Michael Watkins passed away on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at Huntington Hospital from complications from diabetes.
Mike, a photographer known as “TwoVivid,” was born on February 29, 1992, in Wildomar, CA. He lived in Altadena until 2000, when he moved to South Pasadena and entered 3rd grade at Monterey Hills Elementary School. He went to South Pasadena Middle School and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 2010. Mike was on the high school golf team all four years, advancing to Rio Hondo League playoffs in 2008. Mike earned an AA Degree from Pasadena City College in photojournalism.
Mike was passionate about his family, many friends and co-workers, sports, photography, and animals, particularly dogs, or “baby puppies” as he called them. He loved people and dogs from all walks of life, and they were drawn to him like bees to honey. Mike approached life with a smile, pranks, dad jokes, bad puns and always a great story.
Mike served on the PCC Courier, the school newspaper and became the photography editor. During his time there, he won several awards from the Southern California Journalism Association of Community Colleges, including best Sports Action photos in 2018 and 2019; Environmental Portrait in 2017 and 2018; and Photo Story and Essay in 2019. During his time at the paper in 2017-2019 he also was recognized for Creative Portrait; News Photo; Magazine Photo; Photo Illustration; and Video Journalism.
Mike became the staff photographer for the Pasadena City College Athletic Department in 2019, covering all sports. His work and portfolio caught the eye of his peers, and resulted in invitations to photograph UCLA football (although he was a USC fan), Los Angeles Rams and Charger football, and Los Angeles Kings hockey games, surfing competitions and IndyCar races.
His portfolio extended far beyond sports; he covered the social justice protests of George Floyd, the 2017 Inauguration and Women’s March of 2017, local news items included several Southern California wildfires; San Gabriel Valley K-9 training sessions, portraitures, he loved nature and wildlife photography, and fun animal gatherings like the Corgi Beach Day, and the Wiener Dog Races at Santa Anita Park, he loved to photograph all the dogs in his life.
Mike found time to volunteer with Your Just My Type, a Type 1 diabetic support group where he served as secretary.
Mike is preceded in death by his mother, Jeannie, and is survived by his father, David. Private services and burial will be held early next year in Cambria, CA, where his mother rests. Plans are underway for a celebration of life early next year.
I lieu of flowers, donations may be made to organizations that champion some of Mikes focus on diabetes support and dog rescue: Your Just My Type (yourjustmytype.com/donate) or animal rescue and support at Downtown Dog Rescue (downtowndogrescue.org.