I'm Joel Sartore.

Joel with Bill Whitaker & the 60 Minutes crew in the Philippines.

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.

  • 9585 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.
  • Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) at the Miller Park Zoo.
  • A male okapi (Okapia johnstoni) at White Oak Conservation Center.
  • Photo: A kaiser spotted newt (Neurergus kaiseri) from Conservation Fisheries.
  • A picture of a critically endangered and federally endangered, female South China tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis, at the Suzhou Zoo in China.
  • A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae).
  • A unique color variant of an eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) named "Blondie" at the Saint Louis Zoo. When she came from North Carolina to the zoo as a juvenile, she only had a couple of orange spots. Over the past 12 years her color has morphed into this very showy orange.
  • Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) also known as Leadbeater's cockatoo or pink cockatoo, at Parrots in Paradise, a bird attraction in Glass House Mountains, Queensland.
  • 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

  • A critically endangered sumatran orangutan, Pongo abelii, at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX.
  • Picture of an endangered yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae) at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.
  • Photo: A rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) at the Exmoor Zoo in England.
  • Picture of an endangered rowi kiwi or okarito kiwi (Apteryx rowi) at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand.
  • A federally endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) named Lucy at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
  • A studio portrait of a gerenuk (Lictocranius walleri) at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
  • A pair of blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates azureus) at Reptile Gardens.
  • Picture of Terri, a hand-raised, female Javan rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros silvestris) at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • Picture of twin three month old endangered red pandas (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.
  • Vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) named 'Usi' from the Omaha Zoo.
  • An endangered baby Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) named Aurora, with her adoptive mother, Cheyenne, a Bornean/Sumatran cross (Pongo pygmaeus x abelii) at the Houston Zoo. (Not available for licensing.)
  • Picture of a critically endangered Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) at Zealandia, in Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Picture of an American great egret (Ardea alba egretta) at the Saint Louis Zoo.
  • Two koala joeys cling to each other, waiting to be placed with human caregivers. Once they’re old enough, they’ll be released into the wild.
  • An ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) at the Omaha Zoo.
  • Picture of a veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus), Lincoln, Nebraska.

Joel Sartore News

The Photo Ark on 60 Minutes

Join Joel Sartore, Bill Whitaker and the 60 Minutes crew as they travel to the Philippines to capture some of the world’s most amazing animals for the Photo Ark. The episode first aired October 14, 2018, and will air again June 16, 2019. Tune in this Sunday evening to CBS’s 60 Minutes to meet a…

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