Speaking Engagements

Funny, passionate, and stirring, Joel (called a “social star” by Forbes) entertains and inspires audiences with photos, videos, and stories from life as a National Geographic photographer and his quest to save the world’s species. All fees go directly to the Photo Ark.

Book Joel to Speak

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Recent talks:

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

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  • Joel struck a chord with 800 of our employees who were lucky enough to see his amazing presentation. His wit, passion and his insights on gathering different perspectives can provide value to all types of organizations. We loved Joel Sartore!

    Jeffrey W. Jackson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, State Farm

  • Joel never fails to dazzle our clients with his presentations. His sense of humor, along with his knowledge, combine to give attendees an unforgettable experience.

    Andy van Duym, Director, National Geographic Live!

  • You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll want to rise up in support of the species, great and small, that are threatened on our planet. Mr. Sartore’s photos, combined with stories of heartbreak and triumph, will stay with you long after the presentation is over.

    Pamela James, Membership and Special Events Manager, WGCU Public Media

  • Joel Sartore’s presentations are unforgettable. His presentation was humorous, engaging, earnest, and informational. I left feeling not just educated about the issues, but empowered to take action around them.

    Sara Clark, Director of Communications, Duke Lemur Center

  • 513k miles traveled
  • 1.1 M social media followers
  • 1 narrow escape from killer bees

An Experienced Speaker

Joel has been sharing his adventures with audiences around the world for more than a dozen years. He tailors his presentations for each event, using stunning visuals and a wealth of humorous stories about life on assignment to entertain—and ultimately inspire—his audiences. Joel’s speaking fees go directly to supporting the Photo Ark.

Speaking Topics

Joel’s most requested talks are below. He can also customize a presentation just for you.
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  • Photo: A pair of four-week-old old Asian leopard cats, (Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis). These two were found abandoned by their mother a couple days ago in a burning field and brought to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a wildlife rehab center in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
    Building The Photo Ark

    Go behind the scenes with Joel as he travels the globe to photograph the world’s most toxic, outrageous, colorful, and beautiful animals. Things can go wrong—and they often do—but getting up close and personal is what it’s all about.

  • Life as a National Geographic Photographer

    Joel shares a lively, intimate, and humorous look at what could be the best (and worst) job in the world as he plays expedition leader, psychologist, medic, accountant, and coach, not to mention photographer. It’s all just another day at the office when you’re on assignment for National Geographic.

  • Photo: Clark DeVries wears a blindfold during his 45th birthday party.
    Grounded: A Reflection on Life and Land

    When his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, Joel knew that it was time to stay home for a while. In doing so, he reconnected not just with his family but also with why he takes photos in the first place.


Find Joel at upcoming workshops and presentations, and see his work on exhibit around the world.


    Sept. 12 – mid-December 2018 

    Oklahoma City Zoo 

    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Photo Ark exhibition

    World-renowned National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore considers himself to be an animal ambassador, a voice for the voiceless – and he is. As the driving force behind National Geographic’s Photo Ark, Joel is on a quest to visually document our world’s animals before it’s too late. Since 2006, he has photographed more than 6,500 species as he traveled to zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers and private facilities to reveal the world’s most fragile biodiversity and speak about the significance of saving all wildlife. His breathtaking portraits inspire people to care about and help save these species while there’s still time.

  •  April 14 to the end of Aug., 2018.

    Ned Smith Center For Nature and Art: Olewine Gallery

    Millersburg, PA

    National Geographic’s Photo Ark by Joel Sartore: An extraordinary window into the planet’s threatened heritage — from one of the most respected nature photographers in the world.

  • Oct 18, 2019

    6:30 PM

    Omaha Zoo

    Omaha, NE

    If you’ve ever wondered about those wildlife photographers who risk life and limb to get the perfect shot, now’s your chance. His 25 years with National Geographic have given him the stories and scars to prove it. Come hear about Joel’s adventures, his passion for conservation, and what life is like for this 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year.


           Apr. 20 – Oct 7 2018 

    Woodland Park Zoo 

    Seattle, Washington

    Photo Ark exhibition

    National Geographic is showcasing this project in a traveling outdoor photo exhibition making its way to Woodland Park Zoo, Apr. 20 – Oct. 7, 2018. Featuring the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore, the exhibition will display more than 50 stunning animal portraits taken in the world’s best zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

    This exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. It is free with zoo admission or membership.

  •  Oct 13 – Jan 13, 2019 

    Annenberg Space for Photography 

    Los Angeles, CA

    Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals

    The National Geographic Photo Ark, led by photographer Joel Sartore, is an effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries in order to motivate action through education and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. Be inspired by close to 100 captivating, large-format prints of our world’s animals that we need to #SaveTogether. Joel’s powerful photos mirror a powerful message – shared with humor and compassion – to know these animals is to save them. Photo Ark is organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society.

  • Feb 21, 2019

    8 PM

    NANPA Summit

    Las Vegas, NV

    The Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show is a gathering of hundreds of photographers, photo editors and other members of the nature photography community with a focus on learning and inspiration.

  • March 7-9, 2019

    Grizzlies, Piranhas and Flesh-eating Pigs

    National Coffee Association 108th Annual Conference







  • March 12, 2019

    Building The Photo Ark

    Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts – Mountain View – CA


  • March 12, 2019

    Wallace Stegner Lecture with Joel Sartore

    Peninsula Open Space Trust Palo Alto, CA


Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

Speaking Engagements

Joel is a popular keynote speaker with conservation, corporate, and civic groups.

Hire him to entertain and inspire your audience.

Book Joel To Speak

The Photo Ark

Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document every species in captivity before it’s too late.

Explore the Photo Ark

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Every purchase goes directly to support our mission: getting the public to care and helping to save species from extinction.

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