Meet iLCP Senior Fellow Photographer
Fellowship Application
Joel Sartore

"We have to do something about this” is a phrase often heard while in the company of Joel Sartore. A National Geographic photographer and passionate conservationist, Joel is not only known for his charming sense of humor and mid-western work ethic, but also for the intense sense of responsibility he feels to preserve all things wild through his photography.

A journalism graduate from the University of Nebraska, Joel started his photographic career at The Wichita Eagle, and by the early nineties he had been recruited by National Geographic. In addition to his delightful work on Americana, his keen interest in raising awareness for conservation has led him to cover issues ranging from land use and endangered species, to wildlife management and the demise of the American prairie.

 Working both as a freelance and contract photographer, Joel’s images have graced over 26 stories in National Geographic Magazine. The hopeful outlook and remarkable wit he brings to his work is contagious, and his ability to find the silver lining in every challenge is an inspiration. 

Four years ago, when Joel’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, he went on a voluntary “self-grounding”, setting aside National Geographic assignments to care for and reconnect with his three young children. Once his wife was on the mend (she’s fully recovered now) he eventually began doing studio portraits of animals at local zoos. These portraits now number more than 1,500 species, some of which have run in National Geographic Magazine in two separate stories; one on the Endangered Species Act and the other on the amphibian extinction crisis (alerting readers to the fact that 50% of all amphibian species worldwide are at risk.)

Joel's work has also appeared in Audubon, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Time and numerous book projects including the Day in the Life series. Joel and his work have been the subject of an hour-long PBS documentary entitled ‘At Close Range’, as well as many other national broadcasts including National Geographic's Explorer and the CBS Sunday Morning Show. Sartore has been recognized for his work by the National Press Photographers Association, the Inland Daily Press Association, and the Pictures of the Year International contest.

Joel's latest book, published by National Geographic, is Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species ,featuring portraits of some of the country's most endangered creatures, from polar bears to whooping cranes.

  • Bioko RAVE Multimedia, English Version

Bioko RAVE Multimedia, English Version

by Cristina Mittermeier, Kathy Moran and Jenny Nichols

Travel with Joel Sartore, Christian Ziegler, Tim Laman, and Ian Nichols to Bioko, an island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa.

Four renowned conservation photographers have brought back a disturbing yet hopeful portrait of the biodiversity, threats and efforts to conserve the small West African island of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea. Despite having a significant system of protected areas, the small West African nation has been unable to stave off the relentless hunting of wildlife, and especially primates, for human consumption, which is leading to the demise of some species.

The photographers are members of the iLCP, an organization that includes some of the most acclaimed photographers of our generation and whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through ethical photography. RAVE, a trademarked initiative of the iLCP that stands for Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition, aims to address the challenges of modern conservation, which often demands an immediate supply of images, words and research to answer threats of imminent disruption to focus the attention from international media.

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