A.J. Chavar is an award winning cinematographer, photographer, multimedia journalist and producer in New York City, available for work wherever needed.
A.J. is Creative Strategist for The New York Times R&D lab, exploring and explaining emerging technologies in the pursuit of journalism, a role largely defined by his 10+ years of experience as a visual journalist and producer across many major newsrooms and storyforms. Additionally, he chairs the National Press Photographers Association's storied Best of Photojournalism contest, managing a team of cross disciplinary journalists in coordination with support from the University of Georgia to maintain, run, archive, and expand the contest.
His previous work experience includes full time roles as a producer at Apple News, the Senior Producer of News Video for Vox.com, and staff video journalist positions at The New York Times and The Washington Post. As a freelance director, cinematographer, and photographer his clients include the WSJ, NPR, Storycorps, IDEO, NYT, Visura, Vanderbilt University, and many others.
A.J. began his career as a Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow documenting the lasting effects of war on veterans and families at home in rural America. Following that, as a field video journalist for The Washington Post he received an Edward R. Murrow award for his work reporting on the shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and several Emmys for local journalism projects, as well as running a control room for a live sports show, and producing a thrice-weekly politics show with Chris Cillizza for a Yahoo! partnership. As The New York Times' sole Washington, D.C. video journalist, he was part of a team that filmed the newspaper's first ever video exclusive interview with a sitting President, Barack Obama. He filmed several more exclusives with POTUS, oversaw a team of producers for news video coverage of national and international news, and earned several White House News Photographer "Eyes of History" awards. A.J. led video news coverage at Vox.com as a senior producer, developed international visual guidelines to support the editorial team at Apple News, and has proudly coached at the Syracuse Fall Workshop for longer than a decade. In addition to the previously mentioned honors, his work has also been recognized by NPPA BoP, PoY, CPoY, SND, SPJ .
When not behind a camera, laptop, or phone, A.J. is likely somewhere in the woods ignoring all three of those things.