GENERALview all

“The world is a much better place for all your activist-ing, music-facilitating, community-building, and photographing. Thanks for making us all beautiful with your photos and friendship.” —Suzana Berger

“This is amazing – I’ve been following your work and think you’re doing just absolutely amazing and beautiful things for this city and this community. Thanks for being brilliant and generous and kind – and an INCREDIBLE artist!!!!” —Jenny Jacobs

“You take gorgeous pictures. Everything looks beautiful in a JJ shot. You make the subject matter seem important. Or you highlight its importance. It makes you want to know more about the subject, or super proud that you do know something about the subject.” —Brendon Gawell

“We marvel at your ability to be clear, concise and personable while also managing to negotiate your craft in a beautiful, insightful and unexpected way. And you’re just so damn charming.” —Anna Drozdowski / Headlong Dance Theatre

“The honesty and intimacy of your portraits; the incredible way you capture motion and the essence of that motion which makes it particular to each individual; the strings of photos of an event or performance or person which tell a story; that your photos make me feel like i am there, and i am welcomed to look, invited, as opposed to making me feel voyeuristic.” —Heidi Fuhr

“I personally really appreciate the excitement and energy you bring to your practice. I feel good when you are taking photos of our events or for our projects. It’s fun and that fits with our core values at Design for Social Impact.” —Ennis Carter / Design For Social Impact

“The results are striking. The swirls of bright color and motion that fill the frames of his dance photos catch the eye. But, even more attention grabbing are the people in those frames—the man encapsulates his subjects’ uniqueness through his candid portraiture.” —Kristen Martin

“Your work is incredibly soulful, loving, and empathic, as well as just plain beautiful. I like it when you pull of stuff that is clever or technically interesting, but lots of photographers do that stuff. Where you stand out is that I’ve never, ever seen an image you made that looked at all patronizing, exoticizing, or anything but curious and involved.” —Stephanie Alarcon

“I truly believe you take in the world through a more magical pair of eyes, for the beauty you’re able to see in it that others would have missed, or not understood. How truly lucky we are that you’re a photographer, so that we might see glimpses of our world through your magical eyes!” —Robin Barnes

“A Master of his craft!… […] What a heart JJ has!” —Hector Luis Rivera Ortiz

“Your work always appears to be alive/living and energized. You see the emotion, feel the effort, know the story.” —David Konyk

“I don’t think I have seen anything you’ve done that feels less than honest and beautiful.” —Heidi Fuhr


“When I look at a photograph that you’ve taken, particularly portraits, the way people look at you is pure emotion, and it’s the stuff that makes viewers want to continue to see your stuff.” —Meagan Hume

“Everyone in your photos always looks radiant and beautiful.” —Melissa Miller

“What I love about you is how deeply you see people. You see everyone’s beauty. You feel everyone’s pain. You can stand in anyone’s shoes and look at their world and love the things that they love about it. It’s that open heart that draws in everyone.” —Paige Moore

“Everyone in your images appears happy and/or full of purpose.” —Jeff Barg

“Intimate capture of people in action. Genuine expressions. Great lighting even in challenging lighting situations.” —Ennis Carter / Design For Social Impact

“JJ!!!!! They are so gorgeous!!! I’m totally overwhelmed! Thank you thank you thank you!! The pictures continue to amaze me. I sometimes worry I am becoming Narcissus from the myth, just continually staring at my own face! Thank you thank you thank you.” —Megan Slater

“Thanks again for helping to coordinate last Saturday’s shoot and your kind patience with us providers as your camera-shy subjects during the process. You’re a master at your craft and it was really fun working with you!” —Fran Staret

“Thanks so much for spending the day with me & taking loads of lovely photos for my website and mailing. You made it easy to be in front of the lens — a HUGE accomplishment…. you are so good at putting people at ease.” —Heidi Fuhr

“O, marvelous. Exquisite people. Exquisite photos. Thank you for sharing!” —Carmen Goetschius

“You do people such justice!” —Maria Kydonius

“You help me see people in new light all the time. ” —Anna Drozdowski

“Being photographed by JJ is such a natural experience. He holds conversations with a camera in his hands snapping away… He captures the essence of people rather than trying to make everything perfect, which actually leads to everything looking and being perfect, natural, simple, and honest.” —Adrianna Carey

