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  ~  Allison@AllisonShamrell.com  ~  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: ‘photography’



Pepita, Effie & Ralphie at the Park in Coronado

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Every dog has their own personality, of course – but I can’t remember the last time I had a session with 3 dogs that had such distinctive personalities as these three awesome pooches! I’m so thrilled to introduce you to Pepita, Ralphie & Effie!

 

This is Pepita, little leader of the pack in every way. Don’t let her size fool you, she’s the boss – and she’ll speak up to make sure you know it! Pepita is crazy about treats, has attitude coming out her ears, and recently developed a little snaggletooth that makes for some really cute expressions. But for now, I’ll share her big, classic smile with you!

coronado dog in a park

 

This sweet guy is Ralphie. He’s the shyest of the bunch, and his personality (plus his big eyes & floppy ears) have earned him the nickname “Mousie”. But luckily, the yummy treats that his mom brought to our session were enough to coax him out of his shell – and once I had a few in my hand, he became very interested in me & my camera!

coronado park dog photo

 

And last but certainly not least, this bundle of happiness is Effie. She’s the biggest of the pack and probably the most food-motivated (which is saying something!). And she was thoroughly confused why the entire photo session wasn’t just a belly-rub marathon. Oh Effie, you made me laugh so hard!

dog in coronado

 

Oh my gosh, I adore this family photo. For all having minds (and personalities) of their own, these pups sure do make a cute pack together.

coronado family photo

 

 

Andrea & Phillip, I had such a great time with all 5 of you all around Coronado! Can’t wait to get together again soon! :)

 

Yahoo! The votes are in… Allison Shamrell Pet Photography is officially #1!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that my incredible clients & friends have made their voices heard – and as a result, we won!!! (And yes, I say “we” – because even though I’m a solopreneur, this is a team victory that validates all the great experiences my clients have had!)

 

best pet photographer certificate

 

That’s right – the official 2017 results are in, and my business ranked #1 for the “best pet photographer” category on the San Diego A-List!

This is such incredible news. Most importantly, it proves that all the hard work I do every day means a lot to the awesome people I get to call clients. And that’s really rewarding for me. However, it also signifies that I have a lot to live up to – because the title of “BEST” certainly doesn’t mean I get to relax! It means I’m obligated to go on being the best – which (to me) means innovation, meticulousness, and constantly hustling.

Plus – if I’m really being honest – it just feels great to win! No one ever said I should stop being competitive just because I’m not playing basketball anymore! :)

So thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It may have felt like a two-second click of the mouse (or tap of the finger) to you, but to me it was a tremendous show of your support.

And since I’ve won this award every year since 2014 (double yay!!) you can bet that I’m thinking about alllllll kinds of ways to outdo myself again! This year, it was adding a “Pack Portraits” event for my past clients & networking colleagues, a free (!) quickie photo session at one of San Diego’s most iconic locations. Next year? I wonder what it’ll be…

Here’s to crushing the rest of 2017 as San Diego’s best pet photographer! :)

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! :)

 

Penny the Vizsla from Lakeside (Photos)

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Penny is a sweet vizsla who’s spent most of her life right next to her dad. And I mean that quite literally – Penny’s family adopted her when she was very young, and her favorite place to be is only a few inches away from her favorite person in the world! Nothing can tempt her away from her dad’s side: not toys, other dogs, or even a treat… she even seems to think treats taste better when they come from his hand, haha!

For our photo session, we visited Mission Trails Regional Park and Lindo Lake County Park. While Mission Trails is already one of my favorite locations, I’d never been to Lindo Park before – so Penny showed me all around! It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we had a great time together!

I love photographing dogs that have close relationships with their humans, and it’s clear to anyone who meets her that Penny is head-over-heels for her dad. But to be totally honest with you, this photo session was a bit challenging for me! Penny was totally disinterested in my silly noises, trigger words (like “walkies!”) and treats. All the antics I typically use to earn a dog’s attention were simply not interesting to this little vizsla, as she preferred to take in her surroundings instead. (Or just look at her dad to see what he was thinking.) So I had a bit of a creative workout during our session, haha! I soon realized that Penny’s ears perked up whenever I threw something – so my treat bag became a toy, and I tossed it (and other random objects) around all afternoon! And at first, I really wanted to figure out the secret of getting her attention, but you know what – Penny wasn’t focused on me because she’s an independent little lady. She has a unique personality and her affection is clearly earned over time, over years of steadfast friendship… so while we don’t have as many photos of her looking at the camera with perked ears (a few of them actually do exist, haha – one is below!) we have plenty more photos of Penny scoping out her environment, perhaps envisioning the next adventure she’ll have with her dad. And I love that about her! So while she was overall unimpressed by me & my camera, her personality still shone through in our session, and I think we created some gorgeous, unique portraits of this sweet girl.

