Jodi Cobb - Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land

  • Jodi Cobb, Photographer

“There are stories everywhere — in your own house, your backyard, your town. You need to find out what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about, what you want to change, celebrate, illuminate, interpret. It’s right there.”—Jodi Cobb

Join veteran National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb on a whirlwind retrospective of her distinguished career, spanning the social and cultural milestones of four decades of global history.

As a photojournalism student in the 60s, Cobb avidly recorded the counter-culture she was immersed in, starting with some of rock & roll’s biggest names—Bruce Springsteen and Grace Slick among them—at pivotal points in their careers. Her first documentary project covering a commune in the Ozark hills garnered numerous awards, establishing her as a new young star of the photographic world. In the mid-70s, Cobb left newspapers to join National Geographic magazine—its first female photographer in what was then very much a boys’ club. She would go on to shoot some of the most pivotal stories in the magazine’s history, including the shocking and poignant “21st Century Slavery,” exposing a wide range of human trafficking, child and slave labor, and the sex trade.

Known for breaking through barriers and going undercover to reveal hidden societies, Cobb has brought to light some of the first images ever published from these realms—fascinating glimpses into Japan’s secret Geisha culture and the cloistered lives of Saudi Arabian women. She has also covered lighter topics, capturing the singular experience of being a twin and exploring what is considered “beautiful” around the world.

Featured as one of National Geographic’s Women of Vision in a National Geographic book and traveling exhibition, Jodi Cobb takes audiences on a moving and humorous journey. Travel with her as she chronicles her public—and private—path from young photojournalist to world-renowned photographer.

Cobb Large Profile Image
About the speaker
Jodi Cobb, Photographer

One of the first female staff photographers at National Geographic, Cobb found that being a woman in what was largely still a man's field had its advantages.

Speaker Highlights
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
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