In 2017, Adam Goldberg left his job in corporate America to pursue his passion for pet photography. He and his wife, Mary, are cultivating a niche and helping abused and abandoned dogs find new homes.
Adam and Mary Goldberg join Matthew Brown in this episode of BROWN on BRAND to discuss AGoldPhoto Pet Photography, the duo's photography service that helps raise awareness about animal rescues and adoptions.
Adam Goldberg’s career began with a camera and a love for animals.
He was only a few months into a marketing specialist job at the Humane Society of Broward County when he picked up photography on the side. With no experience in photography, Goldberg took to the Internet and watched videos online to hone his technique. Best of all, he had plenty of subjects in the animals residing at the shelter. As his skills improved, his love for shelter animals grew with it.
In 2015, Goldberg would become the Marketing Director for LotVantage – sister company of ThumbStopper. While performing the duties of his full-time job, Adam continued to cultivate his photography skills by volunteering at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay in his free time.
By 2016, he would meet his now-wife, Mary, who worked as art director for an ad agency that the Humane Society of Tampa Bay partnered with. She had just come up with a marketing campaign for the Humane Society when the shelter recommended Adam as a volunteer photographer that could take photos for the campaign. Mary was skeptical.
“I was like, it’s gonna be some old dude that doesn’t know what they’re doing,” Mary said. “It’s gonna be a nightmare; I have to spend all day with this person.”
The opposite happened. Instead, Adam’s work on the campaign was the catalyst that created AGoldPhoto Pet Photography and kicked off a relationship between him and Mary. The two have been inseparable ever since.
However, Adam soon found it difficult to balance the responsibilities of his job at LotVantage with his love for photography and shelter animals. He needed to make a decision: continue his career in marketing or leave it all behind to pursue pet photography as a full-time job.
Adam chose his love over his career. He left LotVantage in 2017 and focused on AGoldPhoto full-time. Mary helped out Adam with photo shoots and events while working at the ad agency until February this year, when she began working for AGoldPhoto full-time as brand manager.
“I love marketing and I love helping people,” Adam said. “But if I could do that and make a difference in the world, that’s where I found my happiness.”
AGoldPhoto offers a range of photography services throughout the year, ranging from studio shoots to private sessions for owners with multiple pets or special instructions.
Additionally, they partner with venues around the country to host fundraising events that help raise money for animal shelters and animal welfare organizations.
Much of the success of the team’s marketing efforts they attribute to Facebook ads. The majority of their advertising budget is spent campaigns designed to drive awareness and attendees to their fundraising events.
“We'll place an ad in a major city, and we'll usually sell out the events just with our Facebook advertising spend,” Adam Goldberg said.
To date, AGoldPhoto has raised over $129,000 for animal charities.
Creating awareness for shelter animals in need of adoption is an important part of the AGoldPhoto mission.
Mary Goldberg said the team looks for animals with the worst intake photos, or those who have been in a shelter for a long time. Typically, in most of their studio sessions, the subjects are shot against a gray backdrop. For adoptions, however, they needed a simple way for people to identify when a dog is in urgent need. They chose blue as the backdrop to provide a branded visual cue and #BlueIsForYou as the call-to-action.
"In the past, people would ask us on Instagram if a pet was up for adoption," Adam Goldberg said. "It helps people know that a pet is available."
The blue backdrop has been a total success since the Goldberg's implemented it as part of their marketing strategy. It worked especially well for Molly.
Molly looked pretty shabby when her adoption photos were taken. After publishing her photos on their social platforms using the blue backdrop, Molly was adopted the next day.
Molly's post-adoption photo told a completely different story. She looked like a different dog after she was adopted, complete with a big smile and in the care of a loving owner.
"It's rewarding to get to know the owner who adopted a dog that we photographed," Adam Goldberg said. "Maybe she wouldn't have seen this dog otherwise, and now they're the perfect match."
Use the slider below to see Molly's before-and-after photos.