Post near death experience, I found myself coming up with ever-sillier concepts while wearing the suit. I decided to create a series where an astronaut finds himself stuck in the monotony of everyday life. I decided to hide several “easter eggs” in the photos, giving nods to real astronauts and historical space references. The first series titled, “A day in the life of Everyday Astronaut” immediately went viral on Reddit and quickly saw views in the millions. This led to features on Buzzfeed, CNET, Tech Insider and several others. The series was chosen as Flickr’s feature of the week, published in The Guardian UK’s Art & Design, was the cover of “Courrier International,” and graced several other international publications.
The suit has been the bane of my existence ever since. Momentum picked up and I couldn’t stop thinking of new ideas. The second series titled “Trying to get to space” relied heavily on photoshop in order to pull off silly and ridiculous images. This series felt a bit like “Wile E. Coyote” where bad physics became a reality.
The third, and final official series, was a personal challenge. After the photoshop-friendly second series, I decided to try and shoot an entire series with no photoshop. This meant I could not add or subtract content from the images. I was forced to spend a lot of time setting up very elaborate shoots. My friends and girlfriend (now wife) witnessed me lose my mind a bit. Some of the shoots took days of preparation and hours of execution to finally achieve the shot. All in all it was a learning experience and pushed me to think of photography in a more organic way.
In January, 2016, I used the excuse of trying to get a good shot for Everyday Astronaut to propose to my girlfriend, Audrey, at Machu Picchu. This event went down in history as proof that despite being a huge space nerd, one can actually land a beautiful and smart girl. (In real life I had just proposed to her 5 minutes before this picture, because she literally would’ve killed me had I proposed in the spacesuit.)
Nowadays I create content about spaceflight events past, present and future. I’ve partnered with the Orion team at NASA to get up close and personal with spacecraft and facilities. I hope to share the cool and exciting things human kind is doing to further our presence amongst the stars.
To my surprise (or maybe persistence), this project has grown from an art project into a budding career. I have realized my Everyday Astronaut character has become a vessel of communication. My talents and passions lie in digesting technical and complex rocket science and being able to get everyday people excited about it. A lot of exciting things are on the horizon for Everyday Astronaut, so standby for further communication.