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: ‘german shepherd’

Ekin the German Shepherd! (Photos)

Monday, June 12th, 2017

When I first met Ekin, he was a little shy. He’s gorgeous, smart & attached to his mom Tara – but a bit reserved, the first time you say hello. (And that’s okay! I’m always happy to move at whatever pace makes a dog feel comfortable.)

But then we met up for his photo session, at a local park – and he definitely wasn’t shy anymore! When Ekin goes to the park, there’s only one thing he wants: his ball. So as soon as we stepped on the grass, he started bouncing around & looking at the bag of goodies his mom brought with them, knowing exactly what’s in there! Relaxation? No thank you. Treats? Nah. Training practice? Not on the agenda. Snuggle time? Doesn’t hold a candle to FETCH! So we quickly gave in and let Ekin do his favorite thing. And why not – we were there to play, anyway!

Then we were able to settle in for some slightly-calmer portraits – which was truly only possible thanks to all the training he & his mom have done together. Ekin is her first dog, and she knew from the beginning that she wanted him to be impeccably-trained. This process started back when she adopted him, through grad school (he was her little study buddy as a puppy!) and still continues today. Tara & Ekin are learning that training is never “done”, it’s always a work in progress, but they’ve made incredible leaps & bounds together. Ekin is one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever worked with, to be honest. And to show for it, they have an awesome bond. Plus – want to know the best part? Since Ekin is only 2 years old, I know they have a long, happy life ahead of them. Yay – I’m so happy for these two, and thrilled to have met them both! :)

This is Ekin, the sweet, handsome (and lanky) German shepherd. He’s gorgeous, right?!

german shepherd dog photo


Then we headed to Coronado beach! We actually went on a separate day, since the weather wasn’t cooperating after we finished at the park, and I’m so glad we both had flexible schedules. Look at that stunning blue water next to the warm tones of Ekin’s coat! I love it!!

german shepherd running


It was a stunning afternoon.

german shepherd in San Diego


Oh, Ekin. You’re such a good boy. Even with tons of sand in your face.

german shepherd photo


Tara, thank you so much for introducing me to your sweet boy! I had such a great time with both of you! Talk to you soon! :)


Photography Mini-Sessions, benefitting the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego!

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

I have a special fundraising event to announce today! My “Portraits for Pooches” mini-sessions are back, and they’re perfect for a small taste of the custom pet photography experience. And I’m proud to support the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego!


pet photography mini-sessions

$50 from every photo session is going straight to Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego! 

. . .

Please note, this is a one-day event – but if Saturday fills up, Sunday will be our overflow date!

. . .

A few words from past mini-session attendees:

We had the BEST experience working with Allison. We originally signed up for the mini-sessions for a fundraiser, thinking we might get a good family shot out of it. We ended up having the best time and found quite a few photos that we loved! She was so well prepared with toys and treats to keep our puppy happy, and was extremely helpful and innovative when showing us her completed work. I can’t wait to bring my dog in to do another shoot someday, it was the best experience!” – Allie S.

“She gave us more than photos, she gave us an experience that we’ll always cherish. I highly recommend her; don’t use your cell phone for those special shots, use Allison! I have 1,000’s of photos of my dog on my phone, but Allison’s were like none I could capture. She really is talented!” – Thomas N.

“My sweet puppy is also a wiggle worm so I wasn’t sure how many good photographs we would get. The photo shoot went quickly and Allison made helpful recommendations to get good results. It was a great experience. We loved every photograph and were amazed by the quality. Each photograph makes us smile so it was worth the investment. We highly recommend Allison – she is extremely talented and easy to work with. It felt like working with a friend. The whole experience was wonderful.” – Jackie S.

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Included with the session fee is your favorite photo as a high-resolution digital, ready to be printed & shared to your heart’s content. But each session results in at least TEN frame-worthy portraits to choose from- so what if you end up with TWO favorite images? Or three, or four?

Here’s the info for any additional products you might pick out, which are completely optional but happily available:

pet photo mini-sessions


Registration opens on Monday, May 1st!

There are a limited number of time slots available, so call 619.357.6624 now to reserve yours!

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Thanks, and I hope to see you there! Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego relies on volunteer fundraising & support, and mini-sessions like these are a great way to help out the awesome dogs in their care!

That’s a Wrap: Photos from the 2016 Portraits for Pooches Fundraiser

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Oh my goodness – whirlwind weekend doesn’t even begin to describe it. I was absolutely blown away this year (pun intended! ha!) by the support and generosity of the Portraits for Pooches attendees! My weekend was fully booked solid, and it was great to meet so many San Diego dogs – but it was just as fun to write a $1,500 check to the San Diego Humane Society! Not to mention the huge food donation, that the volunteers could hardly believe was so big and so high-quality! Yay! I’d definitely say this fundraiser was a massive success – who knew a mini photo session event for dogs could have gone so smoothly and so well? Haha! And after everyone has ordered their favorite photos as prints, canvases & Christmas cards, I finally have the time to share some of the gorgeous results with you! Here are just a few of the wonderful families who came out this year:

