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.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…

So, I feel like the blog lately has been nothing but Sneak Peeks and session slideshows. These are fun and I hope you love them, but they’re all “business”. So I thought I’d liven things up by giving a little perspective from the person behind the posts!

The last month of my life has been busy, and I thank God every day for that. It’s a scary thing to start your own business and hope it succeeds – much less a business as whimsical as this one! Well, maybe whimsical isn’t the right word. I provide fun, non-essential services to pet owners, in a nutshell. So sometimes I get nervous.

But like I was saying, April has been ridiculously busy for me. Lots of sessions to photograph, images to edit, storyboards to design, videos to compile, labs to order products from, posts to blog, other business owners to network with, emails to send, bills to pay… turns out owning a photography business is about 10% taking pictures! Who knew! But this week marked a semi-important milestone for my business: I got too busy to do everything I wanted to do, and certain things had to be neglected. GASP

I’m not talking about “I didn’t do a tiny little thing I was hoping to get done” or “I didn’t plan my life out 7 weeks in advance”, nothing ridiculous like that. I don’t think my goals were too big or too small. I had three basic things to do (essentially): stay on top of communicating with clients and other contacts, complete sessions and work on clients’ images, and order samples of awesome new products that I’m about to offer (and am VERY excited about). I actually stayed up until at least 10:00 every night this week, and 2:00 one night, working on these basic things. And let me tell you, it’s really not so great to watch your husband go to bed while you head back to a computer screen. (I’d make him stay up with me, but one of the Naval Flight School higher-ups would probably want to exchange words with me.) And on top of that, to feel obligated to do the same thing the next night, and to eat your lunch while navigating Photoshop, and to not feel like you have time to do the laundry for fear of getting behind? Yikes.

So I had to ask myself: do I enjoy the time I work, even for that many hours and that late at night? YES! (Is that surprising? Just goes to show this is my dream job!) So, I’m not spending my time in wasted ways. I really love what I do. Next question: do other small business owners probably work as hard as me? Yes! I’m sure they do, especially other sole proprietors. So I don’t think I’m the exception to the norm, or at least not at this point in my career. I’m told it gets easier haha! Next question: is this business my #1 priority? No. No way. It will always take second behind my family, which may be small at this point (a man and a dog… and me!) but it’s the best thing I have in life. So the conclusion is, I have to rearrange the way I spend my time, and put family first!


I can't believe this day was almost two whole years ago!


This will probably not be easy, as it turns out. I’m used to working really hard – in college, in high school, I wasn’t one of those kids who showed up for the final and passed with flying colors. More like I worked my butt off and magically passed. And that wasn’t so long ago. So I just need to slow down, keep prioritizing, and keep reminding myself what’s important. That means tonight, I am going to go out to dinner with my husband (his name is Ken, by the way) and we will watch a movie together and I will not send a single email! Before, during, or after! I think the last time those things happened without an interruption was, like, January. And who knows – tomorrow we may go to the dog park with Bailey! After sleeping in and making pancakes! It’s his day off, and I believe I should take one too.

I think it’s easy to get addicted to a job you love doing. If it doesn’t feel like work, and your boss is yourself, it’s difficult to know where certain lines are. And I suppose I’ve always known where those lines were, and had a slight sense of guilt every time I careened past them – but now I’m going to respect them.

Oh, and to finish the week with my sanity intact, I had to prioritize. Out of the three big things I had to do this week, two of them had to do with immediately satisfying clients and one didn’t. So guess which got pushed to the back burner?

Clients: I love you! I really do.

So anyways, that’s the story of my week. Super-compelling, I know… but important for me. And it will lead to a better future, for me and my business. I wonder if anyone else asks themselves these questions? It was a fantastic sanity check so I highly recommend it the next time you feel stretched too thin!

Thanks for listening! And now… back to business! :)


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Allison Shamrell Pet Photography
Call: 619.357.6624 // Email: // Visit: 3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116
San Diego's Best Pet Photographer, voted by the San Diego A-List 2014-2016
© Allison Shamrell Photography, 2016

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One Response to “We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…”

  1. This is a great post! And timely, too! I’m still in the middle of my photography course, and just embarking on my career as a pro photog. And I LOVE what I’m doing … if I could do it 15+ hours a day, I’d be happy! And I do. Often. I’ve got to stop it, tear myself away from my computer (reading, processing, studying, etc) and put my camera down (New gear! Exploring, experimenting, excessively, obsessively!). Thanks for the reminder about what’s most important – our family – my hubby, our dog, and I! Have a great weekend!

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