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Instagram Spotlight: Maggie Steber’s Eclectic Eye

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Left: On the train to Tampa. It's an up and down trip. Right: From the series Women with Flowers: Bird of Paradise.

Some photographers just know how to keep playing and experimenting, even after making a name for themselves. Maggie Steber is one of them. Steber isn’t afraid to make mistakes, take risks, or share her life openly. For her, photography allows her to look at the world in a fresh way every day. Steber is drawn to intimate, personal stories. She photographed her mother, Madje, as she deteriorated physically and struggled with memory loss. Steber also frequently works in Haiti, a place that has drawn her in for many years. This past year she was featured in National Geographic’s “Women of Vision” exhibition that has been traveling around the country.

Recently Steber has been working on an occasional series where she photographs women with different types of flowers, carefully pairing them together. I also was intrigued by a few of her recent photos that looked like abstract composites. She says, “I was on the train in Florida and I was shooting with my iPhone in panorama mode, so besides moving the phone horizontally, I also moved it vertically real fast just to see what would happen. I had so much fun with that.”

Learn more about her personal philosophy and passion in this video interview.

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Cuban-born Elly Choval swims daily in the ocean waters between her home in Miami and Cuba, her homeland. Elly says every day she swims in a sea of memories since she cannot visit her homeland, its waters lapping the shores of her birthplace and her adopted land. This was the opening photo for a story I did on assignment on the science of memory for the magazine.

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

From the series “Women with Flowers”: Baby’s Breath

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

From the series “Women with Flowers”: Tiny Daisies.

Self-portrait. Waiting…

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

Just having playful pano practice.

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

Looks like Gaudi built this. And they say Florida is flat…

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

Algiers, Algeria: A woman makes traditional pastries in a patisserie (bakery) in the heart of the casbah in Algiers. It is a unique kind of medina and is on the list of World Heritage sites of UNESCO. I’m here teaching a two-week workshop to Algerian press photographers.

A photo posted by Maggie Steber (@maggiesteber) on

Algiers, Algeria: A pear I bought at a small street market, an almost perfect pear, and I know because I ate it after I took this photo. Sweet and juicy. Algeria’s agricultural sector employs about 14 percent of the country’s workforce and a great variety of fruits and vegetables are exported.

Follow Maggie Steber on Instagram.

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