“You capture people living intensely in the moment…” —Ariel Ben Amos

“…that openness, I think, is what gives you the ability to capture powerful nuances of humanity.” —Ennis Carter / Design For Social Impact

“You have such a way of capturing the joy in people. I love it.” —Karina Kacala

“So often I can clearly read the emotions and character of the individuals you photograph — it’s as though you truly capture the essence of that person, rather than just their exterior image.” —Robin Barnes

ACTIVISMview all

“Your photos are so exquisite. You are an inspiration to me, in how you have really committed to your artwork and have figured ways to live your artwork as well as be involved in work for social change.” —Beth Pulcinella / printmaker

“JJ, Genius, Inspiration and courage. that’s what you are. Slowy shifting the world to a place it needs to be.” —Phillip Deceus

“I wanted to thank you for your incredible, phenomenal spirit and art. To me, it’s magic — I don’t understand how you do what you do.” —Damara Luce / Just Harvest USA

“I came across your site, (something like that right?), and I was really inspired — it made my day in fact! then when I came across your site talking about your vision for your community photography projects, I had to support such a worthy cause, even if I only have a little bit of money to give.” —Kim Kunda

“[We] have seen over and over that you are able to capture the true spirit and vibrance of our actions and movement better than anyone else.” —Meghan Cohorst, Student-Farmworker Alliance

“You make our work as “other” artists real- documented. Your photos make us appear much more important- in fact you validate what we do in a strange way.” —Bethany Formica

“More truthfully, my reason for writing is to say that I quite enjoy your photographs and especially admire all that you do in the community […] You inspire more than you realize.” —Eileen Cardillo

“We are proud to recognize JJ Tiziou, a photographer of profound talent and commitment. Over the years, JJ has worked persistently to advance media justice, communities’ right to self-determination, and equitable labor practices by documenting and supporting the grassroots organizing efforts of countless community groups” —Spiral-Q Puppet Theater

“I am certain that you feel like you ran three marathons back to back, hiked the tallest mountain and did three weddings back to back… but you happen to be without a doubt fantabulous… thanks for taking the risk of taking pics… literally!!! Can’t wait to see them… Peace!” —Claudia De la Cruz

“This piece makes me love everyone and want to be a better person. Whatever I have paid in, it’s not enough. Fabulous work, JJ.” —Paige Moore


“I mean it when I say you’re the best. I’ve worked with lot’s of great photographers here in Philly and elsewhere and I always get 3 or 4 decent shots but man, whenever I’ve worked with you I get back many many more AMAZING shots.” —Megan Bridge

“JJ, you move faster than any dancer tha I’ve ever seen…” —Priya Geller, Miro Dance Theatre

“He’s photographing dance, but he’s moving, he’s dancing with the dancers — you can see he’s internalizing the dance.” —Janelle McCoy, director of development, painted bride arts center

“Your photos are still some of my most favorite photos ever.” —Monica Bill Barnes, dance artist

“One of the things that makes you so unique as a photographer is the sheer VOLUME of the shots you take. i’ve watched other photographers and they seem to waste so much time looking in their camera at what they’ve got (or not). plus they’re always “waiting” for the shot it seems. you are just all over the place, full of movement, and shooting with the dance as it moves, rather than waiting for the dance to come to a particular “moment” and trying to “capture” that moment. it’s this constant movement which i think makes you such an incredible photographer of dance.” —Megan Bridge

“Art imitating life. It’s a catch phrase. However, if one observed J.J. Tiziou working, it would be a phrase that only scratches the surface. Tiziou lives performance art through the artist and with the artist- as though he and they are behind the same third wall experiencing the same connective energy. To that end, his photographs capture moments-in every sense. He is clearly in the scene, much more than role of a passive voyeur. Tiziou is an artist adding another layer of interpretation as art in vignette unfolds. Art as a verb- not a noun. It’s unmistakably clear that his photography is not portraiture. There is movement. There is life. Art is happening in the present tense. And as he moves with the artist, he captures their movement, their inner light, the light reflecting from their bodies. It’s this distinctive supra dimension in his work- like a spiritual aura- through which one sees the soul as tactile. It is then one realizes that s/he has joined performer and recorder onstage; the art now lives within.” —Janelle McCoy / Mezzo-soprano

