Kent Kobersteen is a former newspaper photographer, editor and Director of Photography at National Geographic magazine. He currently conducts photographic workshops and lectures internationally on the philosophy, ethics and business of photojournalism. He also serves as a consultant on photographic contracts and rights issues.
Kobersteen was Director of Photography and Senior Editor at National Geographic magazine from February 1998 until January 2005. He joined the National Geographic in 1983 as a picture editor.
As Director of Photography at National Geographic his responsibilities involved building the magazine’s cadre of staff and freelance photographers, assigning photography for the magazine, supervising the photographers administratively, as well as participating in the editorial management of the photographic coverages for the Magazine.
Before joining the National Geographic, Kobersteen spent eighteen years at the Minneapolis (Minnesota) Tribune -- sixteen years as a staff photographer and two years as editor of the Tribune’s Sunday magazine.
As a photographer for the Minneapolis Tribune, Kobersteen’s assignments took him throughout the United States and Canada, and to over 25 foreign countries, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. Although his duties at the National Geographic were administrative, they took him throughout Europe and Africa, and to the Arctic, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
While at the Minneapolis Tribune, Kobersteen won numerous awards for his photography. A series on the drought in Africa’s Sahel, another on Cuba under Castro, a third on the major oil producing nations, and a fourth series on global poverty each received recognition from groups such as the Overseas Press Club and the National Press Photographers Association. Work from domestic assignments also received recognition from professional groups. During his tenure at the National Geographic, the magazine won the prestigious National Magazine Award for photography five times, and was a finalist an additional eight years.
He has participated, as a photographer and an editor, on various A Day in the Life of . . . book projects, including those on Australia, Hawaii, Japan, Canada and the Soviet Union. He also was an editor, and involved in production and marketing, for Descubriendo Ecuador, a photographic book on Ecuador.
Kobersteen has lectured and participated in workshops and seminars on photography, journalism ethics, editing and newspaper production throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. He was a co-director of photography workshops in Bulgaria and Hungary, and of an editing and production workshop in Bulgaria. He has participated in numerous seminars for professional journalists throughout the United States, and in Bulgaria, Poland and Azerbaijan, and for students at the American University in Bulgaria. He has also spoken on National Geographic/Lindblad cruises in Antarctica, the Arctic, and the South Atlantic Ocean, and a National Geographic Around the World by Private Jet trip. Kobersteen has traveled to more than 90 countries, plus the North Pole and Antarctica.
Kobersteen attended the University of Minnesota. He and his wife live in Northern Virginia.
Kobersteen’s stock photographs are available from National Geographic Creative (http://www.natgeocreative.com).