i was born and raised in great brook valley, a housing project in worcester, massachusetts. the son of a single mother raising four kids, i often found myself being pulled between the streets and my desire to create. art was always a means to escape, a means to forget, and a means to remember. to remember that life was more than the 1000 public housing units that surrounded me.

unlike most of my childhood friends, i was fortunate to find a way out through education and pursue a bachelor’s degree in architecture at the university of massachusetts amherst. the pioneer valley was about as opposite as one could get from great brook valley. trying to navigate my way through this new territory, i picked up a film camera and started documenting everything around me — each image developed in the darkroom shining a light on my own life.

in 2012, i moved to new orleans to pursue a master’s in architecture at tulane university. the crescent city has been home to my pops’ family for generations — i recalled hearing stories of this place and its resurgence and knew this had to be my next home. what i did not know was how much of an inspiration new orleans would become for my work. upon moving, i focused a large portion of my time to community driven design initiatives and photo projects that amplified the voices of those who have often and historically been silenced.

as a creative, whether i am standing behind a camera or doing design work, what motivates me to keep pushing forward is the opportunity to connect with people. to focus in on the details of their lives and environments and create beautiful moments. honest moments. moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. moments that celebrate the true spirit of an individual or place.

photo by david armentor

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Photography

images have the ability to evoke emotions and tell powerful stories. as your photographer, i will provide you with a personalized experience to capture the beauty that surrounds and radiates from you — allowing you to celebrate your family, graduation, engagement, wedding, or simply who you are today, for years to come.
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Videography

like stills, videos can move people in compelling ways and i would love to help you do just that. whether you are a business looking to take things to the next level, a bride-to-be looking to capture the sites and sounds of your special day, or a musician who is ready to share your message with the world — let’s get together and make magic.
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Design

at its core, design is about making things better for people by fulfilling a need — whether it is making a space more comfortable or a publication communicate more effectively. with a background in architecture + design, i understand this and will work with you during each step of the process to ensure your vision is brought to life.
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Shoot Canons, Not Guns.

Shoot Canons, Not Guns is a media company seeking to reduce levels of violence in urban communities by cultivating an army of shooters that shoot to celebrate life, not take it. for more info, click below.
SCNG Site
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Resume & Portfolio

to download a copy of my resume and creative portfolio, please click the link below. if there is a specifc project or series that you would like more information on, please send me a message via the contact page.
Download Here
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Shop

if you would like to purchase any of my works, please visit my online store. if there are specific works you’d like to inquire about that are not listed in the store, please send me a message via the contact page.
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Thank you for subscribing. I look forward to sharing future projects, offers, and adventures with you. In the meantime, feel free to follow my journey on Instagram (@jccotto).

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world."

Mahatma Gandhi