Freelance Rocket Launch Photographer: Day in the Life

Rocket launches are amazing to witness. And for folks like us who don’t get to see them in person, we’ve got to thank the work of amazing photographers for allowing us to see these spectacular sights. If you’ve ever wondered how rocket launch photographers work, check out this interview with young photographer John Kraus:

Kraus sets up his remote cameras at the launch pad with fellow photographers. To make sure that the camera is sturdy, he uses a stake that keeps the tripod with the camera fixed to the ground. The cameras are also covered in plastic bags and boxes to protect from rain.

setting up to photograph a rocket launch

Besides capturing images from the launch pad, Kraus also likes to take images offsite. For the shot below, he waited in the water with potential alligators and snakes.

rocket launch image

“What I like most about a rocket launch is that you only get one shot. Once that rocket’s gone, your shot’s gone, so there’s a lot of planning that goes into it. There’s a lot of technical side with photography, and in planning what you want to capture, but really once it happens, it happens.”

Just think about it. There’s no window for any mistakes. You cannot do a retake and will need to wait until the next launch if you want to shoot again. Accuracy is crucial. As Kraus says, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

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