About Jonathan

Portrait of National Geographic photographer Jonathan Kingston.

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.