog – that’s a recipe for a wonderful photo session, and Obi, Bender & Fry definitely didn’t disappoint!

These Tierrasanta pets are all so unique – and if you’re familiar with the show Futurama, you already have an insight into Bender & Fry’s personalities, haha! They’re gorgeous black kitties who are social, outgoing and love to be outside. I got to play with them and see their demure yet cheerful personalities for myself, and although they weren’t big fans of the “family photo” idea, they struck plenty of cute poses around their backyard for me! They’re also pretty patient around their younger (but much bigger) brother, Obi, the newest addition to the family! Obi is an 11-month-old goofball, a mutt with about 27 different breeds in his heritage (okay, more like 6, but still!) and show-stoppingly handsome good looks. He was constantly bumping into things, acting generally silly, and keeping a constant eye on the treat bag during our session, which meant that I never stopped laughing at his antics! He’s a sweetheart of a dog, and his parents are ridiculously lucky to have found him – or is it the other way around?


I may be wrong, but I think this is Bender! (The cats are practically identical so forgive me for making a guess here, gah!)

cat in tierrasanta, san diego


And my instincts say this is Fry… cheesing it up for the camera.

cat and dog photography


And this big boy is Obi! We had a great time walking around the neighborhood for Obi’s portion of the session, and he enjoyed showing me around his turf (especially the rabbit-chasing area).

dog in tierrasanta


Okay, just one more of Obi, just because this photo does a better job of capturing his in-your-face enthusiasm for life!

dog tierrasanta close-up


Brittany and Morgan, thank you so much for introducing me to all your gorgeous animals! I can’t wait to see you both again soon! :)


At-Home Pet Photography Session with Marshall & Sassy!

Monday, August 29th, 2016

As much fun as it is to visit the beach, or even to host families at my studio, I absolutely love visiting my clients’ homes for photo sessions! Your house – or apartment, or condo, or ranch, or estate – is where your pets live their everyday lives, and capturing them in a place that’s so comfortable, familiar & personal is always a good idea, in my opinion.  :)

So I visited Marshall & Sassy’s house to photograph them in their element – and my gosh, I was thrilled to discover they have a massive property and plenty of great natural light! It was pretty much the perfect environment, haha. But as excited as Marshall was to meet me (and play with the toy bone I brought), Sassy had other plans for the afternoon, which mostly included sleeping. She is 15 years old, after all! So it was only after a bit of bribery (yummy food & treats, of course) that we were able to convince Sassy that a photo session was a good idea – and even then, I don’t think she was ever fully convinced. But in her wonderful feline way, she gave me a few elusive moments of pure beauty, and I honestly really enjoyed the challenge of coaxing her out of her shell. Marshall, on the other hand, was happy to perform all day long for treats & toys – so he was a blast to work with too! Plus, I got some “help” from their 3-year-old human brothers… so this was definitely a fun & unique at-home pet photography session!


This is Sassy, who probably just wanted to make sure I was willing to lay on the kitchen floor before she’d strike a pose for me…

at-home pet photography example


Turns out, chin rubs are the way to Sassy’s heart. Especially chin rubs from her mom, who’s had Sassy since she was a tiny kitten.

at home pet photography session


And this little muppet is Marshall! Isn’t he adorable?!

at-home pet photography


Marshall’s favorite thing: chasing bubbles. My new favorite thing: photographing Marshall chasing bubbles.

at-home pet photography session


Kristy, thank you so much for the opportunity to meet your adorable pets (and sons)! I can’t wait to share the rest of our images with you soon! :)



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