“The pictures you took of me during the HPM photo shoots are still my favorite ones of me tap dancing. I’ve never encountered another photographer who can capture sound AND movement with film as well as you can.” —Pamela Hetherington

“Once again thank you so much! Your pictures are amazing and I can’t thank you enough for being so wonderful!” —Sarah DePre, Drexel Dance Ensemble


“Your events are nothing short of magical and me and my friends had a great time last night watching the show and meeting people in the neighborhood.” —Mike DeLiso

“JJ is not ony an extremely gifted photographer. He is a wonderful human being – full of insight, kindness, and a strong feeling that his work should capture the artist and dancer in us all.” —Jane Golden, Executive Director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

“… toured your site in depth once again, and feel the way i and so many other people feel when they see you and/or your work: loved..” —Thérèse Murdza

“Your happenings always make me excited and proud to call Philly home.” —Sarah Zlotnik

“I just wanted to send you a note saying how blown away I was by the scope of your work and mostly how touched I was by your service in your community and your ability to translate such moments.” —Danielle Carr

“FABULOUS! […] Thanks so much for bringing more joy in the form of young musical talent to Philadelphia.” —Rebecca Starr

“It’s certainly something the West Philly arts community needs and better than most commercial venues in the area.” —Brian Castello

“The diversity of your work, your attitude and your desire and ability to connect everything and everyone.” —Jethro Heiko / Actionmill


“This is absolutely useful and powerful. It can almost be a life philosophy. Ever since you told me that, it’s actually altered the way I look at photography, art, and maybe the world. It’s simple, and it’s right on.” —Brendon Gawell

“It isn’t just a piece of liberal feelgoodery. It’s an important and egalitarian message about being body positive and about how we learn to recognise beauty. Today, when some are made to feel less beautiful than others, it’s an important read.” —Raj Patel, author

“You, more than any other photographer i have seen, make it true.” —Heidi Fuhr

“Love it, JJ. You’re inspiring. And yes, you’re so right — this has implications beyond just family snapshots. It’s about how we live our lives — whether we decide for ourselves what’s interesting, important and beautiful or let others define these things for us. Can I just say again how lucky I feel to have those beautiful photos you took? They’re such a source of joy. I’m so grateful for the amazing work you did.” —Sara Kowalski

“I’ve seen his website and his beautiful portraits that prove his personal belief, that he hasn’t encountered an un-photogenic person. He truly sees the beauty of each human being, and that in itself bespeaks of his spiritual self.” —Leticia Nixon


“Amazing work there!! The moments caught, the compositions, the clarity of the images…” —Jen Kertis

“Every now and then I see a great image and I’m like “who the hell took that?” and of course, it’s you!” —Richard Crawford / Movement Theater Studio

“JJ has a way of making shows go from ‘good’ to ‘feckin amazing’ in one frame.” —Anna Drozdowski

“holy crap. these are utterly amazing! wow wow wow wow wow! you are a genius. THANK YOU!!!!” —Miriam White, Nice People Theatre Co

“Yeah, we have been following your work for quite some time, and damn… you know how to point that lens. Yeah, Rob sent me the link, and I love the pics. Thank you so much for being there and shooting.” —Andrew Gray

“YOU ROCK MY WORLD!!!! Thank you so much JJ, you’re really awesome.” —Kevin Glaccum, Azuka Theatre

“Oh wow you are amazing!!! These photos are drop dead gorgeous and amazing!! And the slideshow rocks!! Thank you so much!!!!!!” —Nicole Paloux / Nice People Theatre Co

“These are beautiful! Thanks again for capturing us at our best. Your eye is so good.” —Ahren Potratz / Swim Pony

“Thank you so much for your amazing work…there’s so much fun stuff here (though I REALLY should have made sure you deleted those pics of me in a wig!)” —Kevin Glaccum, Azuka Theatre


“Thank you sooo much for the beautiful pictures. You did a wonderful job of capturing so many great moments. Everybody had fun getting to know you while getting photographed by you. We are truly luck to have you as a friend and wonderful photographer.”—Trevor Grandle

