AJ Chavar
Chief Innovation Officer

Currently based in Syracuse, NY, I am visual and interactive journalist with a background in photography, video, print and web design. Most recently I finished an internship for The Star-Ledger as a videographer, but I also gained experience at The Washington Post as a multimedia intern, and at SKI Magazine as a photo editing intern. I am available for contracts in any nature of work, from advertising to editorial to documentary.

This is Our Freedom
A Personal War, at Home
Veteran Gallery

Handing off the ...

Photos by: Ashleigh and Katy

The Starkel family

Photo by: Katy Hurst

Just four years after his last deployment with the United States Marine Corps, Jared Starkel stands at the grave of a beloved family member. Buried in the Oroville Riverview Cemetery are family members who served in the military. As he stands in the pouring rain to honor his loved ones, his children gallop throughout the grounds, placing flowers on the graves.

Meeting Jared: A ...

Photo by: AJ Chavar

Nearly five miles from the western Canadian border lives Jared Starkel.

After three tours in Iraq, Jared traded in his not-so-distant memory of combat for a "calmer" life as a father and grocer.

Of course, "calmer" is a relative term for a dad with three kids (and one on the way) whose kids' ages range from two to nine-years-old.

Surveying the Land

Photo by: AJ Chavar

One of the issues we've been discussing while tackling this project are ways that we can make the landscape a character of its own.

I've been scouting locations that we can do timelapse photography sequences as a way to bookend and segue different sections of stories together. It has been an interesting challenge for me to try landscape photography lately, though I shot a lot of nature when I first started with a camera, with the knowledge and tools that I have now, I am approaching it differently, and am seeing entirely new sets of problems.

Pit Stops on the Road

Photo by: Kelly West

Here are a couple frames from Kelly documenting the banality that made up most of the road trip, but hey, we wouldn't have kept our sanity without these moments!