Roxy and Rowdy, cattle dog mixes, and their parents

mini pet photo sessions


Trooper and Tres, mixed breed dogs, and their parents

photo session for pets


Gracie the boxer and Chico the chihuahua mix, and their parents

mini pet photo session


Colin the Mexican rescue mutt, and his moms

mini dog photo session


Kane the German shepherd, and his parents
(Okay, okay, here are some photos of just the dogs, too!)

mini pet photo session image


Chula the pit bull mix
(We had two backdrops to choose between: classic white, or rustic snowflakes on wood! Which do you like better?)

mini photo session for dogs


Aberdeen the service dog (labrador and golden retriever mix)

mini photo session for dogs


Belle the Bichon Frise

mini dog photo session


Oscar & Mia, dachshunds

dogs mini session


Penny the lhasa apso mix

mini photo sessions for pets



Missed out on the event this year? Don’t be (too) sad – a few Portraits for Pooches events are on my 2017 calendar! The first one is actually in January (eeeek!) and it’s benefitting California Labradors, Retrievers & More. Perfect timing for a Christmas gift! If you’d like to participate – or if you’re a representative of a local animal rescue and would like to reap the benefits of a similar event – drop me a line! You can call 619.357.6624 or email me at


I hope to see you at a future event – whether it’s to celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, National Dog Day or next year’s Christmas card photos! :)



Tyson the German Shepherd (Photo Session in San Diego)

Friday, October 21st, 2016

I have a soft spot for German shepherds. I’m not entirely sure why, to be honest with you, since I didm’t grow up with one and I’ve never even had one – but they’re some of my favorite subjects to photograph! I think it’s something about their silly, expressive personalities that live in such tough-looking, handsome bodies. They’re guard dogs & goofballs at the same time!

So when I got a call from Tyson’s mom, I was thrilled to learn that I’d be working with a German shepherd – and as she told me about their situation, I realized I wouldn’t have to wait long to meet him. You see, about a month ago, their vet informed them that Tyson only had a month or two left… and he’s only 9 years old. This unexpected news was absolutely heartbreaking to his parents, as you can imagine, and we found a date just a few days later when we could both rearrange our schedules to get together. The good news is that with some alternative therapies, Tyson has been doing really well! I’m so glad they found the best treatment for him, and truthfully, you can’t even tell that he’s sick! (This is the same dog who, years ago, was diagnosed with Lyme disease so severe that he shouldn’t have even been able to stand up – and yet he seemed completely fine! The bloodwork was the only indicator of his sickness, since he was just as energetic & cheerful as usual! Ha!) So Tyson is no stranger to health challenges, but he’s also one of the toughest dogs I’ve ever met, hands down. This dog is a fighter, and I felt so privileged to meet him – because something tells me he’s got plenty of life yet to live.


Does this look like a sick dog to you? Nope, didn’t think so, haha! We started our session by playing fetch at the park, since Tyson will do ANYTHING for his tennis ball! (It’s even better than treats!)

german shepherd


Oh, that handsome German shepherd smile. Tyson, you are gorgeous.

german shepherd smiling


And then we headed to Coronado Beach, one of Tyson’s favorite places to play! We had the beach almost entirely to ourselves, and it was so much fun playing in the surf with this happy boy.

german shepherd beach



Jessica & Matt, thank you for introducing me to your incredible dog – he’s a champion. I had a great time with all of you! :)


San Diego German Shepherds Garnet & Iroh! (Photos)

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

To be completely honest with you, whenever I get the chance to work with shepherds, I get excited about it! Especially German shepherds: they’re gorgeous dogs, they’re intelligent & quick, they do amazing work with our military & police, and I think my Bailey might even have a bit of German shepherd in her genetic history! So you better believe when I had the chance to meet these beautiful San Diego German shepherds, I couldn’t have been happier! :)


Garnet & Iroh are brother and sister (technically, aunt & nephew); Garnet is 2.5 years old and Iroh is 6 months old, so there’s a little bit of an age gap – but Iroh is doing his best to make up for lost time! He absolutely idolizes his big sister, you can tell: he whimpers if she ever walks away, and never wants to be more than two inches apart from her. But along with that adorable puppy love (ha!) he’s still a typical little brother, always stealing her toys, wanting to wrestle and giving her a hard time. And the best part? As much as Garnet puts on the appearance of barely tolerating his puppy antics, you can tell that she adores him just as much! For example, during our time in the studio, Iroh had to take a potty break, and the whole time he was outside Garnet simply waited by the door, impatient & inconsolable! So I love that these dogs have truly found their best friend in each other, and I was thrilled to meet them near the very beginning of their friendship, since I know they get to enjoy many more years to come together. :)


Garnet (left) and Iroh (right) did soooo well in the studio! They posed like champs – and I love their head tilts, haha!

san diego german shepherds


That gorgeous shepherd profile just gets me… gosh, Garnet is so beautiful.

san diego german shepherd photo


We headed outdoors to Mission Trails Regional Park, where the dogs got to stretch their legs a bit! Iroh especially had a blast!

san diego german shepherd


And we finished up at the beach in La Jolla, where the dogs played and danced in the last light of the day.

san diego german shepherds


Natalie & Ben, I had a great time with all four of you! I’m excited to show you the rest of our images soon! :)



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