Joni Sternbach is a native New Yorker. She holds a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and an MA from New York University/International Center of Photography.


Sternbach uses both large format film and early photographic processes to explore the present day landscape and to make environmental portraits. Her work centers on our relationship with water, contrasting some of the most desolate deserts in the American West to iconic surf beaches around the world.


Her work is included in many public collections, with recent acquisitions from the Joslyn Art Museum, Harn Museum, MOCA, Jacksonville and National Portrait Gallery in London. She is the recipient of several grants and prizes including the Clarence John Laughlin award, NYFA and 2nd prize winner in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize competition 2016.

Her monograph, Surf Site Tin Type was published by Damiani Editore in March 2015. 



Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE

Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida

Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY

MOCA, Jacksonville, FL

National Portrait Gallery, London

Peabody Essex Museum

J.P. Morgan Chase


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Paris, France
Museum of Photographic Arts. San Diego
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
The Cleveland Museum of Art
St. Louis Art Museum
University of Texas At Austin. Harry Ransom Center
Bibliotheque Nationale. Paris, France
International Center of Photography
Center for Photography. Woodstock, NY
Light Work. Syracuse, NY

Polaroid International Collection

Victoria and Albert Museum National Art Library

Tate Museum of Art Library Collection