©  Maggie Steber

Dear Friends:

I have to say it has been a difficult year. The passing of Mary Ellen was a very sensitive one as we did not only lose one of the greatest icons of photography of our times, but a great human being, a friend, and terrific instructor. 

Mary Ellen taught in Oaxaca for more than 29 years, it was a workshop to which she dedicated her time, energy and undivided attention and commitment, year after year. It simply became emblematic for her and for all the students that, in many instances, kept coming back for more from Mary Ellen, more from Oaxaca and more for their short and long term projects. 

Mary Ellen's commitment to her students and her workshop was extraordinary and we would like to carry on with that legacy for you. For months, we have been analyzing and talking to different students and potential instructors on different alternatives that would allow us to maintain the tradition of the Workshops in Oaxaca.

As you can imagine, this was no trivial challenge, this is a workshop that we all hold dearly in our hearts. We are not attempting to replace Mary Ellen in the workshops, WE CANNOT do that... no one can...but we can honor her by making sure that whomever comes to teach and follow in her footsteps, brings the humanitarian heart that was so much the emphasis in her work. 

For the earlier part of 2016 (February 7-16)  we will have the honor of having social documentary photographer Maggie Steber as the lead instructor in Oaxaca. Maggie is known for her humanistic stories of people and cultures. She is a National Geographic Woman of Vision and has worked in 66 countries producing cultural stories, as well as significant work on Haiti, Native Americans, and the sciences of sleep and memory loss. Some of her honors include: 
  • Leica Medal of Excellence
  • The Overseas Press Club's Rebbot Award for Best Reporting from Abroad
  • Medal of Honor for her Contribution to Journalism from the Univ. of Missouri
  • First Prize in World Press Photo
  • First Prize in World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year
  • The Ernst Haas Grant
  • The Alicia Patterson Grant
  • The Knight Foundation Grant
We look forward to having you back in 2016 in Oaxaca, as we strive to keep producing amazing workshops and learning experiences for you. 


Herzen Cortes
Photo Xpeditions


Daring to see the World in a New Way:
Photography Workshop in Oaxaca 
with Maggie Steber
Feb 7 - 16, 2016 

  © Maggie Steber    
This workshop is about visual storytelling in a new way. What story a participant wants to tell is up to them. The main purpose of telling a story in one week, whatever shape it takes, is meant to hone skills and give participants a new way to see the world, to re-see it, if you will. We look at things every day but we don't always see them. When we focus our cameras on something, be it an object, idea, or issue we begin to see it for the first time, re-see it instead of just looking.

In a world one billion photos are taken each day we suffer from photographic overload, a collective visual fatigue even among a vibrant array of venues and greater opportunities for sharing photos. The big challenge is to show people something they haven't seen before, a new approach to an old issue or idea that won't go away. These are the two big goals for this workshop.

This is your chance to break out of what you think makes a good photograph or what is expected of you as a photographer, whether you are professional, student, or enthusiast.  We will look at examples of contemporary photography and sometimes more personal approaches that have made storytelling more intriguing and liberated from traditional visual ideas. This is not a class for beginners. 

                 © Maggie Steber
I love to tell stories and I'm interested in telling them in all sorts of ways. My work is mainly documentary in style and you can see this work in National Geographic Magazine and in my 30 years of working in Haiti, along with a long project I did on my mother's memory loss. (see
I'm fascinated by exploring new visual ways to tell stories.  I think we are at the precipice of a sea change, a shift in the paradigm, in how that is being done,
no matter what the project, the story, the issue, or the form the story takes. I am fascinated, too, by how everyone looks through a frame, no matter what it is on, and sees something different.  It's mind blowing!
Of late, I've been working on a longterm project called the Dark Side and I'm having so much fun with it because it is wide open and free without expectations from others or rules to which I must adhere. You can see a small bit of this work on my website under The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma at the very bottom of the menu.
Photographing is a privilege. It gives us everything including a new way  to consider things.  I believe it can save us.  It opens a door for us to enter  the lives of people who we might not otherwise know, go to places we might  otherwise not see, experience life in a way we might otherwise not. It's exciting  and exhausting and bewitching and demanding. It is a universal language and with it, we can begin to understand one another a bit better
I adore looking at other peoples' photographs.  In them I can see all kinds of  possibilities for the work and the stories behind the photographs, which is the most intriguing thing to me. I love the intimacy of teaching workshops, for me they are like a short sweet intense love affair.  The reasons I teach, to see new work, to meet new people, to encourage and to be inspired.
I have been a picture editor and a Director of Photography at a major American newspaper (The Miami Herald). I have published 2 books of my own and my work has been featured in a myriad of books and museum collections. I have  taught all over the world.  I have covered everything from war to fashion but  mostly have told cultural stories on countries, people, and even in my own life.  I have worked largely in magazines but also exhibited worldwide.  I have served  as judge on many grant panels and international competitions.  I have received some real nice honors but I'm a big believer in keeping my ego in my back pocket where I can sit on it. 
Maggie Steber

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On Maggie Steber´s Photography Workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico, if you register and submit your payment before October 31, 2015.

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