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: ‘Del Mar’

Chewy & Milo, Del Mar Dogs at the Beach!

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

I often wonder how my dog, Bailey, would get along with my clients’ dogs. I envision what they have in common, how they’d play together, what they’d “talk about”: their parents, their favorite kinds of treats, the squirrel they almost caught last week, etc. (It’s possible that I have an overactive imagination.)

And I’ve made a decision: Bailey is NOT allowed to meet Chewy & Milo! Want to know why?

They get to go to the beach in Del Mar every. single. day. If Bailey ever heard that was possible (instead of just going to the beach once-in-a-while like we do), I think she’d petition to be adopted by Chewy & Milo’s parents!!!

Haha – #beachlife aside, Chewy & Milo are awesome dogs, and they were incredibly fun to work with! We started our photo session in their backyard, and soon after walked down to the beach, where I got to see their boundless energy and incredible zest for life (or at least their zest for tennis balls and running through the surf). And I have to say, their moms – who are actually sisters – have done a pretty amazing job training their boys. Their recall is spot-on and I was impressed at how content the dogs were to stick nearby their moms; with a whole beach full of other dogs and people, there were distractions in every direction. But Chewy & Milo never went more than 5-10 seconds without turning around to make sure their moms were still close by and okay. I think they must know how loved they are – not to mention how good they have it!


This is Chewy – master of the adorable head tilt and one of the most easy-going dogs I’ve ever met. His favorite thing to do at the beach: chase Milo and play with the other dogs!

del mar dog


Milo’s favorite beach game, on the other hand, is FETCH! He’s an incredible athlete and will jump over waves and swim out into the ocean to get his ball back (usually with Chewy on his tail)… my favorite part of watching him play was how he’d bring the ball back to a different person every time! As if to say “okay, she threw it pretty far, let’s see what you can do!”

del mar dog at the beach


Del Mar dogs to the core.

del mar dogs


Janet, thank you for introducing me to your fun-loving boys – and for helping me support the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy! I’m excited to share the rest of our photos with you soon! :)


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!


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!


Ruby the Chihuahua Mix in Del Mar, CA (Photos)

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

I had the pleasure of meeting the most adorable little chihuahua mix in Del Mar recently! Ruby is a happy little dog from Vista, CA that’s always happy to be with her parents, and I met her on the beaches of Del Mar for our photo session!


Ruby is an 11-year-old chihuahua mix, and good luck guessing her other breed(s) – I personally think she’s part coyote, haha! Her soft, fluffy fur seems to overflow from every angle, and I loved seeing all the different positions her big, pointy, expressive ears could take! She loves the beach, although not for the water – this pup is definitely anti-swimming! Her survival instincts took over every time a wave came near, and she’d rush back up the sand to higher ground. That’s only if her mom didn’t scoop her up first, though – Ruby’s mom always kept a watchful eye on Ruby to make sure she was safe! In fact, some of my favorite images from this session are of the two of them, because they have the most amazing connection together. It was beautiful to watch them interact and make sure each other was happy & content. I’m sure that connection has grown even stronger in the last couple of months, since Ruby was unfortunately diagnosed with Addison’s disease, and has been spending more than her fair share of time at the vet. But she’s feeling great these days – her mom is hoping they’ll have several more years together! – and I was glad we were able to get together for this session so I could see Ruby run around the beach with plenty of energy. (Although, truth be told, Ruby’s not terribly big on running or playing fetch or getting much of a workout. She’d much rather meander around the sand, stay close to her parents and keep a much more relaxed pace! She’s at the beach for leisure, not exercise, haha!)


I just love Ruby’s warm coloring against the cool blues of the beach & sky! She’s such a cutie!

chihuahua mix at the beach


Close to her parents = Ruby’s happy place. Always.

chihuahua Del Mar


She may be 11 years old, but she can still run down the coastline like a puppy – especially if there are treats involved, haha!

chihuahua Del Mar beach


Brooke & JB, thank you so much for introducing me to your adorable little girl. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon! :)


Moose the Chocolate Lab, in Del Mar

Friday, September 25th, 2015

As excited as I was to meet and work with Moose – after all, his name is “Moose”, how could I not be excited?! – I also wish we didn’t have to get together so soon. I wish I could have chatted with Moose’s parents and explained that my typical waiting list for a photo session is a month or two long. But unfortunately, we didn’t have that luxury – because of a recent diagnosis, I needed to get Moose’s photo session on the books ASAP. Luckily, his mom had the forethought to call me when Moose is still feeling good – and boy, is he feeling good! He’s still a 100%-energy-filled, goofy, happy labrador! As soon as we got to the beach he was practically choking himself to run around – because being on a leash is such a bummer when you have a million things to sniff and people to meet and a whole ocean to play in! ;)  So I shared a lovely afternoon with Moose and his parents, playing on the beach in Del Mar. It was so great to see Moose have a great time, in spite of his thinning fur and the other effects of his cancer treatment. I especially loved seeing the relationship Moose has with his dad; those two are incredibly close and there’s no one Moose listens to better. (Even when the temptation to run straight into the water is almost overwhelming.) So I’m happy to share these photos with you, and I hope you’ll take a second to send some prayers and happy thoughts to Moose and his parents.


This is Moose the chocolate lab! Can’t you tell he’s just bursting to jump up & run around?!

chocolate lab


See what I mean? The rocket boosters still work! This dog goes crazy for his ball!

chocolate lab running


And as the sun went down and the last lights of the day lit up the sky, I felt there was nothing more fitting than for Moose to run around, doing whatever he pleased. The old guy deserves so many more trips to the beach… I want him to enjoy them all as much as he possibly can.

chocolate lab at beach


Aubrey & Steve, thank you so much for introducing me to your handsome boy. I really enjoyed meeting all three of you – and I’m excited to show you the rest of our photos soon!



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