It was the middle of the night in Florida. Eighteen-year-old photographer John Kraus was heading to bed after working long hours over the weekend, when the notifications began pouring in.
“My phone just starts blowing up and I’m thinking, ‘oh man, what did I do,'” Kraus told CNBC.
Kraus first turned to Instagram, where dozens of people were tagging him by name in the comments of a photo, posted by none other than SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
“I actually was in disbelief of seeing his name by mine,” Kraus said.
Kraus is part of a small – but growing – community of young photographers turning their cameras to the increasing number of rockets launched by the likes of SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and others each month. Along with Kraus, CNBC spoke to 22-year-olds Brady Kenniston, Craig Vander Gailen and Trevor Mahlmann, to learn how they came to passionately follow some of the world’s most powerful rockets.