Sunday, 7 August 2011

Maggie Steber: Photographer, Educator, Speaker...

Two of my favorite (and insightful) moments at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Buenos Aires were when I had the good fortune of having breakfast with Maggie Steber, and then walking with her to the Motivarte school, where we were meeting our respecting classes.

I thought I'd share with my readers what most have missed by not being at the Foundry this year. No, it's not Maggie speaking during that event (I believe this will be coming in the next few weeks), but of her addressing attendees during the 15th Joop Swart Masterclass in which she talks of her career, along with an overview of her work. This is not a talk that you will want to rush through...quite the opposite. Take your time, and absorb as much as possible from a renowned professional in all the senses of the word. Candid, articulate, funny, wise, interesting and perceptive...that's how I'd describe her. So bookmark or save it, because I know you'll enjoy it.

"How can nature or God or the fates or the universe do this to a country that has borne far too much sadness?" 

Maggie Steber worked as a documentary photographer in 60 countries. Her longtime work in Haiti received the prestigious Alicia Patterson Foundation Grant and the Ernst Haas Grant as well as a book publishing support grant from Kodak. A contract photographer for Newsweek Magazine for 4 years, she has worked through several press agencies as well the Associated Press in New York as a photo editor. She served as Assistant Managing Editor of Photography and Features at the Miami Herald from 1999-2003 and guided the photo projects to become Pulitzer Prize finalists twice and a third time as winner. Her work for National Geographic has included articles on Miami, the African slave trade, the Cherokee Nation, soldiers' letters, and Dubai.

In 2007, she received a grant from the Knight Foundation to design a new newspaper prototype through the new Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami. In 2010, for the 3rd time, she was invited as a Master Teacher at the World Press Photo Foundation’s Joop Swart classes.

Finally, you ought to view Maggie's photo essay on The New York Times' Lens blog entitled No End Of Trouble. Ever , which includes her reflection on Haiti's misery.