National Geographic photographer’s quest to give people new perspective on protecting animals

Joel Sartore has traveled all over the world taking pictures of endangered species in their natural habitats. But in 2005, his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and Sartore stepped away from working in the field to care for her and their three kids. While at home, Sartore decided to take simple, intimate photographs of vulnerable animals in a studio. Sartore hopes the images will give people a new perspective on what we could lose if the animals go extinct. He’s shot more than 8000 portraits as part of his Photo Ark. Some of them are on display now at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

A critically endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)
at the Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington, Illinois.

A veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, Salina, Kansas. 

Photos by Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark.