Travis Daniels reflects on his Chiefs tenure and life after the NFL

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 28: Cornerback Travis Daniels
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 28: Cornerback Travis Daniels /
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SEATTLE, WA – NOVEMBER 28: Cornerback Travis Daniels
SEATTLE, WA – NOVEMBER 28: Cornerback Travis Daniels /

Former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Travis Daniels recently spoke to us about playing in KC, Todd Haley and his favorite fan moment.

Moving on from the NFL is difficult for many players. Playing professional football is an all-consuming passion for so many athletes, one that begins even before high school and lasts through college and into the playing career. On the other side of retirement, a player is often left wondering, “What now?” Football has, after all, become their identity.

For Travis Daniels, an early passion for photography and the right attitude of being appreciative for every step along the way have helped him find new creative outlets after his eight-year NFL career was over. After being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Daniels played four seasons in Kansas City, from 2009-2012.

We recently sat down with Travis to catch up on how he spends his days in 2017. He ended up telling us about his favorite fan moment, the joys of playing in Arrowhead and which quarterback was the most difficult for him to face.

We want to talk about your playing days, obviously, but I’d love to give you a chance to update fans on what you’ve been up to since you stepped away from football?

Well, I got married last April and I also have two daughters now, so ever since I left the league, I’ve definitely been expanding my family. [Laughs] To add to that, I started a photography company called Travis Daniels Photography. This is one thing that I actually started in Kansas City. When I was in high school, I took a photography course and I had a great time with it. We’d develop film in the darkroom and all. Then when I went to LSU, I got away from it because my days were filled with school and sports on a major level.

Throughout my time in the NFL leading up to Kansas City, I always had a camera and would snap pictures here and there and never thought it would ever lead to anything. But once I got to Kansas City and I met Steve Sanders, who was the head photographer for the Chiefs, I found out he was a wedding photographer as well. I started coming to him and having conversations about photography. It went from there to every day after practice, I’d go spend an hour of time in his office, watching him edit photos and asking him questions about professional cameras and that kind of thing.

That relationship grew and we started going out into Power & Light in downtown Kansas City on Mondays after meetings, since Tuesdays were the days off. We’d go out in the city and shoot. After some of that, Steve did a wedding in Costa Rica and I was able to go and be a second shooter and see how things progress. I just kept taking big strides after that.

In 2012 or 2013, I can’t remember exactly, but I was the first player to be credentialed to shoot the Pro Bowl. That was a big moment for me. The Chiefs did a story on it and everything. I also have a friend who’s a model, so during the offseasons, I always enjoyed the whole modeling world. I’d go with her on castings and would hang out and be around in that atmosphere. I knew photography was something I really enjoyed, so she took me to her headquarters at Wilhelmina in Miami. I was able to meet the executives and when I came back from the Pro Bowl, they said they’d give me a shot.

I thought they were just messing around to get me out of there, but they actually sent me a girl. I was freaking out. I was like, “Woah, I don’t have Steve here to help me out!” [Laughs] I was just flying solo, but all in all, we ended up having a really good shoot and they used the photos in her portfolio and that led to more jobs with them. So they started sending me a lot of girls. Soon other agencies started sending me models like Elite and Next. I’ve just been blessed really.

Now the company has transformed from models to wedding photography, so now we’re probably going to do about 40 weddings this year. That’s amazing to me. I want to get to the point where I’m shooting 50 or 60 or even 70 weddings. I love documenting history. I love knowing photos are going to last for 100 years.