For Coda, Photography is a Snap

Luca DiGregorio, Rambler Staff Writer

Photography is one of the few things that universally connects people. It’s used for documentation, spreading joy and knowledge. Some people use it to make money, to flaunt their wealth. For Eliott Coda, it’s a passion he’s held for a long time. 

It’s a passion that has roots in his love of adventure. 

Dave Dehann, Coda’s close neighbor, said, “He travels as often as he can, and I mean major travel, not driving down to Ogden for a hamburger.” 

He frequents places such as Oregon to practice his photography and people skills. 

“I’ll spark conversations wherever I am,” Coda said, “checkout stands, baristas, things like that. And it’s helpful because I’ve gotten to know a lot of the people I interact with…There’s nothing like packing a duffel bag and just going somewhere new.” 

Coda is Highland’s Sterling Scholar for Skilled and Technical Sciences for his work in media and marketing, specifically, his knack for photography. He was one of two Highland finalists for a Sterling Scholar. 

It all started a few years ago when he picked up a camera and started shooting.  

“I think it was about two years ago when I just picked up my camera and started shooting.” Coda said. “And then after that I took a secondary photo class because the first one was actually really bad, I took my freshmen year, and so it kind of threw me off. I picked it up again when I really taught myself a lot of what I do, and how I do it. And then it just snowballed from there into what I have now.” 

Since then, he’s worked throughout the region with several local political campaigns due to his work, such as the Derrick Kitchen campaign. 

But he wasn’t always destined to become a photographer. 

Long before he took up photography, Coda and Dehann cooked together every Wednesday, where Coda picked up some very valuable skills. 

“Eliott is really smooth…he can talk to practically anybody about practically anything.” Dehann said. “And because he can do that…that pushes him into a level where he doesn’t have to be in a clique…he can ask an intelligent question and get an intelligent answer back and just see where that conversation goes.” 

Dehann showed Coda that he didn’t have to conform to the stereotypical high school experience. He could do what he wanted and hang out with who he wanted and not have to fit into a neat clique or social group. 

“Eliott is in the place he wants to be,” Dehann said, “as opposed to the place he’s supposed to be.” 

He’s also persistent. 

As editor of the Highland Newspaper, he has to make a lot of decisions regarding what appears on the highly coveted yearbook. Any excess work falls on him and his fellow editors to pick up. 

“I think because he’s so involved in it, I don’t know anybody else at the school…that is as involved in politics and is showing up to every event and has unique connections within the field, and has been nominated for so many awards.” Jordan Pelichoff said, the co-editor of the yearbook and a senior at Highland. 

 “I don’t think there’s anybody else at his age that could be nominated for the award [Sterling Scholar] because he’s been so driven throughout and made so many good connections.” 

No matter what the future holds, because of his connections and determination, there will always be something out there waiting for him to snap a picture.