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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  •  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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  • 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.

  • South Korea Exhibition

     November 10th 2017 – March 4th, 2018

    Special-exhibition hall, War Memorial, South Korea

    U.S. photographer Sartore founded Photo Ark in 2005, a project to document species before they disappear. So far, he has visited more than 40 countries to get portraits of various species. The photographs of some 7,000 species are on display at the exhibition, ranging from the 6-mm long Socorro isopod, a tiny insect, to the giant 3-m tall African elephant.

  • Photo Ark Museum Exhibition

     Through March 4, 2018

    The Hague, Netherlands

    National Geographic Photo Ark, an exhibition of Joel Sartore, is filled with beautiful and moving photos of animals both tiny and mammoth accompanied by Joel’s powerful story.  The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multiyear effort to document every species living in wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

  • Los Angeles Zoo Exhibition

     Through February, 2018

    Los Angeles, California

    Beginning September 9, guests at the Los Angeles Zoo can view selections from the National Geographic Photo Ark, an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries and intended to inspire people to help protect these animals for future generations. Featuring the work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore, the National Geographic Photo Ark is a compelling and visually powerful project that aims to photograph species before it is too late. In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and shines a light on individuals and organizations working to preserve species around the world. The traveling National Geographic exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

  • Photo Ark Exhibition

     Through April 29, 2018

    Museum of Natural History in Porto, Portugal.

    Photo Ark is a National Geographic project with a simple goal: to photograph all the species in captivity, to create one of the largest biodiversity archives in the world, and to inspire the public to devote themselves to the conservation of the planet’s most vulnerable animals. In a decade, photographer Joel Sartore has portrayed more than 7,000 species, intending to photograph a total of 12,000 during the project’s 25 years.

    Come and see the best photos of the Photo Ark, at the Biodiversity Gallery – Centro Ciência Viva, in Porto, and discover what we can save.

  • Private Event

     October, 2017

    Private exhibit in the Netherlands

  • Private Event

     October, 2017

    Private speaking engagement in Italy

  • Private Event

     October, 2017

    Private exhibit in Poland

  • Private Event

     October, 2017

    Private exhibit in Portugal

  • Captain Planet Foundation Benefit Gala

    December 8th, 2017

    Taking place at the Intercontinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta.

    Each year at the Captain Planet Foundation Benefit Gala, we give a series of awards that highlight outstanding, real life environmental superheroes. These awards honor those who have demonstrated extraordinary environmental stewardship, have helped to protect and preserve the natural balance and beauty of our land, and those who have offered significant contributions to making the world a better place.

  • Special Event - Photo Ark

     November 14, 2017; 4pm

    Iola, Kansas

    Joel will be speaking at the Thomas H. Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola, Kansas. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a Midwestern work ethic. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes around the world. He is the founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year documentary project to save species and habitat.

  • Melbourne Zoo: Photo Ark Zoo Exhibition

     July 1- October 1, 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    This winter in an Australian-first, Melbourne Zoo is hosting the National Geographic Photo Ark, an exclusive photo exhibition using the power of photography to inspire people to save animals before it’s too late.

  • Nat Geo Live: Building the Photo Ark

    September 7 & 8, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    Joel will be speaking at The Broad Stage in Los Angeles, California. National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to capture portraits of the world’s species before they disappear. With ingenuity, wit, and a serious midwestern work ethic, Sartore has created the Photo Ark project, the largest archive of its kind with nearly 5,000 images and counting. Hear about his comical mishaps, endearing encounters, and personal stories while documenting a world worth saving.

  • Mix'd Media: "National Geographic Photo Ark: Photographs by Joel Sartore"

    June 28, 2017
    Jackson, WY
    At the National Museum of Wildlife Art, June’s Mix’d Media will feature the “National Geographic Photo Ark: Photographs by Joel Sartore” exhibition. Joel Sartore will be in attendance, and will give a KeyNote presentation at 6p.m., followed by an after-party in Johnston Hall. The creative activities during the after-party both revolve around photography, with two photography-related projects for all guests to enjoy. Entertainment is provided by DJs Jefe and Mr. Whipple, and food and beverages will be available for purchase from Palate.

  • MONA- Photo Ark exhibit featuring North American and Prairie animals

    March 3- July 9, 2017
    Kearney, NE
    This is the first major museum exhibition of the Photo Ark in the Midwest with a special concentration on North American and Prairie animals.

  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo: Photo Ark Zoo Exhibition

    Beginning April 2017
    Omaha, NE
    Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will host “National Geographic Photo Ark,” a new traveling outdoor exhibition beginning April 4.
    The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries – inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations. Joel Sartore started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln more than a decade ago. Since then, he has visited more than 40 countries and has worked in more than 250 zoos, aquariums and animal rescue centers around the world in his quest to create the Photo Ark. Some of the images were taken at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

  • Dallas Zoo: Photo Ark Exhibition

    Beginning May 2017
    Dallas, TX
    The Dallas Zoo and National Geographic are showcasing a one-of-a-kind project through the national launch of a traveling exhibition, “National Geographic Photo Ark,” opening at the Dallas Zoo on Thursday, April 20. Featuring the remarkable work of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore, the exhibition will be on display until Labor Day (Sept. 4, 2017). This exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

  • Cincinnati Zoo: Photo Ark Exhibition

    Beginning May 2017
    Cincinnati, OH
    The Cincinnati Zoo will see more animals than ever this summer, some through the eyes of National Geographic photographer and Fellow Joel Sartore. Sartore’s photos featuring species from zoos and aquariums around the world will be displayed throughout the Cincinnati Zoo from May 19 to August 20. Cincinnati Zoo is thrilled to be one of only three locations hosting the traveling “National Geographic Photo Ark” exhibition for its debut tour. This exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.


    September 16, 2017 – February 25, 2018
    Hickory, NC
    Hickory Museum of Art
    Catawba Valley Camera Club and the Hickory Museum of Art present the images of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. The installation includes 55 prints. Half of the images show animals in their natural environments – highlighting the effects of deforestation, industrialization, oil spills, and city growth on their habitats. The other half of the prints are Photo Ark images – studio-style portraits of the world’s captive species (species under human care) photographed against a white or black background. Sartore writes, “Isolating the animals against black and white backgrounds allows us to look them in the eye and see that these creatures contain beauty, grace, and intelligence.”

  • Fragile Nature at Wesselman Nature Society

    May 12, 2017 – June 23, 2017
    Evansville, IN
    Sixty images exploring the relationship between mankind and nature. For additional information, contact WNS.

  • Amphibians exhibit at Western Kentucky University

    Aug-Nov, 2016
    Bowling Green, KY
    More than 60 photographs from Joel Sartore on one of his favorite subjects: amphibians. These animals are both stunning and intriguing in their diversity and uniqueness. Learn more about the plight and nature of the transparent glass frog, the Chinese giant salamander and even the blue poison dart frog in this comprehensive and beautiful exhibit.

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.

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