Jason Gardner tells stories, using photography and video within the framework of Visual Anthropology. He is passionate about music, culture, totems, and ritual, and how they impact how a society expresses itself.  Jason published A Flower in the Mouth, a book of photography and writing about the culture, music and rituals of Carnaval in Pernambuco, Brazil. Jason has continued developing the project “Retour au Carnaval: Rituals, Roots and Rebels,” photographing other Carnaval celebrations in Bulgaria; Slovenia; Poland; Basque country, Spain; Dunkerque, France; Guinea-Bissau; Sardinia; Austria; the Tyrol mountains of Italy; Trinidad; BahamasNew Orleans; and Cajun country in Louisiana.

Jason is a founder of Visual Anthropology Press, a book packager dedicated to helping independent authors, photographers, and organizations realize and communicate their vision to their audience. VAP recently produced Scattered Among the Nations, [Amazon] a photography book on remote Jewish communities throughout the world.

His work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Photo District News, New York Magazine, NPR.org, and SPIN Magazine.  Clients include Con Edison, HBO, Samsung Corporation, N-Y Historical Society, Ogilvy & Mather, Direct TV, Pfizer, and Human Rights Watch.

Lincoln Center hosted an exhibition of Jason’s work at the Out of Doors Festival. New Orleans Jazz Fest has hosted an exhibition and presentation of his work. The Brazilian Consulate General Los Angeles sponsored an exhibition of his work in as well as exhibits in San Francisco and NY. Other exhibitions include BY Chatel Galerie Paris, Mairie XVème Paris, Vienna Photo Book Fair, Rayko Gallery, Photoville, PhotoPlace Gallery, Uma Nota Festival Toronto, Art From the Heart, and the Brazilian Endowment for the Arts (BEA) New York. 

Gardner is a board member at-large, NY Chapter, of The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), and co-founder of creative networking community Toasted Almonds, having launched a Paris chapter of Toasted Almonds (Amandes Grillées).

Jason divides his time between New York and Paris. 

Photo by  Tony Gale

Photo by Tony Gale


In my practice, I document visually various aspects of a culture, and how it is celebrated, both venerating traditions and looking forward.

I am interested in what constitutes cultures and most especially how they are celebrated, from honoring traditions to envisaging the future. By focusing on cultural manifestations such as music, dance, festival, and spectacle, as well as symbols, street art, glyphs, costumes, or shrines in a closet, I capture the intangible, visually translating the symbolic connections of what might not be visible at first glance.

Placing my photographic practice within the framework of Visual Anthropology, I hope to tell stories by focusing on cultures, traditions and practices which often happen behind the public’s view. I capture things that build up to define the cultural milieu and community’s regional identities. I look for that ineffable moment of transformation in a ceremony, the traditional song or costume epitomizing regional pride and identity, a symbol representing a culture, these all combine to reflect the culture.

I wish to reveal some of the diversity of the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional landscape of a community. Making the connections among the various manifestations, to show their relationship with each other, and how they interlock, helps to form my view of the culture I am documenting. These displays of culture are significant, to me, in that they represent one of the more profound ways that humans can express themselves.


Grand Central Terminal
The New York Times
Rolling Stone
Samsung Corporation
Ogilvy & Mather
Con Edison
Human Rights Watch
New-York Historical Society
Direct TV
Best Buy
Dassault Systèmes
Zebra Technologies
Big Brothers Big Sisters New York
BRIC / Celebrate Brooklyn
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
UJA Federation of New York
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
NYC Department of Education
Oxford University Press
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
Forest City Ratner
Epitaph Records
PR Newswire
Carnegie Council
ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
Odor Eaters
Abyssinian Development Corporation
Putumayo Records
ION Television
Vineyard Vines
The Park Central Hotel
NY School of Interior Design
Stony Brook University
Smith College
Northeastern University
Adelphi University
Relay Graduate School of Education
Gatehouse Media / Propel Marketing
AFS (American Field Service)
NESC (National Executive Service Corps)
NELP (National Employment Law Project)
Inwood House
Tina Brozman Foundation
Industrious Office
Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Eagle Academy Foundation


New York Magazine
Time Out New York
Photo District News
Huffington Post
The New York Times
New York Observer
The Washington Post
Rolling Stone Brasil
SPIN Magazine
Metro New York
Studio 360 / WNYC
Afropop Worldwide
New York 1 /  Time Warner
Harvard University Magazine
Bloomberg News
Oxford University Press
MOJO Magazine
New Orleans Jazz Festival
United Nations Alliance of Nations
GEO Lino Magazine
Stern Magazine
Boston Globe
Le Parisien
Downbeat Magazine
Réponses Photo
Songlines UK
Soul Bag Magazine
Kodak Professional
B&H Eventspace
Veja Rio
Trace Magazine
Adelphi Magazine
All About Jazz
Rio Times
Time out Rio de Janeiro
Global Rhythm Magazine
Relix Magazine
Drum Magazine
Lambda Legal
ASMP Bulletin
SC Magazine
PR Week
Jornal do Commercio
Revista Continente
Afrikaada Art Review
Harp Magazine
High Times Magazine
The Brasilians


Au Retour de Carnaval: Rites, Racines, Rebels” Mois de la Photo OFF, Paris, 2019

Nord”, Municipality of Charenton-le-Pont, Paris, 2019

Portraits de Carnaval,” Galerie BY Chatel, Paris, 2018

Biennale de la Photographie,” group show, Mairie XVème, Paris, 2018

Water,” group show, PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont, 2018

Silicon Valley Plastic Camera Show,” Santa Clara Univ., 2018

Group Show, Rayko Center, San Francisco, CA, 2017

Print Fair, Vienna Photo Book Festival, Vienna, 2017

Best of ASMP, Photoville, Brooklyn, NY, 2016

  “A Flower in the Mouth,” New Orleans Jazzfest, Louisiana, 2014

Uma Flor Na Boca,” Livraria da Cultura, São Paulo, Brazil, 2014

Pernambucana,” at Uma Nota Festival, Toronto, 2014

Brazilian Identity,” Brazilian Endowment for Arts (BEA), NY, 2013

A Flower in the Mouth,” Lincoln Center, NY, 2013

Images of Pernambuco,” Brazilian Consulates of San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, 2010-2013


Featured Lecturer, Festival Internacional Mascara Iberica, Lisbon, Portugal, 2019

A Flower in The Mouth selected Athens Photobook Festival, 2018

Editor’s Selection, Houston Fotofest, 2016

Editor's Choice, ASMPNY Fine Art Portfolio Review, 2016

Finalist, Instagram Flora and Fauna, Featureshoot, 2015

Cultural sponsorship by Brazilian Consulate of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York


Afrikaada Art Revue, Paris, “Orixàs Healing,” 2019

Le Parisien, "Carnaval de Dunkerque," 2018

Radar Curatorial, "Indexing Joy," 2017

L’Oeil de la Photographie, “Fotofest Review,” 2016

ImageBrief Blog, “Shoot a Rebranding Project,” 2016

Afropop.com Worldwide, “Maracatu Nação,” 2014

Huffington Post, “The Other Carnaval in Brazil,” 2013

Resource Magazine, “The Other Side of Carnival,” 2013