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, 2014-2016, by the San Diego A-List.

Tag: ‘labrador’

Rocky the Labrador Retriever Mix from San Diego

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Have you ever met a labrador retriever you didn’t love?! I haven’t! Labs are awesome dogs – although I often hear from my clients how many shoes their labrador has chewed up, all about their through-the-roof nonstop energy levels, and how generally unruly they can be (especially as puppies). So I’ll be totally honest: I’d love to have a labrador retriever of my own, but I’m a little intimidated!!

Rocky, however, is different.

Did you leave dinner on the table? Rocky won’t touch it. He’s running around in the park? Call his name and he comes immediately. Is the front door open? He won’t go outside unless you tell him to. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a big, boisterous, rough-and-tumble dog with that goofy lab smile, and he definitely has his mischievous side. But Rocky is a very special dog, in a hard-to-explain kind of way – so suffice to say he’s one of the smartest and most intuitive dogs I’ve ever met. I felt like I wore out the word “wow” during our session, simply because he was constantly surprising me with how he’d do anything his mom asked. (Especially if his favorite toy was involved – a laser light!)

And trust me, the devotion he has for his mom Sara goes both ways. In our Pre-Session Consultation, Sara & I were talking about how awful it is that so many dogs end up abandoned at shelters because their owner’s new housing didn’t allow pets. Neither of us could imagine sending our dogs to a shelter for such a ridiculous & avoidable reason – and Sara proudly stated that if she was ever in that situation, she’d happily sleep in her car until she could find a home for both of them. At that moment, I knew we’d have a great photo session: Rocky & Sara are family, with an unbreakable bond. I was honored and excited to showcase that bond in their images!


But since my human subjects usually like to see photos of themselves before I post them online for the world to see (understandably!), I’ll shine the spotlight on Rocky for this blog post! Here’s the handsome boy, posing like a pro in the studio!

labrador retriever


Unsurprisingly, Rocky has great recall! So we spent plenty of time running through the brush at Balboa Park, in the same spot where he & his mom come every single day for walks & playtime.

labrador retriever mix dog


He’s such a handsome boy.

labrador retriever dog



Sara, I’m so glad we finally got together for this unforgettable photo session! I’m so excited to see you & Rocky again soon! :)


Rhiannon the Yellow Lab (San Diego Terminal Pet Photography Session)

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Three days ago, I had no idea that Rhiannon existed.

But that’s how it works when a family receives awful news. News that they were never expecting, and never, ever wanted to hear. Rhiannon’s mom called me right after speaking with her veterinarian, and it breaks my heart that she was told they’d mostly likely have the weekend together. But the following weekend wasn’t guaranteed… or even likely.

So we hustled to get together the very next morning, and I met Rhiannon in the cool, crisp air at Trolley Barn Park in University Heights. She’s a total sweetheart, and very interested in the treats we brought with us… unless another dog walked by, haha! Her favorite treat is pizza crust – how adorable is that?! So we enjoyed the early morning sunlight together as we attempted to keep walking to a minimum. She’s not as mobile as she used to be, and awfully particular about sitting in the dewy grass, so it’s fair to say that Rhiannon was the boss of our photo session! But that’s okay, that’s exactly how it should be. So we were together until she started to get tired, and at that point her dad loaded her up into the Jeep, and they went home as a family. It was probably the last time I’ll see her sweet, furry face. So all in all, it was a remarkably calm, peaceful photo session… and we only shed a couple of tears.


This is Rhiannon’s “are you gonna give me that treat??” face!

terminal pet photography


Look at that NOSE! Have you ever seen a more unique & adorably-spotted snout?!

terminal pet photography


You’re a good girl, Rhiannon.

terminal pet photography image



Lori, thank you so much for the privilege of meeting Rhiannon. I’m absolutely honored that you called me… and I’m so glad I had the chance to get to know your sweet girl.


“She rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn’t you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover?
All your life you’ve never seen a woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised to you heaven?”

– Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac


Maverick the Black Lab at the Del Mar Dog Beach

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Some dogs seem to be born graceful. They walk gently and run swiftly; every movement seems carefully & delicately measured, with a deer-like grace and softness.

Maverick is NOT one of those dogs!

