First trip: Carnaval in Dunkerque, France

You first hear the brass band in the distance, belting out a traditional processional, before you see the visscherbande (fisherman’s band) marching down the street. The tambour major, dressed formally as a drum major should, leads the band and directs the rhythm and the choice of songs. Immediately following the group of trombone, trumpet, fife, sousaphone, snare and bass drums is the “premiére rang” (the first line) of Carnavaleux -- costumed revelers, mostly men, dressed as fishermen, sailors, or literally with fishnets as skirts, cross-dressing as women with wigs, leggings, dresses, sometimes reminiscent of a Scottish kilt with long kneesocks. It’s an honor to be in the first line, as they link arms and parade in front of the rest of the gang.. until the music changes, signalling the first line to do their duty, which is to hold the line, as the mass of people push shove and generally make a ruckus, all while singing traditional songs. The line needs to protect the band from the masses, and sometimes there’s a serious challenge, as the line mutates and rotates to accommodate the shifting and pulsing crowd. It’s all in good fun, of course, because it’s Carnaval in Dunkerque!

Lawyer, electrician, waiter, student, writer, secretary. Neighbor, cousin, acquaintance, enemy, work buddy, all of those normal roles of life disappear during Carnaval. All types of people from Dunkerque (called Dunkerquois), all celebrate their Carnaval as equals and together. Everybody masks, everybody participates, everybody marches in the parade and sings traditional songs – the “bandes” are not really a spectator sport.

Carnaval in Dunkerque lasts nearly three months, every weekend from January until April, with the peak activity happening around “les trois joyeuses” (the three joyous days) of the Dimanche, Lundi and Mardi Gras. The Dunkerque Carnaval was the first real one in France, with more than three hundred continual years of tradition – the first recorded mention of the Carnaval festivities in Dunkerque was in 1659.

Its origin lies in the story of the fishermen, who used to dress as women and parade in bands, before they embarked on dangerous three or four month fishing trips, long journeys to Iceland, where some did not return from the roiling seas. And, since it was a difficult life, one incentive was that they received a portion of their payment up front before they left, some of which they spent on one last long wild romp with their mates.

I'm headed back soon for "les trois joyeuses" - Dimanche, Lundi and Mardi Gras! Allons-y!

Fall Paris streets / Les rues de Paris en automne

In the last few months, as I've explored the streets of Paris, I've continued to be drawn photographically to street art, the interesting typography of storefronts, and how magically Paris manages to combine the old and new in a fascinating mash-up of visual styles.

Some highlights have included Paris Photo in the Grand and Petit Palais, the Arts & Metiers museum, the Luxembourg Gardens on multiple visits, and as always the Aligre Market with fresh mushrooms and olive oil by the barrel. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Au cours des derniers mois, en explorant les rues de Paris, j'ai continué photographier l'art de la rue, la typographie intéressante des magasins et comment Paris combine l'ancien et le nouveau dans un fascinant mash-up des styles visuels.

Parmi les faits saillants: le Paris Photo au Grand et Petit Palais, le musée des Arts et Métiers, les Jardins du Luxembourg à plusieurs visites, et toujours le Marché d'Aligre avec les champignons frais et l'huile d'olive au baril.

Je vous souhaite une bonne année!

Advertising campaign for Grand Central Terminal

Recently I shot an advertising campaign for Grand Central Terminal, to promote their retail stores. It was a multi-day shoot in September and November, with a variety of images needed: models with shopping bags in and around the building, night and daylight wide shots of the interiors and exteriors, and even lesser-known details of the landmark station. A lot of planning and preparation went into the project, so a big thanks to Grand Central, to their agency The Watsons, and production team Starlyn Creative!

One of the images was in Metro free newspapers in NY yesterday, and you can see other images on phone booths and in the NY Times shopping supplement. See a few tearsheets here.

I learned a lot about Grand Central, appreciating many of the finer details about the place, such as the exquisite lights, as well as the bronze rats at the Lexington Ave entrance, and a tree sculpture floating above the Grand Central Market’s east entrance!

Time Lapse for Good Deeds Day | Jason Gardner Photo + Video

Good Deeds Day is a nonprofit organization encouraging people to do good deeds throughout the year. They have an annual celebration that unites over 70 countries around the world in doing good deeds. I worked with Empire Entertainment and Reel Works to produce this time-lapse of the full setup and production, over 15 hours of image capture! All of the time-lapse in the below video was from that day. Check out the video below!

Behind the Scenes on the day of the event:

UMFS Video | Jason Gardner Photo + Video

I wanted to share these photos and videos that I created for this wonderful organization called UMFS. In these videos, various staff members speak about Project LIFE, which helps foster children build their life skills after they age out of the system.

Take a look at the videos below to learn more about the program! It was great working with branding agency Red Rooster Group on this project! 

Behind the Scenes video for DEC3's "Put Some South in Your Mouth"

Here's a behind the scenes video I shot and produced with director Ahron R. Foster for DEC3's music video "Put Some South in Your Mouth." It features time-lapse, interviews, rock star hair, lassos, beer clinking, and good old-fashioned American rock 'n roll! Shot in the Strand Smokehouse in Queens! Hells yeah! Here's more motion work I've done.

Full rebranding campaign, for New York School of Interior Design

Last year I shot a full campaign for New York School of Interior Design, creating images over a bunch of days for their viewbook, which is their main marketing vehicle for new students to this graduate school. I shot interiors, exteriors, images of the students in action, portraits of alumni, hallways, teachers, students, and design studios!

This was an example of a full rebranding project, whereby the Art Director supplied me with some visual ideas to capture, the equivalent of a mood board, and we had multiple meetings to plan and pre-visualize the images before the shoot. ImageBrief did a profile on this project

For more details, see this case study!

Postcards Through Edition

I was thrilled to be selected to have my work featured in a new program through, called Edition. They now offer curated prints to be sent as a greeting to your friends and loved ones. It's like sending a miniature piece of art, and it is an easy and thoughtful gift. These are postcards your friends are going to want to keep!

Just select a piece, write a personal message, and they'll send a frame-ready 6”x9” fine art postcard to anyone in the world. $7 US/Canada/Mexico, $8 all other locations.

A Flower In the Mouth at Lapa - Celebration of Brazilian Culture

I'm very pleased to announce my participation in Lapa, a celebration of Brazilian culture, focused on art, music and dance. Lapa is a chance to bring people together through power of art, music and dance ... Axé! Starting at 6:30pm on 11/22, the event will be hosted by art director/curator Anderson Zaca and curator/artist Agua NYC.

The event will feature my recent work A Flower in the Mouth: The Beauty and Burden of Carnaval in Pernambuco, Brazil, which is a book of photography and writing about the culture, music and rituals of Carnaval. I will be presenting my work and talking about my experience photographing this area and how I learned about the fascinating culture there. If you haven't had the chance to see the images, or learn about the book, come see it first-hand! Yes there will be a book signing! 

nananananana Batmobile! Video and photo for the New-York Historical Society

Just another typical day at the "office"... filming the delivery of the BATMOBILE!!! Honored to be working with the New-York Historical Society to film the behind-the-scenes footage of them receiving the delivery in the (early) morning, of this classic as one of the pieces on exhibit for "Superheroes in Gotham."

Portrait of Author Elmira Bayrasli

I had the pleasure to create an author photograph for Elmira Bayrasli for her new book titled From The Other Side of The World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely places. 

It was a pleasure shooting her portrait! Go Elmira!

This is the image she ended up using, but we got a lot of other great shots. Check them out!