Kissing A Stranger

October 5, 2021 5:00 am Published by

kissing a stranger is a study of Sternbach’s early work made during the 1970s and 1980s. In essence, it is a portrait of the artist as a young woman forming her visual language through freedom of experimentation and expression. She says ‘finding my way towards independence and autonomy as a young art student was both intensely lonely and toughening. A camera around my neck afforded me a feeling of protection. It allowed me to project myself onto the world around me; with my needs, my desires and my loneliness exposed – I felt less vulnerable. I looked at the city not from above or below, but straight on. Photographing myself and my family became my coping mechanism. These images are a product of that era.’

Signed copies and special editions with prints are available through me in the shop and  Dürer Editions


As Much As

January 8, 2021 8:15 pm Published by

As Much As

Is a  handmade and hand-sewn artist book, with words and photographs by Joni Sternbach.
This journal-style book weaves the story of a young artist, learning to be a photographer and sets it against the backdrop of NYC in the 1970s.
© 2020
17  tipped-in photographs printed on expired single-weight, gelatin silver paper
40 pages, 7.5 x 10 inches
50 Copies. 15 with bespoke scent: aMa by Florian

Buy yours in the shop


August 5, 2020 2:29 pm Published by

SURFBOARD is both a celebration and an impassioned study of some of the most important designs in surf history. Tracing the roots of the sport to Hawai’i, photographer Joni Sternbach uncovers layers of meaning, historic and cultural clashes, and ultimately the sheer pleasure of the common and utilitarian surfboard and its handmade origins.

Drawn from the supreme collection at the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center (SHACC) in San Clemente, California, Sternbach demonstrates, through her deft use of her ultra-large large format camera and wet plate collodion glass plates, what it means to capture the mana of these totemic and historic boards.

Surfboard features texts by Joni Sternbach and former pro surfer/Fulbright scholar Jamie Brisick.

Hardbound 96 Pages
First Edition 350 copies
250 include a tipped-in, archival inkjet print, on Hiromi Asuka paper
Signed, numbered, and printed by Joni Sternbach

Design by Vasun Pachisia
Printed in Belgium by Die Keure

Release Date November 2020.

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High Tide Montauk Point

March 9, 2019 10:47 pm Published by

High Tide Montauk Point is a limited edition artist book designed in collaboration with Dust Collective. With three fascicles, sleeved together inside a folder it is produced in an edition of 75. Photographed on the bluffs of Ditch Plains with a large format camera, is the plain expanse of the ocean surface. Printed originally in platinum/palladium and cyanotype, this book seeks to replicate the photographer’s intimate experience with her subject matter. Photographed in all weather conditions and devoid of the horizon, these abstract images speak to the emotionality of the ocean and the transformative power of nature.

There is a special edition of 25 with a cyanotype print enclosed. Order your copy here.


August 24, 2015 11:40 am Published by

Surf Site Tin Type is an homage to a sport, a way of life, and to the people who practice it. Over the last decade, Joni Sternbach has created portraits in tintype of contemporary surfers that put the world of surfing in a completely new light. Stunning in their detail, these unique images evoke the romance of surfing and the strong individualism of the men and women who live to ride the waves. Working with a large format camera and using hand-poured plates, Sternbach has profiled a fascinating range of people, both known and unknown on prized surfing beaches around the world, from Malibu to Montauk, across the ocean to Cornwall, UK to Byron Bay, Australia. Typical surfing photographs are action shots, riding the mighty wave and in vivid color, while Sternbach turns to a historic technique to capture something essential and even primordial in these portraits and settings.

Surf Site Tin Type features texts by noted photo critic and historian Lyle Rexer, curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, April M. Watson and champion surfers, writers, and filmmakers Chris Malloy and Johnny Abegg.

Published by Damiani Editore 2015

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August 24, 2015 11:39 am Published by

“Sternbach makes her photographs in tintype, a labor-intensive technique little changed since it’s invention in the 1850s. Spontaneous and unpredictable, the streaks and tonal variations in the finished photographs reflect their hand-made character, the corners rubbed where they were held in the camera.

Posing on rocky outcrops, in front of uprooted trees, or on thick mats of woody flotsam, Sternbach’s surfers inhabit strange landscapes. The best of Sternbach’s photographs convey insistent longing. They are about relationships – the relationship between surfer and board, between human and landscape, between photographer and subject, and between the surfers themselves…she has discovered a new sort of home – a place without walls, defined only by belonging and the physicality of existence.”
Philip Prodger, Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum

Published by Photolucida 2009

Sold out except in clamshell edition

The Passsengers

October 2, 2015 6:52 pm Published by

The Passengers, Published by Cafe Royal Books 2014

Photographed in the 1970’s, The Passengers documents both individuals and families in moments of unusal isolation and surprising intimacy in one of New York City’s most public arenas, the subway. Edited by Craig Atkinson

36pp., Black and White Digital, 6 x 8 inches.
All copies are signed.

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Promise Land

September 29, 2015 2:27 pm Published by

Promise Land, Published by Cafe Royal Books 2013

“Promise Land is a poignant elegy to the ghosts of failure that stalk the American Dream, photographed on the east end of Long Island.” Forward by Naomi Itami. Edition 150. Paperback, 28 pages, edited by Craig Atkinson, July 4, 2013. This publication is part of the Tate Gallery special collection.

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Cafe Royal Books