About Me

Hi there! I’m JJ. Last name Paré — pronounced pah-ray. You can even roll the R if you feel so inclined.

I am a photographer. I love to photograph people. I enjoy sitting and talking with someone (or a group of someones), and trying to make them forget there’s a camera between us, until I manage to capture something that surprises even them. I’m based out of Ottawa now, but I still really miss shooting in Toronto. There’s no alleys in Ottawa. I’ve done some of my best work in alleys. Remind me to tell you about the time I got something like 12 different looks out of 1 block of Toronto alley. It was a thing of beauty that was.

I am a graphic designer. Back in the early 90s, my uncle gave me a copy of CorelDraw. I started fussing around with it, making graphics, posters, little things here and there. It wasn’t until I found a copy of How Magazine in a book store one day that I realized that what I had been goofing around with was actually a real profession that you could do. Not long after, I dropped out of the English Literature and Creative Writing program at the University of Windsor, and moved up to Toronto to study Graphic Design at Seneca College. I was 26. Sometimes it takes a few years of flitting about and dipping your toe in a few different pools before you find the thing that really makes your heart sing.

I am a jibber-jabberer. Sometimes I like to talk, tell tales, pass on a bit of what I’ve learned or what I’ve experienced. The blog portion of this site will run the gamut, from personal stories, to behind-the-scenes of some of my photoshoots, tutorials, or completely nerdy things about the kind of gear I’m using — a place where you can get a bit of insight into the way my brain works and whether or not that might be a good fit for you. I do have 3/5ths of an English Lit and Creative Writing degree, you know, so sometimes it might even be an interesting and entertaining thing to read.