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Jodi Cobb


Jodi Cobb was the among the first female photographers almost everywhere she worked early in her career, including National Geographic. Rather than be thwarted by the adversity she encountered—including gender bias and the dangers and discomforts of traveling a far less modern world as a single, working woman—Cobb found ingenious ways to turn these situations to her advantage. As she broke through these barriers, one after another, her career advanced.


Cobb was one of the first photographers to travel across China when it reopened to the West, the first photographer to enter the hidden lives of women in Saudi Arabia, and the first woman to be named White House Photographer of the Year. She has worked in more than 60 countries, primarily the Middle East and Asia, where she was the first photographer to enter the mysterious realm of the geisha.


Demand for even cheaper goods and services has made human trafficking one of the largest criminal activities in the world—a harsh reality Cobb exposed in her 2003 National Geographic story “21st Century Slavery.”

Highlights & Accomplishments
Cobb was the first western journalist allowed to cross China when it reopened the west, bringing back a record of a place that appeared frozen in time.
Cobb brought the world its first glimpse inside the world of Japan's Geisha culture.
Cobb's 2003 National Geographic cover story, 21st Century Human Slavery generated more responses than any story in the magazine's history up to that point.
2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the American Society of Media Photographers
Follow Jodi Cobb:
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Cultural Video Poster


Cultural Exploration
Jodi Cobb's photographs seek to take the world behind closed doors, and into secret and forgotten lives of communities from across the globe.
Bondage Video Poster


Human Bondage
Celebrated photographer Jodi Cobb looks at the hidden world of modern-day slavery.
Beauty Video Poster


What is Beauty?
On assignment for National Geographic, photographer Jodi Cobb explores a universal question — what is beauty?

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