 

Penny was happy to go for a little walk on the trail with her dad, for a break from “posing”!

vizsla walking on trail

 

Such a sweet little lady.

cute vizsla dog

 

Lindo Park is Penny’s happy place, and it shows. She was really pleased to be there.

vizsla photo

 

 

Sandi & Nihil, thank you so much for the chance to meet your beautiful girl! I’ll see you again soon!

 

The Best Pet Photography Products

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

how much should a pet photo session cost

I absolutely love creating gorgeous images of pets & families around San Diego… but you know what’s just as much fun? Doing something with those photos! It’s a tragedy, in my opinion, to let high-quality imagery languish on a forgotten hard drive… and products are often an afterthought of people seeking photography. Which is totally understandable, to be honest with you; it’s hard to envision what you’ll do with photos that haven’t even been taken yet. But I’d love to provide you with some inspiration today! I’ve been photographing 4-leggers and their families for over 6 years, and over that time I’ve seen firsthand which types of products have a lasting impact & can truly stand the test of time. I’ve also curated my product line throughout those years to include the best & most popular products that my clients & I have consistently loved. These are some of the best pet photography products that I’ve ever seen – so I’m excited to share them with you!

 

1. Wall Art

best products and prints

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best canvas products

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best product collage

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pet photography canvases

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pet photography canvas

 

Wall art is a classic way to enjoy your portraits every day. This is hands-down my favorite type of product; decorating the space you spend your life in with images you truly love.

I offer fine art prints, canvas gallery wraps, and metal prints – and as you can see, they all have a very different look! I typically recommend choosing the medium that best suits your design style; if modern & contemporary is your thing, go with metal! It’s stunningly gorgeous and makes an impact wherever you display it. But if rustic & organic is your look, then canvas gallery wraps are a perfect fit – they have subtle texture and a vibe that evokes the natural side of life. On the other hand, traditional and classic style lends itself well to fine art prints. Whichever medium you choose, you want it to fit in with the rest of your home’s decor, and a variety of wall art products allows me to work with any client’s design style.

 

2. Albums

best products for pet photography

 

Okay, I know I said that I love wall art the most – but my albums take a very close second place! Books & albums are the best way to display ALL the photos from your pet photography session. You probably won’t choose to hang up 40 photos on your walls (do you have that many walls?), but you can enjoy them all in the pages of a premium album! Plus, albums are a great place for the detail images, the silly moments, and the funny outtakes that simply aren’t suited to be hung on the wall.

I also like to include quotes from various authors & historical figures in my albums; there are SO many great sayings out there about pets, love and family, and they help tell the story of your session and what your pets mean to you as you’re flipping through the pages.

 

 

3.Digital Images

best pet photography products

 

It’s 2017, so this post simply wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my digital products. But can I share something with you that not many people know about digital photos? The resolution is key. Purchasing a photo with high-resolution is like pulling out all the stops; you can print it at many sizes and it won’t look grainy or pixellated. It can, however, be overkill for digital use; super-high resolution is why photos on websites take a long time to load. Whereas photos with low-resolution are the perfect quick digital option! They load quickly, take up less hard drive space, and are generally more nimble & versatile online. But their weakness is printing; a physical copy of a low-resolution photo will often appear pixellated. (It’s not the printer’s fault – it’s the photo!) So make your choice carefully, based on what you want to do with the images from your photo session! My clients often choose the high-resolution option, so they can make Christmas cards and fun stuff in the future (like mugs & mouse pads!) and in that case I give them a complimentary low-resolution version of each image too, just in case they want to share them online without a headache. But many of my clients also choose to have a custom mobile app with their images, which is a great low-resolution option! It’s so much fun to have a quick-access app on your phone, so you can always bring up the photos from your session!

 

4. Desktop Prints

pet photo desktop print

Okay, I admit, this is not a high-quality photo – it’s an iPhone snapshot of my desk! But what better example can I give you of why I love desktop prints? This is a photo of my girl Bailey, and I absolutely love keeping it so close by. Because as much as I love to pull out all the stops with archival wall art & custom-designed albums, I also know that there’s a beautiful simplicity to an old-fashioned framed print on your desktop. (Or your shelf, or entry table, or dresser…) So why argue with tradition? My fine art prints are UV-coated, too, so even if your desk sits in the sunlight, your prints will never fade. That happy face will always be as vibrant as the day of our photo session.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it! These are some of my favorite options, and I think they’re the best pet photography products on the market today. If you’re working with a photographer, keep this in mind: I hope you’ll choose products that fit your lifestyle & how you prefer to experience photography. There are tons of options out there (I offer a few more products, too!) and I think you’ll love picking out your favorites!

In the meantime, let me leave you with a couple of my creative wall art collages (in metal and canvas) for inspiration…

 

metal collage pet photography  canvas collage pet photo

 

 

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