I'm Joel Sartore.

Man on a Mission:

Building the Photo Ark

I’m Joel Sartore.

Ever wonder about those wildlife photographers who risk life and limb to get the perfect shot? That’s me. I’ve spent 25 years with National Geographic—and I’ve got the stories and scars to prove it. These days my focus is on the Photo Ark, the world’s largest collection of animal studio portraits. My goal is simple: to get the public to care and save species from extinction.

  • 8485 species photographed for the Photo Ark
     I'm Joel Sartore.
  • A modern-day Noah

  • 1 porcupine named Piper on the cover of

    National Geographic

    Photo: Brazilian porcupine (Coendou quichua) at the Saint Louis Zoo.
  • 4 times chased by grizzlies
    Picture of a grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis, at Sedgewick County Zoo.
  • 300 talks given worldwide
     I'm Joel Sartore.
  • 2 spitting cobras found in camera gear
    Picture of a red spitting cobra (Naja pallida) at the St. Louis Zoo.

Speaking Engagements

“Joel never fails to dazzle.”
Known for his sense of humor and incredible stories from the field, Joel is a popular speaker with conservation, corporate, and civic groups.

Hire him to entertain and inspire your audience.

Book Joel to Speak

Recent Talks

  •  I'm Joel Sartore.
  •  I'm Joel Sartore.
  •  I'm Joel Sartore.
  •  I'm Joel Sartore.
  •  I'm Joel Sartore.

    Photo Ark logo

    Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year effort to photograph every species in human care around the globe.

    Explore the Photo Ark

  • An ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) at the Omaha Zoo.
  • A green tree python (Morelia viridis) at the Riverside Zoo.
  • Photo: An Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis affinis) at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
  • Picture of a vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) at the Columbus Zoo.
  • Photo: A female giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) at the Alaska SeaLife Center.
  • Photo: Augustine, a mother koala with her young ones Gus and Rupert (one is adopted and one is her own offspring) at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
  • A vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) at the Omaha Zoo.
  • Photo: A Gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada) at Parco Natura Viva in Bussolengo, Italy.
  • A vulnerable (IUCN) wolverine (Gulo gulo) named Stinky, a candidate species for federal protection.
  • An endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) at the Omaha Zoo.
  • Photo: A mother koala named Augustine and her baby.
  • A male Himalayan monal pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus) at Pheasant Heaven, a private pheasant breeding center near Clinton, NC.
  • A pair of blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates azureus) at Reptile Gardens.
  • Picture of a federally endangered Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) at the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden in Guwahati, Assam, India.
  • Picture of a vulnerable secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) at the Toronto Zoo.
  • An endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Miller Park Zoo.
  • An endangered Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, at the Omaha Zoo. (Not available for licensing.)
  • Picture of a nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • A spectacled owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata).