Pet Photographer Adam Goldberg is on a mission to change how Pit Bulls are pictured.
Pit Bull stereotypes often unfairly characterize Pit Bulls as aggressive and violent creatures, when in fact, the opposite is true. This group of dogs—which includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier—are just as sweet as any other dogs, whose personalities are largely determined by how they are raised. “[Pit Bulls] don’t deserve the bad reputation they get,” Goldberg says. “I want to show how sweet they are, and to show their goofy and loveable side to inspire more adoptions.”
To help adjust society’s perception of these adorable yet misunderstood creatures, Goldberg created the Pit Bull Picture Project, where he captures beautiful pictures of Pit Bulls that show off their quirky and charming personalities. The photos, which are displayed in some public locations and on his website, include information on where and how to adopt each pup.
The spark of inspiration for the project came while Goldberg was a volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where he quickly noticed that visitors weren’t taking an interest in dogs from the Pit Bull breed. “There [was] turmoil in the Tampa community about Pit Bulls,” he said. “The shelter struggled to get them adopted.”
Prior to his volunteer work at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Goldberg was employed at the Humane Society of Broward County, managing their website and social media pages. After 10 months, Goldberg was asked to revamp the photography program. Despite not having prior experience with photography, he confidently approached the challenge head-on. “During my time at the shelter, I taught myself photography and how to work with animals, and I loved knowing that I was making an impact, not only for the animals, but for the person that adopted them as well,” he says.
When animals are taken to shelters, they are typically afraid and closed off. This demeanor doesn’t usually make for a great picture, but unfortunately, this is when their adoption photos are usually taken. Goldberg recognized the disparity between how the pets were represented in these photos and their true personalities, and saw an opportunity to improve this process and create pictures that could increase adoptions.
Goldberg applied this same insight to help promote the goodness in Pit Bulls and inspire their adoption. “In order to change how Pit Bulls are pictured, we literally need to do just that. We need to show off their loving, adorable and beautiful personalities,” he says.
Goldberg always held Pit Bulls close to his heart. He fell in love with the breed while working at the Broward County Humane Society, and by spending time with a good friend who adopted a heartworm-positive Pit Bull. Described as a sweet, good-natured creature, Vered the Pit got along great with everyone, including younger children. “Kids would put their face up to her, and she was all about it,” he says.
In addition to the Pit Bull Picture Project, Goldberg hosts various events where he holds photo shoots for the pets of guests. Each event has proceeds that go to local animal welfare organizations. He will embark on his first road trip in August to host various events across the East Coast.
His goal is to raise enough money to be able to sponsor at least 25 Pit Bull adoptions in the next year. To help contribute, you can visit AGoldPhoto’s Patreon page. For more information on the Pit Bull Picture project, visit AGoldPhoto.com.
Samantha Schwab, Junior Editor
As an aspiring cat mom, Samantha Schwab can be found mining keywords, meticulously editing Pet Central blog posts or standing at her desk (usually all three!). An espresso shot and kitty cuddles are the only things that stand between Samantha and conquering the (pet) world!