“holy f-in s! these pictures are amazing! we had been busy all day loading out of the bride and dealing with kristen’s stolen purse….and then we sat down with mikey and my parents and watched the quicktime at regular speed and then frame by frame. you were absolutelt correct, all the stupid junk faded away and everyone got really excited about the wedding again. and we laughed and cried and shouted out loud at the screen the whole time. i am constantly astounded (yet somehow never suprised) at how true to the moment your photo work can be. i cannot thank you enough for your enthusiasm and professionalism. and on top of that, how fun it is just to have you around, whether there is a camera involved or not. we are truly fortunate to have you amongst us,” —Krisada Surichamorn

“Ditto to everything Kris wrote. I absolutely love the pictures, and I feel so fortunate that you were our photographer for this event. I also really appreciate that you stuck it out to the bitter end with us. We are truly fortunate indeed!”—Kristen Phillips

“People were so moved by the birthday images… thank you soooo much.” —Bill Golderer / Broad Street Ministry

“As one single human being at an event, I can only take in so much at any given moment. To see events captured through your lens means I can additionally live through what you saw, and what the individuals you photographed were experiencing, giving me a far richer memory of the event.” —Robin Barnes

“Man this is awesome! Everyone looks so happy, excited, and entertained!” —Laris Kreslins / Lime Projects

“You aren’t a standard wedding photographer. You don’t say “now let’s go stand by this gorgeous fountain with big swans in the background”. You shoot things the way you are drawn to them. Even your pictures of lawyers, which should be boring and stodgy, aren’t. I think that is why you have been hired back. You make people look human. They want that.” —Meagan Hume

“I am a random woman, among 500 people you encountered last night, but I thought I’d offer a quick word of thanks. Andy Newgren and I were talking about the Broad Street Ministry birthday bash today and without a doubt, one of the most lovely aspects of the evening was the photobooth. Not only is it a pretty incredible equalizer, in a sense, to see so many beautiful faces against a shared red backdrop, but additionally you gave the gift of your presence. You have a way, albeit subtly in a 2 minute interaction, to make people feel camera-worthy. It is a gift to be seen and you gave that gift to hundreds of people last night. Thanks for that.” —Carmen Goetschius, Minister of Evangelism and Discipleship, Arch Street Presbyterian Church

“We want to thank you enourmously for coming to our wedding in Thurmont and sharing your talents. We continue to get rave reviews from everyone who sees the pics. More importantly, we appreciated your spirit and enthusiasm for the day.” —Jenny Freeman

“The photos are absolutely beautiful. What a talented artist you are! (not to mention, you’re adorable.) Thank you so much for preserving forever the memories of Kent and Casey’s big day. I’m certain that, one day, you’ll be very famous. We will say we knew you when…” —the groom’s mother

“A quick click-through to your website reminded me in a second why we are excited to have you photograph at our wedding — the humanity, clarity, and warmth comes through — somehow, I can’t explain why — but I love it.” —Dan Scholnick

“SO great. You did a wonderful job. Thank you, thank you, that you!” —Molly Fuhr

“That’s the most fantastical thing I’ve ever seen! I agree…SPECTACULAR!” —Amy Pasquale

“Dear JJ ~ Having you capture the memories and joy of our wedding was profoundly wonderful — it meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to express. Thank you for sharing in such an important part of our lives, and for your friendship!” —Robin Barnes

“Everyone thought you were insane and brilliant! Thanks for being such a memorable part of our wedding!” —Jennifer Freeman


“…it’s such an amazing idea, and the pictures you’ve taken are so…special. I can’t think of a better word. Really touching.” —Kelcy Stagstetter

“What a complete and total privilege to spend the past three days watching you dance, meeting friends of yours who so lovingly support you and your work, and all the beautiful dancers who shared their spotlight with you and introduced me to forms of dance I never even knew existed. […] What an amazing city, what a fabulous idea of yours to explore and celebrate it through dance … I can’t wait to see what comes next. … you are so incredibly gifted…and so incredibly generous.” —Judy Hellman, Mural Arts

“I’ve gotten about 18 million emails about this from different sources. My inbox is abuzz.” —Baylor Harton

