About Jon Vidar

Jon VidarJon Vidar is a freelance photographer and digital strategist who focuses on capturing moments and telling stories through new media and visual imagery.

Based out of Los Angeles, CA, Jon works regularly for the Associated Press with photos published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and NEED Magazine. His work has received honors from Getty Images, the National Press Photographers Association, FotoweekDC, Microsoft, and the New Media Institute.

Jon will begin as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism this Fall and has previously taught photography both domestically and abroad with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, the Online News Association, and The Tiziano Project. In 2009, Jon was chosen from more than 400 applicants to be one of eight fellows for the Academy for Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He has developed self-assigned projects spanning six continents, including work in Iraqi Kurdistan, Southeast Turkey, Rwanda, and Brazil.

In addition, Jon Vidar serves as the Executive Director for two nonprofit enterprises: The Tiziano Project and Counterspill.

The Tiziano Project is a nonprofit that seeks to empower communities through self-sustaining journalism. In 2007, Jon helped this project establish it's first base of operations in Kigali, Rwanda and in the Summer of 2008, he piloted a two-week long multimedia workshop in Northern Iraq. Most recently, Jon led the team to complete The Tiziano Project | 360º Kurdistan - an immersive multimedia look at the cultures of Iraqi Kurdistan made possible by a grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. The project has since received the top award for Activism at SXSW Interactive, a Webby Awards honor for Nonprofit and a nomination for Best Use of Photography, and a Gracie Award for its coverage of women's issues, among many other recognitions.

Counterspill is an online effort with Chris Paine (Director, Who Killed the Electric Car) and eco-activist John Quigley, seeking to counter industry spin around energy disasters. The site makes use of rich interactives and alternative content in an attempt to engage non-traditional environmentalists on the issues around non-renewable energy sources.

He holds a Master of Arts in Communication Management from USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Fellowships and Honors
The Tiziano Project | 360º Kurdistan (completed August 2010)
  • Activism Award, SXSW Interactive
  • Best News Website, The Gracies
  • Nominee, Best Use of Photography, The Webby Awards
  • Honoree, Nonprofit, The Webby Awards
  • Best in Industry, Culture and Multimedia, New Media Institute
  • Best in Class, Nonprofit, Interactive Media Council
  • Outstanding Achievement, Photography, Interactive Media Council

Peaople's Choice Award, FotoWeek DC - November 2010

Award of Distinction, Travel Photography at FotoWeek DC - November 2009

Featured Photo, Boston Globe's The Big Picture - "Wildfires in Southern California" - September 2009

First Place, Spot News from the National Press Photographers Association - August 2009

One of eight Fellows for the Academy for Alternative Journalism at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University - Summer 2009

One of ten Outstanding Finalists for Getty's Grants for Good - June, 2009

Finalist, Microsoft's Name Your Dream Assignment - April 2009

Past Exhibitions

FotoWeek DC Exhibition - November 5, 2010 - November 13, 2010 | Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC

An exhibition of the finalists from the 2010 Awards competition recognizes and honors extraordinary work in photography. The competition received more than 6,500 entries from 35 countries.

Real Beauty Campaign - March 13, 2010 | Orlando, Florida

A selection of Jon's photos of women from around the world will be on display during an evening entitled It's a Small World After All: The Global Impact of Media on Body Image at the 25th Annual Conference and fundraiser dinner for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.

Snap! 2010 - March 21, 2010 | Toronto, Canada

An invitation only fundraiser for the AIDS Committee of Toronto featuring 60 hand selected pieces by MaryAnn Camilleri, President of the Magenta Foundation.

Hope and Reflection: Images of Kurdish Culture from Turkey and Iraq - May 14 - December 3, 2009 | Berkeley, CA

Hope and Reflection: Images of Kurdish Culture from Turkey and Iraq features hopeful images of daily life in a troubled region and intimate portraits of the Kurdish people. The exhibit presents a selection of photographs taken during four visits to Diyarbakir Province, Turkey in the summers between 2005 and 2008 and one month spent in Northern Iraq in 2008. Photographer Jon Vidar developed close relationships with residents of cities and villages throughout the region, capturing a Kurdish culture that is largely unknown by Western observers.

FotoWeek DC Exhibition - November 7, 2009 - November 14, 2009 | Washington, DC

This exhibition of the finalists from the 2009 Awards competition recognizes and honors extraordinary work in photography. Entries from sixteen states and twenty-eight foreign countries were made in several categories, including Fine Art, News/Feature Reporting, Advertising, Travel, and Sports.

It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq - April 21 - May 17, 2009 | Los Angeles, CA

It Is What It Is is a new work by British artist Jeremy Deller. The artist has invited a diverse group of individuals-including Iraq war veterans, journalists, scholars, and Iraqi nationals who have first-hand experience of Iraq - to take up residence at the Hammer Museum with the express purpose of encouraging discussion with visitors to the Museum. It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq is part of the Three M Project - a series by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, to commission, organize, and co-present new works of art.