9 min 31 sec

“Cosplay” Photographer Earns $47,000 from Epic Star Wars Portraits

A Texas photographer combines his love for art and science fiction to add magic to his photography specializing in cosplay and all things geek.
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What It's About

A photographer in Texas uses his unique graphic design skills to create amazing, specialized cosplay shoots.

Business Model
Skills Required
Photography & Graphic Design
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Daniel combines his love of photography and sci-fi to let his inner nerd shine through his images, and he has become known for his “cosplay” and Star Wars themed-shoots. 
This trend—of adults dressing up to play make believe—has become less taboo over the last decade, and more in demand.

In Daniel's words, “More and more people have some geek in them.” Because of his passion and incredible editing skills, Daniel has been able to specialize, offering his customers unique portraits that have gained him a reputation in the niche area.

Fun Fact

Daniel once created an actual digital lightsaber for a photograph depicting a Jedi assembling his own saber 'using the force'—a ritualistic part of Jedi training in the Star Wars universe. He often uses computer-generated models to incorporate them into his 2D images, but while he was at it, he thought, “Why not go all out and make all the inner workings?” So that’s exactly what he did.

He also made a behind-the-scenes video of the lightsaber to show off all the underappreciated details. Watch it here!

Notes from Chris

Episode 119

If you'd like to make money with your photography but you don’t want to do weddings, what do you do? Well, here’s one fun approach. It’s about a guy who combines his love for art and science fiction to add magic to his photography side hustle, specializing in the performance art known as cosplay and iconic stories like Star Wars and Harry Potter.

The world of geekiness has gone from being a niche, tribal identity to being much more of a mainstream interest or pursuit with the rise in popularity of Marvel and DC comic based movies and shows, not to mention an entire generation of "Potterheads" reaching a point where they are more financially secure.

As with any kind of following with tons of fans, this kind of opportunity is ripe for someone with the right talent and appreciation for the genre to make a lot of money. Daniel, today's featured story, could be just a great photographer, but this niche focus is what makes his work more valuable and unique.

Check out the lightsaber video link in the "Fun Fact" section (it's awesome!), and watch the video below to see Daniel's talents in action:


  • Daniel Grove Photography: Learn more about Daniel and his cosplay photography shoots on his website, Instagram, or Facebook page
  • Blender: The open source (free!) 3D design software that Daniel uses to create the magic behind his cosplay shoots
  • Daniel's Customized Price Calculator: Daniel designed a mathematical formula in Excel that considers certain parameters, including hours for photography and editing and gas cost per gallon, and provides the cost-of-service quote

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Cosplay is a way of exploring ideas in creative and visual ways and also of just having fun. As kids, we reached an age where we stopped playing dress up, playing with toys and pretending, so this is an interesting continuation of our inner imagination."
—Daniel Grove #SideHustleSchool

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