Thanks for checking out my website. My name is John Kraus; I’m a spaceflight photographer from Satellite Beach, Florida. I recently graduated high school in May 2018 and have since been pursuing photography as a full-time career.
Living on the Space Coast my entire life, I've always recognized my community's heritage as America's premiere gateway to space, but when I started photography in early 2015 — basically on a whim — my drive to capture rocket launches greatly increased my appreciation for the immense preparation, coordination, and engineering prowess required to conduct spaceflight operations, as well as the meticulous attention to detail required to capture the perfect moment in one still frame.
My passion to tell the story of spaceflight in imagery has taken me to incredible places, such as the roof of NASA's 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building; to New York City to work with a rocket startup company; to Colorado to meet with United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno; and to historic launch sites such as Launch Complex 39A, the launchpad that sent humans to the moon. I treasure dearly the opportunity to share the wonders of spaceflight with individuals around the world who are otherwise unaware about what's occurring in the world of space. Awareness, education, and inspiration are the three things I aspire to bring to those who view my photographs.
My pursuit of photographing launches full-time is partially enabled by my Patreon supporters. Patreon is a platform on which individuals can make small financial contributions to creators on a monthly basis, enabling people to pursue their passions full-time. I treat Patreon as a subscription service, offering my patrons exclusive behind-the-scenes content and digital downloads of my photos. If you enjoy what I do and appreciate the work that goes into my imagery, considering signing up; the base tier is only $2/month.
After my first year of photography, my work capturing launches from public locations was noticed by a space news media outlet at Cape Canaveral, and in February 2016, I was granted an opportunity to cover a launch on-site as an accredited launch photojournalist. Starting then, I worked under AmericaSpace, one of the leading space news websites covering American spaceflight, and I've continued covering launches as a freelance photographer in the time since.
Along with other credentialed members of the media, I am typically able to set up cameras at launch facilities to capture closeup views of rocket launches. Often very close in proximity to the vehicles, my cameras are sound-triggered and must take images without human intervention, as humans can be severely injured or even killed at the same distances from which my cameras operate. While press access enables creation of stunning, detailed photographs, I frequently photograph launches off-site to take advantage of the beautiful scenery the Space Coast has to offer. I've also traveled across the country to cover multiple launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
At a September 2018 SpaceX launch, I was accompanied by VICE News, who produced an HBO special detailing my coverage of the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission, at which I waded into swamp waters north of Cape Canaveral to make one of my favorites images to date. The final piece is available on YouTube.
In July 2018, I had the pleasure of working for Launcher, a New York-based rocketry startup on a ten-year timeline to build a commercial small satellite launch vehicle. During my week in New York, I created specialized imagery for the company of its rocket engine's static test fires in Long Island, as well as photographs of the Launcher team and facilities.
Put on display in September 2017, one of my most popular photos is displayed two-stories-tall at United Launch Alliance's headquarters in Centennial, Colorado.
I had the honor of volunteering for Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation in July 2017, working as an event photographer at the ShareSpace Foundation Apollo 11 Gala at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which commemorated the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.
Apart from photographing rockets, my interest in other genres of photography — particularly landscapes — has given me a newfound admiration for the beautiful area I'm lucky to call home.
CLIENTS, PUBLICATIONS, AND FEATURES:
United Launch Alliance company headquarters: Two-story-tall image mural
Aviation Week 2018 Photo Contest: Overall winner, "Best of Best" award
VICE News, HBO special: October 1, 2018
Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, cover: July 2018
Aviation Week magazine, cover: February 2018
CNBC online feature: April 2018
National Geographic online feature: July 2016
National Geographic online article on rocket launches: January 2019
International Astronautical Congress 2018: Presentation by SpaceX VP Hans Koenigsmann
ALSO SEEN IN:
WIRED.com, PetaPixel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], Fstoppers, Observer, Digital Photography Review, Inverse.com [1, 2], DigitalRev Bokeh, Resource Magazine Online, Fast Co Design, WIRED magazine, Condé Nast magazine, Condé Nast Traveller magazine, Digital Photo magazine, Pro Photographer Magazine