Teacher Josh Walters attracts attention after creating videography business

From the sideline, courtside, or the air, Jwalt Visuals has it covered. Teacher and founder of Jwalt Visuals, Josh Walters, has taken his after school hobby to another level going from small, fundamental shorts for family and school trips, to highlight and hype videos that look as legit as the pros. 

CAPTURING CLIPS: Teacher Josh Walters peers at the camera display as he films the football game. He puts together highlight videos for Grand Haven athletics. “One of the coolest things for me to do is connect with the kids,” Walters said. “I don’t have all the kids in class, so seeing them out there playing their sport or participating in whatever they like to do is a lot of fun.” (Grace Montgomery )

“I started making videos for family vacations like six or seven years ago,” Josh said. “And that’s where I got the idea of making videos.”

He began to take his hobby more seriously once he started to get a better feel for it.

“I started doing a little bit more over the summer and I thought, ‘I haven’t made any money doing this, I want to try to make a little bit of money’,” Josh said.” I have expensive gear and I bought some more. I wanted to be doing this, but I had to be able to pay for it.”

Although it might be a good motivator, money is not everything to Josh. He made this company because it created a better connection with Grand Haven High School and the students he sees daily.

“One of the coolest things for me to do is connect with the kids,” Josh said. “I don’t have all the kids in class, so seeing them out there playing their sport or participating in whatever they like to do is a lot of fun.”

Josh was motivated and pushed by others as well. He was told that he had a talent that he should share with the world. His biggest supporter is his wife and fellow teacher, Katy Walters.

“She’s been super supportive of it and she trusts my judgment,” Josh said. 

Katy has been fully on board.

“He knows what he’s doing on this stuff and he’s good at it,” Katy said. I told him to just go do it.”

You may have seen the man behind the camera while sitting in the stands, but the real magic happens behind the scenes at the computer.

Josh has a basic PC and uses the software PowerDirector to edit his videos. His editing process goes very smoothly. He uses resources to act as inspiration so he can improve from each video he makes.

Check Out the official Jwalt Visuals YouTube account

“Most of it is YouTube University,“ Josh said. “I see videos from other people and I take an idea and I write it down. I talk to Brandt Buikema and Landon VanBeek, who graduated last year, and we throw ideas back and forth about what we want to do. I don’t have all the answers for sure. I want to keep learning.”

Buikema does his fair share of edits as well. He made some videos for Grand Haven, Hope College and even edits for Michigan State football as a student creative. 

“I would help him with questions he had and we would talk back and forth about equipment and other video related stuff,” Buikema said. “From what I’ve seen, his videos have really improved and captured the Grand Haven events very well. He creates an inside look for the people watching and seems like he really enjoys doing it.”

The more Josh improves, the more he learns. He’s now able to recognize the good and bad in making videos. 

“The most important thing for me is finding a good song to start out with, if the song is not catchy, the video is not going to be a success,” Josh said.

Even as his videos become more and more popular, he stays humble about his work.

“I think that I am a beginner to moderate,” Josh said. “I’m not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just trying to keep learning and do a better job each time.”

To him, it’s more than just a company. He wants it to be something that can help promote the activities that happen at the school.

“I’ve talked about this for a couple years and said we need to get the Grand Haven brand out there more, whether it’s sports, clubs or the performing arts,” Josh said. “We need to promote our brand more.”

One of the school’s favorite videos, “Homecoming Hype”, showed some of Josh’s best work. He took an action movie trailer approach, capturing small details and action all in one. 

The depth of the aerial shot over the field, close ups of droplets on a football helmet, the timing and syncing to a song that gives people goosebumps, the close ups of hard hits and big plays. 

The video is currently sitting at 2,000 views and still climbing. How’s that for promoting the Grand Haven brand?