Portrait of National Geographic Creative photographer, Jonathan Kingston.

Jonathan Kingston is a National Geographic contributing photographer and founding member of Submerged Archaeological Conservancy International. His work focuses primarily on maritime archaeology, natural history and the human story of this world. Jonathan’s work has received numerous honors in the prestigious Communication Arts, PDN Photo Annual and PX3 photo competitions and his imagery has been used by universities and Fortune 500 companies.

“My mission is to inspire a better understanding of the world through the tools of science, exploration and storytelling.”

-Jonathan Kingston

This website exists to inspire your inner nomad to pick up a camera and see the world.

As a contributing photographer at National Geographic and an itinerant photo instructor – I love experimenting with new gear and techniques to solve problems encountered in the field.  I also have a few stories and insights from the road that you might find interesting.

One eye of the photographer looks wide open through the viewfinder, the other, the closed, looks into his own soul.  

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Here I share freely with you the best of what my outward and inner eye have seen and comprehended.


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How I Became a Nat Geo Contributing Photographer

About Jonathan

Life has repeatedly taught me that the world is full of wonder and tragedy and endless stories… and that these stories, when told skillfully and truthfully, are fatal to bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

My north star is creating narratives that foster understanding of the natural history and human story of our world. It fires me up to use photography as a scientific tool to further research and give the often obscure world of science a visual voice. If a story requires spending days camping on the side of a cliff or in an ocean vessel – bring it on.

Experiences shaping my vision include leading every pitch on El Capitan’s famous Nose route in Yosemite as a teenager and being adopted by an Apsaálooke family while volunteering on the Crow Indian reservation as a young adult. Riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle in India for two years and nearly dying of typhoid fever in a rural hospital in Tamil Nadu. Living in a VW van while exploring the USA and circumnavigating the world on a ship. Occasionally I pick up my violin and get lost playing music.

My work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal and has been used commercially by Fortune 500 companies. I have worked on two grants from the National Geographic Society and regularly teach as a photo expert for Nat Geo Expeditions. I graduated with honors from Brooks Institute of Photography and have won multiple accolades from the Communication Arts and PDN photo annual competitions. Big deal? Not really. I am constantly humbled and inspired by the amazing work of my peers and am motivated to up my game whenever given the chance. I am humbled by the tenacity and brilliance of the scientists and archaeologists I have collaborated with in the past and am motivated to help them further their work.

Great stories aren’t told without great collaborations. Do you have a great story that needs to be told? Let’s collaborate.

Jonathan Kingston Explores the World in Search of Images and Insights