Jodi Cobb, who has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic, will be the next speaker in the National Geographic Live series. She will speak March 29 in Olympia.
Over her career, Cobb has specialized in large-scale, global stories exploring topics such as 21st-century slavery, as well as more intimate stories inside closed worlds, such as the life of a geisha.
Often the first female photographer everywhere she worked early in her career — including at National Geographic — Cobb learned to deal with adversity, including gender bias, and the dangers and discomforts of traveling in a far less modern world as a single, working woman.
The title of Cobb’s presentation is “Exploring Hidden Worlds,” drawing on her experiences going behind the scenes to tell important stories.
Cobb was one of the first photographers to travel across China when it reopened to the West, traveling 7,000 miles in two months for the book “Journey Into China.” She also was the first photographer to enter the hidden lives of women in Saudi Arabia and the first woman to be named White House Photographer of the Year. She has worked in more than 60 countries, primarily the Middle East and Asia, where she was the first photographer to enter the realm of the geisha in Japan, leading to her book “Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art.
She also was given special access to photograph inside a different sort of closed world: the Al Gore presidential campaign of 2000.
Among the articles Cobb has produced for National Geographic are “This Thing Called Love,” “The Enigma of Beauty” and “Bahia: Where Brazil Was Born.” She also has contributed to several National Geographic books.
Cobb has photographed for the “Day in the Life” series of books and was a prime contributor to “Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The Wall” and “The Way Home: Ending Homelessness in America.”
As a child, she traveled the world with her family and grew up in Iran. She now lives in Washington, D.C.
National Geographic Live
When: 7:30 p.m. March 29
Where: Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia
Tickets: $18-$26 for adults; $16-$23 for students, seniors and military; and $9-$13 for youths.
Information: 360-753-8586, washingtoncenter.org