By Danie Koskan
The 38-year-old Colorado woman finds outsiders tend to document only the hard side of life on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Photographers and writers often paint Cheyenne River's people and places in broad strokes of despair and destitution.
Steinberger intends to present a different, more complex portrait of the lives and landscapes that dot this north-central South Dakota reservation.
"When you start taking it in, it's a very complicated and beautiful place," she said.
Steinberger, a veteran freelance writer, recently teamed up with two seasoned photographers--one of them her husband, Richard--to create a coffee-table book that celebrates Cheyenne River's faces and features.
The trio aims to capture what it calls "beauty in unexpected places."
"We're not going to whitewash the hardships that are present here," Steinberger said. "But we hope to demonstrate to a wider audience that beauty, joy and hope often are found in the most unexpected places."
Below: "This picture of the Moreau River near Green Grass on Route 63 is one of many that are being taken for a new coffee-table book about life on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation." (Richard Steinberger)