CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - He's a young man, living a dream.
"I've always been a space kid…it's always been a huge fascination of mine,” explained Brady Kenniston, a photographer who contributes coverage to NASAspaceflight.com, a news service covering the space industry.
"My actual day job is doing portraits and weddings up in Michigan,” he continued.
But in February of this year, he got the shot heard 'round the world. "Little did I know it would turn out to be the greatest shot that I've ever taken."
His picture of the first-ever SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, with all three rocket cores ablaze, was so jaw-dropping that SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted it to over 19 million people -- and made Kenniston a celebrity.
"My phone and my watch just kept buzzing; I could barely use my phone for weeks after,” he recalled.
His latest mission: The equally impressive Delta IV Heavy rocket, set to launch the Parker Solar Probe closer to the sun than anything humans have sent to space.
Just feet from the pad, an army of photographers hammered their cameras into the ground for protection from the nearby rocket's blast. On this August day, Brady had three.
"This is the closet that I've gotten so far,” he explained. “Normally it's like 700 feet away or so."
The first launch attempt was a big letdown as a technical issue forced a last-second scrub. But on the second attempt, the rocket’s three engines turned night into day as Brady and other photographers clicked away from the roof of NASA’s famous Vehicular Assembly Building.
Not bad for a modest young man from Michigan who's made Cape Canaveral his second home.
Brady encourages everyone to find their passion. He says if he can do it, so can others.
"I shouldn't be that kid that gets to work in the space program,” he added. “I was never the A+ student or anything. So kind of getting down here and living out my dreams has just been incredible."
To see more of Brady's work, click over to: www.bradykennistonphotography.com