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.
  • Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) from Sierra Chincua, Mexico.
  • Picture of a vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered St. Vincent parrot (Amazona guildingii) at the Houston Zoo.
  • An endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) at the Omaha Zoo.
  • A male okapi (Okapia johnstoni) at White Oak Conservation Center.
  • Photo: Critically endangered citron crested cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata) at Jurong Bird Park.
  • Picture of a 29-year-old endangered male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) named Billy at the LA Zoo.
  • 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.
  • A green tree python (Morelia viridis) at the Riverside Zoo.
  • A vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) at Houston Zoo.
  • A federally endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) named Lucy at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
  • Oblong-winged katydids (Amblycorypha oblongifolia) at the Insectarium in New Orleans. These color variants are found in nature, though anything but green is usually eaten by predators immediately. The Insectarium has been a leader in breeding these color variants for display in the zoo community.
  • Photo: Edward's fig parrot (Psittaculirostris edwardsii) at Loro Parque Fundacion.
  • Picture of a Damara zebra (Equus burchellii antiquorum) at the Naples Zoo.
  • Photo: An Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis affinis) at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
  • Picture of an endangered sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) at the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Center in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.
  • Picture of an endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered, male Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden in Ahmedabad, India.
  • Photo: A vulnerable Siamese fighting fish or betta (Betta splendens) in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Vulnerable (IUCN) and federally endangered clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) at the Houston Zoo.
  • Picture of a vulnerable adult female white bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) with her baby, part of Pangolin Conservation, a non-profit organization in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Joel Sartore News

On the brink: The Endangered Species Act

On July 21, 2019 CBS news published this story about the Endangered Species Act. “The good news is that 99% of them have not been declared extinct. The not-so-good news is that only 2% have recovered, like the bald eagle and the American alligator.”  

Get the Story