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Joel Sartore on the Photo Ark

“I think photography has tremendous potential in terms of moving people to action.”—Joel Sartore

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A Florida panther photographed at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, from the October 2013 National Geographic story “Building the Ark”

Joel Sartore believes that photography can take an ordinary moment and elevate it to iconic. From covering koalas in Australia to the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Sartore has captured the world’s iconic moments in 33 stories for National Geographic. Throughout his 23 years working for the magazine, his photos have influenced governments around the world to protect both species and land. Sartore is now on a mission to halt extinction or, at the very least, slow the process down, through a project he calls the Photo Ark. For this project, Sartore travels to zoos around the country with an aim to photograph all of the world’s 6,000 captive species, of which he has so far captured more than 2,600. —Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

Follow Joel Sartore on his website.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: Joel Sartore
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM


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