“jj, it is all so amazing. i can’t wait for the day when i do the 95 drive-by and see your work there — a gift for all those coming to our city — letting everyone know of our diversity, our strength, our beauty, our joy…. i enjoyed helping on sunday. thanks for letting me be a part of your magic.” —Aseel Rasheed

“I was thoroughly impressed with the staff/volunteers at the HPM photo shoot. Everyone was very professional and helpful. I think the project is great since it will showcase many forms of dance in such a prominent location in the city. Also, I was excited to have had the opportunity to be photographed by J.J. His work is phenomenal and it is indeed an honor to have been selected to be a part of the project.” —Yolanda Sample

“JJ, you are the most amazing spirit I have met in a very long time. I appreciate your spirit and energy! I will be there on Thursday…..thanks for being you!” —Vena Jefferson

“You guys are the best!!!!! MAP is right when they forseen this project as the best ever. I Just wanted to congratulate JJ and his team for been able to embrace such a huge diverse community and make them be part of one of the greater experiments on human collaborations. The energy moving around Painted Bride was electrifing, everybody taking part felt like a winner already, because the positiveness of their souls irradiate a mile around…the fact that it was not a performance, nither an audition,but a real 7 minutes of fame while sharing who you are ,how you feel while owning the stage and becoming part of the history of charming philadelphia. Thanks to JJ who exemplary humanism has had a dream not just to share , but to keep it real and endless…. good faith everyone.” —Cesar Viveros

“The whole experience was wonderful, every person I came in contact with was nicer than the next and everyone really seemed to go out of their way to answer questions and make me feel super comfortable.” —Monica Herrera

“Seriously, tho, I wanted to say thank you for involving me in the shoot yesterday. It really did leave me with a stronger feel of what the project is really about, and moreover it touched me personally. Me getting up anywhere and dancing in front of people on a stage would not have crossed my mind before yesterday. I’m still a little embarrassed to think of how I must have looked so clumsy and out-of-sync with my sudden dance partner. (If you got even one decent picture out of it, you’re a magician!) But even that embarrassment does not detract from the amazing sense of community and artistic unity I walked away with—what a special thing that, a year from now, when this whole big mural is up and dedicated, I’ll be able to say (and feel) ‘I was a part of that.’ Very cool, JJ. VERY cool.” —Rachel Estrada Ryan

“I thought that it was an amazing experience, the people were all amazing, and J.J. is extremely talented. I felt very welcome, appreciated and accepted amongst the staff and very different array of dancers that participated. It also gave us a venue to come together and have a sort of dance fellowship, to be creative, share, learn, and sweat together. I felt very connected to the mission of the project and I believe this was expressly shown through my performance. I was on a sort of high in which my body and spirit took control, giving it all up and saving nothing, leaving me breathless. The genre(s) of dance I performed, being so expressive, as well as the receptive environment, really allowed me to release and give my all, hopefully giving J.J. an experience to capture. I really felt a sense of value, meaning, and worth in being able to contribute to the project.” —Roshelle Lennon

“It was such a pleasure getting to support you while your worked last weekend. The shoot felt like a real celebration of our community — helping out felt like giving thanks for this fabulous community of creative people that I am blessed to be a part of. Congratulations to you for not only taking over 10k images, but also for modeling how to do a job while staying relaxed, appreciating your crew, and having fun. Hurrah and three cheers.” —Erin Foreman-Murray

“I think this is an amazing project with a great concept really reaching out to all different cultures and backgrounds. JJ made me feel very calm and free to just move in what i was feeling. He gave just as much energy as I did if not more and he pushed me to leave my all on the dance floor and that’s what i did.” —Rebecca Savage

TEACHINGview all

“You embody what we are looking for in an artist to work with the kids, a person who knows and loves his arts and is able to share that knowledge in love with others. Please come back!!!!!” —Ida Ginnetti, St. Thomas Day School

“JJ, This is AMAZING!!! […] The students are going to freak out!” —Jeb Lewis

“Students found your work incredibly inspiring and meaningful…. We really enjoyed getting the chance to work with you, and are looking forward to collaborating with you again soon!” —Katie McCabe, Urban Poverty Liaison, Civic House Associates Coalition & Michael Reis, Graduate Assistant, Civic House, 2010

“seeing you work was exciting and It almost felt that by watching you I was learning, thanks.” —Danilo Balladares