What It's About
A photographer in Texas uses his unique graphic design skills to create amazing, specialized cosplay shoots.
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.
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
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
- The Craigslist Wedding Photographer: A California government employee becomes a part-time wedding photographer by posting an ad on Craigslist.
- Data Scientist Starts Science Fiction Magazine: A Colorado scientist publishes a science fiction magazine and builds it to a sustainable income of $1,800/month, funded largely by his readers.
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