Max Goldberg: MU’s Up-and-Coming Surf Photographer

It is a cloudy and cold morning in March. A gentle breeze rolls in offshore. Even though the water is unbearably frigid, local surfers still find themselves chasing swell. One by one, surfers clothed head to toe in thick neoprene wetsuits become immersed in the bitter Atlantic. They begin to paddle on their surfboards against the current in order to get to an area in which most surfers are in good position to catch a wave, known as the “line-up.” As the waves begin to roll in, each surfer is taken on a wild ride towards the shore. Not only are the surfers excited about this surge, but certain people onshore also prove to be elated. 

 The shutter of a camera begins to go off. A young man stands tall next to a tripod. Looking into the camera, he follows the surfers as they catch waves. He begins to focus in and then out, as well as change the settings on the camera. This young man is Max Goldberg, a photographer and freshman at the University. When he is not in class, one can usually find Max scoping out the shoreline, trying to find the best spot to take photos of surfers. 

“Surf photography showed me the world of photography and how I can make it into a lifestyle and a career,” Goldberg said. While completing school and obtaining a degree in marketing from the Leon Hess School of Business may be priorities for Goldberg, photography, particularly surf photography, awaits him in his future. 

Over the past four years, Goldberg has worked hard to cultivate his talents and develop his business. Today, the 18-year-old is the proud owner of MPG Photo. While he was constructing his profession, Goldberg had established an extensive collection of cameras used for his business. He owns a few Canon Professional DSLRs, also known as digital cameras, in addition to Pentax film cameras, in which the film used needs to be developed after the photo has been taken. 

“I love shooting film because it is so different from digital,” said Goldberg. “It takes so much more time and effort to compose a film photo.” Goldberg is able to develop film shots of cars, motorcycles, and landscapes in the comfort of his own home.

Out of all the people, places, and things Goldberg uses as the basis of his photos, he enjoys shooting surfing the most. But it is not ordinary, onshore surf photography; water photography is his calling. “I have a professional grade, aluminum casing that allows me to bring my camera setup into the ocean and get as close as possible to the surfer while he/she is surfing,” explained Goldberg. “It is the most fun for me because I can get as close to the action as possible.” 

Since he is able to get in on the action with his encased, protected camera equipment from a different perspective, Goldberg finds himself consumed by the surrounding water and waves as he quickly snaps photos of surfers.

Since the ocean in New Jersey dips down to 35 degrees during the wintertime, Goldberg took the initiative and booked a last minute solo trip to the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, the surf capital of the world. 

“This trip was not only insanely fun, but also it was great for networking and meeting people in the industry that I hope to some day be working in,” said Goldberg. “The trip brought me to some unreal places where I met some of the best surfers and photographers in the world.” Some notable surfer names Goldberg had networked with include Mason Ho, Nathan Fletcher, Kai Mana Henry, and Mikey Bruneau. He also had the opportunity to correspond with SIX Magazine and Stretch Surfboards regarding the photos he had taken on the trip to the North Shore of Oahu. 

When Goldberg was 10-years-old, he started surfing. Upon entering Ocean Township High School, he began to surf everyday with his friends. He noticed how happy surfing made his friend group. “No matter how bad of a day we could have been having, it would all be better once we had a board under our feet in the ocean,” Goldberg said. Capturing the moments of pure happiness and euphoria fascinated him. Eventually his grandfather gave him an old, basic point and shoot camera, thus starting his love for photography. 

This became clear approximately eight years ago, when the Goldberg family was on a vacation in Mexico. “Max was eager to get a disposable water camera,” said Debra Goldberg, his mother. “He would not let either the water camera or regular camera go.” It was on this very trip that Debra noticed hers son’s passion for photography. “When we got home and developed these pictures, we noticed he had a hidden natural talent,” said Debra. “From that time on, his passion has only grown as well as his skills, talents, and his ever broadening picture base.” 

Goldberg’s photography turned into a business when he was 14-years-old. “One of my grandparents’ friends asked to buy a photo of mine and right then and there I knew I wanted to make photography not only my career, but also my life,” Goldberg said. His business covers almost every aspect of photography there is. “I shoot all types of action sports in addition to shooting weddings, photo and video, as well as portraits and studio sessions” he stated. 

“Max is energetic, determined, focused, and extremely knowledgeable on this subject,” exclaimed Debra. “I am confident that he will succeed in this field.” 

Goldberg has an online portfolio and website,, where potential clients can view his work. His Instagram account, @Photo_MPG, is updated quite often, as well. If one is interested in booking time with Goldberg or purchasing his work, he or she could visit his website or contact him at

PHOTO TAKEN by Max Goldberg