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Pets, rescue animals get the glamour treatment in ABQ

Adam Goldberg of AGoldPhoto takes photographs of Theresa Mack’s miniature Pomeranian, Cooper, inside Marble Brewery’s West Side location Saturday afternoon. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Adam Goldberg and his wife, Mary, are living the dream: they pay the bills – and help furry friends find a home – by taking photos of pets.

They brought their animal-loving endeavor to Albuquerque on on Saturday, setting up shop for several hours at a West Side brewery as part of a cross-country trip to raise money for animal shelters and charities.

“We love doing what we do, this really never was about the money at all,” said Adam Goldberg, owner of AGoldPhoto Pet Photography. “It’s been an amazing journey.”

Their New Mexico stop took Goldberg to the Marble Brewery near Unser and McMahon, where much of the proceeds from the event there will be donated to local Watermelon Mountain Ranch Animal Center. The shelter also brought adoptable dogs for glamour shots and, hopefully, to find a loving home.

The Goldbergs, from Tampa, Florida, are on their third annual Pet Photo Shoot Fundraiser Road Trip, which will make stops in 14 cities in over a month. They partner with shelters and organizations along the way to raise money and have raised more than $100,000 since July 2016. The goal for this trip: photograph 200 dogs and raise at least $7,000.

Chihuahuas pose for pictures on Saturday, when AGoldPhoto made a stop in the Duke City as part of its fundraising road trip to benefit animal shelters and charities. Both of them can be adopted from Watermelon Mountain Ranch but they must be adopted together. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

At a time when social media is flooded with photos of people’s pets, the Goldberg say they offer a tasteful look of their own without frills: no props, hats, wigs or themed backdrops.

“No cutesy stuff, it’s really meant to be something you can hang on your wall,” he said. “I want a dog to look like they’re a dog, not a person. Let the dog be a dog.”

Goldberg left a corporate job two years ago to do this full time in Florida, where the couple’s “bread and butter” is setting up their compact studio at local breweries for dog photos.

Adam and Mary Goldberg at the pet photo shoot at Marble Brewery Saturday afternoon. The Florida couple photographed more than a dozen dogs in Albuquerque as part of their road trip. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

“We want their personality to shine through – they’re smiling, they’re laughing, we’re throwing treats in the air,” Goldberg said, joking that often the hardest part of pet photography is the owner.

Theresa Mack brought in her 8-year-old miniature Pomeranian, Cooper, in what turned out to be the “perfect little outing” to her favorite brewery on Saturday. The photos ended up being a bonus.

“They look great,” she said. “Cooper’s so photogenic, he’s used to me putting him in outfits.”

Another plus, Mack ended up adopting a 2-year-old boxer-shepherd mix named Serena from Watermelon Mountain Ranch, one of two dogs adopted by 2 p.m.

It’s a win-win for Goldberg, who said his favorite photos are the ones that find a dog a home.

“We’ve met a lot of dogs that have been through turmoil, some have been abused – left outside and chained to a fence their whole life,” he said. “When they get rescued they’re just the happiest dog in the world … It’s unbelievable to see that they’re not angry at the world like some people might be. There’s no animosity in dogs.”