Media passion fuels future endeavors

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Media passion fuels future endeavors





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Some people grow up knowing what they want to do with their lives, while others struggle to find a passion that speaks to them.

Freshman Jayden Watters is among the lucky few whose idle exploration, which began when he picked up a camera at a young age, turned into a long-lasting zeal for photography and videography.

According to his step-dad, Rick Anders, one of Watters’ first videography projects included editing together videos Watters had taken and overlaying music on top.

Later, as a student at SOCAPA — an LA School of Creative and Performing Arts — Watters furthered his commitment to the arts by taking a summer course where he wrote and directed several movies.

At the same time, Watters was using his learning to expand his photography knowledge.

Since he began his journey as an amateur thirteen year old with little to no prior photography experience, Watters has been committed to capturing photos and creating art in a way that speaks to him and his audience.

“I really enjoy capturing people in their best moments and I always think when you capture people looking their best they get really happy,” Watters said.

For Watters, videography and photography are serious artistic passions that takes up much of his free time.

He must balance school work and taking photos and videos of events — such as weddings, portraits, and photoshoots — to build up his portfolio.

“It’s fun but it’s something you have to focus on and practice a lot,” Watters said. “It’s my whole life, basically. I know that that’s what I wanna do when I get older, so I commit a lot of time to it.”

Watters’ mother, Jane Anders, encourages her son to pursue the career he wants and chase after his dreams.

She thinks his qualities give him an advantage in understanding his art.

“I think that what it takes, sometimes, with photography is to capture someone’s soul and I believe he is more than capable of that since he’s such an old soul and he’s in touch with himself on another level,” Anders said.

Anders lent her son a helping hand and helped him build up connections by introducing him to photographer Cassandra Goddard, who had previously worked with his parents.

For Goddard, Watters’ passion for the art was obvious from the first time she met him.

“Everybody’s an artist in their own way, but for some people it just comes naturally to them, and some people have that eye. Jayden has that,” Goddard said. “He knows what he wants; he doesn’t need to fuss too much; he’s really candid; he’s really natural and he works with people really, really well.”

Thus far, Goddard has worked with Watters on several events, including a few weddings.

He serves as her second ‘shooter’ and typically assists Goddard with her workload. Goddard is glad to have him shoot with her due to his unique professionalism.

“He’s a very intelligent kid. He had the knowledge and he doesn’t need directions, you only need to tell him to do something once and it sticks,” Goddard said. “He looks like he’s been doing this for years and he knows what he’s doing.”

Freelance photographer Krystena Patton knew Watters as an emerging photographer at her school.

She served as a mentor figure to him, as Watters looked up to Patton’s work and the two bonded over their shared craft.

“It’s basically like having someone who speaks the same language as you on campus. Whether or not I’m more technically advanced doesn’t matter, it’s just that we were both trying to learn something together,” Patton said.

According to Watters, he hopes to use his skills to benefit others and brighten their lives.

“I think my goal in life is to go into it helping more people in making at least one person’s life better and make one person have a a happier day,” Watters said.