This Photographer Is Fighting Pit Bull Stereotypes With Joyous Family Portraits
Adam Goldberg is hoping to change a few minds with his photos—or at least make people think twice before judging pit bull-type dogs.
The Tampa, Fla., photographer has spent parts of the past several years capturing joyful portraits of pit bulls and their owners. The big-mouthed dogs are smiling, as are the humans—if they aren't bestowing kisses on furry noggins.
The photos exemplify how we all feel about our dogs, and that's Goldberg's point: Despite the stereotype as violent, dangerous dogs, American pit bull terriers are fabulous, loyal pets.
"It's just pit bulls and their owners having a wonderful time together. It can only better their reputations, unlike some of the news stories you hear on the local news," Goldberg tells Daily Paws.
Lindsay Camacho and her dog Kimber went to Goldberg and his wife Mary at AGoldPhoto Pet Photography for a portrait. Camacho found Kimber at her job site in 2013. Kimber had a nasty infection on her leg along with cuts and scars.
"Looking at her body, she just looked like she had been through hell," Camacho says.
Kimber initially stayed at a rescue, but, like plenty of other dogs, she was so shy that she went overlooked at adoption events. Camacho eventually adopted her. Kimber might be shy, but once you're hers, you're hers forever, her owner says.
"You just have to meet them," Camacho says. "They're just like people. You've got to give everyone a chance."
That extends to dogs who were previously involved in dogfighting, too. Goldberg has photographed those survivors—perhaps including Kimber, who Camacho suspects was used as a bait dog when she was a puppy.
"You would think that they would have this anger toward humans based on what they were forced to do, and they're just not," he says. "It's not the case."
Yet, he still talks with pit bull parents who see people cross the street to avoid their dogs. It's why they come in for portraits: to show their dogs are nothing to be scared of.
In a perfect world, he hopes the photos lead to more pit bull adoptions, especially when Florida shelters are plenty crowded as we reach the midpoint of National Pit Bull Awareness Month. As always, your local shelter would love to welcome another adopter, foster home, or volunteer—however you can help.