I visited the Del Mar dog beach with Maverick the black lab for our photo session, and he ran like a crashing cannonball through the water! His paws pounded the sand as he powered through any oncoming wave (or person, or dog!) and there was simply no stopping his momentum… it was amazing (and hilarious) to see! Maverick has a passion for playing fetch, and it’s all he wanted to do that day. In fact, I was a bit nervous about visiting the Del Mar dog beach, such a popular & busy spot, for our session, since other dogs & people are usually a huge distraction for most pups… but Maverick’s mom assured me that he wouldn’t be interested in anything besides his ball. And she was right! Maverick has a one-track mind when he’s at the beach; it’s all about fetch, and he’s not afraid to go swimming in deep water to get that ball back. In fact, after a few times of dropping the ball for his dad when he was only halfway back to the shore, I asked if he was getting too tired to bring it all the way back – and his dad said nope, he just likes to stay in the water! So he stays out there and waits for his dad to come out to him & throw the ball again! Ha! I had a great time playing at the Del Mar dog beach with Maverick, and I’m so excited to introduce you to him!


That big, happy smile is permanently on Maverick’s face when he’s at the beach. And I don’t blame him.

black lab


He can move through the waves! Fetch is serious business, he doesn’t waste a second.

black lab san diego


That pre-throw look of anticipation…

black lab photo


Siobhan & Bob, thanks for a fun morning at the beach! I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of our images with you soon! :)


Engagement Photos with Dogs Hera & Hades

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Oh my goodness – I had a simply amazing photo session recently! Maybe you’ve seen engagement photos with dogs before, but I was honored & thrilled to help this family announce their upcoming wedding, and I’m simply loving how the images are turning out!

But first, let’s back up: I knew I would get along with these pups and their parents as soon as I learned their names! Hera & Hades are named for the Greek mythological figures, Hera the queen of the gods and Hades the god of the underworld. Since I was a literature major in college, I immediately knew I would love these dogs, haha! And shockingly true to her namesake, Hera is an older, calmer dog than her little brother – and she gets a bit jealous whenever someone gives him more attention than her! And Hades is a wild child with fur that’s black as the night sky, and he has an unmistakable devilish personality! Honestly, their parents could not have picked better names. I am seriously impressed!

And unsurprisingly, Hera & Hades were a blast to work with! They cover the entire personality spectrum, so at times it was challenging to balance Hera’s sweet, well-behaved disposition with Hades’ insatiable appetite for trouble… but it made for some fun-filled images and an awesome afternoon! :)


Hera & Hades wanted to help announce their parents’ upcoming wedding! I’m pretty sure they couldn’t be any cuter.

engagement photos with dogs


We ran around the beach until everyone was exhausted… wait, scratch that, Hades never gets tired! This boy is a firecracker full of energy, and I loved capturing his incredible spirit!

engagement pet photos


Hera was much more willing to pose nicely for a few photos… she’s such a beautiful girl, and a total sweetheart too!

engagement dog photos



McKenzie & Tony, thank you for introducing me to your fun-loving pups! I’m excited to show you the rest of our images soon! :)


Nelson the Labrador! (Newport Beach Pet Photography)

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Today the blog is headed to Newport Beach, California! I’m so excited to introduce you to this big, handsome lab: Nelson!


Nelson is a 115-lb chocolate lab (that’s not a typo, he’s a big guy!) who lives with his family in a gorgeous neighborhood of Newport Beach, and I was thrilled to visit him on a beautiful afternoon for our custom photo session! We had a great time walking around their scenic neighborhood, and I wanted to share a few of his images with you today!


Don’t tell the authorities – we took this photo right next to a “No Dogs on the Grass” sign! But Nelson wasn’t scared; he’s a rebel.

newport beach pet photo


And then we found a small park to play fetch in – but do you happen to see the ball that’s still in Nelson’s brother’s hand in the background? Nelson was adopted as a rescue with a rather unique past, and sometimes he doesn’t know “how to dog” – but you can see that he gives it his best effort anyway! Maybe someday he’ll learn how to really fetch!

newport beach pet photo


Honestly, I’m just a sucker for Nelson’s good looks. This boy is handsome.

newport beach pet photography


And finally, after about 45 minutes of hard work (a.k.a. posing for treats), Nelson let us know that he was tuckered out, so we wrapped up the photo session and let him relax. It was so much fun getting to know his personality for that short time – and I have a feeling he slept well that night!  ;)



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