National Geographic Events

Speakers Bureau

Joel Sartore Photographer, National Geographic Fellow

Photo: Joel Sartore
Photograph by Kathy Sartore

Wielding his camera in the battle to conserve natural spaces and the habitats they support, Joel Sartore has contributed to over 30 stories in more than 20 years on assignment for National Geographic. These assignments have taken him to some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and he has photographed everything from the remote Amazon to beer-drinking, mountain-racing firefighters in the United Kingdom.

His focus is documenting endangered species and landscapes in order to show a world worth saving. His interest in nature started in childhood, when he learned about the very last passenger pigeon from one of his mother’s Time-Life picture books.

His first National Geographic assignments introduced him to nature photography, and also allowed him to see human impact on the environment firsthand.

In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.” Sartore plans to spend much of the rest of his career documenting the world’s biodiversity in studio-style portraits for a project he calls The Photo Ark. Showing support for this work, he was recently named a National Geographic Fellow.

Sartore is the author of numerous books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky, and most recently, Let’s Be Reasonable.

In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Sartore has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Time, Life, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. His work has been the subject of several national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition, and an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range. He is also a regular contributor on the CBS Sunday Morning Show With Charles Osgood.

Budding photographers can learn from Sartore through a 24-lecture series on photography just published by The Teaching Company/The Great Courses available on DVD and for download.

Sartore is a co-founder of The Grassland Foundation, and is currently on the national board of Defenders of Wildlife.

A favorite among National Geographic presenters, Sartore’s hallmarks are his sense of humor and midwestern work ethic.

Presentation Topics

Grizzlies, Piranhas, and Man-Eating Pigs: On Assignment for National Geographic
Experience what it’s like to be on assignment for the world’s greatest magazine. Sartore has learned the hard way that there’s a lot more to it than just capturing amazing places and cultures—there’s also a chance things can go terribly wrong, and they often do. In this lively presentation, Sartore shares an intimate and humorous look at what could be the best—and worst—job in the world as he plays expedition leader, psychologist, medic, and coach, as well as photographer, on expedition with National Geographic.

Grounded: A Reflection on the Use of Life and Land
When Joel Sartore’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, this National Geographic photographer who had traveled the world for 18 years knew it was time to stay home. He reconnected with his family and with why he takes pictures in the first place: to show people that wild places and creatures on Earth need and deserve protection. In each life there is the potential for a positive change, and realizing it often starts very simply.

Witnessing Change: Making Sense of Global Warming
From the decline of tropical amphibians to the melting of polar ice, Sartore has seen and photographed the effects of global warming firsthand. See how even a slightly warmer Earth is already bringing about surprising change.

Learn More About Joel:

National Geographic Photographer Profile

NBC Nightly News: The Biodiversity Project

CBS News: Capturing America’s Endangered Species

PBS: At Close Range With National Geographic

NPR: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species

Joel Sartore Photography

Photo: Joel Sartore

Listen to Radio Interview With Joel Sartore

Boyd Matson Interviews Joel for NG Weekend Radio Show

National Geographic Speakers

Speaker name
Sam Abell
   Photographer Photo of Sam Abell
William Albert Allard
   Photographer, Writer Photo of William Albert Allard
Casey Anderson
   Naturalist, TV Host Photo of Casey Anderson
Peter Athans
   Mountaineer, Filmmaker Photo of Peter Athans
Robert Ballard
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Robert Ballard
Brady Barr
   Reptile Expert, TV Host Photo of Brady Barr
Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith
Keith Bellows
   Editor in Chief, National Geographic Traveler Photo of Keith Bellows
Melina Bellows
   Publisher, Editor Photo of Melina Bellows
Don Belt
   Former Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, National Geographic Photo of Don Belt
Lee Berger
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Lee Berger
Joel K. Bourne Jr.
   Contributing Writer Photo of Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Kobie Boykins
   NASA Engineer Photo of Kobie Boykins
John Bredar
   Senior Executive Producer, National Geographic Specials Photo of John Bredar
Kenny Broad
   Cave Diver, Environmental Anthropologist Photo of Kenny Broad
Dan Buettner
   Author, Explorer Photo of Dan Buettner
Andy B. Casagrande
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Andy B. Casagrande
Barry Clifford
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Barry Clifford
Jodi Cobb
   Photographer Photo of Jodi Cobb
Michael Davie
   Filmmaker Photo of Michael Davie
Wade Davis
   Cultural Anthropologist, Author Photo of Wade Davis
Dennis Dimick
   Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Dennis Dimick
David Doubilet
   Underwater Photographer Photo of David Doubilet
Sylvia Earle
   Marine Biologist Photo of Sylvia Earle
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom
Andrew Evans
   Travel Journalist Photo of Andrew Evans
Michael Fay
   Conservationist, Biologist Photo of Michael Fay
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
   Photographers, Writers Photo of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
John Francis
   Planetwalker, Conservationist Photo of John Francis
Jerry Glover
   Agricultural Ecologist Photo of Jerry Glover
Annie Griffiths
   Photographer Photo of Annie Griffiths
Kevin Hand
   Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist Photo of Kevin Hand
Zahi Hawass
   Archaeologist Photo of Zahi Hawass
Fred Hiebert
   Archaeologist Photo of Fred Hiebert
Peter Hillary
   Mountaineer, Author Photo of Peter Hillary
Donald Johanson
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Donald Johanson
Beverly & Dereck Joubert
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Naturalists Photo of Beverly & Dereck Joubert
Karen Kasmauski
   Photographer Photo of Karen Kasmauski
Mattias Klum
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Conservationist Photo of Mattias Klum
Emory Kristof
   Photographer Photo of Emory Kristof
Tim Laman
   Field Biologist, Wildlife Photojournalist Photo of Tim Laman
Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Writers Photo of Chris Eckstrom and Frans Lanting
Albert Yu-Min Lin
   Research Scientist and Engineer Photo of Albert Yu-Min Lin
Greg Marshall
   Biologist, Inventor, Filmmaker Photo of Greg Marshall
Boyd Matson
   Journalist, Adventurer Photo of Boyd Matson
Mireya Mayor
   Primatologist Photo of Mireya Mayor
Steve McCurry
   Photographer Photo of Steve McCurry
Kim McKay
   Environmentalist, Author Photo of Kim McKay
Mark Moffett
   Ecologist, Photographer Photo of Mark Moffett
Nalini Nadkarni
   Forest Ecologist Photo of Nalini Nadkarni
Cathy Newman
   National Geographic Senior Writer, Author Photo of Cathy Newman
Michael "Nick" Nichols
   Photographer, Conservationist Photo of Michael "Nick" Nichols
Paul Nicklen
   Photographer, Biologist Photo of Paul Nicklen
Børge Ousland
   Polar Explorer Photo of Børge Ousland
Bob Poole
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Bob Poole
Victoria Pope
   Deputy Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Victoria Pope
Chad Pregracke
   Environmentalist Photo of Chad Pregracke
Reza
   Photojournalist and Humanitarian Photo of  Reza
Jim Richardson
   Photographer Photo of Jim Richardson
Enric Sala
   Marine Ecologist Photo of Enric Sala
Joel Sartore
   Photographer, National Geographic Fellow Photo of Joel Sartore
Barton Seaver
   Chef, Conservationist Photo of Barton Seaver
Paul Sereno
   Paleontologist Photo of Paul Sereno
Brian Skerry
   Underwater Photographer Photo of Brian Skerry
Bryan Smith
   Adventure Filmmaker Photo of Bryan Smith
Will Steger
   Polar Explorer Photo of Will Steger
Maria Stenzel
   Photographer Photo of Maria Stenzel
Ed Viesturs
   Mountaineer Photo of Ed Viesturs
Spencer Wells
   Population Geneticist Photo of Spencer Wells
Rory Wilson
   Aquatic Biologist Photo of Rory Wilson
Andrew Zolli
   Futurist Photo of Andrew Zolli

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