Jake Rutherford Photography



Based in Austin, Texas.



Storytelling is aimless without a goal.

I collaborate with large and small organizations to use storytelling to advance their goals.

My work is done at the intersection of impact and influence, where context and empathy guide and change human development, the human condition, and the planet's environments.

My approach is not to work for but to collaborate with others to create the greatest equity and impact. Collaboration and inclusion of stakeholder voices makes any endeavor stronger, allowing for increased perspective, sturdier ideas, informed accountability, and long-term sustainable implementation.

I am a former National Geographic photo editor and feature story producer. I have owned and operated a video production company and have taught photography at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. I manage a variety of branding projects for clients and causes in diverse regions and markets. Over the years I’ve worked with a variety of organizations to develop visual stories and multimedia content around their initiatives.



Photographer / Photo Editor: "A Land of Honey, Plums and Landmines", Bittersweet Magazine, October 2018.

Photographer & photo editor of the October issue of Bittersweet Magazine covering the Marshall Legacy Institute’s work in Bosnia and Herzegovina reducing landmine and unexploded ordnance dangers and supporting survivors.

Field Producer / Researcher: “How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America”, National Geographic Magazine, May 2018.

Researched and identified leads, conducted interviews, managed schedules, and guided the photography team in the Texas field work of Wayne Lawrence’s coverage of National Geographic’s feature story about Muslims in America.

Writer: "A Conversation with Photographer Jake Rutherford", Bittersweet Magazine, September 2017.

Wrote a brief Question and Answer piece as a followup to the Plant it Forward article in the August issue of Bittersweet Magazine.

Videographer & Editor / Photographer: "Refugee Farmers Growing in Houston's Food Desert", Bittersweet Magazine, August 2017.

Filmed, photographed, edited, and produced coverage of the Houston refugee farming organization, Plant it Forward Farms, for the August issue of Bittersweet Magazine.

Video Editor: "Restoring the Bahia Grande", The Nature Conservancy of Texas, May 2017.

Interpreted footage, identified stock imagery & music, and sequenced the multimedia for The Nature Conservancy of Texas to annouce their recent accomplishments in the Bahia Grande.

Videographer: "Meet an Owner: Zoe Kalapos", Subaru, March 2017.

Captured video for a short bio-documentary featuring U.S. Olympic Snowboarder Zoe Kalapos for Subaru's "Meet An Owner" series.

Photo Editor: National Geographic Magazine, Departments: February 2016 to December 2016 issues.

Researched, edited, licensed, and published images for "Front-of-Book" stories for the National Geographic Magazine.

Feature Story Producer: National Geographic Magazine, August 2013 - August 2016.

Researched story, identified leads, established contacts, planned budgets, managed talent and logistics, gained access to sensitive locations, translated to digital expressions, verified information, coordinated and contributed to image selection, and shepherded through publication processes.

Notable Publications:
Feeding 9 Billion, May 2014
Wasteland, December 2014
50 Years of Wilderness, September 2014
Mindsuckers, November 2014
Carnivore’s Dilemma, November 2014
Blast Force: The Invisible War on the Brain, February 2015
Taking Back Detroit, May 2015
Quest for a Superbee, May 2015
Stalking a Killer, July 2015
Mystery Man, October 2015
Melting Away, The Climate Issue, November 2015
Power to the People, The Climate Issue, November 2015
The Science of Delicious, December 2015
Waste Not Want Not, March 2016
The Cold Rush, March 2016
Urban Parks, April 2016
Back in Fashion, September 2016

Photographer: Missouri Photo Workshop 68.

Identified, developed, photographed, edited, and published a photographic story within 5 days and a 400 frame limit during the renown Missouri Photo Workshop’s 68th year inCuba, Missouri.

Photographer / Photo Editor: “How The Punk Rock Scene Is Caring for Elderly in DC - We Are Family”, Bittersweet Monthly, May 2016.

Photographed a typical morning in the role of a We Are Family food delivery volunteer. We Are Family is a D.C. organization that provides for the elderly.

Writer / Photo Editor: ‘Photo Camp Sarajevo Inspires a Generation That’s Moving Past War,’ National Geographic PROOF, July 2015.

Wrote, photo edited, and published a report and photo-compilation of National Geographic’s Photo Camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which I co-lead in Sarajevo.

Videographer / Multimedia Producer: ‘Taking Back Detroit,’ National Geographic Magazine, May 2015.

Established contacts, arranged field schedules, conducted interviews, captured footage and audio interviews, produced final edit and managed workflow with digital production teams. Placed 3rd for 'Best Multimedia Package' in The White House News Photographers Association’s 2016 Eyes Of History: Multimedia Contest.

Writer / Photo Editor: ‘Post-Its & Praise: A Photographer’s Ode to His Unsung Hero,’ National Geographic PROOF, May 2015.

Wrote, photo edited, and published a portfolio retrospective and personal reflection of my earliest photojournalistic influence, photographer Norman Mauskopf.

Writer / Photo Editor / Photographer: ‘Snapshots: Recovering From a Photographic Fumble,’ National Geographic PROOF, October 2014.

Wrote, photo edited, and published a reflection on my documentary assignment to a Democratic Republic of Congo orphanage, featuring original photography.

Photo Editor: ‘Pictures: Celebrating Ramadan Around the World,’ National Geographic Daily News, July 2014.

Researched, edited, licensed, and published a gallery for National Geographic Daily News.